VIDA Fitness offers a holistic approach to wellness and self-care with fitness classes, nutrition consultation and on-location spa services. District Fray Magazine caught up with Rachel Sheahan, a VIDA Fitness dietitian and strength and conditioning coach, to learn more about the role of nutrition in self-care and holistic health.
District Fray: How are nutrition and self-care related?
Rachel Sheahan: To go into the world and be as productive, happy and giving as you want to be, you have to start by taking care of yourself. Nutrition is the first step. You have to nourish your body before your body can perform for you. If you don’t have energy, you’re not going to be able to perform well physically. If you don’t refuel properly after your workouts, you’re not going to be able to recover as well. If you’re chronically underfed or malnourished, you won’t be able to sleep as well. If you wake up in the morning tired, you won’t be able to focus or have energy to exercise or go see your friends. It becomes a vicious cycle.
What does the nutrition side of self-care look like in action?
Start by looking at your fruit and vegetable intake, remembering that the most nutritious thing that you can eat is plants. Maybe you’re eating one fruit a day, but could you make it two? The other thing I encourage my clients to do is try to eat the rainbow. Every single color found in nature is filled with different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – all things that are necessary for a healthy body.
How can people treat themselves while still eating nutrient rich foods?
Try to reframe your mindset about the types of foods that you eat for self-care. I love strawberries, so that might be something I could reframe. Maybe I would put a little whipped cream on my strawberries, or chop them up and put them on Greek yogurt or ice cream. If junk food is a must, use portion control. Put your chips in a bowl, put the bag away and go sit down with your Netflix, cup of tea and other things that are soothing to you. You don’t want to spiral with [junk food] because it can start as self-care, and then start to make you feel low in energy by the end of that bag of chips.
Do you have any other tips for nutritional self-care?
My biggest advice to people wanting to make nutrition a part of their self-care is to sit down and write out a list of all of their absolute favorite foods. I think people might be surprised at how many fruits are on that list. When you start listing out vegetables, most everybody has a vegetable they love. It becomes a lot easier when you know you’re allowed to eat your favorite types of fruits and vegetables.
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