Self-Care has taken two routes for me; the bubble bath/buy new leggings route, and the GET IT DONE work route. Both are effective, a lot of the time, in their own ways. However, self-care being tied to something I literally have to do, has been a big shift in a beautiful way. Taking a task my family and my body need me to complete, several times a day, and sometimes using it as a mean to give myself extra love, has been revolutionary. I love to eat beautiful food. New recipes, concoctions, and time spent making great food feels really great to my heart and soul. But I often reserve that only for big family dinners, or times where there are many people to share my meal with. Not when it’s just a snack. Just a breakfast with the kids on a home-school day. Until recently. You might have noticed that a lot of my recipes lately are beautiful, but incredibly simple and often breakfast/lunch related. That’s because I am working to fit soul-care into my daily tasks.
I spent many years using food as a means of control. Tracking, restricting, following plans and diets, and generally living in fear of food. I recently was listening to a podcast (The Lively Show, you should absolutely go and listen to it too!) and on it the host was talking about how we try so hard to not feel our feelings, but instead just change them. She gave a myriad of ways that we try to change them (working more, getting approval from others, trying to lose weight, ect.) and one of them was to eat. Using food to change an emotion we aren’t comfortable with feeling. I identified with that so whole heartedly! I have ignored feelings, or felt uncomfortable with feelings, and instead of pulling them out of my head and allowing myself to, non-judgmentally, love on those feelings and move forward, or just feel them, I did something to try and change them – as quickly as possible.
Feeling too sad? Try eating something while I watch a show. Too anxious? Maybe more coffee. Feeling disappointed? A treat!
Caveat! I don’t think that ’emotional eating’ is inherently wrong. And I have spent many a night, very much so owning my feelings right there WITH a bar of chocolate and a Netflix show. But the difference was how I felt about that action, myself, and my choices. Feeling good, or at least OK, about your choices is a big hard job. And we are the only ones who get to make those decisions for ourselves. So when I eat emotionally, I try to do so consciously, and fully embrace the experience!
Over the past two years as I’ve worked to really hard to overhaul my relationship with food, my body, and what body positivity actually looks like, I have found that food is an integral part of that. Making myself meals that taste amazing, fuel me, make me feel my best, and are beautiful has become an epic form of self-care and family-care for us.
And in that love of creating beautiful fuel for myself, I found the Water Color Smoothie.
Water Color Smoothie
1 cup kale
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup frozen cherries
1/4 frozen banana
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/4 frozen banana
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup orange juice
1 scoop vital proteins vanilla collagen
Mix each color of ingredients separately in your blender, blend until smooth. If you need more liquid, add water. Pour in green smoothie, pop cup into freezer while you blend up your next color. Spoon next color gently on top, and then put the cup back in the freezer while you blend up your final color. Spoon final color on top! To give it a more ombre/gradient and water color look just very gently stir around the edges till you’ve blended it as much as you like. My girlies like theirs more separated, like a little rainbow. But I prefer how it looks mixed. Any of these smoothie colors can be doubled to create a full size smoothie that pairs perfectly with nut butter, chia seeds, hemp hearts, and/or granola.
We have to eat. It’s a space that can be morphed from control and shame ridden, or necessity and habitual, into a really deeply healing form of self-care. It’s easy to feel like self-care is only found in the ways we see it culturally perpetuated; weekends away, bubble baths, ‘girls night out’, or expensive primping and shopping. I’ve found so much depth and freedom in caring for myself in a way that is vital to my well-being. I have to eat. Choosing to care, slow down, and appeal to my heart, senses, and the delight of my little kiddos, has been revolutionary in finding new ways to care for my heart and soul.