It can be challenging to find time to eat well, sleep well, exercise, and even relax when you are caring for a loved one, but poor self-care can negatively affect your physical and mental health over time — possibly contributing to cardiovascular disease, weight gain, diabetes, depression, memory loss and fatigue.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wonder how to meet your own needs while caring for others, consider taking baby steps that don’t require a lot of your time.  In our latest episode of YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen, I share two simple habits that can improve your energy, mood, and sense of well-being right away.

Recipe: Berries and Cream Smoothie

Recipe: Overnight Oats

It sounds too good to be true, but staying well-hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for self-care.  After all, when we are even just a little dehydrated, symptoms of fatigue, sugar cravings, hunger, brain fog and even depression can show up.

In addition, good studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can improve mood, energy, mental clarity, and weight.  A high-quality breakfast can also reduce sugar cravings, overeating later in the day, and even the nighttime munchies.

A high-quality morning meal includes:

  • Essential nutrients, like B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, phytonutrients, and more, that your body needs to manage stress, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and immune function.
  • Fiber, which contributes to a sense of satisfaction after meals, improves blood sugar control, reduces sugar cravings, lowers cholesterol, and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut (which may also improve your mood).
  • Protein, which helps you to feel full after a meal and gives your metabolism a little jump-start.
  • Carbohydrates, to fuel your body and brain.

A healthy morning meal can be as quick and simple as a high-fiber smoothie, overnight oats, or any of the ideas you’ll see in our latest video.

Remember to check out all of our easy, healthy recipes and videos at yrmchealthconnect.org.  You can follow YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen on Facebook as well, where I post photos and videos of the simple, healthy food I make at home, plus links to my favorite food and gardening destinations on the web.