Self-care is a buzzword all over social media these days, but it’s more than just bubble baths and faces masks.
This week’s “Your Best Live” 6 News’ Leslie Draffin chats with a yoga instructor whose job is focused on self-care to find out what this practice is all about and how we can all get in on it.
Serena Lewis is a yoga instructor at Temple Yoga Wellness who says self-care is part of her job.
“Self-care, to me, means doing the things that I’d rather not do– the things that I’d rather not feel,” Lewis said. “It means to tend to my body when I would like to pretend that I don’t have one.”
For Lewis, self-care means “to take care of yourself or honor yourself.”
That definition comes in many forms.
Lewis said self-care is taking bubble baths, journaling, walking in nature, reading a book– anything that makes you take a moment to yourself.
For her, it’s often hitting the yoga mat.
“When you come to your practice – whether you practice in a cushion on a mat or in a chair- you’re coming to the practice for you,” Lewis said. “You’re showing up for yourself. It doesn’t matter where you are if you have the strength to have the flexibility because yoga doesn’t ask you to be anything but yourself. I think that’s beautiful.”
Studies show self-care has many positive effects on mental and physical health.
Doctors say it also triggers the relaxation response, which in turn can prevent chronic stress from damaging your health.
But Lewis said it isn’t always easy to do the things you know your body needs.
“Self-care is hard. It takes a lot of work,” Lewis said. “It takes a lot of effort, and I think that if your self-care practice doesn’t look like what you want it to look like, it’s okay. It’s hard. It takes time, but to practice self-care is to congratulate yourself for the little things that you did accomplish.”
“When I post on my social media about self-care, I always post what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how it’s helping me,” Lewis said. “It’s motivating other people to want to take care of themselves. I think that’s important. When you practice self-care, you’re allowing your life to be important. And when you allow your life to be important, you can allow other people’s lives to be just as important as your own.”
One specific self-care technique Lewis uses every day is setting the alarm on her phone to remind her to write three things she loves about herself in her notes.
She says it’s simple but effective in boosting her feelings of self-love and is an easy self-care practice.
TEMPLE, Texas — Over the last few years, fruits have gotten a bad rap because many people cut sugar from their diets. In this week’s “Your Best Life,” Leslie Draffin chatted with a registered nurse, who owns a chain of health food stores, to find out what types of sugars we should avoid and why we shouldn’t worry about fruit sugar.
Lisa Kelly knows a thing or two about sugar. She can pinpoint when the attitude towards fruit started to sour.
“Years ago, we thought that fat was what was causing all of the issues in this life, and everything with fat was going to make people fat,” Kelly said. “So, what we did is we remove all the fat from everything, and to create flavor in it, we superimposed that with all of this sugar.”
She said that’s when experts started to realize sugar was an issue too.
“The rates of obesity, the rates of diabetes, rates of heart disease all went up. So that’s where this big push to look and say ‘Maybe it’s sugar that’s causing these issues versus fats,’ which is why we see this resurgence in healthy fats and this huge villainization of sugar along the way.”
According to Kelly, there are many different types of sugars, and they aren’t all bad for you.
“Fructose is the sugar found naturally in fruit, and it is the sweetest of all sugars,” she said. “And because it is so naturally sweet, what science did has they extracted it and basically created a superhuman version of it to place into processed foods. So, it created this unnatural level of sweetness, whereas, in fruit, we have a completely maintainable level of fructose; this is like a super amped-up version of it.”
Kelly said there’s an easy way to figure out if it’s good sugar or bad for you.
“The best nutrition advice we can give people is to keep it as minimally processed as possible,” she said. “We always tell people if it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, maybe try to avoid it!”
So fruit – obviously from plants- is okay!
“Your body will absorb it. your blood sugar will slowly rise because fresh fruit is packed with fiber; it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals,” she said. “While it will slowly rise, your blood sugar is not creating these huge insulin spikes.”
But processed sugars- like that white table sugar- aren’t so great.
“Those artificial sugars are what are creating those big, big blood sugar and insulin spikes and also resulting in that excessive weight gain that people are so concerned about,” Kelly said.
“What people need to understand is that the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association will actually recommend the same diet for people with heart disease and with diabetes as people without, and that is simply a balanced diet with the least amount of processed foods as possible,” she said. “And if you can avoid those processed things, anything else in moderation is really going to be OK.”