“Voting is not only our right, it is our power. When we vote, we take back our power to choose, to speak up, and to stand with those who support us and each other.”
— Loung Ung
Election day is right around the corner. And while I believe that it is extremely important to exercise your right to vote I’d like for you to consider another vote- the vote for YOU! In today’s world, we vote for all kinds of things. We don’t always call it that, but that’s what we are doing. Whether it’s volunteering in our community, choosing who to hang out with, spending our hard-earned dollars, or heading to the polls to cast our vote. Your vote is a choice. And we make numerous choices every day.
We are in week four of our 30-Day Self-Care Challenge. Over the last three weeks, we have shared various ways to sleep better, to spend time in meditation and ideas for moving your body. In this final week of our self-care challenge, we shift to the topic of nutrition. More opportunities to vote. Because we have the power to fuel our body for optimal health or to ignore the whisper to make a change. Intuitively, we know the foods that support us, but how often do we choose those foods?
A couple of years ago I made the decision to vote for me by dedicating time every week to changing my habits. It wasn’t easy. Every Friday when Rachel and I met we would share how our week went with each of The Four Seeds of Self-Care. Some days were better than others. Heck, some weeks were better than others. But regardless of if we had a “good week”, or a “bad week” we were there to listen and support each other- without judgment. We encouraged each other to keep going.
You matter. Your health matters. Living a full life matters. Your dreams matter. I believe that each and every one of us can do hard things. I believe that each and every one of us can make a difference in our community. But the most important vote we’ve got to cast is the vote for ourselves. When we choose to consistently take care of ourselves first ONLY then can we accomplish our personal goals, foster more meaningful relationships, and reconnect with our community.
As we focus on eating real food this week I hope that you will follow along. Yes, I am asking for your vote. I am asking you to choose to take a few moments each day to read our posts and consider ways you can improve your diet. Because nutrition is crucial for good health. I know that it may not be easy to make changes to what, or how you eat, but I do know that it’s worth it. But, you’ve got to be willing to hang in there! You’ve got to be willing to veer off the path and get right back on. Sometimes we think the small changes aren’t making an impact. Know that they are. Know that with every small step towards eating better you are changing your body and your mind. Know that as you acknowledge each victory you WILL gain momentum.
Perhaps if you’ve been following along these last few weeks you may have already noticed a shift in how you feel. Pay attention. Take some time to get quiet and ask what step you should take next. Listen to the whisper.
“When you’re not doing so well, vote for a better life for yourself. If you are doing quite nicely, vote for a better life for others.” Irvine Welsh
As we begin this week focusing on nutrition we will start a food journal to bring awareness to what we are eating. Sometimes we get so busy with work and daily tasks that we eat on the fly and aren’t aware of what we ate. Have you ever forgotten you ate a meal? I know I have! Pay attention to what you eat and the cues your body is giving you after a snack or meal. Do you feel energized? Heavy? Bloated? Do you feel foggy? Groggy? Our bodies will give us feedback. We’ve just got to become aware and notice. Quite often we don’t connect how we feel to what we ate. One again, we’ve got to make a conscious choice to pay attention.
Fruits and vegetables are critical to good health! Most of us do not eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The food we purchase is another way we vote. And right now, during this global pandemic, the price of food has risen drastically! One argument that we hear quite often is that the price of healthy food is expensive. And while not everyone has the same access to clean, healthy food, it is imperative that we eat less processed foods and more plants. If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of healthy food options perhaps you can consider supporting food drives in surrounding communities that lack the resources. This is one way we can show others that they matter.
As you experiment with improving your eating habits it should be said that allowing yourself to indulge in a bowl of ice cream, or piece of cake on occasion should not be cause for feeling guilty or that you did something wrong! Guilt and shame around food is the reason that many people never begin with improving their diet. These feelings weigh us down and keep us trapped in old habits. When it comes to allowing myself a treat I vote for chips and guac, a margarita or a glass of wine, pasta, and garlic bread, and dark chocolate and I enjoy it! As we finish our 30-day challenge I hope you will look for more ways to vote for YOU!
With Love and Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel