This Valentine’s Day, flip the camera around and show your selfie some love!
Here are just 5 ways you can do so:
1. Practice mindfulness around food. Your mouth is the window to your health, as it is the first and most frequent interface with the outside world. Every bite you eat contributes to your future health. Instead of just eating, experience your meals to maximize both enjoyment and nutrient absorption. Ways to do so include waiting until you are truly hungry to begin eating, taking the time to prepare your food, chewing conscientiously and adequately, and turning off any outside stimuli, such as the television, your phone, or computer while you eat.
2. Eat your greens. The healthiest, most nutrient-dense food group on the planet offers incredible advantages for your body including fighting off cancer cells, helping vision, making your skin glow, and supporting cardiovascular health. Choose a variety of leafy green vegetables, such as kale, chard, dandelion greens, collard greens, lettuce, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, fresh herbs, etc. and aim for at least 3 servings every day. One serving equals 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.
3. Move your body. Nothing brings on an instantaneous rush of feel-good endorphins better than a dose of exercise. Moving your body provides limitless benefits including improving mood, enhancing circulation, detoxifying your entire body, and boosting immune function. And, the best part is that it doesn’t have to be intense or extensive to reap the benefits. Choose activities you love, such as dancing to music, riding your bicycle, or going for a walk, anything that is enticing. You only need a few minutes a day to reap the benefits.
4. Break up with meat (if you are still eating it). This includes fish, white meat, red meat, processed meat, dairy, and eggs. There are many, many reasons to eliminate animal products from your diet, including the myriad benefits to optimal health, a decreased impact on the planet, and for the love of animals. Bonus: moving away from animals inspires you to focus your plate around the delicious possibilities of infinite combinations of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
5. Reward yourself with non-food treats. Often, it is all too easy to eat for reasons other than hunger. Whether it is due to stress, loneliness, boredom, or because something is calling your name from the kitchen, there is never a good reason to eat when you are not truly physically hungry. Try keeping lists of alternative non-food treats you can indulge in on these occasions. Some ideas include taking a luxurious hot bath, reading an entertaining book or magazine, calling a close friend or loved one, escaping into nature, or spending time with animals. These options – or any that inspire, calm, or please you – are delicious ways to treat yourself that do not involve eating less-than-wholesome comfort food.
Happy Valentine’s Day…or, as my daughter calls it…Happy Vegantine’s Day!