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A Self-Care Nutritional Approach from the Inside Out

A Self-Care Nutritional Approach from the Inside Out

Self-care is taking care of yourself, being kind to yourself, and giving your body what it needs from the inside out. You need to practice nutritional self-care, but this is about more than just making sure you only eat what you think is healthy - or allowed.


It’s also about knowing how to balance certain foods for things like energy, increased brain function and clarity and more. You can devise a plan that allows you both enjoy foods on a regular basis and cater to the needs of your mental and physical wellbeing.


Feeding Your Body Properly for Your Energy Needs


It used to be (back in the caveman days) that food was simply fuel. It kept the body powered enough to be able to do whatever needed to be done. Over time, people got away from that and food became overused - and in many cases, is a substitute for dealing with tough emotions.


If you want to practice good self-care, then you need to discover the true purpose of food - that it’s meant to be fuel to nurture your body, to get you through each and every day as well as to help you handle any stress that comes your way.


What kinds of foods are best to eat when you’re looking out for your body? You want your meals to be built around whole foods. You want to eat lean meats if you eat meat at all.


If you don’t eat meat, then you want to make sure you get your protein from beans or lentils. Tofu or quinoa is also a good choice. Plus, there are some vegetables that are rich in protein, such as broccoli.


One of the things to look out for when you’re planning your meal is the color of the meal. The more colorful it is, the better it is. If your plate is filled with a lot of neutral or beige foods, that’s usually a sign that you’re not eating well enough nutritionally.


These foods are things like sandwiches, pizza, chicken nuggets, etc. What you want is a serving of protein, but the majority of your plate should be filled with vegetables. You have to get the right vitamins and minerals to have good health.


You can do that through eating colorful foods. You want plenty of color such as red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, carrots and squash. You also want foods like peaches, asparagus, green beans, cucumbers and celery.


For your leafy green selection, you want to eat lettuce, spinach, or kale. Colorful foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. You want to make sure that you eat breakfast every day to fuel up your body for what lies ahead.


Skipping breakfast or any meal can slow your metabolism, can make you gain weight and can increase your risk of developing diabetes. So try not to skip meals. And don’t use sugar or caffeine as a crutch for energy, because you’ll always end up crashing at some point.


How you break your meals down is important. It’s better for your body to eat five or six smaller meals or three meals with snacks in between rather than three bigger meals. You should eat something every two hours. This helps keeps your glucose levels as well as your metabolism steady.


Avoid diets that are extreme. These are diets that limit your calorie intake so much that it’s dangerous for your body. Or they might be diets that call for you to eat only one type of food while not having a balanced meal plan.


Extreme diets steal nutrition from your body and can also rob you of your health. You’re better off avoiding them completely. You want the eating plan you chose to be doable and not add stress to your life.


Giving Your Body the Right Foods to Stave off Illness and Disease


There’s no dispute that eating healthy is a great way to practice self-care. When you eat healthy, your body gets exactly what it needs to function properly now and in the future.


It’s been said that you are what you eat. And that’s true.


If you fill your body with chemicals, preservatives and unnatural additives, your body gets filled with these toxins. While your body does try to eliminate as much food pollution as possible, it just can’t keep up if your diet is made up solely or mostly of foods that are the wrong kind.


These are foods like junk foods. They’re high in fat, carbs and sugar, but don’t bring anything to the table that your body needs. All these foods do is give you the calories and make you crave more of the same.


That’s because junk foods are addictive. There are all sorts of studies based on how the brain reacts to junk food. So don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to wean off of the sugar and carb cravings.


Sometimes people think that the reason they’re so exhausted or tired is because they’ve just been doing too much. Your body is made to handle a lot. However, it can only handle life when it has the right nutrients.


You might be able to get away with eating whatever you want and not paying attention to your body’s nutritional needs for a while - even years in some cases. But eventually, every step you take now with your eating will come into play when it comes to your health.


Sometimes, if you eat the wrong foods, you’ll discover the effects pretty quickly and it won’t take years. If you don’t eat right, what happens is you start to get sick more often. Every time some virus or sniffle comes around, you might notice that you always get it.


Gone are the days when you could count on one hand the number of times you got sick in a year. You’re getting sicker because your body doesn’t have the defenses it used to have.


It draws defenses from the vitamins and minerals in foods and uses these to help keep you healthy. When you eat poorly, your body doesn’t get its proper nutrients and it can’t fight with something it doesn’t have.


So if you want to keep illness at bay, then you need to eat right, such as foods rich in vitamin C and D. The same thing can happen as far as diseases go. You can cause diseases to happen if you don’t eat right.


One of these diseases is diabetes. Eating the wrong foods, and eating too much food can play a role in the development of Type II diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t just take a toll on your body physically. It’s also difficult to deal with this disease emotionally and mentally, too. It changes your life and can be overwhelming.


By not eating right, you can cause inflammation to set up camp in your body and that can make you feel run down. The number one way to get rid of inflammation is by what’s called “eat the rainbow.”


When you eat this way, it means that you’re eating colorful fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, which help fight and prevent inflammation. Eating this way can also help prevent certain cancers. Healthy food choices such as a diet rich in fiber can help prevent colon cancer.


Knowing the Right Way to Indulge in Comfort Foods


Healthy eating is something that benefits your body inside and out. You feel better, you have more energy and you can help to protect your health. But that doesn’t mean that you have to try to be absolutely perfect.


In fact, studies have shown that rigid diets can cause frustration and can cause people to stop eating healthy. That’s a mindset thing. If you believe that you can never have any foods other than what’s 100% nutritional – and you cut out junk food completely, you may end up losing the will to practice self-care with your eating plan.


What you have to realize is that while you do want to try to eat the best possible way for your body, you don’t have to be absolutely perfect. You don’t have to eat right seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.


Food is meant to be something that you enjoy, that enriches your life. It’s not supposed to make you miserable. Sometimes people feel guilty if they enjoy some comfort food. They feel like they’ve done something wrong and that they’ve blown it because they didn’t eat healthy.


Instead, they chose food that was nutritionally empty. Don’t let guilt creep in. It’s okay to give yourself a treat. You can have that ice cream cone or enjoy a piece of cake or brownie periodically and not feel like you just failed - just don’t overindulge with the portions.


Practice moderation. As long as your eating plan is balanced using the 80/20 rule, then you’re doing great. The 80/20 rule means that you’re aiming to eat right 80 percent of the time. You might not eat right 20 percent of the time, but that’s okay. It’s still practicing good self-care.


Don't Forget Nutrition for Your Largest Organ


Your skin is your body’s largest organ so when you’re practicing self-care, make sure you plan to nurture your skin, too. You can create a great skin care routine yourself just using what you have at home.


For example, if you’re having problems with blemishes or acne, don’t use a store-bought product that can be loaded with harsh chemicals. Instead, apply some Greek yogurt. It also helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles because it contains healthy bacteria with antibacterial properties that promote clear skin while at the same time moisturizing it.


If you’re looking for a plain, natural moisturizer to use like you would store bought lotion, then try some olive oil. Olive oil not only naturally cleans the skin but it’s a great natural moisturizer.


Coconut oil is another oil that will moisturize the skin. It can be used as all over body natural moisturizer. Plus, it can be used as an all-natural makeup remover. If you have problems with acne, apple cider vinegar is also good for that.


For a natural face scrub, use lemon and sugar mixed with a little bit of honey. Using a natural mask like this will clear up blemishes. Lemons also have a natural ability to lighten dark spots on the skin.


You can use honey by itself as a skin cleanser. It can be used alone or mixed with honey. If you prefer, you can make a facial mask using only raw honey. Oatmeal is one of the go-to natural ingredients for skin care. Not only can it exfoliate, but oatmeal is also known to lessen skin irritations as well as hydrate the skin.

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