Devyn Sisson on intuitive eating
In my work with clients, I embrace an intuitive, uncomplicated approach to health and eating. One that uses real, whole food as a starting point...and sees body, mind and spirit as a system.
In my own life too, I choose simple. When it comes to food, this usually means creating meals without recipes or much effort…but with high-quality ingredients.
Local eggs, wild-caught fish, loads of veggies, avocados and coconut oil make up most of my dishes these days. And, despite being a “food coach,” I don’t think I actually cooked anything until my 30s!
That said, I love switching things up from time-to-time…and playing with new ingredients and spices. Enter the gorgeous cookbook by Devyn Sisson: Kitchen Intuition. Devyn’s tagline?
Cook with your hands. Laugh with your belly. Trust your intuition.
A self-taught chef and daughter of Primal Blueprint author Mark Sisson, Devyn is all about cultivating a harmonious connection between body, mind and food.
Her book is full of delicious, primal “guessipes” guided by taste and intuition. In it, she shares her personal journey of healing through healthful eating…and offers guidance on getting to know – and listening to – what we truly need.
No surprise that this sort of eating goes far beyond what’s on our plate. It affects every part of us, and every relationship in our life. (Plus can be totally playful and fun!)
I had the chance to ask Devyn about her book, eating, and being part of a famous primal family:). Here’s what she shared...
What makes Kitchen Intuition special?
I opened up the conversation, started to talk about things that no one wanted to talk about and disguised it as a cookbook. Kitchen Intuition has never been done before. A cookbook with no ACTUAL measurements?
Kitchen Intuition is special because it places responsibility on the reader. I encourage people to get to know their preferences (and the preferences of those around them). I actually encourage people to mess up!
It’s educational and vulnerable. It’s creative and personal. It’s an explanation of a food journey so many of us can relate to – and learn from.
What inspired you to write it?
The simple answer? I wanted people to know that healthy cooking is fun, affordable, creative and educational.
The long/real answer? I wanted to start talking about things that no one else was talking about. I would spend hours chatting with friends, family, co-workers or strangers on the subway about how we all struggle with body image, what to eat, how to eat, when to eat, what “diet” to follow. I even had clinical dieticians asking me how to coach their clients.
We are all here, doing our best, trying to figure it out, and asking everyone questions. But we aren’t asking OURLSELVES. The act of cooking and eating are metaphors for life.
Instead of writing a self-help book, I wanted to find a way for people to start questioning these things on their own, using the kitchen as a modality.
Drawing from your "guessipes," describe your perfect meal.
It varies from day-to-day and season-to-season. Though I’ve been a meat eater my entire life, I’m currently on a veggie train. Today my ideal meal would most definitely include sweet potatoes and broccoli, topped with lots of herbs, seeds and butter.
If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said my perfect meal was banana waffles (from my book) and crispy turkey bacon.
Since I encourage people to use what they already have, I’m lucky enough to ALWAYS make sure to have those things “hanging out in my fridge.”
What else can people learn from your cookbook?
Aside from some awesome meal suggestions and flavour additions, people can learn that we're all in the same boat. I have no more knowledge than anyone else – I've just learned from my own experiences.
I've taken what I know from the outside world and what I know from my intuition, and succeeded in showing others that it’s possible to overcome challenges, and no one is perfect. Even Oprah has a bad day once in a while. We are all human.
So many of us are afraid to do things in life. Cooking – something so vital to our health and connection to others – doesn't need to be one of them.
What's one piece of advice You'd give someone who thinks they can't cook?
Do it anyway. It’s like that saying, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you're right.” But it’s even more than that. Stop thinking about it. Just try, experiment, fail, succeed, and don’t take it so seriously.
What's is like being part of a famous primal family?
Daunting. What if I wanted to eat gluten in public!? Kidding. It’s like being part of any other kind of family, I assume. Except that my family is incredibly trusting, and my parents had confidence in me from a young age. That has influenced how I feel about life in general.
We don’t sit around the fire and eat chicken legs together, but we run into one another at the gym on occasion. My family has given me the most incredible opportunities, for which I am eternally grateful.
Any current or coming projects in the works?
Current project is, uhh, RUNNING A RESTAURANT – Primal Kitchen in Culver City – with my brother Kyle!
Upcoming projects include more sleep, more laughter, enjoying my relationships, and working on a new book! I have a few ideas in the works, but it’s really up to my readers and what they want to hear.
Thank you so much, Devyn! Your cookbook is one of my favourites, and I love sharing it with others!
How about you all? Does intuition guide what's on your plate? Please share in the comments!