Tips for Self Care Part Two: Nutrition
Tips for Self Care Part Two: Nutrition
Taking time to slow down and focus on taking care of yourself is important. In August, I wrote a post called Tips for Self Care Part One giving tips about actions to take daily or weekly for self care. This second post, part two, is all about nutrition. Nutrition is one of those important factors in daily life that many people forget about. Focusing on good nutrition is part of the whole self care idea.
Life moves quickly, especially when you work or have a family or both. There are days when eating out or grabbing something quick seems like an easier option than making a whole meal. Believe me I get it. My two year old is so busy all day. Teaching yoga and taking care of him is a full time job. Many evenings come and I am so spent, I can't even begin to think about making a whole meal for my family. However, I want to nourish my body, as well as my family so taking that time is super important for me.
Self care usually means taking actions to focus on yourself. These moments can be 5 minutes or maybe an hour depending on what your life looks like. I have learned how important it is to take the time. Before becoming a step-mother and a mother, I had plenty of time to focus on myself. Now that I have other people in my life that I care about, nutrition is huge. If I don't feel well from something I've eaten, everyone suffers. Most importantly though, setting a good example by doing is really important. If my kids see me eating sugary or processed foods the message being sent is, eat whatever you want, it doesn't really matter.
Have you ever heard of the saying "do as I say, not as I do?" Well this almost always ends up back firing because kids watch everything parents do. We are their best teachers. Most kids pick up things not from words but by observing family and friends.
I want my kids (step and biological) to grow up seeing me do the things that are important to and for me. This includes taking the time for self care. Leading by example is almost always the best way to show others how to do something. My first part of the Tips for Self Care Part One spoke to things you can do for your body and mind. This post is about food intake and using it for self care from the inside out.
The topic of nutrition can open a huge can of worms. There are so many "diets" out there but what I mean when I say "diet" is the food eaten on a daily basis to sustain life. To truly care for the body, the whole diet mindset needs to be tossed. Eat real food, whole food and you can't go wrong.
When it comes to self care, food intake is super important. Putting food into your body that nourishes rather than upsets it is a huge step toward caring for self from the inside out. Here are some tips on ways to shift into eating real and whole food.
- Eat Real Food: Simple yes but so important. Taking time to limit or cut out processed foods can help cleanse the body. Processed foods are changed from their natural state and are unfamiliar to the various organs in the body. The body has trouble recognizing these foods and therefore doesn't break them down properly. Eating foods that are in their natural state can give the digestive organs a break.
- Eat Cooked Vegetables: Raw foods are harder to break down. Slightly cooking or steaming vegetables can make the digestion process easier.
- Eat Good Fats: The word Fat can be so scary for many people. Though it really doesn't have to be. Healthy fats are important for the brain, nerves and heart. Eating healthy fats aids in nutrients being absorbed better throughout the body. The fats from avocado, coconut, nuts and olives are high in monounsaturated fats and medium chain triglycerides. Consuming these fats on a daily basis can help improve bodily function.
- Eat High Quality Meats: Eating meats (red meat, poultry and fish) from good, credible sources is important. Getting meat that has been raised in it's natural environment without an altered diet or added hormones is important. Eating meats that have been caged and fed diets unfamiliar to the animal, transfers into our bodies. Keeping unnecessary antibiotics, GMO's and hormones out of our body is vital for caring for the body from the inside out.
- Reduce or Avoid Sugar: Sugars come in many forms. There are sugars in fruits, vegetables, sauces, boxed foods, drinks and of course sweets. All of these sugar types (even fruit and vegetables) spike blood sugar and the body processes sugars as carbohydrates, which can then be stored as fat. Keeping sugar intake (no matter what type) low, keeps inflammation, aging, cancer, diabetes and alzheimer's at bay. It also keeps the body from experiencing sugar highs and lows.
- Gut Health: Gut health is imperative to fighting illness, stress and anxiety. Eating foods that promote gut health like bone broth, probiotic rich foods, green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, garlic and high fiber foods are essential for good nutrition.