Discovering Food Freedom Through Intuitive Eating with Dani Ferguson – Model Meals National

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Discovering Food Freedom Through Intuitive Eating with Dani Ferguson

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A Certified Nutritionist and advocate for gut-healing foods, Dani Ferguson is a recurring collaborator here at Model Meals. As a former restrictive eater and chronic dieter, one day Dani reached her breaking point and threw her harmful food rules out the window. Finally willing to listen to her body, she's sharing her personal journey with intuitive eating and providing us with some amazing resources to get started on breaking the diet cycle.

"I also became obsessed with making sure every single ingredient in whatever food I was eating was pristine...The problem was that I was so obsessed [with it] that I couldn’t reasonably go out to dinner and enjoy myself or my friends..."

What’s up Model Meals Family? I am so excited to be back with you all and sharing my experience with Diet Culture and how I transitioned into an Intuitive Eating Lifestyle. But first, let me introduce myself. I’m Dani, a holistic nutritionist, specializing in gut health and acne. Normally I bring you nutrient breakdowns of the Model Meals menus, but today we are changing things up and I am going to share my journey of how I went from endless dieting to finally living a life of Food Freedom and feeling 100% comfortable in my own body again. So, here we go!

I can remember back in college always being intrigued by food and it’s nutrients. The intrigue became an obsession through after getting really sick my freshman year of college where I went 3 months with a misdiagnosed appendicitis, was in chronic pain, and eventually had to have surgery. After that, I continued to feel lousy which sent me on an endless diet spiral trying one diet after the other simply to just try and feel better. I fell into the rabbit hole of trying to figure out what the absolute “BEST DIET” was, which ultimately gave me a complex around basic wholesome foods, like fruit and honey, and thinking I could never eat these again because of the sugar content. 

"I wasn’t feeling into my body and trusting my body to know how to heal. I was trying to use my knowledge to heal and basically telling my body and intuition to shut up."

I also became obsessed with making sure every single ingredient in whatever food I was eating was pristine. Which at first glance you might think, what’s so wrong with that? The problem was that I was so obsessed with it that I couldn’t reasonably go out to dinner and enjoy myself or my friends without thinking about what they cooked our food in- oil or butter? Was it organic? Would it hurt my stomach? Maybe I just won’t eat and will only drink water...and on and on it went in my head. This lasted for a few years until one morning I woke up and was sitting on my bed in LA after graduating college, getting ready to go make my typical egg white scramble with peppers and onions when something inside of me just screamed and said, “ENOUGH! This is ridiculous, why are you doing this to yourself? What are you trying to achieve, prove, accomplish. What? Do you even feel good? Like actually feel good?” The answers were: “I don’t know” and “hell no!” Because, you see, the other part to the story you may not know is that after graduating college I went on to get my certification and continuing education in Nutrition. Meaning I knew ALLLLL the food rules inside and out. I knew all the diets, all the nutrients, all the things; but even that knowledge wasn’t helping me get out of this pain. The problem was I was trying to THINK my way out of pain instead of FEEL my way out of pain. And that was my issue. I wasn’t feeling into my body and trusting my body to know how to heal. I was trying to use my knowledge to heal and basically telling my body and intuition to shut up. It wasn’t until that morning in LA on my bed that my intuition got fed up and screamed as loud as it could, which FYI isn’t very loud, to say “Hey, I’ve got you! Trust me and we can heal together.” And that is when ALL diet rules were thrown out the window and I started to LISTEN to my body’s own cues. What did I have to lose? Truthfully, nothing. 

So that morning, instead of the usual egg white scramble and black coffee, I had an apple with peanut butter, which had been completely off limits then (this was back in 2013-2014 when peanut butter was like the devil). Plus, I had coffee WITH creamer. As I am typing this now I am taken back to that moment and realize how ridiculous some of my habits were, but I have grace for myself and that former broken soul that just wanted to feel better. The funny thing is, in order to feel better I had to actually FEEL and that is what my intuitive eating journey looks like. 

It’s hard to put into words now what it feels like to be rid of all the food rules and feel so inherently comfortable in my own body again, but if I were to sum it up it would be FOOD FREEDOM. If you are struggling with finding this freedom around food and are thinking this is what you need but wondering how the heck do you even get there, I have put together a five day journal for you to start your journey. I call this the Food Freedom Journal and it will help you to start feeling again, especially with food. It will help you realize that food really isn’t the problem, it’s the emotions you are placing into the food that’s the problem. It will help you start to connect with yourself again and truly love yourself. Every person’s journey into intuitive eating is different, but we all have to start by feeling our emotions first before we can heal. 

Click the HERE to download your Free Food Freedom Journal and start your journey to Intuitive Eating. 

Xo, Dani

Dani Ferguson | Detoxing with Dani

Meet Dani Ferguson, CN

Dani is a Holistic Nutritionist & podcast host of Detoxing with Dani. Her motto is Gut Health, Glowing Skin and a Gorgeous You.  After years of struggling with digestive issues and chronic acne, Dani discovered her passion for nutrition and the ability of food to heal from the inside out. After graduating college Dani went on to get her education in nutrition and now works with clients to address their health issues head on, focusing on the root cause of their symptoms and developing a personalized program that suits their health and wellness needs.   

For more info about Dani, please visit

Podcast: Detoxing with Dani on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher & Google Play

For any questions, you can find Dani on Instagram @detoxingwithdani or schedule a free 30 minute consultation with her on her website.

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