2017 was a year of change and transition for me personally. My baby became a toddler, I stopped breastfeeding and closed the door on my baby years, we moved across the country to a new home and entirely new weather (which we’re still struggling with a little bit). I feel like I spent a good part of the year (the last two really) in survival mode. My health suffered and I haven’t been well for a while. I’m sharing more about my personal struggles and health journey in a new blog series in the coming weeks but you can see me talk a bit about what I’ve been struggling with in my Instagram Story highlights in my IG profile under ‘Hashimotos’ (and I think you can only see stories when using the IG app).
One thing I have to do to address my health issues is drastically change my diet, primarily by removing gluten (I’ll explain more about why soon but long story short, I have an autoimmune condition called Hashimotos Thyroiditis). I’m in my first week of my second Whole30 to reset my body, and when that is done I plan to continue to limit sugar, keep dairy to grass-fed sources, and stay gluten-free in order to work on my gut health and help with my autoimmune challenges. If you want to read about my first Whole30 experience — and trust me, I never ever EVER thought I could do one, so if I can then you can too — you can find it on my blog here.
Clean Eating Recipes
One content request I get a lot is for recipes, especially family meals and healthy meals. I’ve not posted many because honestly, my food photography and styling skills are my weakness. But many of you have said you’d rather have recipes with ugly photos than no recipes at all, so I’m going to start posting at least one a month, hopefully more. I’m sharing a peek of what I’ve eaten this week during my first few days of Whole30 in my Insta Stories throughout the weekend and will save those in a highlight as well. I do a lot of pinning of healthy recipes too and many of my ideas come from this board.
Some of my favorite tools for cooking healthy meals that are also delicious are:
Instant Pot — seriously, anything that can cook frozen chicken breasts in 15 minute and make them taste completely delicious is a must have!
Mandoline — An easy and efficient way to slice veggies, especially tough ones like sweet potatoes, will make you more likely to make them. I love using mine to slice sweet potatoes and roast them into crispy chips for a healthy snack or meal side.
Spiralizer — Another veggie cutter, but this one I love using to make different sized veggie noodles
Ninja Blender — I use this to make smoothies everyday, among other things, and it handles everything I throw into it (and so much more affordable than a Vitamix)
Exploring Ways to Renew Self
I feel like “self-care” is talked about so much that it feels like it has lost its importance. Except it is one of the most important things! So I’m going to call it self-renewal because that feels more worthy and we are worth of it. Becoming a mom, as wonderful and fulfilling as it was and is, completely depleted my self. I’ve just completely neglected me because I thought that if I didn’t take care of everyone else first, I wasn’t the best mom. But in the long run I resented feeling that way and that effected my marriage, my patience with my kids, and my mental health. And my physical health suffered as well. In the last few months I’ve been exploring ways to renew my self, to do better for myself, and to feel like a fuller person spiritually and mentally. That may mean different things to different people, depending on what works for you. A few things that have worked for me so far are: more rest, meditation, deep breathing, and taking time for myself so I can get a mental break. Also, saying ‘no’ to things that used to deplete me or overwhelm me. And not feeling guilty for it.
Self Love + Acceptance
This is a hard one for me, but I’m not sure why. Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves? Why can’t I look in the mirror and see a body that gave birth to three babies and love it for what it is, instead of cringe and do negative self talk about all the things I don’t like? I want to give myself grace and embrace my body for the amazing things it has done. So I’m working on this. I think I’m going to start writing compliments on post-its and putting them on mirrors in our home and I’d like to start journaling and writing things I liked about myself that day or week. I’ve always wanted to journal and I never seem to stick with it, so any tips for this are appreciated!
I am constantly trying to teach my oldest son to love himself — he can be quite hard on himself and already engages in negative self-talk at 7 — by asking him his favorite qualities about himself and having him listen to a Loving-Kindness Meditation for kids (it is two minutes). So I’m going to start being a better example by doing it for myself too. Even though I never engage in negative self-talk in front of my kids I do think if they see me do positive reinforcement then they will follow my lead.
I think we all have things we don’t like about ourselves. But if we focus on the things we do like while trying to bring positive changes about the things we don’t like (like, I like my hair but really want to change my post-baby bod. So I focus on the fact that my hair looks good and I wash and blow-dry it when I can and go get it trimmed or highlighted and enjoy that experience while I am also trying to change my diet and exercise more to get my body where I’d like it as well but without hating myself.)
What are three things you like about yourself or that you feel you are doing really well at? Mine are: I think I’m a really good mom, I think I am a pretty good cook and getting better, and I like how I am able to be honest about motherhood and womanhood and life and share my shortcomings and failures as well as happy times and victories in an effort to create a community of women who support each other and also ourselves.
Now you go! I’d love for you to share three things you love about yourself — either by leaving a comment below or commenting on today’s IG post, or by posting on social media and hash tagging #OLDLoveYourSelf so I can see.
I wanted to also share that I am using some home testing courtesy of EverlyWell to figure out the cause of some of my health issues and to get back on a path of wellness. I’ll share more about that experience as we go along in this series, but if you would like to try any of their at home tests, they have generously offered my readers a discount of 15% off when you use the code OHLOVELYDAY. So far I used their Thyroid test, but I’m hoping to try some additional ones down the road.
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