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Nutrition as Self-Care

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You learned in treatment the value of eating healthy. You also learned about self-care or doing things proactively to promote wellness and show that you love and accept yourself. Maybe eating nutritiously is a very difficult thing for you to understand and live every day. Or perhaps you enjoy nutrition, and maybe even want to pursue a career in it. Whether you are on one end of the spectrum or the other, or anywhere in between, you can practice nutrition as self-care.

Research

Your first step would be to do your research. You could start with MyPlate, either online or by downloading the app. You can learn the basics about the types of foods you should be eating, the portions, and even help keep track of your diet every day. You can learn and build good habits from the most basic of information about healthy eating. You can also learn to avoid obesity, heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, and even some forms of cancer by eating healthy now. 

If you wanted to take your nutrition to the next level, you might do some research on what the specific dietary needs might be for someone that struggles with depression or anxiety. For example, you might find that many people with mental health issues are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and B vitamins. Reading a little further, you might learn that a modified Mediterranean diet that is rich in fish, seafood, vegetables, legumes such as beans and lentils, whole grains, and cooking with olive oil is ideal for those with mental health issues. All of these foods help to give your brain specific nutrients that will help decrease your chances of depression and anxiety.

After researching all of the dietary changes that you can make, you may also wish to investigate which types of vitamins and supplements you can add to a nutritious diet to truly feel your best. Many nutrients are best absorbed from foods, but in some cases, you may wish to add one or more vitamins or supplements to your daily routine to give you optimal health benefits.

Plan

All of the research in the world is great, but it won’t help you eat better unless you make a plan. How are you going to implement what you have learned about your nutritional needs? If you are living at home with your family, you may need to coordinate shopping and cooking duties. Perhaps you start by helping to meal plan and shop and then cooking at least one meal per week. You can cook as often as you have time and energy for, most parents would be thrilled to have that kind of help. Just remember that this is part of your self-care, so it should be relaxing and soul-soothing, not stressful, and causing contention in the family.

Plant

If you enjoy gardening or would like to try it, see what you can grow. Growing even a small basil plant in a window contributes to your nutritional self-care and can be very rewarding. If you have access to a window box, porch, or small planting area, you can try planting a type of lettuce or some kale, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, or herbs. All of these require limited space to grow and can easily be grown if you are new to gardening and live in the city. They will also save some money in your food budget, too. There is something truly magical about watching something grow that you planted. Even more so when it is edible and contributes to your health. Watching your plants grow can also be a metaphor for the growth in you.

Cook

In addition to learning about nutrition and gardening, you can learn how to cook new recipes. If you are an emerging cook, you can easily find simple recipes that are easy to prepare and yummy to eat. If you are an experienced cook, then you can branch out and try more complicated recipes and learn new types of cooking skills. 

Cooking is very therapeutic for some people. You start with raw ingredients, and with some knowledge, skill, and work, you can create something delicious. Many people also enjoy sharing their food with others. It can be really rewarding to see how people enjoy your skills and hard work. Even though eating is necessary, cooking is a special skill that can be grown and developed to make eating that much more enjoyable. You might even consider it self-care.

Enjoy

You can do some, all, or none of the above ideas, it is up to you. The concept of self-care is to do something that contributes to your wellness, but it also should be something that you enjoy. Maybe you only want to garden, or maybe cooking is your thing. The beauty of it is that all of these activities will contribute to your mental and physical health.

You can prioritize mental and physical health by including nutrition in your self-care. You can learn new information and skills, and you can also find ways to care for yourself that are interesting and fun. Most of all, you will be doing things that can lower your chances of depression and anxiety, as well as a bunch of other physical health conditions now and in the future. Invest in yourself and your future by including nutrition in your self-care.

You can use nutrition as self-care. If you have any questions, call Potomac Programs 1-855-809-0409. Find out how delicious and rewarding nutrition can me.