Meet Wellness Collective, our immersive curriculum with Athleta that hooks you up with actionable advice from the smartest experts and brand founders in wellness right now. Get the goods at our monthly event series in New York City plus our online one-month wellness plans. Here, Rachel Drori founder of Daily Harvest, shares her four-week guide for ways to turn food into a form of self care.
Whether you're one to devour everything your plate in five minutes or into slowly savoring each bite, eating a meal that hits all the food groups and is chef's kiss-approved feels like the equivalent of earning an Olympic gold medal (for just living your life).
More than being a nutritional element that, you know, fuels your body, food (and everything that goes into creating a dish) is ultimately a form of self care—hence the unmatched feeling of diving into your meal of choice.
"Living good starts with good food," says Rachel Drori, founder and CEO of Daily Harvest. "And I believe Hippocrates was right when he said, 'Let food be thy medicine'—but the pace of life today has forced us to substitute care for convenience." Don't lie: How many times have you decided on a bar you found at the bottom of your gym bag instead of a real meal for the sake of time and ease?
"Practicing self care means having self-compassion, and this should be a daily ritual."
Treating food as a form of self love was actually the inspiration for Drori to create Daily Harvest—a direct-to-consumer brand that delivers chef-crafted, nourishing food built on organic fruits and vegetables—but she doesn't believe you need to sacrifice ease to get it. "Practicing self care means having self compassion, and this should be a daily ritual," she explains.
Creating a moment of recentering at mealtime is about shifting your mindset to focus on the food and yourself—and that's it. "I believe that food as a form of self care is foundational," Drori says. "When I eat better, I feel better and can perform at my peak." Amen, am I right?
Keep scrolling for a one-month guide to incorporating food into your daily self-care practices.
Before you say duh, what Drori means is to start being aware of the specific ingredients found in your go-to dishes—which means paying closer attention during your weekly grocery store runs.
"Unfortunately, a lot of food that’s available today is filled with additives, preservatives and fillers," Drori says. "Read labels and have a transparent relationship with the food you eat." Similar to how you probably wouldn't invite a random stranger over for a cup of matcha, you shouldn't invite random who-knows-what ingredients to your bowl.
"Traditionally, conversations about healthy diets have been focused on cutting out unhealthy food, but new studies are finding that a low intake of healthy, organic foods is actually more important for your long-term health," Drori says.
Rather than falling into that food elimination trap, simply start tossing in an extra serving of fruits or veggies to any dish you're whipping up. Not only does it introduce you to additional nutrition (yay), you'll be welcoming in a range of new flavors. Who knows? Maybe you're about to discover your new favorite side dish.
Of course, riding solo in the kitchen can be cathartic, but enjoying a homemade dinner with the people you love and respect most is just downright special—and could even become a newfound tradition.
"Some of my most cherished moments are family trips to our neighborhood grocery store or cooking Sunday dinners together," Drori says. Lingering over a long meal with your BFF or cooking together with your family is a direct route to all the personal-fulfillment feels.
Face it—you're going to have those days where you're the home-cook goddess of all things health and wellness and ones when you just want to eat comfort food and binge-watch TV. Guess what? There's room for both.
"We’re human, and you shouldn’t aspire to eat perfectly all the time," Drori says. "Instead, find a balance between nourishing your body with healthy foods and treating yourself." Integrating food into your self-care practices means prioritizing balance—with all the whole grains, greens, and doughnuts in tow.
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