Now that Valentine’s Day is over, it doesn’t mean it’s time to stop thinking about love. I’m not talking about romantic love, I’m talking about self-love.

There are so many aspects to self-love and self-care that we talk about with clients, such as mindful movement, meditation, taking a soothing bath, reading a book you enjoy, etc. And these are extremely important in regulating troubling emotions and stress in everyday life. Today I want to focus on a very basic tenet of self-love: adequately nourishing yourself. “Nourishment” is used in many ways—nourishing your mind or your spirit. However, these come secondary to being adequately fed- literally physically nourishing yourself with food.

Your body needs energy in order to keep your body functioning at its most basic level- to keep your heart pumping blood, your lungs breathing, your legs carrying you where you need to go. Without nutrition, you couldn’t do any of these things. Staying properly fed is one of the most basic aspects of respect you can show for your body.

I get it, everyone is busy. Between work, school, taking care of your family, household chores, making time for friends and more, it can be difficult to find time to make sure you have balanced meals and snacks. You might find yourself skipping breakfast or getting something from a vending machine instead of a proper meal when you are on the go.

A few tips:

1.)   Be prepared: A little prep can go a long way! That can mean buying or prepping easy to grab items for the week. You can chop veggies and fruit and put them in to-go sized containers, or purchase easy snacks such as string cheese, nuts, jerky sticks, or individual nut butter packs.

2.)   Plan ahead: Take a few minutes before grocery shopping to plan some meals for the week to make dinner-time decisions a breeze.

3.)   Think: what can I add? Sometimes we aren’t in the mood for carrots and hummus and you want that cookie instead. I’m all for that! However, I always remind myself, what can I add to this to make it a more nourishing and balanced snack or meal? That could mean adding a piece of fruit with that cookie. This will allow you to enjoy it, but also sustain you for longer.

Final Thoughts

Nourishing yourself requires effort, but treating your body with respect is an essential piece of self-love. When you are properly nourished, it not only benefits you, it also gives you the ability to properly show up for others.


About the author: Suzanne Appel Duffy, MS, RDN, is a Registered Dietitian and the newest clinician at Integrating Nutrition, Inc. She received her Master of Science in Nutrition Education from Columbia University. She practices an all foods fit and weight inclusive methodology and is passionate about helping others heal their relationship with food as well as achieve their nutrition goals in a practical, stress-free way.