Every week we encounter hundreds of great suggestions for living a healthier, happier life. These can come from blogs, our friends, from the products we buy, from doctors, nutritionists and so on.
We are being advised about our diets, our attitudes, getting in shape, our health, wellbeing, our sex lives, our spirituality, and anything else that matters to us. These suggestions are everywhere, and many of them are incredibly valid and even life-changing.
But how do we successfully navigate the plethora of information at our fingertips to create a lifestyle plan that works the best for each of us?
If I tried to follow all of the diet, lifestyle and health tips I saw every day, I would easily run out of hours in my day before I could try them all! It's totally and completely natural to feel overwhelmed by all this information.
The first step to making positive life changes is to take a deep breath and trust that you will find the lifestyle plan that best suits your needs. Whether it's Paleo or pilates, yoga or veganism, or something entirely different, there are plenty of options out there that can enhance your life.
Some of us have already discovered what works for us, and usually we have done so by trusting our gut and doing what feels right. Sticking to a diet, workout or health plan that doesn’t work for you because the "experts" told you to can do you more harm than good in the long run!
If you make selective lifestyle choices based upon experimenting with advice, noting how your body, mind and spirit feel after the experience, then you are an Intuitarian!
You trust your intuition by living in the present and connecting to your own, unique personal deep inner knowing. You do what feels right and you avoid what doesn’t feel right, even if the experts told you differently.
I learned about word Intuitarian from my close friend Paige Foppen, who has been on a journey of connecting to her inner knowing for some time. Paige is a Texas girl raised on steak and BBQ, but about six weeks ago, she began to cut meat out of her diet after hearing about the destructive environmental impact of industrial farming. Although she felt healthy when she started this experiment, she noticed her skin improved and she became more balanced and relaxed.
Wondering if there was a correlation, Paige also eliminated dairy and eggs and became fully vegan. In the last six weeks, the acne she has had for years has cleared up, she has lost four pounds without changing her workout routine, and she feels healthier and happier. Best of all, she no longer needs to take Adderall to manage her ADHD. She now calls herself a “Stage 9 Vegan” and swears by the lifestyle that she encountered by intuitive experiment but continued with because it improved her quality of life! (You can see how elated she in the picture above.)
I know what you are thinking: This sounds like an argument for veganism! I am not medical doctor or a nutritionist, and I am not saying that veganism is right for everyone. We must accept that what works for one person may be dramatically different from what works for others. We all have massive variations in genetics, body and brain chemistries, psychologies, environments, attitudes, and life experiences. Even if we end up in drastically different places, you have a responsibility to yourself to experiment and determine what resonates with you, just as I have the same responsibility to myself.
My boyfriend Jimmy’s experience with kale has definitely taught me to look holistically at the whole person and recognize that no two individuals are alike. Kale has been a revelation in my diet, but Jimmy hates the taste of kale and just one bite makes him feel sick. At first, I thought he was just trying to avoid eating healthy, but then one afternoon he came down with horrible pain in his flank that turned out to be kidney stones.
The doctor told him he needed to avoid any foods high in oxalates, including kale!! So even though he was not consciously aware of the high oxalate foods giving him kidney stones, Jimmy intuitively knew that the kale did not agree with his body. Yet kale works fine for me and for many others, which is why you must do what feels right for you in this moment, regardless of any trends or advice.
To give the Intuitarian lifestyle a try, ask yourself the following three questions after engaging in any behavior or activity. You might do this naturally anyway, or this might feel completely foreign.
In this present moment:
- How does my body feel?
- How does my mind feel?
- How does my spirit feel?
If you feel good, keep going. If not, change it! Spend a couple of weeks doing this consistently and see if becoming intuitarian makes you feel happier and healthier like it has for me and for the people in my life. Namaste!