#63: Healthy Holiday Self-Care: How Prioritizing “I” Can Mean Less Pie! A re-broadcast with Jamie Mendell

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I wanted to bring this year-old episode back to life… give it a new opportunity to hit your ears and sink into your head and heart because it contains incredibly valuable little golden nuggets for navigating the holidays with your sanity and jean buttons in tact. This is a chat with Jamie Mendell, who is a self-care lifestyle coach that’s in love with showing people how to lovingly care for themselves. After struggling with her own food problems for 10+ years, Jamie Mandell had a mind-blowing and binge stopping and weight-dropping revelation….that it wasn’t actually a food problem or a need-more-willpower struggle that she had, but rather: a self-care deficiency. Which is a term that I officially coined. I loved talking to Jamie about how we can slip more self-care into the holiday shuffle because if ever is a time that we have food struggles, it’s during the holidays. And thus, if ever is a time to hear this episode, it’s now.


This episode is sponsored by a crucial healthy holiday item of mine: Daily Harvest’s frozen plant-epicness!
I am admittedly newly obsessed with Daily Harvest and their smoothies and chia puddings. In fact, as I was recording this episode from my folks’ home in CT, I was actually sipping on a daily harvest mint & cacao green smoothie with banana, spinach, cacao nibs, raw cashews, peppermint, chlorella and vanilla bean that all I had to do was pull out of my parent’s overstuffed freezer, add water and blend. Think My folks would’ve had banana, spinach, cacao nibs, raw cashews, peppermint, chlorella and vanilla beans sitting around waiting for me to assemble into a superfood smoothie? I’m gonna have to go with no. Hence daily harvest saving my day….ly.
(photo from @dailyharvest’s instagram)
If you want to see if Daily Harvest’s stuff can save some of your holiday days, you can get THREE FREE SMOOTHIES (that’s like one for christmas eve, christmas day and the day AFTER christmas day!) when you use code PARTYINMYPLANTS at checkout on their site here!!!!

Before the notes notes, I did mention these two fabulous plant-party holiday recipes:

1.) My award-winning teff pumpkin chocolate chip cakey cookies!

2.) My can’t-make-enough crock pot mulled wine!

[I’m always too busy drinking it to photograph it!!]


SO, WHAT IS SELF CARE? JAMIE LIKES TO LOOK AT IT IN FOUR COMPONENTS:

  1. Mental self care – all about dealing with the thoughts and beliefs and stories in our heads and our inner critic
  2. Emotional self care – how we nurture, understand and take care of our own emotions and hard feelings
  3. Physical self care – how we feed and move ourselves and treat our bodies with love and care.
  4. Soulful self care – allowing ourselves to move out of the “should’s” in our lives and go after what we really want in our own individual souls, not our outer world’s “should’s”

Did you know a self care deficiency can wreck havoc in our eating habits?!?

If we’re not filling ourselves up from the inside first, we’ll fill ourselves up with outside foods. Eek!!!

“we take care of the things we love; if we’re not friends with our body, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that you’d expect yourself to want to workout in a way that feels good or want to give your body food that nourishes it!”

HERE ARE SOME GOOD SELF-CARE STARTING PLACES:

  1. for mental self care – realizing that our thoughts? Those guys aren’t necessarily REAL. In fact, many of them are bullshit! Just because you have a thought, doesn’t mean it’s legit; it could be coming from fear or inner critic rather than reality! If you look in the mirror and think you have to lose 10 lbs to find a perfect relationship partner, that shiz ain’t true! So starting to up your mental self-care game is starting to notice all these BS thoughts that we have that ain’t true!
  2. for emotional self care – start to allow yourself to feel all your thoughts! one exercise is: at the end of the day, give yourself like 5 minutes to feel your feelings. Just check in with yourself while you’re lying in bed: what feelings do I need to digest from the day? <— This way, you’re feeling your feelings day to day rather than letting them pile up like dirty laundry! This helps prevent you from lashing out, exploding or binge eating! Oh, and just because you feel something, doesn’t mean you have to change your whole life! Just like you sometimes get indigestion and you just breathe through it and it moves on, you can feel pissed at someone or bored with your life, breather through those feelings and move on. No need to uproot everything just because you have a feeling.
  3. for physical self care – 1st, establishing a friendship with your body! So you actually like it! And then from there, you’ll want to work out in ways that feel great and find a balance with food so it feels good all the time. WE TAKE CARE OF THE THINGS WE LOVE.
  4. for soulful self care – start to identify the “should’s” that you’re using to dictate your life. And start to daydream about what you really want – write out your ideal DAY, WEEKEND, MONTH…like, exactly that’ll help you take a peek into your soul and start moving your life closer to what you actually want it to look like.

OK, SO WHAT ABOUT SELF-CARE TIPS SPECIFICALLY FOR HELPING US AROUND THE HOLIDAYS?!

  1. Coming back into ourselves is first and foremost; it’ll help us reconnect with our own energy and it’s through that that we’re really going to be able to hone it on what we truly need in these high intensity moments of the holidays.

“I AM important. And I’m going to take a few moments for myself, before my family and friends and all the chaos around me.”

Starting the day checking in with yourself and valuing yourself makes you more likely to check in with yourself as the day goes on and really take care of your needs throughout the holiday.

2. If you’re worried about judging your body and noticing physical changes like weight gain or a bad supercuts, DON’T! People are attracted to your VIBE!!

I’ll say that again (well, Jamie originally said it): “PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO YOUR VIBE! They’re not going to care about the weight that you might’ve gained or how you look, they’re going to care about the energy you’re bringing to the room.”

Oh, and how to you bring good energy? —> BY LETTING IT GO, YO! By being at peace with ourselves.

If you’ve gained a little weight, you can work on losing it – AFTER the holiday celebration. Worrying about it now ain’t gonna make the pants shrink so LET. IT. GO. People honestly don’t care, they just want to be around a happy person. So be that happy person.

“You get to decide if you get to be confident today or not. It has nothing to do with how much weight you’ve lost, what size your pants are today. We give ourselves permission to be confident or not. ”

3. Physical activity is great on a holiday! For a few reasons:

  • It gets us back into to our body; really connected to it.
    uh, there’s a lotta food around the holidays.
  • We’re all gonna eat more than normally; your body’s gonna take one for the team so moving it is giving a gift back to your body.
  • It helps us blow off some steam! And I’m sure you have steam! Whether that’s anxiousness, excitement, nervousness, whatever, exercising in the AM will help you blow it off a little so you can be more grounded throughout the day.

So what are some great types of physical activity? I’d suggest: NOT HEAVY LIFTING! I’ve done some crossfit-ty type workouts on a holiday and it only made me eat even MORE! So a run would be great, or even a long walk with the fam and the pups is a great idea.

4. Make non-food pleasure a priority. Fill your pleasure bucket with non-food pleasures throughout the day so the desserts aren’t the ONLY source of your pleasure, they’re just A source of pleasure.

Try to take the focus out of the food, more onto the family and friends. If you make a conversation with your aunt so pleasurable you’re going to care less about the pie! Just saying…

5. Take little pockets of time for yourself. Even if that means popping into the bathroom and breathing for a few minutes (which I’ve definitely done myself), this can help you stay calmER amid all the family drama, etc. that always occurs on holidays.

There’s such frantic energy around the holidays that if we don’t stop and smell the roses, or smell the pumpkins, or smell the hanukkah candles?, we’re going to miss it, eat without thinking, and feeling totally awful.

Jamie’s favorite plant-party restaurant: Candle CafeAngelica Kitchen & Butchers Daughter – all where she loves to get veggie bowls galore!

Jamie’s favorite plant: CUCUMBER!

Her favorite way to eat it: when she’s not eating it like a banana, she chops it up and dips it in some dips like hummus

A book that’s really improved Jamie’s life: Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristin Neff

Find more Jamie:

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