Note: this post is part of the #BanzaPlusPlants recipe contest. It is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.
One thing I’ve always found challenging is creating recipes that get better as leftovers – we make some of our food for the week ahead of time on Sundays, and preserving quality/flavor is important to me so that we’re satisfied all week. Cold noodle salads have been fitting the bill lately, so I knew when Banza announced the #BanzaPlusPlants contest, this is what I would be whipping up!
A huge part of how I use gentle nutrition in my life is by considering how to incorporate protein/fat/fiber to make meals more satisfying. The chickpea pasta, edamame, and peanut butter in this salad make it more satiating and keep me full for longer! Plus, they taste great… which is my main consideration with food. Here’s how it’s done:
I used to envision that there would be a point where I’d arrive with intuitive eating and body image. Like, one day I’d just wake up and love my body and food would always be easy. But I think that the goal is more continuous learning rather than arriving. We’re all on a journey and I still have less-than-kind thoughts pop up about my body sometimes, but they’re further apart, less loud, and I don’t react as quickly or deeply to them. Depending on my mood/day, I can even react to them with humor. Here’s three helpful practices for dealing with unkind body thoughts:
It’s more clear-cut to physically distance yourself from an object than it is to create mental and emotional space from it – but one helpful practice is to 1) note your feeling and then 2) add “I’m having the thought that…” in front of it. It can also help to name your emotions surrounding the experience. This is not the same thing as suppressing your feelings or numbing yourself – this is a step in processing them in a healthy way. We have to de-escalate a little in order to think things through with our rational mind.
So, for example: If you’re feeling like you’re not good at anything… the first step is to take note of that feeling and then reframe to “I’m having the thought that I’m not good at anything.” Then add emotions: “Along with that, I feel frustrated, sad, and angry.”
Remember: you are not your thoughts and feelings. They’re something you have and they come and go – I like to imagine them as cars driving by on a road. Creating distance helps you dissociate your thoughts/feelings from seeming like part of your identity, which lets you challenge them.
CHALLENGE THOUGHTS & ASK QUESTIONS
Next, throw down a challenge flag on those feelings. Are those feelings true? Also, where are they coming from? Get curious and ask questions – it’s okay to be frustrated with thoughts, but the likelihood of those same thoughts/feelings popping up again is pretty high if we’re not investigating them. This is the kind of work that’s really great to do in counseling, but you can also do it with yourself or someone you trust.
Here’s one question that’s been especially helpful lately: Does placing value on this now allow me to live out my values in the future? I love this idea of small decisions snowballing into bigger effects – so this thought really helps me translate long term goals into short-term ones/actionable steps, and also helps me revisit and realign myself with what I value.
POWERFUL AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Reminding yourself of what you value and of all of the value that you represent is empowering. Here’s three helpful positive affirmations that I’ve found meaning in lately – repeat to yourself as needed.
I am strong and I can withstand discomfort.
I am enough, just as I am.
I am not more valuable because of what I eat, how I move, or what I wear – I am already valuable.
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It’s really good to have tools to use when unkind body thoughts are already happening, but even more powerful if you practice them as you go instead of saving them for when it all feels like too much – similar to why I have a self care box. If you have any tools for challenging thoughts, dealing with body image feelings, or affirmations – holla at me in the comments!
It’s been a hot minute since I blogged out something that wasn’t an Abundantly Enough post so I’m excited to be back. I started a new job as a clinical dietitian in February and I’m so excited to share my thoughts on integrating medical nutrition therapy and HAES/intuitive eating, but between that and classes for my Master’s – I was overrun. It was good to take a break from blogging just from a time management perspective, but I’m learning that sharing here and on social media is one of my favorite ways to reflect on and refine my values, so here we are. I can’t promise consistency or perfection in posting, but I can promise real life and honesty in the hopes that I’ll resonate with you the way that my favorite bloggers do with me.
My counselor said something that really resonated with me the other day – that anxiety happens in the past and the future, but not so much the present. Learning how to live in the present instead of allowing imagined scenarios to run wild is a really grounding way to deal with that. In some kind of roundabout way, I’ve noticed myself being louder about what I need because I know that my present self needs to deal with the present, if that makes sense.
Speaking as a formerly-and-still-sometimes-currently-stubborn person, I’m not huge on asking for help because I can fix everything myself, right? But having a 2017 that included a car accident, a wedding, a cross-country move, and graduate school broke me down and rebuilt me in a way that’s more humble, more open, and more willing to ask for help. In the past 6 months, I’ve asked for more help than ever – and it’s been spiraling up in the best ways. In a weird way, involving more people is allowing me to cultivate a healthy selfishness.
I brought in some mentors for my new job that I can bounce ideas off of, help guide me with regulations, and just generally check up on me. Having second opinions is building my confidence, helping me grow, and helping my patients receive the best care because they’re getting both experienced and fresh perspectives. I’m the only dietitian for the facility, so it also helps me feel less isolated in my profession.
I also started seeing a dietitian to help me work through some stress, thyroid, and cycle concerns. I carried a lot of stubbornness last year when it came to taking time off to care for my body and seeing healthcare professionals of my own, and it didn’t serve me well. So rather than self-treat or deny, I’m working with someone who can provide a fresh, outside perspective on the kind of TLC my body is asking for.
I mentioned this on Instagram (ironically), but I’m trying hard to create boundaries around my phone and social media – which feels really new and unsettling sometimes but also really right to not be plugged in 24/7. It’s so nice to be in a social media community that values similar self-care and boundaries that I do, so I can actually turn my brain off and not worry about little picture squares and how to write a caption.
Finally, this question is helping me make decisions in the present and decide where I can advocate for myself and where I can place more/less focus. I tend to think about long-term/future goals only and not what’s happening now, so reframing it to display how my present can fuel my future is super helpful.
How was your week, friends? Eat something good this weekend!