You’re consistently working out, eating a balanced diet, and making sure you’re getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night. You are on your way to building the 3 core habits that are at the forefront of a perceived healthy lifestyle. But a healthy …
Month: October 2018
Are your habits helping you?
Are your habits helping you? Self-Care is important to practice for all disease states. Giving yourself grace as you navigate a healthy lifestyle that supports your underlying conditions is vital to staying successful. Food is medicine and mindset can directly impact what foods you reach for. In that same matter, your mindset is impacted by how you treat and view yourself.
Take a minute and think about how you treat yourself when you slip on your diet.
Are you kind or do you scold yourself for not being smarter?
Me? I try to give myself grace but it can be tough when I know that exposing myself to gluten will negatively impact me for weeks (sometimes even months).
However, in these cases practicing self-care when you slip up on your diet can help you stay successful in the future.
So I’ll ask again, are your habits helping you?
Self-care is a positive approach to coping with events and life. This can apply to both physical and mental health and can include activities that help you cope and relieve symptoms of different medical conditions.
Self-care practices should be personalized. In fact, everyone’s self-care approach is different. We all need something different in different situations.
Setting up self-care routines can help ensure that you’re staying on track when it comes to your health.
If you have celiac disease, for instance, setting up habits for preventing gluten-exposure can help you from getting sick. The same goes for when you’ve been exposed to gluten. Setting up habits to help you handle the struggles of dealing with gluten-exposure can help you recover gracefully.
For mental health, self-care can be a powerful tool. Incorporating daily tasks to help maintain or encourage a positive mind can help soothe the struggles of the mind.
It won’t cure your mental struggles but it can help you recover or cope. For me, I use self-care practices to try to prevent myself from getting burnt out. If I do get burnt out, I listen and I let myself recover.
Employing coping strategies and implementing positive and healthy habits can help you be the happiest and healthiest you.
Self-Care is for Everyone
It’s important for everyone to practice self-care. It helps you be the best you. Even people who have barely time to blink, let alone relax, need to practice self-care.
It is not a luxury only a select few can enjoy. It is not an indulgence for the resource inclined. It is a process of taking care of yourself. Listening to your body and honoring its needs.
Self-Care is being there for yourself. Maybe you can’t afford a pedicure or a blowout but you can afford to set aside a few minutes for yourself. A few minnutes to just take care of you.
After all, you aren’t much help to anyone if you yourself aren’t taken care of.
Practicing self-care is a very individualized and intimate process. Your self-care methods will be different from mine and that is okay!
I can’t tell you what will most definitely work for what you are suffering from. What I can do is offer you a few self-care practices to try and through trial and error, you can narrow down what practices are the most beneficial to you and your needs!
For the Mind:
Pick a task and give your complete attention to it. Extra points if that task is something you tend to do while distracted.
For me, I make time every morning to drink my coffee. I pay attention to the sounds the coffee makes as I pour it into my cup. I admire the smell of the freshly brewed coffee grounds and I analyze and enjoy the taste of every sip. For me, this process helps me start my day off right!
This one has multiple approaches you can practice (feel free to use one or both options!).
Option 1 is to allow yourself to do one thing (or a few things) a day that you want to do. This means making time to do something because it brings you joy, not because you should do it.
Option 2 give yourself permission to say no. Allow yourself to say no to things you don’t want to do (within reason, of course, don’t say no to your boss if you’re not ready for the consequences). Did you accept an invite to an event you’re just not feeling as excited about now that it’s the day before (or even day of)? Cancel. Listen to your body and it’s needs. Are you overcommitted? Give yourself permission to say no to one of those commitments.
Let Yourself Be Uncomfortable
Seems counter intuitive right? We’re talking about self-care, so how does feeling uncomfortable fit in? I actually use this method often. Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the ways I have learned to conquer my general anxiety.
Now I’m not saying endanger your safety or do anything that subjects you abuse or anything like that.
What I am suggesting is to do something that is safe but makes you nervous.
A perfect example is I often force myself to go to parties and large group events. Whether it be a friends party or a networking event, group gatherings make me nervous. I am always worried about how I’ll handle the group of people. However, I make myself go. Why? Because I know it’s going to be fine. I know I’ll have fun and I know no matter what happens, I will be able to come back from it.
If you are comfortable in everything that you do, you aren’t growing and I am all about growth. So letting myself be uncomfortable is my way of investing in my personal growth and practicing self-care.
You are your own harshest critic. No one is going to judge as harshly as you will. So give yourself grace. Try not to judge yourself and if you do, forgive yourself. Whatever it is, it’s okay. View every mistake as a chance to improve. No one is perfect so don’t expect yourself to be.
While giving yourself grace is important to practicing self-love and self-care, so is giving other people grace. We often are judgemental of others on things we judge ourselves harshly on. Stop the cycle and show others grace.
For the Body:
Give your muscles the attention they need. Spend a few minutes stretching and showing them love.
Practice deep breathing. Are you feeling upset, not looking forward to your day, meetings, etc. Take 3 deep breaths. Focusing on only your breathing. Pay attention as you inhale and exhale. You can even go the extra mile and set aside a few minutes a day to just focus on breathing.
Check in with yourself. Check in with your whole self. How are your hands, your feet, your legs, your arms, your stomach, your eyes, your mouth, your head etc. Get a feel for how your body is doing. Do you need to stretch to relieve some soreness in your legs? Do you need to drink a glass of water? Check in with your body and give it what it needs.
Rest is one the most important things you can do for your body. Whether it be sleeping, taking a nap, or just relaxing, resting your body is so important to your self-care and health. A happy and healthy body is a well-rested body so prioritize your rest.
You hear this all the time, but make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Not getting enough sleep sets you up for a rough morning. No to mention it stresses your body out and could be why you’re struggling to lose a few extra pounds. You need to sleep because this is when the body repairs itself. Not giving your body enough time to recharge, regroup, and rebuild is detrimental to your health. Going to bed early and making the effort to get enough sleep is a good place to start when it comes to self-care.
I’ve never been a napper. Even as a toddler my mom tells stories of how my sister would nap and I would just sit in my bed playing. My whole life I’ve had this feeling that sleep was for the weak. Why nap or sleep-in when I could be doing stuff with that time? I was young. I was naive. Naps are great, especially those 15-20 min power naps. They help me feel revived after being burnt out on an eventful morning or day. Don’t be afraid to take a nap if your schedule allows.
Nourish Your Body
Make eating healthy the obvious and easy option. Too tired to make dinner after a long day at work? Nourish your body with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, protein, and whole grains that you have prepared ahead of time. Pick a day and spend that day preparing some roasted vegetables, rice or quinoa, chicken or beans, and store them in the fridge for easy access throughout the week. Why would you order in when a balanced and healthy meal assembly is at the tip of your fingers. It makes eating healthy as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Pick the healthier options
Did you slack on meal-prep? Thinking about buying lunch or ordering in for dinner? Pick the healthier option. Often times when I order in I will want pizza but instead, I’ll compromise for a lettuce wrap from my favorite sub place.
Give yourself permission to indulge
While you shouldn’t do it every day, allow yourself to find comfort in foods sometimes. Do you just really need a few pieces of chocolate or a glass of wine? Then allow yourself to enjoy those things (just don’t go overboard and drink the whole bottle). Think moderation, not deprivation friends.
Probably one of the most important things you can do for your body is to make sure you are well-hydrated. It’s crazy how much better I’ll feel after drinking a glass of water. It can really clear brain fog and fatigue. You should be striving to get 8 cups of fluids a day. If you want to be more exact take your weight in kilograms and multiply it by 30ml and that will give you a good estimate (granted this is only for generally healthy people if you have chronic disorders requiring fluid restriction this measurement is not applicable).
For example, if you way 50kg then you need roughly 1500ml or 1.5 liters or roughly 6.5 cups
Did you know that when you are genuinely smiling, it’s impossible to think a negative thought? At least that’s what people say. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Do things that make your smile a laugh more!
Simple things like moisturizing, massaging painful muscles, soaking your feet, doing your hair, washing your face, showering or taking a bath are all forms of self-care. Taking the time to invest in the care of your body is so important. The next time you go to shower or put on lotion, try to rid yourself of distractions and really take the time to be with yourself.
After all of that info, I want to know, how will you or how do you practice self-care? Let me know in the comments!
Why in the world would anyone let themselves stay hungry for hours at a time? Seriously, why would anyone choose to go into a state of fasting on purpose? Under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian, I tried intermittent fasting and here’s what happened!
Gluten-Free Honey Orange Chicken
A while back, I was exposed to gluten and it and messed my whole system up.
I was in pain and nothing sounded good to my stomach except for chicken and rice.
Getting tired of just plain old chicken and rice, I decided to spice things up (just a little) by making this simple and easy Gluten-Free Honey Orange Chicken recipe.
Since then, I have been perfecting this deliciousness and it is now ready for you to try!
I am a sucker for Asian food. Maybe it’s because I don’t eat it often due the fact that soy sauce is lurking around every corner when dining in at Asian restaurants.
However, I have the next best thing to dining in for your favorite Asian dish and that is making it homemade.
By making it homemade, you don’t have to fear for cross-contamination or miscommunication on what you can and can’t eat (you don’t know how many Chefs don’t realize that soy sauce is not gluten-free).
This Gluten-Free Honey Orange Chicken recipe is saucy, tangy, crunchy and delicious. It’s sweet and sour and perfectly safe for celiac and gluten-free foodies!
Not only is it delicious and safe for gluten-free people, but it is also easy to make. Yup, I am staying true to one of my core recipe principles! (What can I say I am a sucker for easy to make food!)
Gluten-Free Honey Orange Chicken
Chicken and "Breading"
- 2 lb chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used namaste GF flour blend)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 + 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup canned tomato paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Cube the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces
- In a frying pan heat up oil on medium-high heat
- While oil is heating, combine the chicken breading ingredients together in a large bowl
- Add the chicken pieces to the large bowl and mix well, making sure all of the chicken is coated
- Once the chicken is coated and the oil in the frying pan is hot, add in the "breaded" chicken
- Continue heating the chicken until it's fully cooked and the edges are browned and crispy looking
- While the chicken is cooking, mix together the sauce ingredients in a bowl
- Once the chicken is cooked completely, add in the sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes until hot
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
◊ Stir-Fry Veggies (add in when you add the sauce to pack in some extra vegetables and bulk up your meal)
Confession: I love video games. While I don’t have as much time for them now as I once did due to the hectic schedule of being a full-time college student, working dietetic technician, and entrepreneur, I still enjoy them. Back in the day, dare I …
If you know anything about my food preferences, you’d know I love salads.
When I say love, I mean I could eat salads every day all day.
(In fact, I do eat a huge salad pretty much daily)
One of my favorite things to do to my salads is to dress them up DIY style.
This means I love using my own dressing, spices, and homemade vinegar to elevate my bowl of vegetables.
Perhaps one of my favorite and most commonly used spice blends is my Italian spice blend.
This spice blend with makes your salad go from being bland and boring to delicious and fun. Take it from me – a girl who never used to eat salads back in the day.
Now I know what you must be thinking – why make a spice blend when you could just buy it pre-made, and you have a vaild point.
However, making your own spice blends not only allow you to customize the spice ratios to your preferences but it also is more budget friendly!
Trust me, you’ll want to make yourself a batch of this!
DIY Italian Spice Blend
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried cilantro
- 2 tbsp celery salt
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp ground mustard
- Measure out spices and add to an airtight container
- Place lid on air tight container and shake well
- Use in salads, soups, stews, roasts, etc.