What are some of your top self-care practices? For me there’s such an important correlation between the way I feel and the self care practices that I’ve implemented in my life. Some of those involve taking time to disconnect and recharge, some involve working out and many of them, involve the foods my family and I eat at home, as well as the products we choose (from supplements to toiletries).
I have always been interested in the way we contribute to our own well- being. My Dad is a Doctor who combines traditional medicine with alternative medicine. He’s been practicing meditation for over 40 years, eats a vegetarian diet and exercises everyday. He taught me the value of healthy living, taking the time to put practices in place that make an impact in the way we feel. Later on, I moved to Montreal to attend university and study Nutrition and Dietetics and that’s where my passion for health grew even more.
Over the years, I’ve included these healthy living choices in my life and today, partnering with Secret Deodorant, I wanted to share them with you, so let’s get started!
Food and Nutrition
To this day, my father says that we are what we eat. For years, I’ve followed a mostly vegetarian diet that occasionally includes fish. Gaby is strictly vegetarian, while Isabella and Warren do eat meat. You see, there’s not a right or wrong way to eat but I do believe in avoiding highly- processed foods, eating tons of fruits and vegetables, complex carbs (such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa) and a bit of protein if you choose so. Contrary to what many people think, protein is found in a variety of legumes, on quinoa and dairy.
In my kitchen
Chia seeds and hemp hearts: Both are rich in fibre, omega 3s and healthy fatty acids, plus chia seeds provide iron and calcium, while hemp hearts are a great source of antioxidants, plant-based protein and ,magnesium.
Avocados: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t eat at least half an avocado. My favourite source of vitamin E, is not only a great on toast, but on salads and even blended into dressings.
Skyr: A delicious Icelandic yogurt that has the consistency of Greek Yogurt but milder in flavour. Skyr has an impressive 19 grams of protein per serving, plus it’s packed with calcium and B-12.
Berries: High in antioxidants, fibre and vitamin C. I add berries to anything from smoothies, chia puddings, pancakes and salads. During the summer months no trip to the farmer market is complete without a few baskets of local berries.
Fruits and vegetables: Ok, so this is where you want to pick your battles. If you can’t buy organic all the time (and I get it because it’s incredibly pricey). Choose organic when buying any of the ones categorized under the dirty dozen (Kale, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, celery, nectarines , apples, grapes, peaches, cherries and pears) I also add broccoli and cauliflower to that list, to avoid ingesting harmful pesticides.
A salad everyday: I grew up in Dominican Republic where at least one meal, lunch or dinner, has to have a salad. Hearty salads are always present on our dinner table, especially those packed with leafy greens such as arugula and baby spinach. I love topping them with anything from berries, nuts and feta to avocado, roasted vegetable or a couple of tablespoons of faro for extra fibre.
Turmeric: Probably one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence. It’s high in antioxidants, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, helps improve brain function, lowers the risk of heart disease and might be useful to prevent Alzheimer’s. I like to add turmeric to lattes, smoothies, stir -fries and soups. It has a wonderful aroma, incredible flavour and so many health benefits!
MCT oil and collagen peptides: For months, I’ve been adding MCT oil and collagen to my coffee every morning. The oil is an instant source of energy and helps increase endurance (so needed for my workouts!) contains powerful fatty acids and helps lower cholesterol. Collagen on the other hand, aids in digestion and it’s key for bone, skin and hair health.
Supplements for self care
I’ve been taking omega 3-6-9 for years because of its countless benefits. Omegas promote brain and eye health, can fight inflammation and improve bone and joint health. As an avid runner, this is key fore me.
Magnesium: I take 500 mg everyday, because not only is magnesium and essential mineral that aids with calcium absorption, but it’s also essential for bone and heart health. A great benefit as well is the fact that it helps to reduce the pain of headaches and migraines.
Ashwaganda: This incredibly healthy medicinal herb is classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help our bodies manage stress, reduce cortisol and help with anxiety symptoms. As a mom with 2 jobs, who is often in different time zones, deadlines and a to-do list that never ends, Ashwaganda has greatly helped me with stress- management. One tablet a day before my morning coffee, is how I start my daily self care routine.
Self care when it comes to food
So what does my day looks like in terms of food?
Breakfast: Would be either a chia pudding, a protein shake, eggs with a sprouted grain toast and avocado or steel cut oatmeal and berries. Oh, and smoothie bowls in the summer months!
Lunch: A bowl with quinoa, tofu (or fish) vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, a few nuts and a bit of feta or halloumi. In the winter time it could also be a hearty soup, or a hearty frittata.
Dinner: A big salad with roasted salmon, or any other fish, sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables.
Snacks: Is usually have an apple with almond butter and hemp hearts, or Skyr with a handful of berries.
Toiletries +house products
For the past several years I’ve become very aware of the impact some products can have on our health. So I’ve been choosing health conscious products more often. And this goes from house cleaning products, to skincare, and toiletries. A few months ago, I switched from the antiperspirant I had been using for years to Secret Aluminium-Free deodorant. Not only it’s free of aluminum, but free of parabens and dyes as well. But why is aluminum-free important when it comes to a deodorant? I believe the fewer things that go into the products we use, the better for you they are.
Because Secret Aluminum-Free Deodorant is a deodorant and not an anti-perspirant, you might sweat, but I feel this is important for skin health and unclogging pores. I have sensitive skin and I love how gentle it is.
Another huge plus of this deodorant? it doesn’t stain your clothes. How many times have you put a black top or dress after using a regular deodorant, to realize that there are white streaks all over your dress? I can happily report that that’s not the case with Secret. It glides smoothly, clear and leaves no residue on clothing plus it smells AMAZING! Especially its fresh and floral, Rosewater scent. It also gives me long- lasting odour protection all day long.
What we put in our bodies matters equally as what we put onto our bodies, and this is something I’ve passed to my girls. We have many talks about health and what works for each of us, and since we have been using Secret Aluminum -Free Deodorant for a while, we feel great knowing that we are using a deodorant that not only keep us smelling fresh all day, but that’s also free form unnecessary additives.
Exercise and mindfulness. My #1 way of self care
One of the best things I started doing early in life was to start working out. Without a doubt it has been one of my top self care practices. It became a daily habit that not only is good for my body, but for my mind as well. So my advice to you, is to wherever you are, start. For me, that means a combination of CrossFit, running and Hot Yoga. But anything that works for you is the way to go. Be consistent and you will se great results in your health and in your mood as well.
Hot yoga particularly, has been truly life changing. A full hour of Vinyasa flow done in room where the temperature can range from 38C to 42C. What’s wonderful about this mindful practice is that for that hour you feel grounded, and utterly present. So even after a full day of work, or coming in from an overseas flight, my yoga practice brings me the most peaceful feeling.
Meditation and social media rest
There are so many studies that talk about the way that meditation rewires the brain. The kind of meditation I practice (transcendental meditation or TM) helps with feeling more focused, calmed, relaxed and present. For me, it’s a work in process as it requires undivided attention for at least 15 minutes every morning and night. Somedays making time for it can be challenging, but the benefits are unparalleled, so I’ve been more consistent with it. Lately, before I reach for my phone, I first meditate to start my day feeling more centred.
As for social media breaks, they are more necessary than ever and essential for mental health. Life is about spending time doing things that have a positive impact on our health, like spending time with ones we love without constantly reaching for our phone. Reading, taking a class or enjoying nature are some great ways to be more present as well. So what about you? what are some of your top self care practices and healthy living musts? I would love to know so let me know in the comment section below!
This post was made in collaboration with Secret Aluminum-Free deodorant however views and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my blog!