The world of health and wellness can seem very complex! Nutritional theories, dietary choices, finding time for physical activity, struggling with sleep and of course, that overwhelming word….STRESS! I know it can really feel like there’s too much to address, too many changes to make, too much baggage to overcome. Trust me, I’ve been there. In this blog, I wanted to emphasize that better wellness can come from just a few basic changes. Here are two that I think pack a punch:
1. More Vegetables! Have you heard this many times? Eat your veggies! Eat the rainbow!! Plant based diet! The truth is, all of these slogans are right. Plants (fruits, veggies, grains, nuts seeds) contain all of the Macro Nutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) and Micro Nutrients(vitamins and minerals) that we need to fuel our bodies. Most Americans (and increasingly other countries too) eat too much meat, too much processed food and definitely not enough vegetables (and fruits). If you increase your intake of leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, root veggies like carrots, beets, turnips, squashes like acorn, butternut, summer squash, nightshades like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and other things like beans, onions, garlic, herbs, celery etc, you will automatically take in more nutrients and be healthier. I have a new Handout on “How to get more veggies into your diet”…reach out to me here and I will send it to you.
2. Self-Compassion! Instead of judging and criticizing yourself for thoughts, feelings or challenging behaviors, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal challenges. Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept yourself just as you are. Things will not always go the way you want them to. There are often frustrations around trying to improve our wellness, whether it’s struggling to exercise, eat better or manage stress. The more self-compassion we have as we try to make these changes the better. An example:
*You notice that, even though you made the decision/goal to not eat any simple carbs (sugar/white flour products), you bought a scone with your coffee. Your instinctive reaction is to scold and berate yourself for doing that. But, if you can find some compassion for yourself, your overall wellness will be better. It might sound something like this: “It’s ok that I bought that scone. I was having a lot of anxiety this afternoon and this is often how I manage anxiety. I am working on finding better ways to manage anxiety. Plus I forgot to pack a healthy snack. It’s all ok, it happens, I am continuing to work on reducing my simple carb intake. Next time, I will remember to pack a snack and maybe even bring my own coffee so I’m not tempted. I love you no matter what!”
Slowly working on these two simple principles will bring you a calmer mind and more nutrients into your body. And remember to have compassion for the process of having more compassion. All of this takes time, patience and practice. If you have questions or want more info on nutrition, self-compassion or anything else, reach out here.