By Jamie Huysman, PsyD, LCSW
It’s National Nutrition Month! What and how we eat have a lot to do with our health and wellbeing.
Common sense tells us that if we don’t weed, feed and water a garden, it will die. It reminds us that if we don’t put gas in the car, change the oil and filters, maintain good battery life, and make sure the tire pressure is right, we could get stranded on the side of the road.
We know that the diets of our loved ones with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart and kidney problems, food allergies, etc., need, and get, special attention because we make sure of that every day.
So why is it that our common sense goes out the window when it comes to taking care of ourselves? Grabbing a Red Bull and a bagel, or a Pop Tart and coffee, is not nutrition. A steady diet of pizza, mac ‘n cheese and Kentucky Fried Chicken will not provide us with all the nutrients we need to be able to function at an optimum level.
Many of us have dietary needs and issues, too. We need the right fuel, water, and fresh air to keep going as much, if not more than, those for whom we care.
Be honest — when was the last time you really sat down and took the time to enjoy a meal?
‘Breaking bread’ is one of the special things we do with our friends and families. We should make it a special thing we do for ourselves, too. Even if only for a half an hour, it’s still downtime and should be relished.
Although many families do not have the luxury of gathering around the dinner table to talk about their day and spend quality time with each other, there is still something to be said for sharing a meal and being aware of what, and how, you eat.
Please consider the following when you’re planning, preparing, or eating your next meal:
» Don’t just grab something to put in your stomach
» CHEW your food
» TASTE the food
» Include fresh fruits and vegetables
» Snack wisely!
Eating well is an important part of any self-care plan, so Take Your Oxygen, Air, Food, and Water First! You’re worth it.
Dr. Jamie is a popular keynote speaker, media expert, and author. He co-authored the acclaimed “Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health & Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss.” Dr. Huysman writes for Caregiver SOS, Connections, JoanLunden.com, Huddol.com, and blogs on PsychologyToday.com.
Sign up for our monthly caregiver newsletter, Signals, or other news from the WellMed Charitable Foundation