Happy New Year y’all!
I hope your 2016 is getting off to a better start than mine. Last week I rolled over my foot and pretty much haven’t been able to put weight on it since.
You ever tried getting around on one foot before? Total bummer. I’m waiting on a follow up appointment with the doc to try and get something to help support my foot while it recovers. In the meantime, lots of ‘resting’ & ice. As if January wasn’t hard enough with the use of both legs. Le sigh! Well, at least I have a solid excuse to crack open my grown up colouring books I got for Christmas (not even joking). Anyway, probably not going to get any recipes up for a while.
So yeah, I guess a lot of you are in New Year, New You mode and that’s cool. I think it’s great that people want to take positive steps to improve themselves/their health. But taking a cue outta Dr. Latimer’s book I encourage you to take it slow. Changing behaviours and adopting new habits is not a linear process. And it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. When we put too much pressure on ourselves to be rigidly perfect, and measure our self worth entirely in terms of productivity and tangible accomplishments, (job/salary, educational attainment, owning shit) we end up making life way more stressful than it has to be. This phenomenon is called Superwoman Syndrome. And it’s this sense that we have to get up every morning and eat a perfectly nutritionally balanced breakfast dripping with superfoods and trendy hashtags in an adorably instagrammable bowl, then catch up with the news, listen to some topical podcasts on the way to work, fit in a power workout in your lunchbreak, make plans to see whatever cultural events are taking place near you, book a table at the cool new restaurant with your friends, approach dating apps with the same high level commitment, dedication, and organisation that you apply to finding a new job, and then read four chapters of the latest New York Times bestseller and catch up on the shows that everyone’s talking about before your bedtime meditation.
It’s not that any of these things are bad. They’re all great things to fill your time with. The problem is when we put so much pressure on ourselves to do them 100% perfect, 100% of the time. This can even be perceived pressure from others (parents/partner/friends/boss). The problem is twofold: 1) that the joy is taken out of these things 2) Trying to ‘live up’ makes us hella stressed 3) they can leave us with a sense of guilt.
If I see one more pseudoinspirational ‘be the best version of you’ #qotd on Instagram I will Lose. My. Shit.
Because what happens if you have a bad night’s sleep, or you get sick (hello messed up foot), or you have a big project at work, or you just need a f**cking day off and have a Netflix binge and a nap? Or you simply can’t fit all that shit into one day (you’re a human person, not superwoman), it can lead to feelings of guilt or inadequacy. This can lead to stress, depression, disordered eating, and all kinds of stuff you don’t need. This article has some great tips on how to identify and overcome SS. I encourage you to give yourself permission to just be. Whether that’s going for a walk outside (nature is maybe too much of a stretch if you’re in London), or having a hot bath. Just spend some time alone, being present with yourself. Reflect on the day just gone, and visualise what the next day looks like. If thoughts are swimming around, write them down in a notebook. Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or the need to be ‘perfect’ or to please everyone, this is the time to be kind to yourself and give yourself the permission to say no to things. Your friends will not disown you if you miss one dinner, you will not get fat if you skip that one workout, you will not become a social recluse if you skip that party.
As LL says, growth happens when you move out of your comfort zone. For superwomen (and dudes) who feel compelled to always be doing *something*, that might mean staying home, closing your laptop, and just chilling the f*ck out. Think about all the good shit you have around you: people you love who make you laugh and listen to you, kitten/puppy snuggles, a pretty plant or bunch of flowers, even sunshine if you’re lucky enough to see that shit. There’s lots of good stuff around you, you just gotta take the time to recognise. Doing that will help you reassess if you really enjoy/need to fill your time with other stuff, or if there’s maybe some space in there to make time for yourself.
So, with that in mind, my sorta mantra for 2016 is New Year, Do You. Be kind to yourself, don’t set unrealistic, rigid goals, and don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself, do not double tap on those BS #qotd pics that make people feel bad for not being 100% on & 100% perfect, and don’t even worry about it if your dinner isn’t instagram worthy (it still needs to have something fresh and green in there, not gonna let you off that easily). It’s not a New Year Resolution, it’s a New Year Revolution!
As I sit here, with my leg out of action, getting frustrated about not being able to workout, or tidy my office, or post a new recipe to the blog, I’ll try and practice taking the pressure off myself a bit and maybe I’ll take a bath instead.
With that in mind, take a look at my latest piece for Huffington Post. I wrote about why juice cleanses are BS, and why, if you need help meeting your nutrition/health/wellness goals in 2016 , work with someone who can help you set realistic goals AND help you achieve them, someone who will advocate for you and not just line their pockets.
And, if you can’t work with someone 1-1, then why not come to my Next Level Nutrition workshop in Feb?
My buds at Raw Press are having me over to clear up all that weird nutrition stuff that confuses everyone! Ever wonder what the deal is with juicing vs. blending? Do I really need to soak my beans and sprout my nuts? What’s it actually doing anyway? Which foods should I eat raw and which are better cooked?
I get it, it’s a confusing world out there! This Next Level Nutrition workshop gets a little sciency (without getting too sciency) to help you figure out what’s worth the extra effort, and what’s bogus!
The healthiest ways to prep & cook your food
Juicing Vs. Blending – and when to do what!
Sprouting & Soaking – what’s the deal?
Raw & Cooked – does cooking destroy ALL THE NUTRITION???
Everyday ‘superfoods’ – that don’t cost a million bucks!
And a bunch of other nerdy nutrition stuff!
Join me at RP’s great little Dover Street cafe and we can nerd…I mean hang out together over a green juice – don’t worry, they don’t do ‘cleanses’ & they have delicious food too!
Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/next-level-nutrition-tickets-20453705584
Hope to catch you there!
Be cool guys,