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Some days you may wake up, whip up a delicious smoothie, grab your pre-made lunch for work, and make a well-thought out-dinner…and then others, well, it’s a crapshoot. Have you ever noticed how those days when you’re reliant on takeout and eating whatever will make your life easiest are typically the days when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed? Or maybe you’ve just been on autopilot for so long, you have no idea what nourishing yourself even looks like—or if you have time for it.
Here a few tips on how to eat as an act of #SelfLove:
Listen to your body
Eating with intention means taking the time to listen to your body, asking what it wants and what will be nourishing. At HF, we believe in writing down what you eat, how you feel while eating it, and how you feel an hour or so later. (You may already do this with an app or on your own but working with our Healthy Living Coach, Kathy Soury can help you with this process).
Some people feel super energized after eating oatmeal for breakfast while someone else might not. Being able to look back and see how certain foods affect your mood and energy level can be surprisingly eye-opening.
Find new ways to treat yourself
The food mood journal also gives some insight as to when you’re prone to emotional eating (AKA not when you’re actually hungry). If your hardest days are Wednesdays and Thursdays, those would be good days to make plans to meet a friend at the gym after work or scheduling a manicure so you can relax—it’s a healthier way to treat and nourish yourself. If the idea of working out doesn’t fall into the “treat” category, if you get your workouts in this week, #treatyoself to new workout gear or a fancy pair of kicks.
Meal prep when your mind is clear (and your stomach is full)
Sunday meal prep can be lifesaving, but chances are that whatever your bulk-making loses its luster by mid-week. You may want to try meal prepping the night before, when you can more fully map out the next 24 hours. It’s a personal preference but worth exploring which works best for you.
After dinner, when you’re on a full stomach and a clear head, think about what tomorrow holds for you. If you know you’re going to be stuck at the office until 7:30 p.m., plan a snack you can eat around 4 or 5 p.m. Or if you have a lunch meeting, look at the menu and decide what you’re going to order. We waste so much mental energy during the day worrying about what to eat.
Feed yourself as you would feed a loved one
When someone you love is sick or feeling down, chances are you would happily make that person a thoughtful, healing meal. So why are we so hesitant to do that for ourselves? A lot of people have planned out their meals from a place of eating to change themselves instead of eating to nourish. When we cook, we really do infuse our food with good energy. So when you cook for yourself, you’re showing you are committed to nourishing yourself and finding creative things you like to eat. Have fun with it – try to mix it up and experiment with different recipes. Whether you’re craving Mexican or desperate for something sweet, there are so many ways to enjoy those foods without reverting to processed and refined junk!