What's the "D" word you ask? Don't worry, I'll explain in a bit.
Something that keeps coming up this time of year (also known as “the holidays”) that I feel like I want to address. It's that "holiday" stress, overwhelm, pressure, to give gifts, to get those workouts in when you can, to go to all the holiday parties but still eat healthy. And with social media becoming more and more of a main stream way of connecting, it seems like no matter where we turn someone is telling us to “DO” or not to “DO” something to reduce stress, be healthier and happier. And while all these are fantastic goals, it seems to me it’s just a lot of pressure!
Rather than add something else to your to-do list this holiday season, I am here to say enjoy this wonderful time of year. Try not to get too wrapped up in that holiday stress or the list of “shoulds”. And if you do find yourself there, simply try acknowledging what you feel, ask if it’s helping you in any way (my guess is not), release it (literally shake it off) and move on with your day. We are all doing the best we can. And already live in a fairly constant state of stress, who needs to add more to this!?! Am I right?
I’ve been home resting for the past 3 days with minor winter cold (yup even nutritionists and herbalists get sick) and feel very fortunate to have that time to do nothing (sounds so silly, doesn’t it?).
Side note – I often hear clients, friends, etc. tell me they “never get sick”. I remember when I was in nutrition school I was like, that’s me, then one of my teachers told me that this could mean an overactive immune system (usually associated with chronic illness or autoimmunity). So just be careful, I generally believe 1-2 colds a year indicates a healthy immune system.
Back to my story, the first day of feeling a bit run down I tried to do a little work, feeling the guilt of those “shoulds”, and I really felt it the next day, so you know what? I took yesterday to rest and relax. I did ZERO work (on a Tuesday, unheard of right) and watched reruns of Friends.
Also with that downtime, I watched ALL the Instastories, usually I have a handful that I watch regularly, otherwise it can really be a black hole. I noticed just how much “information” rather opinions are out there on a regular, daily, hourly, basis. WHOA! I found myself following a few people in my industry that I thought I “should” to make sure I knew what was going on and being put out there. But you know what I also found myself annoyed with a lot of these suggestions. Things like influencers giving nutrition advice that have no nutrition degree, other certified nutritionists telling people not to cleanse or detox this time of year because our body naturally does it’s detox thing (which I do agree, but not all cleanses and detoxes are bad), and others telling you how to choose healthy options this time of year (and I am all for healthy options).
A couple takeaways from this on social media: 1. Choose what you watch carefully. 2. Let’s get rid of the “shoulds”. 3. Listen to yourself, make sure whatever you are choosing you are doing so for the right reasons and not because you feel like it’s something you “should” do because so-and-so is and because it makes you feel good and you enjoy it!
For example, this past fall I offered a 10-day fall detox and wellness reset. Here’s the kicker – it wasn’t your typical “detox”. The idea was that it was a gentler and kinder way of eating - no huge restrictions, no juices or soups only, no starvation - just real wholesome food and habit reset. The idea was that after the 10-days you would feel so good that you wouldn’t WANT to go back to the “old” habits or ways of being or eating. It was something sustainable that you could manage on the regular. It wasn’t some “diet” that would cause so much restriction that you felt like you needed to eat all the pizza, pasta and cookies on Day 11.
Real quick, Let’s talk about the “d” word: DIET. It’s become a nasty little word, hasn’t it?
But did you know, the word “diet” comes from the Greek word “diata” which means a “way of life” or “manner of living”? What a beautiful thing. I wish we could bring that original meaning back rather than this current idea of “diet” as restrictive and punishing.
So, to those people that say you don’t need to go on some diet, detox, cleanse, etc. because your body is always detoxing itself naturally, they are 100% right, and I agree. However, just because something is labeled “diet”, “detox” or “cleanse” doesn’t mean you should just assume you know what that means and if it’s good or bad. Question everything. Learn more. Educate yourself. Try it for yourself. See how you feel. Don’t blindly trust anyone on the internet, myself included.
So, with all that being said, I decided to take that 10-day fall detox and wellness reset idea and expand it to a 21-day New Years’ Wellness Reset based off this same philosophy, a gentler, more kind way of resetting the body and soul. You can read more here. This gist is it’s all about the D word, “diet”, not some restrictive way of eating but choosing how we want to live, finding that balance in our lives that lets us nourish our bodies with whole food, movement and habits in harmony with the more indulgent moments too. The idea being that when you are done with the 21 days you have some great new habits and feel so great that you want to and do continue this way of life.
In conclusion, my point is, choose what you consume carefully. Question everything. Take charge and educate yourself. Listen to what your body and mind want and need (sometimes it’s a whisper not a yell) getting quiet always helps clarify. #1 always prioritize yourself!
Happy Holidays! And remember, to enjoy!
P.S. If you do find yourself stressed more now or in general, this worksheet is one I created and use a lot in my nutrition practice as a way of getting your self-care toolbox together. Please download it, read it and fill out the bottom section. Then you can cut the bottom out stick it in your wallet or make a digital version your notes app, that way you always have it when you feel stressed and cant think of what you can do to combat that.