The beginning of a new month is the perfect time to take stock of all you’ve accomplished with your healing diet.
That’s why we at Strength at Food are celebrating self-love during the month of February. Just by embarking on the AIP, you’re showing your body some serious affection!
If you’re even one week into the AIP, let’s review all you’ve accomplished already. You’ve:
- Removed some of your favorite foods from your diet in favor of nutrient-dense alternatives.
- Spent hours (already!) preparing healthy meals in your kitchen
- Learned how to read labels and call out sneaky ingredients (see Sneaky Grocery Store Ingredients That Aren’t AIP for more)
- Eaten so, so many more vegetables
That’s just a start!
Even if you think you’ve slipped up, even if you’re not yet seeing benefits, and even if you feel like a failure. While February can feel like it’s all about pastel hearts and candy you can’t eat, we want to encourage you to think about it differently.
February is a fabulous time to pay attention to the parts of the AIP we often forget—the parts that feel like “treatin’ yourself” but are really just about taking good care of your body.
In this post, we’ll talk about three easy ways you can show yourself some love while on the AIP.
1. Try Meditation
There’s a reason meditation is the buzziest wellness practice of the last 10 years. It’s low-risk, accessible anywhere, and studies indicate it’s beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of physical and psychological conditions.
Think of it this way: meditation is akin to giving yourself the gift of 5, 10, or 15 minutes of calm. So, how do you do it? Our favorite tools are accessible right on your phone!
The apps Calm and Headspace provide both free and relatively inexpensive access to tools for learning meditation. They make it simple to build a routine with plans and reminders, and perhaps best of all, give you options for the amount of time you’d like to dedicate to your practice.
We also love that meditation may actually help you build a healing routine because healthy habits tend to build on one another.
Perhaps you’ll like meditating for 5 minutes, and want to extend it to 10. Perhaps you’ll add a short morning stretch session after your meditation. Maybe you’ll create a ritual around an evening cup of ginger tea and meditate before falling asleep.
By proving that you do have a few minutes for yourself, meditation provides far-reaching benefits. Try showing yourself a little self-love with this tool!
2. Address Your Sleep
Are you sleeping well?
Though good sleep is technically a pillar of the AIP, it’s an easy one to forget, especially as you put more time into planning and preparing your meals at home. But if you aren’t sleeping properly, you’re opening yourself up to tricky symptoms that simply can’t be fixed by diet alone.
As our friend and co-founder Dr. Sarah Ballantyne put it in her book The Paleo Approach, “if you consistently don’t get enough sleep, you have a much higher risk of getting sick and/or dying. Period.”
This February, why not consider showing yourself some love by focusing on improving your sleep?
There are many factors involved in improving your sleep, and Dr. Ballantyne’s e-book Go to Bed is our favorite resource for addressing them all systemically. For this month, why not try just adding an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep to your schedule?
Can you push your “bedtime” back by just half an hour, or sleep an extra 30 minutes each morning? No need to immediately alter you routine by hours. Every little bit helps.
3. Plan a Self-Care Night That has Nothing to Do With Food
Many of us grew up equating “food” with “treat.” That makes it hard for us to imagine celebrating a holiday like Valentine’s day without a sugary rush of candy or perhaps the romance of a glass of red wine.
There are certainly ways to make treats AIP-friendly. But what if we use this holiday as a chance to investigate some of the ways we can treat ourselves without food?
Ask yourself: what do you truly enjoy doing? What non-food activities make you feel good? Are there any little luxuries you can gift yourself this year that might take the place of your typical sugary treats?
Perhaps you’ll choose a new book or luxurious moisturizer you wouldn’t normally buy. Maybe it’s something with some real healing benefits, like a good long soak in a magnesium bath or that new collagen supplement you’ve wanted to try. Perhaps you’ll even gift yourself a Strength in Food subscription. And of course, your self-care experience doesn’t have to be a solo one—maybe it’s a night out at the movies with your partner or a walk in the park with a friend.
Whatever you choose, make sure it feels special. Healing takes a lot of work, and you deserve to be kind to yourself along the way!
Gift Yourself an Easier Healing Journey
If you’re considering a Strength in Food subscription, why not take the leap as we celebrate self-care and self-love this month?
Your monthly delivery is about so much more than curated food, supplements, meal plans, and resources—it’s about believing you are worthy of the support you crave. Our mission is to help take stress off your plate, so all you have to do is heal.