This Valentine’s Day week, we at Eat Naked will not be commenting on how to make heart-shaped food. Instead we’re going to share the “DIY” for putting you heart into your cooking. Thus begins step one of a three-part series on cooking from your heart, not your head.

Step One: The Naked Self

We assume that because we need to eat to survive that we’re supposed to like cooking, or better yet, that we’re supposed to be good at cooking. Truth be told, most of the world doesn’t want anything to do with cooking. Eating sure, but preparing food is a whole other issue. Those of us who want to eat naked are up against a wall when it comes to cooking. Eat out and you potentially compromise your health. Eat in and you’re stuck with your all too familiar and harshest critic: Yourself.

What if, as an experiment, we tell our critical judge to go on holiday, and allow ourselves a day free from judgment? What’s the worst that could happen? Imagine waking up and taking 15 minutes to sit in silence, breathing deeply, quieting your mind and listening intently to that primal voice inside you that has all the answers. That part of your body that knows exactly what it needs to be sustained and to flourish. This is your most naked self, uninfluenced by diet trends or marketing.

This naked self is filled with an innate knowledge has been dulled and clouded by all the noise surrounding us. It’s important that we consciously choose to reclaim these primal instincts when rewiring our relationship to food and cooking. Forget calories. Forget about carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Forget about all the “low-fat,” “high-protein,” “all-natural” catch phrases that bombard us. Just listen to that inner beat. That thumpity-thump that tells you you’re alive. Allow your pulse to be the loudest voice in your inner ear.

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you’re quietly meditating on breakfast? Imagine the smell, the taste. Imagine how it will feel in your mouth, as you chew and savor it. Imagine how it will feel in your body. How you will feel in your body after eating it?

Maybe you’re imagining a huge plate of waffles with whip cream, strawberries and powdered sugar. Sweet and tasty to be sure, but when you get to imagining how it will feel in your body later, not so nourishing.  Let’s dig a little deeper. We’re still caught in our socialized, learned emotional voice. Deeper we must go to access our animal instincts around food. Our primal self only knows what’s in nature. We crave naked foods, hungering to be filled by their earthly nutrition and connection to all things alive. As we deepen, we find our body’s true calling. Try not to label it, just listen to what your body is saying.

From this state of being, go to your fridge and see what foods you hunger for. Sometimes, I awaken wanting a banana or an easily digestible smoothie. Other times I crave eggs with lots of vegetables. Admittedly, this exercise is easier for me since I’m fairly weaned of my food addictions. My cravings are around whole, naked foods. If you’re craving an un-naked food while in touch with your primal stomach, then it’s possible a Sugar Control Detox is in order.

Unlike Dorothy, we don’t get to click our heels three times and miraculously arrive at our optimal self. Healthy lifestyle changes take time. First step towards finding your naked self is simply listening and taking note of what you hear without judgment.

Next step: Making food choices from your heart. Happy Naked Valentine’s Day, Lovelies!

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