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self-care summer tips
Wellness
Published Saturday Aug 03, 2019 by Jordan McCrary

5 Ways to Make Self-Care Work for You

Beauty
Fitness
Meditation
Strength Training

Self-care is an activity or ritual that rejuvenates us on a mental, physical, or spiritual level. It is absolutely vital to thrive. Yet for so many of us, these healthy behaviors weren’t taught, and we end up learning them later in life. There are certain activities, like meditation and breathwork, that rewire our brains, decrease stress, and make us feel and look younger over time. However, any activity that helps us tap into the now and leave our worries and stressors behind can be deeply restorative, which is why self-care is different for everyone. So, here are a few tips to figure out what form of self-care works best for you.

Set an intention or self-care action plan.

When you write down your goals, it makes you more likely to follow through on them. Intentions are gentle reminders that, through repetition, will reprogram the subconscious mind and turn these activities into habits. Write them down, schedule them in your planner, or share them with a friend (or the internet). Having some outside accountability increases the likelihood of us following through with our intentions.

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Set an intention or self-care action plan.

When you write down your goals, it makes you more likely to follow through on them. Intentions are gentle reminders that, through repetition, will reprogram the subconscious mind and turn these activities into habits. Write them down, schedule them in your planner, or share them with a friend (or the internet). Having some outside accountability increases the likelihood of us following through with our intentions.

Get moving.

Exercise has so many benefits! It improves the amount of blood flow and oxygen to our muscles so we can be stronger and healthier and raises our self-esteem and confidence. Make sure you prioritize movement. I love HIIT and strength training because it boosts testosterone levels, which are vital for both men and women to be assertive and take action. If you’re looking for some workout classes in your area, download the MINDBODY app. They have over 3,000 businesses that list their schedule, and I’ve scored some amazing last-minute deals!

2
Get moving.

Exercise has so many benefits! It improves the amount of blood flow and oxygen to our muscles so we can be stronger and healthier and raises our self-esteem and confidence. Make sure you prioritize movement. I love HIIT and strength training because it boosts testosterone levels, which are vital for both men and women to be assertive and take action. If you’re looking for some workout classes in your area, download the MINDBODY app. They have over 3,000 businesses that list their schedule, and I’ve scored some amazing last-minute deals!

Incorporate breathwork and meditation. 

Breathing is such a primary function for our survival that we take its power for granted, and overlook how we can use it to regulate our health. When we’re angry, we take short, shallow breaths, but when we are calm and relaxed, we breathe from our diaphragm. When we’re feeling calm and centered, our ability to concentrate, solve problems, and deal with the outside world drastically increases. Try a meditation class. It can be a great way to introduce the practice into your life, especially if you’re unsure how to embark on meditation at home. There are so many meditation classes on the MINDBODY app that can help you.

3
Incorporate breathwork and meditation. 

Breathing is such a primary function for our survival that we take its power for granted, and overlook how we can use it to regulate our health. When we’re angry, we take short, shallow breaths, but when we are calm and relaxed, we breathe from our diaphragm. When we’re feeling calm and centered, our ability to concentrate, solve problems, and deal with the outside world drastically increases. Try a meditation class. It can be a great way to introduce the practice into your life, especially if you’re unsure how to embark on meditation at home. There are so many meditation classes on the MINDBODY app that can help you.

Make yourself a gut-healing meal.

There is no question that food is medicine, and that diet is the easiest way to influence our gut health. The gut is one of the most complex systems in the body consisting of living organisms, immune and nervous system cells, and hormonal glands. When there is an imbalance in our gut, it can trigger a wave of symptoms and health complications. An imbalanced, unhealthy gut can lead to low-grade systemic inflammation, which is one of the key drivers in chronic disease, acne, and hormone imbalance. Limit your intake of processed foods, gluten, sugar, and–in some cases–dairy. Up your intake of gut-healing foods like arugula, lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and miso.

4
Make yourself a gut-healing meal.

There is no question that food is medicine, and that diet is the easiest way to influence our gut health. The gut is one of the most complex systems in the body consisting of living organisms, immune and nervous system cells, and hormonal glands. When there is an imbalance in our gut, it can trigger a wave of symptoms and health complications. An imbalanced, unhealthy gut can lead to low-grade systemic inflammation, which is one of the key drivers in chronic disease, acne, and hormone imbalance. Limit your intake of processed foods, gluten, sugar, and–in some cases–dairy. Up your intake of gut-healing foods like arugula, lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and miso.

Stay ready; don’t get ready.

This principle has honestly changed my life for the better. Every opportunity that you step outside the house is a chance to meet someone that can change your life. So, instead of leaving the house looking like a bloated girl on her period, I make an effort to put on something that makes me feel confident in my skin. I keep up with my manicures, waxing, and skincare by going to the spa and booking the services through the MINDBODY app.

Self-care is all about creating opportunities to show up for yourself every day. Whether that be through 15 minutes of meditation, cooking a nourishing meal, or leaving the house looking your best, it is guaranteed to improve your self-esteem and confidence. It’s so important to make something that you will look forward to. So, set your intentions and then download the MINDBODY app so you can start putting your plan into action. When you look good and feel even better, you’ll never want to go a day without your self-care ritual.

5
Stay ready; don’t get ready.

This principle has honestly changed my life for the better. Every opportunity that you step outside the house is a chance to meet someone that can change your life. So, instead of leaving the house looking like a bloated girl on her period, I make an effort to put on something that makes me feel confident in my skin. I keep up with my manicures, waxing, and skincare by going to the spa and booking the services through the MINDBODY app.

Self-care is all about creating opportunities to show up for yourself every day. Whether that be through 15 minutes of meditation, cooking a nourishing meal, or leaving the house looking your best, it is guaranteed to improve your self-esteem and confidence. It’s so important to make something that you will look forward to. So, set your intentions and then download the MINDBODY app so you can start putting your plan into action. When you look good and feel even better, you’ll never want to go a day without your self-care ritual.

Jordan McCrary MINDBODY
Written by
Jordan McCrary
Lifestyle Blogger
About the author
A lover of all things natural hair, bottomless mimosa brunches, and wellness, Jordan McCrary moved to L.A. to attend UCLA; her dream school. There, she obtained her B.S. in Psychobiology then later her Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. In February 2012, she made the bold decision to cut off all of her processed hair to reveal her natural curl texture. Documenting her quest to find the right hair products, she discovered a newfound desire to be a healthier version of herself. To her surprise, there were many women out there on the same exact journey. Now, she hopes to help women of color embrace their natural selves.
intuitive eating tips
Wellness
Published Tuesday Oct 22, 2019 by Connie Weissmuller

5 Things You Might Not Know About Intuitive Eating

Nutrition
Food
Expert Advice

Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that has nothing to do with diets, “lifestyle changes,” cleanses, or anything of the sort. It is a powerful way of giving trust and peace back to your body and mind, likely after a time of giving that trust up to external means of control such as using apps to count calories and steps, or intentionally trying to manipulate your body size. 

Intuitive eating, in its truest sense, is supportive of one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. However, as diet and wellness culture have co-opted the term, there has been some misinformation that actually isn’t in line with intuitive eating at all. As a Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert, I’m here to hopefully clear up some blurry lines and share with you some ways to get accurate information about intuitive eating.

If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

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If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

3
It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

4
It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

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It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

Connie Weissmuller MINDBODY
Written by
Connie Weissmuller
Registered Dietitian
About the author
A registered dietitian who loves helping people achieve food and body freedom, Connie specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, intuitive eating, and body image from a Health At Every Size lens. Working with clients to overcome food and body struggles, she is all about giving you the tools you need to find what healthy means to you.