In a previous post, we talked about the Prerequisites for Self-Care 101. In this post, we’re talking about the 3 basic things you can do to incorporate into taking care of yourself.
1. Eat Nutritious Food
Nutrition is one of the most important factors of mental health. How are they connected? They are absolutely connected when your body has the minerals, the vitamins, the nutrients, it needs to be able to thrive. The mind will operate more efficiently when you’re putting in real food void of ingredient labels, real food void of packaging and processed stuff and chemicals. Your body is going to operate better and your mind will be more clear. I’m not saying that all food replaces all medicine or anything like that – please don’t go that far, but I’m saying there is a significant connection in correlation between food and our body. When you’re talking about self-care, the body is one component of it.
I just put a post a few days ago and it was the results of my blood work. I’m doing like a whole screening because of everything that happened to my brother. I just want to make sure that I’m healthy and I’m going to be doing some work to check out my heart and all that kind of stuff in a few weeks, some stress tests and EKGs and Echoes and all that kind of stuff. But my levels of cholesterol were way way way lower than just the middle of the line. I mean it was just barely almost obsolete it almost even exists and I’ve been battling this dialogue this conversation for so many years with my own family, not just specifically my poor mom and dad who are watching, this is all my family you know and a lot of people and just they’re like “yeah man, but just cholesterol, the genetic thing and it’s just in our family and it’s in this and that,” and I have some really strong genetic ties to my family members that say these kind of things and despite of genetic predisposition, despite of cardiovascular disease and strokes and heart attacks in my own family, like serious people like paternal, maternal, like family members I have little to no signs of cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and trust me it’s not my age – 40 years old – I know it’s young but it’s not my age. It has to do specifically and exclusively with the fact that I do not put cholesterol in my body I know and dietary cholesterol and it’s just so powerful to see that. And despite that there’s still a resistance to that theory. I know numbers don’t lie so if you want to see my blood work I will gladly show it to you as well.
When you go to the grocery store, when I say eat nutritious foods, if you don’t know what I’m talking about just go and scoop the outside of the store. So inside every grocery store, small or big, the outside is where all of the real food is, the fresh food, the produce. If you eat the dairy stuff and the meat stuff and all that kind of stuff it’s all on the outside. There are no ingredient labels on the outside. It is mono ingredients so whatever the food is, is the food, and that’s called whole food. So if you eat whole foods the odds of your body optimizing and being more healthy are greater but a lot of times people just go down the little alleys, I guess if you will, the grocery store and you know I have a little bit of compassion when it comes to certain peoples that have like you know families and big families and this and that, it gets a little bit more difficult but check this out.
I have a few employees that have big families and maybe one of them’s watching it right now. He’s like “Dude, it’s impossible with all the kids I got and all this and that and it’s just impossible,” and he is true on many different levels that it’s very freaking difficult – I’ll never say impossible – very difficult. But when the kids aren’t around and it’s just him or her eating their food they still make the choices they would as if the kids were around. So I just don’t understand these ways that people look at this when society as a whole is really struggling with this epidemic. It really is struggling with this epidemic. You guys know one third of the country is obese and two-thirds are overweight. One-third is obese and two-thirds are overweight out of 350 million people. By the year 2025 our healthcare system is not going to be able to sustain the amount of children that are going to need services for type 2 diabetes. And you know what I’ve been saying that line since 2017 on video and here I am saying it again – and guess what it’s only getting worse. Yeah CJ, that is a good book I think therapists recommended to me a while ago – Your Brain on Food. So it really starts talking about the drug-like components of food. This is good too – I like this – Eating quality food is a sign of respect for my body. Yeah and you know what, that’s true. So when we are more stressed we tend to stress-eat so what happens is when you’re feeling anxious or depressed we go for the high caloric high-fat foods. You want to know why? Because when we eat them we don’t have to feel, we don’t have to think, it just numbs us and there’s the choice again – ain’t no different than the many things that a lot of people in society do but have a bad rap to them.
2. Stay Hydrated
Hydrated means with fluids because society, including myself for example, caffeine is widely used and I love caffeine and I use caffeine as you can tell by the way I talk, I’m probably caffeinated. But caffeine is a diuretic and caffeine dehydrates the body really bad and it’s a diuretic so it flushes you out and dehydrates you. So the drinking water and you can also get water from fruit once it’s melon season, watermelon stuff like that, you can get water but I will tell you this. Many people suffer from headaches, chronic fatigue and all that kind of stuff and I’m not a medical doctor so I’m not diagnosing it but one of the reasons and causes is oftentimes dehydration.
We think that we are hydrated because we have that one glass of water but we don’t know how much hydration we actually need to feel optimized for our brain to work. These are all like tissues and it’s like they all flow together. 70% of our body is liquids. It’s very important, but people neglect it and you know it’s like I’ve said this every week, I think maybe for three years. Things that are easy to do in life are also easy not to do. I understand that it’s easy to drink a glass of water but it’s also easy not to drink a glass of water and it just comes down to deliberation, consciousness, choice, action and wanting to do something.
I was getting caffeinated all day long and at night time just staring at the ceiling and then you got to look into getting like, “Oh now I need something to help me sleep,” and that’s just not a healthy sustainable pattern. So juices are wonderful and it’s always funny whenever I recommend people to have juices and fruit and all that kind of stuff they always talk about, “Oh there’s so much calories and juice and it’s so much sugar in it and all that kind of stuff.” Nobody’s ever gained a significant amount of weight from eating apples or having apple juice, you know what I mean? It’s like there’s so many misconceptions, there’s so many beliefs that people have that are just so categorically false and it’s okay.
3. Engage in Physical Activity
Now, as soon as I say this to clients for example, they say, “Well, I don’t have time to go to the gym.” It’s like “Whoa whoa whoa, who said go to the gym? Just do something for your body, just put on your favorite music and go walk for 15 minutes, just go do something every day that’s not just getting in and out of your car or running an errand.” It’s with the intention that I’m gonna go move my body now. 15 minutes is like the straight minimum daily. 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour, just do something everyday for your body. When you move your body the mind will follow. So sometimes people want to think themselves into working out. “Okay I just got to work out, I know I have to work out, I know I have to go on a walk.” Don’t do that – you’re never gonna win. Go on a walk despite not wanting to go on a walk, and somewhere during the walk your body, your mind’s going to be like, “Oh it’s kind of nice that I’m walking right now.”
Move your body and the mind will follow.
That’s enough about that one. I’m very obsessed with that one by the way. It’s what’s helped me stay sane in the past few months of my life.
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