Hey plant friends,
Welcome to Plant Positive where my intention is to share with you how simple, sustainable and of course DELICIOUS a #plantstrong lifestyle can be.
Todays show is a return to normal formatting where we touch on good news stories plus eating and exercising inspiration / motivation however as a priority right now I want to focus on an aspect of adopting a vegan lifestyle that can be easily overlooked to your absolute detriment and is non negotiably vital for any level of sustainability so far as a healthy body and mind and effective activism.
I’m of course referring to self care and specifically my:
7 Step Self Care Blueprint.
In the 7 steps of this little blueprint we have 3 categories,
One: The filters you choose. (I’ll talk about 3 filters)
Two: The structure you prioritise. (I’ll share 3 helpful structure techniques)
Three: 5 minute fixes. (so you can also just jump in with a quick, easy win we’ll cover a handful of these)
Step one and Filter one: Elicit Your Values and Beliefs.
If you know me at all, this is where I will most often start personally if I want to make any lasting lifestyle change and of also the first port of call I recommend with clients. So many reasons why.
First, self care is foremost about compassion for you. About a focus on your long term health and happiness. Living aligned with the values you most covet and the beliefs you hold dear lifts a weight you might not have consciously known you were struggling with.
Any new vegan recognises the lightness and alignment you feel when your daily actions align with your values, beliefs and heart.
However that’s not just in relation to your compassion for the animals. If I hold Freedom as a core value it relates of course to the rights of all animals to be free from abuse and suffering however also, for me it means having some unscheduled free time in my every single day.
If you’re yet to elicit your values and beliefs it’s something I’ve blogged and podcasted about extensively so I’ll have you all linked up in the show notes via strongbodygreenplanet.com just search 008.
Still on your values and beliefs, they are a perfect filter to make your decision making process easier. Once you’re clear, they basically remove the self negotiation. The “do I?” “don’t I” constant battle where you fight YOU in relation to self care big rocks that we’ll cover in step 4 is no longer something you waste time and energy on because you’ll feel compelled to act in alignment with those values and beliefs.
Step two and Filter two: People You Spend Time With.
You know the individual you spend time with and you bounce away feeling vibrant, energised and inspired?
Or perhaps that person with whom you feel heard? Understood? Supported? At home?
Hopefully you’re lucky enough to have some of these people in your life and also, I feel confident you likely have those other people too!
The energy vampires. The loved ones who really know exactly how to push your buttons and always choose to. The clients you dread.
I recognise you will not have 100% control 100% of the time to filter into your day and your life more time with the positive, supportive people and zero time with the other people. However you can likely be a little more conscious of who you let into your life and when.
One of my most important weekly acts of self care is to not overbook myself with one on one clients. Even the clients I love and respect. Even once off. It starts with first acknowledging how you feel after a certain interaction (or 8 back to back interactions) and then having the discipline to choose who you spend time with violation and compassion for you as much as is realistically possible. This will likely be a moving line in the sand.
As you earn more money you’ll be able to farewell some clients. As you become more active in animal rights you might no longer feel comfortable attending the non-vegan BBQ or buying a round of coffee for your colleagues who still consume cows milk.
Step three and Filter three: Your Self Talk.
Imagine if you were to live in the most stunning house, in the most perfect location – regularly indulging in 5 star travel, dining, shopping and yet all this came with the assumption you’d suck up all the hateful, harmful and ignorant comments your partner flung your way?
I’d be out that door in a heart beat and I imagine you would too. Although I must say I can only imagine living that lifestyle if it was my work ethic, focus and vision that had afforded me such luxury. In the same way that we’d counsel a friend we love to leave an abusive partner. And yet, what about the talk you direct at YOU? The constant, insistent chatter inside your head that your unconscious mind is always talking onboard and believing to be true.
Self talk was a huge to work on for me that I’ve made immense progress with. I share this to assure you that no matter what you current self talk is, if you recognise it’s not working. It’s not helping you take the actions you want to take, lead the life you want to lead, or feel the way you want to feel – then absolutely it’s 100% within your ability to change.
It happens one recognised then reframed from negative to supportive piece of self talk at a time.
It’ll seem manufactured at first however with consistency and patience talking to you the way you would talk to anyone else you love and respect will be come natural.
Step four and Structure one: Big Rocks That Keep You Happy and Healthy.
Back in plant positive 003 I recommended you, lock and load the big rocks that keep you happy and healthy.
To recap your “big rocks” are those non-negotiables that you schedule into your week first and then fit everything else around.
First, Brainstorm YOUR 3-4 big rocks. If it’s not obvious, try thinking back to the time in your life when you were most happy, healthy, calm – efficient! For me it’s daily exercise and meditation. Twice weekly time in nature. Weekly meal prep. This last one might not seem as obvious as a self care action, however actually: is there anything more impactful as an act of love and self care for your body then giving yourself the best possible chance of fuelling your body with nutritious and delicious food every single day?
Next, Schedule YOUR 3 big rocks. Make them a non-negotiable appointment with you. These are the things that have proven to be good for you, mentally and physically. They deserve your time and they will have a huge positive compounding effect well into the future beyond the initial time invested.
Beyond the amazing benefits you get to enjoy when you prioritise big rocks like exercise, meditation and meal prep there’s the additional huge bonus that you also get to feel proud of you! Like you came through for YOU and are a person you can rely on. This reputation with yourself is not something to be taken lightly.
Step five and Structure two: Your Not To Do List.
An effective To Do List will always be preceded be a Not To Do List.
In the same way that if you want to get up earlier it means first committing to going to bed earlier equally your Not To Do List buys you the capacity to say Yes to your goals, your priorities and you more often.
Your list will be constantly evolving however to just make a start I’d recommend jotting down a few of the things that regularly derail your day or your mood. Perhaps:
- Social media or YouTube before you’ve completed todays most important tasks or in bed at all ever!
- Answering other peoples emails / requests / calls in your personal “golden” prime working time.
- Venturing into a supermarket hangry or arriving at the gym to starving for any sort of effective workout.
Your not to do list is not only about giving you the space to prioritise the things that are most important to you it’s also about protecting yourself from the disappointment and frustration we’re all to ready to heap on ourselves when we do from time to time getting sucked into: seemingly urgent over important or easy over effective or short-term-quick-UN-fix over long term sustainable.
How mush easier does that supportive self talk flow when you’ve side-stepped those pesky Not To Do items and nailed your To Do priorities today?
Step six and Structure three: 24 Hour Digital Detox.
I’ve re-implemented this self care strategy this year. Each week I’m off social, email and everything online (except for pre-downloaded podcasts that really help pass the time when I piggyback or temptation bundle them with my weekly food prep habit) for 24 hours starting at whatever time happens to suit Saturday through to 24 hours later on Sunday.
If you can relate to struggling with the comparison game. If you’re aware that you could be even more present in your personal interactions. If you find the extent of animal exploitation, environmental destruction, climate change, global inequality… utterly overwhelming, terrifying and infuriating. Or even if you feel like you’re always ON and never properly refreshed then I really super recommend you start with a digital detox at whatever frequency and for whatever duration feels doable right now for you.
Step seven is 5 Minute Fixes:
Because sometimes your self care just needs to feel really easy right? Something fast that you can then build on. An easy win or reference point for success. Here are a few ideas:
- 5 minute workout. For a little exercising inspiration, here’s an equipment free workout. Set your timer for 5 minutes and just cycle through circuit style as many times as you can.
- Walking prone push up (6 reps)
- Sumo in out jump squat (12 reps)
- Mountain climber (24 reps).
Still on the matter of short workouts, if you’d like to see videos of my previously live equipment free workouts many of them live in my Facebook Group: The Plant Strong Squad. I posted those workouts during the (first) 12 week Covid lockdown here in Australia and for fun at the end of each workout there’s a Fab Food Finisher. I do like to get my acronym on! So we finish our workouts with finishers like: BEANS, KALE and HEMP! To get access to all that free content I’ll have you linked up in the show notes via strongbodygreenplanet.com just search 008. The group is free to join and the workouts are marked as announcements and tagged with “workout” so they are easy to find. Onwards with the 5 Minute Fixes…
- Stretching and foam rolling.
- Expressing gratitude. How ever you see fit, be it via text, call, email or card.
- Coffee / herbal tea (or your beverage of choice!)
- 5 minutes focusing on enjoying the journey rather than simply striving for the end goal.
- 5 minutes ditching all the refined crap-o-la that does not support your health goals and that you always feel rubbish after devouring.
That brings us to the end of the 7 Step Self Care Blueprint however as we’re yet to touch on plant based deliciousness and I never want restriction to be a focus let’s compliment that 5 minutes of ditching all the refined crap-o-la with a few of the whole food substitutes I’m really loving right now:
- For a crazy lazy breakfast top your fav fruit – my go to is mango – with an abundant variety of nuts and seeds. I like toasted pumpkin seeds, hemps seeds, toasted almonds and macadamias. You could get fancy (and a little less whole) with a dash of coconut yoghurt too.
- For a colourful and fun entree, try marinated tofu rice paper rolls with satay dipping sauce. These are so much fun to make – though less is more with the fillings if you want them to look pretty. Tofu, avo, mango and coriander are my prioritised fillings!
- Replace those processed chocolates with some decadent Medjool dates stuffed with nut butter and dipped in dark chocolate.
Let’s do a quick recap of the 7 Step Self Care Blueprint before we finish todays show with a good news story and as I run through the steps I’d love you to decide which step is would be most beneficial to you right now?
Step 1: Elicit Your Values and Beliefs and use them as a daily filter for your decision making.
Step 2: filter the People You Spend Time With.
Step 3: filter Your Self Talk.
Step 4: structure the Big Rocks That Keep You Happy and Healthy.
Step 5: structure Your Not To Do List.
Step 6: structure a regular 24 Hour Digital Detox.
Step 7: 5 Minute Fixes.
Finally to round out this week in Plant Positive with a heartening and incredibly hopeful good new story which I’m taking straight from the Veganuary.com website:
Just a few days into January and this year’s Veganuary cohort is already the biggest since the pledge began in 2014. More than 500,000 people have already signed-up for the 31-day vegan challenge – surpassing 2020’s total of 400,000 – and sign-ups are continuing apace.
But perhaps a bigger landmark in this year’s campaign is the involvement of Britain’s major supermarkets in promoting Veganuary and even advocating the reasons to try a vegan diet.
Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s Head of Communications, who I chat with in E711 of The Healthifcation Podcast says: “While new vegan product launches from big name brands are exciting, the way British supermarkets have embraced Veganuary this year is truly game changing. They are not simply using it as a marketing opportunity but are promoting the many benefits of plant-based eating and encouraging people to give it a try. As bastions of our food supply, they know that the only sustainable way forward is plant-focused.”
That’s it for this week in Plant Positive.
If you enjoyed this episode then please share the love with a friend or family member that needs to hear it. It’s quick to share and it’ll mean a lot to your loved one and so very much to me.
Please stay tuned for a quick snippet from a super inspiring episode of the Healthification podcast – that’s my interview style show where I have conversations with amazing athletes, activists, authors and generally passionate and compassionate individuals! Today my chat in E706 with Personal Trainer and Nutritionist Paul Kerton (aka Hench Herbivore).
This is a high energy ride with a gent with a fascinating story and somewhat dark past who is now leading with strength and love as he proves anyone can be vegan and beyond that, THRIVE as a fit, strong, happy and healthy vegan!
Plant Positive was proudly bought to you by: Energybits.
I was merely a causal Spirulina consumer prior to chatting with Energybits Founder Catharine Arnston who has spent the last ten years educating consumers and wellness professionals about algae. Now I’m a huge fan of this cultivated one ingredient power algae known for aiding performance and energy. I’m an even bigger fan of the lessor known algae on the block, Chlorella.
US customers can purchase Energybits online and use the code “Healthification” for 20% off.
With love and compassion plant friends.
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