12 Days of Self-Care | Eat Clean (mostly)
I used to make myself a latte every morning. Without fail, I would heat milk, brew 2 shots of espresso, and use my milk frother to create that coffee house vibe at home. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this practice. I still do it from time time. But I appreciate it more now that it is something that happens occasionally. You see, I feel better when I eat less dairy. And less sugar. And less bread. This is not unusual and is probably the case for most people, whether they realize it or not. I realized what a difference these seemingly small changes made for me when I did Whole 30 last year. At the end of 30 days, I was calmer, less bloated, and my ability to concentrate on tasks was noticeably improved.
Since I’ve started dealing with some anxiety in the last few months, I’ve thought a lot about how what I eat impacts my mental health. So often, we associate our diet with physical health, but it is so much more than that. What we put in our bodies reflects how we care for ourselves. These don’t have to be huge, life-changing decisions. But sometimes we need to replace that morning latte with a black coffee (I often add Hazelnut nut pods to mine). And maybe instead of toast with our eggs, some roasted potatoes will suffice.
Why eating clean (mostly) is important:
We all react to food differently. Knowing what makes our head fuzzy and our bodies bloated is important, especially when we are going through a particularly stressful season of life. Understanding what your body needs more of, rather than what you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” eat is a helpful thing to focus on. For me, I need healthy fats, protein, and lots of water. These things paired with lots of vegetables keep me feeling energized and clear headed. When I eat this way 5 out of 7 days of the week, the feelings of guilt that used to creep into my head nearly disappear. And I don’t feel bad when I indulge in a cheeseburger and fries or a slice or two of pizza! It sounds cliché, but it is true: balance is the key.
How to get started:
I would highly recommend doing Whole 30 to find out exactly how much better you can feel when you cut out foods known to not agree with us. However, during this time of year, make small changes:
Swap out dairy creamer for non-dairy. I like Nutpods and Califia Farms.
Cut out alcohol Monday through Thursday at the very least.
Explore blogs that specialize in Whole 30/Paleo recipes. I always find great meal inspiration from sites like The Defined Dish and Primal Gourmet. Their recipes are comforting, filling, and they both have easy options for busy nights.
Drink all the water! See this post for more info on this form of self-care.
How do you try to eat clean? Do you notice a difference in how you feel in correlation with how you eat?