The Self-Love Diet
By Estela Schnelle MS, RDN
The importance of self-care or self-love among care-givers is finally starting to be recognized as critical for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. We can practice self-love in so many ways - by going for a walk, taking time to laugh with friends, stepping away from social media for regular digital detoxes, or even just giving our bodies permission to rest. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, it’s time for moms to give themselves a little break and practice a bit of self-love. Often times, though, it’s hard for moms to step away and begin a practice of self-love. Here are a few tips and tricks for mastering The Self-Love Diet in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
Start With Love
A self-love diet, first and foremost, starts with love and connecting with the idea that we deserve to feel good in our bodies. When we start loving ourselves more, we naturally start choosing to nourish ourselves with healthy food choices - nutrient-rich, real, whole foods that will make us feel amazing from the inside out. When we fill our bodies with a combination of lean proteins, healthy fats and fiber-rich carbohydrates, this not only satiates us, it helps to stabilize our blood sugar and gives us the sustained energy needed to feel fabulous during our favorite Pilates, Yoga or Barre classes.
Balance is important; this includes giving ourselves permission to have the occasional treat without feeling guilty or ashamed about what we ate. The key is to make a conscious decision to indulge, eat only the amount that our body is physically hungry for, and fully enjoy what we are eating without guilt or shame.
We show our bodies love by embracing mindful eating. It’s important to put away distractions like our phone, computer or TV so that we can be present with our food, eating slowly and tasting every bite of our food. This will enable us to not only enjoy our food but to notice when our hunger levels begin to decrease. When our stomach is physically full, it’s time to stop eating. Self-love also means listening to what our bodies truly need, including connecting to the amount of food that we are physically hungry for.
Trust Your Body
We are the best judge of what’s working for our bodies. For example, if there’s a particular diet that works for others, but makes us feel unwell, then it isn’t right for us. It’s important for us to respect our bodies by trusting what it’s telling us.
Let Go of Perfection
When we aim for diet perfection, we don’t make room for real life situations where we need (or want) flexibility to deviate from our diet. And, because no one is perfect, it’s inevitable that things won’t always go the way we want them to. When this happens, often times we end up feeling ‘less than’ because we have created an unattainable goal for ourselves. Sometime it’s important to allow our best to be good enough.
Be Kind To Yourself
If we fall off track with our food, it’s important to stop the voices in our heads from telling us that we are not good enough. Those seemingly harmless whispers are toxic and can take a major toll on our self-worth. It’s time to change how we speak to ourselves. Each time we catch our inner critic on the attack, hit pause and say, “No, I won’t talk to myself like this. I deserve better.” Then, we can embrace the kind and compassionate words that we deserve to hear.