Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Welcome to my community! Thanks for stopping by and kicking the tires with me.
For me, 2022 is the year of radical self-care. A year to cook and eat and heal and do it with no shame, to live with joy and self-compassion. Like our favorite mustachioed soccer coach, Ted Lasso, I am cutting myself some slack, but not with scissors, for me it's a spatula. How much more delicious and nurturing would every bite be if it wasn't served up with a heaping side of shame and guilt?!
Before covid, I was the healthiest I’d been in many years but covid traumatized the world and I took that on as well. Maybe you can relate? Recently, I found myself at an all-time low, physically. Unfortunately, I don’t mean low weight, quite the opposite. Two years of Covid brought not only the bespoke 19 pounds but an additional 30 on top, plus high cholesterol, low energy, and an extreme aversion to my treadmill to boot, no pun intended. And it hasn’t been just me. I can’t tell you the number of calls I’ve received from friends with cancer, heart issues, mental health challenges, significant weight gain and other life-threatening ailments. So as this year closes, I am more determined than ever to reclaim my health, to transform and to help others do the same.
What makes this year different? Now, for the first time I’m putting it out there, making myself accountable, creating a community of health and caring, rather than just something I scribble on a sticky note, put on my fridge along with a quippy motivational mantra, then crumple it up at the first sign of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, throwing it in the trash along with my well-intended resolutions.
What is radical self-care to me? As I learned from studying with mindfulness experts Shelly Tygielski, Justin Michael WIlliams and Shelley Paxton, it’s not bath bombs and retail therapy, it is not self-ish, and it is the most important thing you can do for yourself. It is, unfortunately, something I have never done before, nor a concept that I grew up with. It was not in the water I swam nor the air I breathed. It wasn’t taught to me, never modeled, and it was everyone else and their dog first, at my own expense. Don’t rock the boat. Burnout? You just need to work harder and lean innnnnn (thanks Sheryl…), and we all know how that turns out.
Much like on an airplane, we put on our oxygen mask first before helping others. I need to do the same in life. Is skipping exercise to work late self-care? Is having a pint of ice cream in an anxious moment self-care? Is forgoing meditation and a healthy morning meal to driving through a fast food stand for a breakfast burrito because you’re running late self-care?? No, no and no.
I felt like that pink bird as I staggered back from the scale the day after Thanksgiving. I know that’s without doubt the worst day to weigh oneself, but I had to know to put that stake in the ground. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, yo-yoing, counting points, giving up carbs, avoiding fats, and peeing on a stick.
Well, no more peeing on sticks. No more shame. No more guilt. I’m not aiming for a pound number or a dress size, just great overall heath. Exercise and play, cook and eat healthy food, meditate, walk, get in a routine. Sounds easy enough. Right? Nope. Hard as hell, at least for me. I love food! Love making it, love eating it, thinking about it, writing about it, talking about it. And when I get hungry or hangry or anxious, watch out, because it will take an act of God to stop me from inhaling half my fridge.
It’s not so much about fitting into my skinny jeans from 1997 (yes I still have them!), it’s more about having energy, about being able to do the things I want to do. To ski again without getting winded two turns off the chair lift, wearing the other half of my wardrobe, not having to squeeze into the coach airplane seat, going to the beach and not worrying about what I look like, or just walking up a hill without my lungs exploding. Overall health! Radical self care!
A recent revelation that came to me is that I have no idea what my body looks like in a normal state, no idea how nature made me. I’ve been on a wacky diet or crazy health fad my entire life, even when I was thin and didn't need to be on one. So what would I look like if I just consistently ate healthy food, exercised, meditated, walked, played? I honestly have no idea!
I know what it doesn’t look like. It doesn’t look like gnawing on a loaf of Acme bread justifying it with “one bite won’t hurt”. And it doesn’t look like blowing off exercise with “I’ll start tomorrow” or “One day won’t matter”. As of today, EVERY DAY MATTERS! There aren’t that many days left and they catapult by at increasingly startling speeds.
So, let’s do this together! We (read: I) need to take our health into our own hands and not rely on pills, points or peeing on sticks. We need to rely on ourselves and our community of caring, being our own fiercest advocate.
January 1, 2022, I am launching The Power Kitchen with a community of 10-20 people committed to overall health and radical self-care. Every Saturday morning for 9 weeks, I will lead cook-along cooking classes on how to cook healthy delicious food by teaching techniques. It opens the flood gates of your culinary repertoire as you will be able to cook just about anything and make it fast, healthy and delicious.
But wait, there’s more :) World-renowned medical doctors focused on plant-based lifestyle medicine, fitness experts and mindfulness leaders changing the world, will share information on what to cook to heal from and prevent ailments such as High Cholesterol (me!), Diabetes, Inflammation, Cancer, Mental Health, Gut Health/IBS/Crohn's, Heart Disease, Brain Health/Dementia/ADHD, and Osteoporosis. We will graciously and kindly encourage ourselves and each other as we journey toward this goal together in community, a community of caring committed to everyone’s transformation. I'll check in daily during the week to share tips and tricks, healthy delicious dishes, research, and other learnings.
I’ll do everything imaginable to make this crazy journey more fun for all of us. FUN! Yes, getting healthy can actually be fun. So sign up, grab your whisks, tie on your aprons! Let’s get cooking and learning and healing and thriving! CLICK HERE to join the Radical Self Care Revolution!