Years ago, I had a long conversation with a single mother with several children. Her parents suffered from addictions that left them unable to properly care for her as she was growing up. By 13 years old, she had had her first child and was on her own. Without a formal education, job skills, and without role models for parenting or maintaining a home, she had 4 more children by the time she was 20. At which time, she was able to learn enough to begin making decisions that would provide herself and her children with a better life than she'd had.
During this time, she found a doctor who took time to educate her on making healthier decisions. She also got support from social services and a job to meet her and her children’s basic needs. She asked me for some ideas to eat better and to better feed her children. We discussed healthy options that were manageable for her to prepare and within her budget. Another suggestion I made was that she take a multivitamin, given that there were times she did not get enough to eat and I knew she would be able get vitamins through her doctor.
What surprised me in this interaction was the appreciation this woman expressed that I had taken the time to listen and offer practical solutions. Rather than, staying entrenched in her former situation, this resourceful young woman was intuitively building a social network to help her and her children lead a healthier, more rewarding life.
Good social supports make you feel cared for and valued, and these supports can help people make healthier choices. This is often overlooked when thinking about food choices because people feel they should be able to manage their nutritional health without help.
You may already have strong social supports, but if you find yourself struggling with maintaining good health practices, consider whether you need to add to your social network.
It may be as simple as talking to a colleague with similar goals for acceptance, emotional support or to share ideas. Or you may benefit from consulting with professionals that provide other types of support.
Whatever your health goals, ensure that you have a well-rounded social network to support you.
I never met the young woman again, but her resourcefulness and determination inspired me and I wish the best for her and her family.
In August I am giving 2 virtual group classes
free of charge!
Food Choices that Boost Your Energy
Thursday, August 5th at 12:15pm to 1:15pm (EST)
This one-hour, interactive class focuses on 2 main nutritional strategies to teach you how to stay energized throughout the day:
How to combine foods in meals and snacks for optimum energy
Timing of meals and snacks for steady energy levels
Food Choices to Optimize Mental Clarity
Friday, August 6th at 12:15pm to 1:15pm (EST)
Do you want to maximize your brain power? Science confirms that lifestyle choices can impact your brain function and that food choices play an important role.
This one-hour, interactive class will help you
Identify foods that help keep the brain sharp
Plan meals and snacks that maintain energy levels and promote mental clarity
Optimize timing of snacks, meals, and hydration to improve brain power
In order to provide a more personalized experience, space is limited to 25 participants for each class.
Book now at ShaunaHillNutrition.com.
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For meal planning ideas and energy-filled meal tips, follow me on Instagram @Nourish.Energize.Embrace.