love

10 Ways to Love Yourself this February

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follow your dreams Because Valentines Day falls right in the middle of February, love is a big theme of the month. As I mentioned a few days ago, it’s important to remember other kinds of love besides romantic love. This post is all about self-love. It’s not even just about dating yourself—though that’s a good one too. I mean in the most basic sense. I always like to go back to the fact that on airplanes, you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. In a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on workaholism a strong work ethic and selflessness, it can be hard to remember that we really do need to help ourselves before we can help others.

1.) Cook yourself something nice. It could be something simple as a fancier-than normal breakfast instead of cold cereal or a beautiful fresh piece of fish at dinner. What would you make for company but not think to fuss over for yourself? Give yourself permission to tune out distractions like the computer, chop the hell out of some veggies, and enjoy. Wine (or mimosa, if it’s brunch) totally optional.

2.) Prioritize sleep. No apologizing, no excuses. You deserve a good night’s rest. If you have a hard time settling down, write your thoughts in a journal or make a to-do list for the next day to clear your head before it hits the pillow.

3.) Be physically active. Whether you hit the gym, the slopes, or simply walk around your neighborhood, enjoy the endorphin boost and the just-flew-in-from-somewhere-awesome glow.

4.) Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or some other pampering that makes you feel relaxed. 

5.) Buy yourself flowers. Even the $2.99 arrangements from the grocery store count.

6.) Write yourself a thank-you note for all the good work. If you have to, pretend you’re writing to your best friend or a beloved family member. Set it aside to open at a later date when you’re in need of some encouragement.

7.) Give yourself permission to let something go.  Be it a toxic friend or lover, an old idea that doesn’t serve you well anymore, or even a to-do list item that really doesn’t need to be done—say goodbye and don’t look back.

8.) Hydrate! It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when it’s freezing cold out, your body needs enough H2O to do its job. Bring your own bottle and keep it by your desk or somewhere else you’ll see it throughout the say as a reminder to drink up.

9.) Try a probiotic. Invite the good bacteria to the party to help ward off illness and GI upset. You can also make a conscious effort to consume more yogurt, kimchee or try kombucha, a fermented tea drink. My favorite flavor is ginger.

10.) Choose your own adventure. Whatever it is you’re thinking of, go do it!

How do you show yourself love? 

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WIAW Spin-Off?

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I’m kind of kidding, but I should totally start a WIAW spin-off called “What I Ate While Studying for the RD exam.” Let’s not even talk about how much green tea and coffee has been involved…

IMG_1739This morning I was up way too early (I think my inner clock must miss clinical, if the recurring dream about having to go back to the hospital where I did staff relief is any hint—I had no good reason other than maybe an unwise second glass of red wine at that Oscars party to fall back on), so I killed some time with a magazine on the elliptical machine and by throwing in a load of laundry before sitting down  to start another practice test. More plum & tahini oatmeal happened. I’ve found it’s very good with a drizzle of honey too. I may or may not have killed my stash of gunpowder green tea as well.

At least now I have an excuse to go to Chinatown—way more fun than cozying up to this business…IMG_1741

Between this and all the science and MNT textbooks I’ve made my way through over the past 4 years, maybe you can see why it tweaks me that there are still people out there who think all dietitians do is, like,  bake healthy cookies and turkey meatloaf and tell other people what to eat.

I may or may not have started a morbid love poem once with telling someone I would order them the proper tube feed when their alcoholism finally caught up with them and landed them in the hospital with pancreatic cancer. Just saying. And no, if said poem exists, the subject did not hear it from me.

…And with that, happy Monday! Cheers to a new week!