Hey friends! Happy Tuesday! Episode 11 of The Grapefruit & Granola Podcast is all about self-care. Fellow RD Kim Hoban gives you the 101 on how to care for yourself so that you can be your best self for your career and for others.
Kim’s starts out the show by responding to my question about what she thought about the CrossFit article criticizing dietitians. Kim is into CrossFitand she is a CrossFit supporter. We discuss how the CrossFit journal is a blog, not an academic journal. She felt that the article didn’t take into consideration how broad the field of dietetics is and how different dietitians may not be practicing the exact same way. She mentions the older nutrition recommendations (like MyPlate) and her disappointment that CrossFit lumped all dietitians into one group. She received negative response from the CrossFit community about her thoughts on the CrossFit article. We both agreed that the article was not productive.
What is self-care?
Self-care is anything someone does to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally
It’s not meant to be forced, it’s not meant to be something that we hate doing.
Self-care is something that fills your cup, it doesn’t empty it.
It can look different for every person. For some people it may be eating nourishing foods and focusing on nutrition. For other people it may be getting more sleep and trying to meditate and relaxing in certain ways. For some people it may be watching a funny youtube video in the middle of the day.
Sometimes when we hear “self-care” we think about a manicure or a massage. It can look like that for some people, but remember that it can be something simple. A common misconception is that self-care takes a lot of time or money. It can really be something small in your day that makes a big impact.
Be Your Best Self
Sometimes with women, we feel like we need to do it all. Self-care feels a little selfish.
Kim has some great advice. She says: remember that you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you should put the oxygen mask on others. Taking care of yourself allows you to better serve your family and friends.
Kim’s favorite self-care
She has some physical limitations right now due to pregnancy exercise restrictions, but normally movement is her favorite form of self-care. She thinks of movement as a stress release rather than feeling like it’s something she has to do.
Something that Kim does is she keeps a list of things that make her feel good to remind her of self-care. These include exercise, meditation, or making sure she’s setting herself up for success and getting enough sleep.
Kim feels that her pregnancy has been an exercise in practicing a lot of the philosophies that she teaches as a dietitian. Some days her body just says- we’re not having vegetables today, or this week. And she has learned to be okay with that.
What’s a good starting point for self-care?
If you don’t practice self-care right now, then Kim recommends first asking yourself “What is it that I need?”
If there was one thing that is lacking that you know feels good for you, then that’s where you should start. Some common starting places include getting outside and getting sunshine, getting more sleep, unplugging from social media to stop comparison, and saying no more often and not filling your schedule so much.
Remember that self-care looks different for each person.
My favorite type of self care is hiring a cleaning service. Sometimes I only have an hour or two from the time I get to the time I go to bed, and it’s easy to feel like housework is falling behind. Having a cleaning company come twice per month (once for a deep clean, once just to clean the master bedroom, bathroom and kitchen) frees up my time and mental energy so that I can relax at home <– P.S. I freaking hate cleaning.
Tips for getting better sleep
Getting more sleep comes up frequently in the conversation. Many women don’t make sleep a priority but being well-rested is so important for health, happiness and even productivity at work.
People are hesitant to try meditation but it does help with sleep and stress levels. Kimuses the Calm app, which as something called sleep stories. Sleep stories is basically like an adult bedtime story in a calming voice.
Meditation can come across as “woo woo”, so Kim recommends waiting to start until you’re open to the idea. If you’re interested in starting a meditation routine then Kim recommends starting out with guided meditation. This is a lot easier than trying it yourself and wondering if you’re doing it right.
Imagine yourself sitting behind a waterfall and watching the water fall down. Think of yourself as calmly sitting there and watching our thoughts go by. It doesn’t mean we don’t have any thoughts, it just means we’re not judging them or judging themselves.
Kim tries to mediate daily for 5 minutes. Some people do it for up to 20-30 minutes per day. Kim also has an alert around 11:45 so that she remembers to meditate mid-day. Sometimes she does 5-10 deep breaths. It’s jut a reminder for her to take a pause in her day.
Advice for Women Who Just Don’t Know Where to Start
If you’re a working woman who wants to be healthier but isn’t sure where to start then Kim recommends just picking 1 thing to work on. It doesn’t always have to be nutrition or food because everything ties so closely together. Sleep, stress, hydration, enjoyable movement are other areas that may be good starting points. Start somewhere that’s realistic for you. Kim recommends that you ask yourself- what feels like the best thing you’d want to start with right now?
Health is a journey, not a destination. If you don’t succeed with meeting your goal one day then that’s OK. Just move forward and take some time to evaluate why things didn’t work out the first time.
Kim’s Favorite Ways to Live her Healthiest Life
She recommends utilizing the tools you have on hand.
She is really into apps. She mentioned the Calm app for meditation. She also uses an app called Waterlogged to help increase hydration. It even sets reminders. She has a reminder for mid-day where either meditates or takes deep breaths.
Kim also tries to meal prep to make life easier. Food prep to her is not what you see on pinterest with a bunch of tupperwares and the same meals over and over again. She likes to do things like cook some grains in bulk so that she can have them. By doing things like this, she can piece meals together throughout the week instead of cooking from scratch each night.
Kim’s favorite simple meal is eggs with peppers, onions, spinach with toast. It’s a simple meal that only takes minutes to prepare.
Pregnancy and Body Image
Even though your body doesn’t start changing drastically until later on during pregnancy, Kim recommends starting to tune into yourself a little more than normal in the beginning. Ask yourself- what does it mean to me or how does it make me feel when I get bigger in different areas
Kim also recommends preparing yourself for people to comment on your body non-stop. Common comments are “you’re getting so big” or “you’re all belly. Her responses include, “Thanks, the baby is growing and is very healthy” or “My pregnancy is going so well and the baby’s so strong”.
If you are wondering what to say to a woman who is expecting, Kim recommends keeping comments to how someone feels or the health of the baby rather than just looks/weight/size. Some examples include “How do you feel?” Or “How is the baby doing?”
Thank you, Kim!
About Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT:
Kim Hoban is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, certified intuitive eating counselor and NASM certified personal trainer. Kim lives in Long Island, NY where she works in foodservice and corporate wellness while also managing a virtual nutrition coaching practice. She specializes in intuitive eating and health at every size with a focus on sports nutrition. Kim blogs at KHNutrition.com where she loves to share about food, fitness and more recently, her journey with pregnancy and becoming a new mom.