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By Rebecca Bitzer, RD

Self-care often seems like new concept to so many of our clients. What is self-care? At Empowered Eating, we think of self-care as anything that you do to intentionally “nourish” mental, physical and emotional health.

This is where personal and professional recommendations meet. What is excellent self-care for one person may be completely different for another person. The key is really trying new and different things and asking yourself, did that activity help restore me or somehow nourish me? Our team of eating disorder dietitians are often inspiring each other to practice new forms of self-care. We look at self-care as a lifelong priority which is sometimes difficult to do when life gets busy so it is helpful to have a variety of self-care tools, concepts, inspiration and systems in place to foster self-care.

To start the new year, we thought it would be helpful for each of us to share a quick list of our current inspiration. Here is what our team is doing for self-care this month:

Rebecca Bitzer shares:

1) Brene Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone. The part of the book that stood out most for me was her Daring Way team mission “making the world a braver place by doing work we love with people who we care about in a way that is aligned with our values.” I believe we do this with our empowered eating team.

2) My new puppy. This month, we will be bringing home Ziggy, an Australian labradoodle puppy.

3) Participating in our office soup swap where we each cook a soup and share with the others.

Empowered Eating food

4) Restarting our Binge Eating Disorder Support Group in February after a hiatus over the holidays. Helping others with self-care reminds me to also focus on my own self-care.

5)  Watching Anne with an “E” on Netflix. This is based on the book Anne of Green Gables and is the most delightful show I have watched in ages.


Dana Magee shares:

1) Books on tape- I feel so productive on my way to work when I am driving!  Currently listening to Roxane Gay’s memoir, Hunger.

2) HGTV- I found a love for this channel when I first bought a house and went on a hiatus.  Now that my first round of projects is complete I have tuned back in for more house inspiration.  Like Rebecca it’s a feel-good thing to watch and break up my love of murder mysteries.

3) Lentil lasagna noodles- I have used the recipe on our site for the vegetable lasagna a few times but finally got to Wegmans to purchase these noodles which is how I originally had it when Klara made it for a work meeting.  They are super easy since you don’t need to precook them and adds fiber and protein to lasagnas.  I made 2 and froze one!

4) Organizing Christmas decorations- I have a love of organizing and recently invested in some tools to organize my Christmas wrapping supplies and ornaments.  I am a nerd and really enjoying not having the mess taking over my precious closet space.

5) Bonsai tree- My husband purchased from Sam’s club and it is still living!  I tend to kill all plants but he is still alive!  It is super easy as it calls for 8 ice cubes every Sunday to water it.  Even I can keep it alive!  And it keeps some green around during these winter months.

Alex Raymond shares:

1) Frozen section from Trader Joe’s–I have been traveling a lot lately and the frozen section in TJs has been a life saver! I’ve been able to make full meals just from buying items from there 🙂 For example, I bought frozen rice, frozen chicken, frozen stir fry veggies and am making a chicken stir fry. They also have frozen Italian veggies so I was able to make a pesto pasta! Even though I’m traveling, it’s important that I prioritize my fuel throughout the week!quinoa

2) Orthorexia–I am reading the book Orthorexia by Renee McGregor. It’s quite interesting! The beginning is just a review for me, and I am hoping to learn more as I read through it.

3) New Girl–I have been rewatching New Girl on Netflix and I just discovered that they have the newest season on Hulu!

4) Journaling–I’m finding journaling to be really helpful 🙂 I started at the end of last year. Although I do not journal every day, I find that even writing once a week is helpful to gather my thoughts and feelings.

eating disorder conference

5) Instagram and Blogging–These forms of social media have always been a form of self-care for me. I just recently started an Empowered Eating Instagram (empoweredeating_) and have been inspired to write a ton of new blogs for 2018! Look out for them 🙂

Bobbi Boteler shares:

1) My new menu board I got off Etsy for our kitchen.  It fits our rustic decor, the kids love it as they know what to expect each night for dinner, and it keeps me accountable for dinner prep for the week.Calendar Photo

2) The Young Living Supplement called Mindwise.  It’s a liquid brain supporting blend with Sacha Inchi Sed oil, ALCAR and CoQ10.

3) My Young Living diffusers.  We have one in each main room of our house, and depending on the time of day, and what is going on, I change the blend.  Our morning routine is typically a blend of Harmony, which contains Lavendar, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang,and Bergamont, which seems to help establish emotional harmony among us.  My daytime blend is typically either Brain Power or Clarity, which supports mental clarity, alertness and focus.  Afternoons I blend one of the KidsScents blends called GeneYus, which helps them focus while blocking out distractions.  My favorite bedtime blend this month has been a blend of Frankencense, Bergamont and Lavender.

Essential oils Photo

4) Reading “Present over Perfect”, by Shauna Niequist. This book has really resonated with me.  She talks about leaving behind frantic, for a more simpler, soulful way of living, with less hustling and more staying in the present moment, with meaningful connections.

5) My 97 year old grandma.  I am appreciating her more and more each day.  She was recently hospitalized.  I think we all thought we were going to lose her.  She is the hub of our family, our role model. I am intentionally making time to see her more often.

Klara shares:

1) My friends: even though I love them every month of the year, I am particularly grateful for them. They have been with me through thick and thin, and are so supportive and always make me laugh.

2) Nespresso Coffee Machine: It is no secret that I enjoy my lattes. I love this machine because I can make a latte every morning, but can also brew coffee for guests who want it. And it is cheaper than Starbucks, and it is delicious.

3)  Sarajevo Roses: This was a cinematic essay that I went to see with my parents about the bombarding of the city of Sarajevo during the breakup of Yugoslavia. It was difficult to watch, but SO eye opening. A very interesting look at the trauma that the country and those who lived through it are still facing today, even over 20 years later. Especially since my parents lived through similar things in Croatia during that time, and I was born around the same time!

4) My new planner! I ordered it off Etsy, and it is perfect because it has nice large month views, with a lot of paper so that I can write notes, and these cute tabs!

5) My cat. I have totally become a cat lady, and that is okay! Max is the best, and we have really gotten into a rhythm him and I over the past few months.

Do you find it difficult to prioritize self-care in the midst of your busy life?

It may seem like something extra on your to-do list but including self-care into your life will give you more peace in your everyday life and even more valuable as a family member, friend, and employee.  If you need help finding ways to take care of yourself including nourishing your body with meals and snacks reach out to make an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians.

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