Self care: The best present you can give
Congratulations! If you are reading this, it means you survived the "end of the world." So much for the expression "you only live once."
Which then got me to pondering — do we really only live once? How about the alternative of you only die once?
Maybe we are looking at this "you only live once" thing from the wrong perspective. Who wants to live just one time? I would like to think that we can live every precious moment of every precious day. But what self care are we practicing on a daily basis that will allow us to continue living in these moments?
With so many opportunities for us to live a full, healthy life, why is it that we choose to make poor lifestyle choices that include a diet full of processed food, soda, fast food, food that is full of man-made chemicals, foods that are known to promote cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease?
What would it take for us to have better self care today rather than waiting for a doctor to tell us we are sick because of choices we made based on the "you only live once" theory?
Not a week goes by that we do not have new customers coming to New Earth Market seeking out wholesome foods because their doctor told them that they need to change the way they are eating. Why wait until your body starts to shut down to recognize that we do not only live once?
Given that many of us, including me, will make New Year's resolutions, why not include self care on that list? Self care that is gentle and realistic.
For example, if you are a daily soda drinker or diet soda drinker (in my opinion, diet soda is worse than regular soda because of the artificial sweetener aspartame), try slowly replacing soda with water every other day for a week. Then increase your water intake from there until the soda craving is no longer a habit.
Ultimately, this is changing one unhealthy habit for a good one. Think about all of those calories and chemicals gone from your diet in one fell swoop.
Try the same thing with fast food. This method worked for me, as I used to be a daily fast food and super-sized soda drinker. Today, I cannot stand the smell of fried fast food — and to think that I used to crave it every day.
Give yourself a gift of self care this holiday season. Eat foods that will provide health rather than cause sickness: food that is clean and free of chemicals. Delicious food that is grown and made by loving and caring people rather than foods that come from a factory. Make this be a present to yourself so that you can have a longer, healthier presence in the world.
May you all feel the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at locally owned New Earth Market in Yuba City.