*I want to start these self care posts by saying that I’m not a professional. I’m just someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression. These are all things that I personally do that help me either physically, mentally or both. What works for me may not work for you – so take these ideas as a stepping stone to figure out what resonates with and helps you. Something I DO know is the more consistent I am in focusing on various self care things for myself, the better I feel. As I write these, they will be added to the Self Care page so they can be easily found and not jumbled in with all the blog posts.
For me and my goals, I’m doing things in small steps. My goals are to feel healthier and I would love to lose some weight. Feeling healthier is the most important goal for me though. I want to not feel sore, bloated or backed up. Those of you who follow my weekly updates have seen me on this journey of wanting to feel better and will know that sometimes it’s hard for me when I’m feeling really low as I tend to binge – but I’m really trying to avoid doing that. So I pick one thing and work on that. When it feels second nature, pick another thing to add to it. Before you know it, you’re doing lots of little things and that adds together to be something big! It’s easy to slip back into unhealthy habits though (totally speaking personally here!) but I do the best I can and get back to adding things even if I fall off.
The first thing I started was increasing my produce. I realized that I was only having 1-2 serving of produce a day – that’s no where near enough! So I made my goal to have at least 5 servings a day. I’ve made that a little easier by prepping a whole bunch at once and portioning it out so it’s easy to grab (that’s broccoli, green beans and mashed rutabaga you see in those baggies there). I’ve also taken to getting frozen produce. That way it’s always available and isn’t going to go bad before I get to it. I’ve really enjoyed defrosting frozen fruit and adding yogurt on it (and sometimes a handful of granola) for breakfast or a snack.
Another thing I’m doing is tracking my calories. This is helpful no matter what your goal is – lose, maintain, gain, protein, produce, carbs – basically anything you’re wanting to track. There are all kinds of free apps out there to help with it – I use My Fitness Pal. I don’t use it religiously, but as I can feel myself slipping back, I pick it up again. By tracking calories, I find the act of writing down everything I’m having helps for making healthier choices and if I want to eat more and feel full, that usually means having more of something lower calorie (like produce) vs something higher in calories (like chips).
Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m feeling more concerned about things like blood pressure. I’ve always been one to load on the salt on anything savory, so I’ve really cut back on doing that and just use it sparingly now.
I know I wrote a post on hydration, but it fits here too. Sometimes I feel hungry when really, I’m thirsty. When I drink enough water I find that I’m not as munchy. It also helps keep portions a better size if I have water helping fill my stomach to get that full feeling.
Something I do to help feel full longer is to make sure I’m having protein and good fats with my meals/snacks as they digest slower. Eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, avocado and meats. Same with whole grains over processed along with the aforementioned produce. That fiber will help you with that feeling full.
There’s always paying attention to how things are prepared too. That means backing away from fast food too often and making things at home baked over fried. As an example, I try and do things like choose a baked potato over fries. We were recently gifted an air fryer and it’s making a huge difference for how we’re preparing our foods.
An easy one for me is eating my fruit over drinking them. Actually, I really don’t drink my calories. I rarely drink pop or juice and just have mainly water and tea. For my tea, I’ve actually cut back the amount of sugar I use in it and will sometimes choose stevia instead.
The last thing I will add is watching how I shop. If it’s not in the house, I can’t have it. So by not even adding it as an option means it’s not going in my body – and if it is, then I really had to go out of my way to have it.
What little things have you changed for your nutrition? Have a favorite idea from things I try and incorporate? Let me know!
Until next time, xoxo