Self-Care 101: It’s Not What You’re Eating, It’s How You’re Eating

Eating well isn’t just about what you’re eating – it’s about how you’re eating. For so many of us, just the idea of a healthier diet conjures up emotions that are far from “self-caring:” stress, anxiety, guilt, resistance. 

You’re on a plane and the oxygen mask drops in front of you. What do you do? The cardinal rule is to adjust your own mask before you assist your best friend sitting next to you. It makes sense. If you can’t breathe, how can you possibly help anyone else? The same is true, in my opinion, for self-care. Meaning only when we nurture ourselves can we really capably deal with life and care for others.

Self-care is prioritizing and engaging in things that help us function well in our lives; things that make us feel balanced and allow us meet the inevitable stressors of daily life with energy and (ideally) perspective.

I wanted to write about self-care because I spend a great deal of time talking about it in my practice. I’ve found over the years that most of my clients who want to lose weight already know what to do, they just aren’t doing it. It’s not because they’re lazy or needy. It’s because life gets in the way and they wind up taking care of everyone and everything at the expense of their self-care.

That’s unfortunately where the term self-care can get a bad reputation, being deemed selfish and overly indulgent. Yet it’s anything but. Unapologetically taking time to invest in yourself is one of the most altruistic things you can do.

Everyone and everything in your life benefits when you prioritize self-care, especially the people closest to you. And yet it’s often one of the first things to go when life gets stressful.

Self-care is not just the occasional pedicure or afterwork cocktail. It’s about identifying your own needs and building a repertoire of habits that make you feel grounded and like your best self.

About the Writer – Nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD knows this well. The tips she’s sharing with us below show just what a mindful counselor she is to her clients, who range from entertainment figures to new moms – all looking for ways to truly live well in their lives. Shira knows what it means to motivate her nutrition clients with simple ideas of self-care that can make nutrition feel like an act of self-indulgence and not self-deprivation.

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