Self-Care is Not Selfish

“Self care is an act of service for our clients.”  

This statement was made during my wellness coaching lesson a few weeks ago and I caught myself doing the “raise the roof” in agreement.  Don’t worry, it’s a virtual coaching course, so no one (besides Rocky) saw me do it!  Taking care of ourselves is one of those things that we know is important, but many of us don’t do it very often.  The old analogy of putting your own oxygen mask on before being able to help anyone else in an emergency is so true, yet we often ignore it and end up being burned out, cranky and ineffective at our daily tasks, whether they are related to work or family.

Coming back to that quote, I actually think we can just as easily replace “clients” at the end of that sentence with any number of nouns: family, friends, partners, bosses, etc.  Making sure Numero Uno is taken care of, physically and mentally/emotionally/spiritually is absolutely vital to being the best employee, spouse, parent, coach, friend, etc that you can be.  You’ll find you have more patience and forgiveness, more energy to do all of the things you want and need to do, and you’ll be a happier, more fun person to hang out with!







A lot of people I talk to and work with feel like they can’t justify spending money on things like massages and gym memberships to take care of themselves.  Totally understandable, but I do encourage people to consider the “risks” of NOT investing (at least a little bit) in yourself.  Burn out, difficulty focusing on work, frustration and short tempers in your relationships and family setting are just a few of the results of not taking time solely to nourish yourself.   I’m not suggesting you go into debt over extravagant trips to the spa.  In fact, self-care doesn’t have to cost anything at all.  There certainly are self-care practices that I recommend and partake in that do come with a price tag, but I feel that the benefits outweigh the costs on so many levels.  For me, the greatest example is my pricey CrossFit gym membership, which I pay almost $150 a month for.  The results of my membership go well beyond physical health and I’d even argue that it is one of my biggest mental health boosters.  The time I spend in the gym gives me an outlet for stress, a social connection and community and confidence in my own abilities and my body.  To me, that’s priceless.  

That being said, there are many self-care activities you can focus on that are absolutely free and very easy to implement.  Choose ones that speak to you and create the happiest, healthiest and best version of yourself. Here’s my list of eight ways to practice self-care without spending a dime:  

Nourish your body with food.  Choose foods that give you energy and make you feel good inside and out.  Not sure how to begin reconnecting with and enjoying food that nourishes you?  I’m here to help.



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Stay hydrated.  Just as nutritious food allows us to feel our best, staying adequately hydrated is important for maintaining energy, transporting vitamins and minerals, preventing headaches and more.  Drink up, my friends!

Be grateful.  I can’t even tell you how much practicing gratitude has changed my world.  I keep a journal by my bedside and try to write 3 things I’m thankful for everyday.  Research shows that this simple act primes our brains to seek out positivity throughout the day and in general, practicing gratitude gives perspective and keeps you grounded and happy.  


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Practice yoga and/or meditation. Just like gratitude, yoga and meditation help to ground us by calming our minds and allowing us to turn inward.  If you’re a critic of mediation (as I was), try reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris or tuning into his podcast.  Meditation has also completely changed my life and made me a happier, more forgiving person.

Move.  Run, walk, swim, bike, lift weights…whatever feels like good movement for you.  You don’t need a fancy gym membership (though as I said, for me it’s worth every penny), just your own body.



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Sleep.  The health benefits of a good quality night of sleep are innumerable.  At the very least, getting enough rest means you’ll have energy to take on your day.  It also makes you less irritable and more productive.  Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution is a really good read with tips on how to get more/better sleep.

Get outside.  Connecting with nature and breathing in fresh air is invigorating and might be just what you need to feel more centered and focused.


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Laugh.  Because laughter is the best medicine, right?  Laughing boosts our immune system, decreases stress hormones and can strengthen social relationships too.  It could be as simple as finding some funny YouTube clips (this one cracks me up every.single.time.)!

While all of these self-care practices are sure to leave you feeling healthier and happier, this list could go on and on.  Do whatever works for you, otherwise it won’t stick.  It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to “do it all”.  Start by making sure you do ONE thing each day that’s just for you, no matter how small.  Come back and tell me it doesn’t improve your health, your outlook and your relationships! 😉  

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Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Recipe ReDux Spotlight}

Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Cinnamon Whipped Cream {Recipe ReDux Spotlight}

The Recipe ReDux turns five(!) this month and to celebrate, we’re turning the spotlight on fellow Recipe ReDux members.  I just joined the group a few months ago (you can find my first few RR recipes here and here), but have been following many of the members on social media for a long time now.  Not to mention, drooling over their delicious creations.  The ReDuxer I’m sharing with y’all today is someone I only know via her blog and social media, but from what I can tell, I’m pretty sure we’d be friends in real life too!  Meet Tara Deal Rochford, future RD and blogger behind Treble in the Kitchen.



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Tara is from Indiana but now lives with her husband and dog Bernie in Denver, Colorado (#goals), where she is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor.  She has a degree in music (hence the super cute blog name) and was inspired to become an RD while working as a Fitness Director on a cruise line where people would ask her nutrition questions.  Tara has been a Recipe Redux member for over a year and loves to bake cookies, muffins and sweets to share!  She’s now in school and is well on her way to becoming a dietitian, but still finds time for creating lots of awesome recipes and sharing fun workouts on her blog.



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I love following Tara’s blog for her yummy recipes and kick-butt workouts (like this bodyweight tabata), but also to get a sneak peek into her adventures in Colorado and beyond.  Boyfriend and I have this not-so-secret desire to move to Denver (even though we’ve never even visited), so I love seeing when she’s hiking in Colorado or doing yoga at Red Rocks.  

Now that you have a little bit of an introduction to Tara, let’s talk about her recipes, shall we?  She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and I love that her recipes are simple, whole foods-based and nourishing.  Many are dairy-free, grain or gluten-free and low FODMAP as well.  

Since we’re celebrating a birthday and birthday parties typically involve some kind of sweet treat, I figured I’d try out one of Tara’s delicious dessert recipes.  Last month I saw her share this recipe for Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Cinnamon Whipped Cream and I immediately pinned it to make at a later date.  Well this past weekend, when we fired up the grill for dinner, I knew what would be for dessert!  



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This sweet treat totally hit the spot, though my photo doesn’t do it justice.  I was a little impatient and didn’t whip the cream long enough so it didn’t fluff up, but the flavor was still incredible.  And I don’t even really like coconut! The cinnamon and touch of maple syrup was perfection and boyfriend actually kept the rest of the “cream” to use in his coffee, which he raved about!  Seriously, this recipe is super simple but oh so good.  Grilled pineapple is a MUST this summer and I highly recommend adding Tara’s Coconut Cinnamon Whipped Cream to take it up a notch.  Here’s the recipe:

Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Serves 4


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Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
12 min

Total Time
17 min

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
12 min

Total Time
17 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 can of full fat coconut milk or coconut cream (refrigerated at least 3 hours)
  2. 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 8 slices of pineapple
  5. Misto with extra virgin olive oil, or a small amount of olive oil to brush on the pineapple
Instructions
  1. Remove the coconut cream that rose to the top of the can in the chilled coconut cream can. Beat the cream for a few minutes until it becomes nice, light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon, and adjust to taste.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
  3. Spritz the pineapple slices, or use a brush dipped in olive oil if you don’t have a misto, with a small amount of olive oil on each side.
  4. Place the pineapple slices on the grill.
  5. Cook 6-8 minutes on each side, until nicely charred.
Notes
  1. It is best to refrigerate the can of coconut cream over night. This recipe makes more than enough whipped cream for this recipe. It is best served immediately, but it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will harden in the fridge, so simply blend it again until creamy. This is great served with berries or on hot coffee/cocoa!
KH Nutrition http://khnutrition.com/

Find Tara and her delicious recipes here:

Blog: Treble in the Kitchen

Facebook: Treble in the Kitchen

Instagram: @trebleinthekchn

Twitter: @trebleinthekchn

Pinterest: Treble in the Kitchen

Click through the links below to get to know even more Recipe ReDux members and their culinary creations.

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