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Food As Self-Care

Wendy J

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Today I have the amazing Katie Kahvo as a guest blogger and I couldn't be more excited! As a Holistic Nutritionist and someone who struggled with fertility, Katie believes strongly in the connection between health, food and fertility. She currently helps women all around the world, educating them on the how they can feel empowered to optimize their fertility.  Katie currently offers online courses to help women better understand the importance of nutrition for fertility, meal planning services, and runs the wonderful Fertile Beginnings community. See what she has to say for food as self-care which I whole-heartedly believe in below. 

When I first think of food for self-care my mind immediately shifts to big bowls of popcorn, grilled cheese sandwiches, cupcakes and other forms of food people seem to find comfort in.  But let’s think about that a little more. Are these foods really bringing us pleasure? Or are we left craving more after that first bite with likely no end to it.

Let’s be real, if someone offered you another cupcake and you could get over the guilt of it, you’d take it! Just because you indulged in one doesn’t mean your craving has disappeared. Maybe it is actually the activity surrounding the food that is really our self-care (ie kicking back to watch a movie or spending time with friends) Are these foods really showing love and care for our body?  Probably not.

So how do we use food as self care? How do we show our bodies love through food?

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Let’s go back to the basics for a moment. Often my clients and women I speak with get so wrapped up in the latest dieting trend that they forget about what actually fuels our body. What our body actually needs. Macronutrients and micronutrients.  Confused by these terms? Don’t be. Macronutrients = carbs, proteins and fats. Micronutrients = vitamins and minerals.  These are the basic fundamentals of what makes our bodies function. Giving our bodies these basic, life essential nutrients is what is going to help us to function optimally.  We are always making things far more complicated than it needs to be.  So let’s take a deep breath (yup go ahead and do it!) and a mental step back from all the confusing nutritional lingo and terms out there.

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I work in the field of nutrition and fertility so we are often talking about what our bodies need to create a new life and to function optimally.  This isn’t something to take lightly, however it doesn’t need to be complicated.  What should we be eating you ask?

  1. Carbs - vegetables and fruits are carbs. Does it come from the ground? Yes? Then you are likely on the right track! Does it have an ingredients list? No? Then you are on the right track.  Could it be considered an ingredient? Yes, then you are likely on the right track.  
    Put back the pre-made, packaged, processed crap and go back to the basics.  What can you grow right in your own yard or even in your front window? You might be surprised how much better things taste when you grow it yourself :)  These foods are so nutrient dense that you are likely to notice a difference sooner than later by incorporating more.

  2. Proteins - the literal building blocks of life. This is what our DNA is made up of.  Finding proteins that are simple such as chickpeas, beans, lentils is great and delicious!  When it comes to meats, it can get a little more complicated as depending on where you live some meats are injected with extra hormones and chemicals that we just don’t need. Get to know your farmers, ask them what their practices are.  Look for free range options (meaning that the animal gets to see and enjoy the great outdoors, enriching their bodies with more nutrients - ie. vitamin D and omega 3’s) The more natural and healthy the animal, the better it is for you.

  3. Fats - fats tend to have a bad wrap. There is a lot of confusing and misleading information out there but the fact is, they are one of our three macronutrients making it an essential need for our body.  Staying away from the very processed, fried, trans fats is an important step for our health. However looking to healthy fat options that can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado, etc is where you are going to find the healthy, super nourishing, good for your brain, skin, and hormones fat.

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If you are enjoying these three main categories and following these tips, you won’t have to worry about counting calories. You will be nourishing your body with loads of amazing vitamins and minerals that your body will thank you for and you will be feeling better than ever before.

 

We have distanced ourselves so much from these simple foods that often we aren’t sure what to do with them.  We have lost the skill of cooking. Lucky for us we’ve gained the tool of Google!  Google has loads of recipes and ideas to get you started. Pinterest also is a huge resource of delicious, healthful recipes that can help you along the way.  Totally not sure? That’s ok, I have a free Hormone Balancing Meal Plan you can check out right here to get you started.

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Use food to be kind and gentle to your body.  Give it the tools to function optimally so that you can start feeling your best, physically and mentally.