Remember that I'm using the Wheel of Wellness to help visualize health in life:
Last week I began a discussion on Nutrition. If you've missed Part 1 of Nutrition, you can read it here.
Last week I said I would share some of my own tips on how I try to maintain balance in the nutrition component of my health and wellness. Again, I'd like to emphasize that I am not a nutritionist, but am simply sharing some of the things I do to try to be healthy.
- Remember that nutrition doesn't always have to be all or nothing: I said this in my post last week, but wanted to highlight it again. I think sometimes people get intimated about trying to eat healthy because there's so much to know, do, understand, or change in their life. It's ok to do this in baby steps. Something is ALWAYS better then nothing in this area of wellness, so don't make it all-or-nothing! Give yourself the freedom to grow and experiment.
- Don't label food as "good" or "bad": This tends to only lead to shame, and we start to engage in guilt beatings. When we beat ourselves up for eating "bad food", it is actually counterproductive. Especially if food is a coping skill, the guilt beating will only drive us back into eating the food we wish to enjoy.
- Eat dessert: Dessert is a wonderful and beautiful thing in my life, and I would definitely not give it up. Eating dessert doesn't mean you need to consume 500 calories. Eat a little dessert, enjoy the flavor, and use a little self control! You'll feel good about yourself, plus you'll get a little bit of sweet too:)
- Menu Planning! To some extent, plan out meals for the week before grocery shopping. Wandering aimlessly around the grocery store can be stressful, and tends to not lead to healthy and delicious meals during the week. Menu planning helps decrease stress in this domain of wellness, and leaves you feeling prepared!
- Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand: We often feel the need to eat between meals, and it gives us the extra boost and energy we need to keep going throughout the day. We snack on what's convenient and nearby, so surround yourself with healthy and nutritious snacks. Some of my favorites include: almond, fruit salad, crackers with almond butter, protein bars (especially Luna Bars), chips or pita bread and hummus, and cut up veggies. I try to keep veggies cut up in my refrigerator for convenience.
- Make extra servings of food and freeze it: It's nice to have meals pre-made for those nights that we're too busy or stressed to make a full meal. It's easy to make extras and saves time and energy later.
- Drink enough water: Hydration is incredibly important in our health and functioning. Furthermore, sometimes our craving for food is simply just thirst. Drinking water may be all we need in the moment.
- Don't use food for coping: Life is messy and because of that, we need to develop healthy coping skills. People can easily go to food for comfort, which isn't healthy. Become aware of why you want food. Are you really hungry or are you trying to use it to cope with something in life?
- Cut up fruit & veggies and store them in the refrigerator: Convenience! It's easy to grab chips when we're hungry because it's easy. If we have veggies cut up already, it's easy to snack on them or add them to a dinner with no extra effort.
- Supplement a healthy diet with vitamins and calcium pills: Sometimes we don't get a perfectly balanced meal in the day. To help balance out what our body needs, vitamins and calcium can be helpful. I leave them on the counter by my sink so that they are within reach and I actually remember to take them!
Of course I do more things then just this to live a healthy life, but these are a few of the things to help bring balance to my nutrition.
Now it's your turn:
What are your healthy nutrition tips? What snack is a must have for you? What is one aspect of nutrition that you would like to change?