How to Practice Self Care Like an Inspired Health Functional Medicine Doctor

We have decided to focus this month of February on self-love or self-care!
As you know, February is celebrated with a Love holiday – Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!!

What is self-care?

Dr. Dishman:

“Self-care at its core is the foundation of LOVE. It is impossible to give from an empty cup. Placing an emphasis on self-care is a vital ingredient at the core of completely inhabiting all of the capacity of this human life.

As a modern human (man or woman) self-care is also a radical act of defiance against what we have been taught throughout the ages – to give to others first, placing ourselves last. Somehow we have collectively misconstrued self-care with “self-indulgence”.

My hope is to INSPIRE you to know in your heart that self-care is essential to expressing your innate vitality. AND that you deserve to enjoy, without guilt, taking care of yourself!”

Dr. Weintrob:

“For me, self-care is taking the time to literally CARE for myself.  Through the years, I have taken note of what makes me feel like my best self.  

I feel the best when I prioritize consistent aerobic exercise, meditation, nourishing meals, sleep and PLAY time!  It is possible!

It just takes prioritizing and planning. I spend a lot of time on my and my families schedule so that I can have consistency.  It is a lot to fit it all in on a weekly basis which is why the calendar is the key. 

Do not be afraid to be “selfish”, you are important!”

For Dr. Meaghan Dishman and Dr. Wendy Weintrob, the two expert Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctors and CEOs behind Inspired Health, the ultimate form of self-care is STRATEGY.
Being strategic about how you use your time, what you want to accomplish, and how you are going to make it all happen, is truly the name of the game!

Making a well thought out weekly, monthly and yearly plan guided by the 5 Pillars of Inspired Health is how they stay balanced. And really, they say it often, if it is not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist!
They believe that it is of the utmost importance to take the time to PLAN and perfect your schedule.

Read on to take a peek into their weekly self-care routines!

What are the 5 Pillars of Inspired Health?

The 5 Pillars of Inspired Health is a holistic system developed by Dr. Weintrob and Dr. Dishman.  It is designed to help you easily understand the fundamental foundation for achieving vibrant + INSPIRED health.

Dive deeper into The Five Pillars on the Inspired Health website!

FIVE PILLARS OF INSPIRED HEALTH
Nutrition, Sleep, Movement, Stress Management, Community

 

#1 NUTRITION (Food + Water)

Is what you’re putting on your plate serving your body?

Self-care is prioritizing nourishing your body with food that will make you feel good; from both gut health and psychological perspectives. Food can either be medicine or poison!

As the legendary health guru, Dr. Mark Hyman recently posted, “Food is the code that programs your biology. You can literally upgrade or downgrade your biological software with every single bite.”

Being experts in this field, Drs. Dishman and Weintrob know that prioritizing nutrition in their self-care routines sets the stage. Here’s what a week in Nutrition looks like for them:

DAILY, MORNING
Both of the doctors, and their families, make ReNew smoothies daily (can also add Vitamineral Greens, seeds) to kick off their mornings, or bring to work for mid-day fuel.
Their recipe is nutrient dense and helps them feel nourished and super vibrant all the way through long work or play days.

They also all sit down for morning breakfast as a family, and are certain to fill their plates with healthy protein, carbs, fats, and greens. Most often found on both of the Doctors’ breakfast table:

MEAL PREP & BACKUPS

Every Sunday, the doctors make sure there are plenty of greens and produce to start the week off right!
There is also another day in the week that usually ends up at the grocery as well.
In Bend, OR there is not a one shop stop so they inevitably have to stitch together our shopping using multiple stores.

The doctors tend to keep it simple!!
Greens and veggies, a grain, organic protein and avocado on top.  
Lots of bowls, soups, salads or gluten-free wraps/tacos keep things simple, delicious and easy.
You do not need to cook fancy meals to stay healthy and enjoy your food.  It takes about 3 weeks to change your palate- what you crave.  So if the above does not sound delicious to you yet, keep retraining your palate and your gut microbiome. Greens, Greens, and more Greens!

We know a lot of people talk about meal prepping, and honestly, the docs don’t tend to do this!
Both keep the ritual of food as part of their acts of love and enjoy the intuitive flow of finding seasonal veggies to pair with a healthy protein and nutrient dense carb (be it veggie or grain).
Also a BIG TIP + TRICK is to cook MORE and freeze the leftovers for another day.
This is honestly a life saver – freeze a meal for next week or that day where you just literally can’t. do. anything.

When they’re shopping, they prioritize protein, vegetables/produce, and healthy fats.
You can literally have a salad bar or easy grab and stir fry veggies in the refrigerator.
Think grab ‘n go, but healthy!  

ONCE (or twice) A WEEK HEALTHY TAKE OUT

Cooking EVERY meal is a lot of pressure, and with a super-busy schedule, not always manageable!
Once a week, the doctors take that pressure off by getting gluten-free
take out or meet up with their friends’ families at one of their favorite local Bend restaurants.
See their list of Inspired Eats recommendations
here!

#2 SLEEP

“Sleep is the best meditation.” — Dalai Lama

Sleep is the foundation to having a good day!
When you are rested, you are more apt to feel good in your body.
When you are tired, you are more likely to feel a gamut of negative emotions that can affect the decisions you make in your day around nutrition and movement.

STICK TO A BEDTIME (most of the time)

5-6 days per week, the doctors are sure to hit the sack at the same time each night at 9:30pm the latest.
From years of routine bedtimes, they’ve set a regular internal clock that allows them to wake at the same time naturally each morning! (#SleepGoals, huh?!)

ALLOW ONE LATE NIGHT EACH WEEK!

Practicing self-care is recognizing that life ebb and flows, and with that, there are times to take it easy on the routine!
One night of the week, the doctors are less stringent about their bedtimes.

We stay up, socialize, watch movies, do art, and the next day we have a relaxed morning- if it’s not snowing!
Our running joke is, as a parent the only way to sleep in is to go to bed earlier!
#3 MOVEMENT

Self-care isn’t just stillness; it’s a balance of mindful movement too!

The term “self-care” often conjures up images of candlelit baths, cuddling up in a fluffy bed, and luxurious sheet masks; stillness.
In all honesty, the docs never do any of these things!
Though they do hot tub on almost a daily basis – solo, with the fam, or with their friends.

While all of the aforementioned things are wonderful (for some) and are definitely an important part of self-care for many, the benefits of movement are often overlooked.  

These docs will choose exercise over a massage!!
Again, it is all about priorities.

Dr. Dishman:

“I’ve always been a mover. It’s part of my art, my expression, and there is not a day that goes by that I’m not actively engaging in gratitude for my body by doing what I was designed to do – MOVE.

And trust me, I’ve had my fair share of setbacks – injuries, overuse, car accidents, multiple surgeries, and a twin pregnancy and recovery (I think I’m still recovering, 9 yrs later). I grew up playing softball and basketball at a very competitive level, so being an athlete has always been a major part of my life. I switched paths in college, away from the hyper-competition and studied Modern dance, became a Yogi, and started my journey into outdoor sports.

I LOVE moving outdoors – surfing, climbing, biking, hiking, snowboarding, paddle boarding. My free time (weekends) tends to be spent exercising outside!

So now my off days during the week are seen more as cross training, stabilizing my muscles and alignment – and tends to look like a lot of Barre3, biking (at home on my recumbent bike when the weather is cold), Yoga, and Gyrotonic.”

Dr. Weintrob:   

“Movement- Well, I literally cannot live without it.

Moving my body is like jumping in a freezing lake. It changes my perspective. Everything looks brighter and I feel more vibrant and relaxed after.

I do not always FEEL like going, but I remind myself how I am going to feel after.”

SCHEDULE EXERCISE

The docs schedule out their classes one month at a time so that they stay accountable and are committed!
They also work with their husband’s exercise schedules as well – sometimes they exercise together and sometimes they exercise apart. Both require scheduling!

SWITCH IT UP!!

The doctors aren’t married to any particular form of exercise!
Dr. Weintrob loves spin classes and running in nature.
Dr. Dishma loves B
arre3, Yoga, and Gyrotonic.

As elaborated in the next point, they’re also super into getting their sweat on in the presence of nature.

FOLLOW THE SEASONS + Rx: GET OUTSIDE !!

There’s nothing like a bit of fresh air and sweat to clear the mind!

They follow the seasons of Bend, Oregon.
For example – Mountain biking starts in the Spring and goes through the fall.
Summers are filled with paddle boarding, trail running, and hiking.
Once winter starts it is time to enjoy Mount Bachelor.
Exercise is similar to nutrition- follow the season to optimize time outside and fun!

#4 STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress is a natural part of life; self-care is learning your best ways to manage it.

We all need our TOOLS!
Take note of what healthy things makes you feel relaxed after a stressful day or moment, and then do more 
of that.  

Taking the time to press pause on life and prioritize your health (mental, physical, spiritual) is absolutely integral to reaching optimal Inspired Health.

Our endocrine system is wired to respond to stress, like a bear or tiger attacking, by releasing Cortisol.
However chronic stress (modern-day burning the candle at both ends) can end up being fuel for the fire of any dis-ease.
Chronic stress is to the body like cigarette smoke is to the lungs.
Stress that does not turn off can literally cause pathology in your body.

Sources of stress may be positive or negative and include (but are not limited to):

  • Recurrent disease and illness
  • Physical stress – injury, diet, surgery, tobacco/ alcohol addiction, etc.
  • Emotional stress – marriage, divorce, the death of a loved one, strenuous work relationships, a new baby, financial insecurity, etc.
  • Environmental stress – chemical pollution of air, water, food, etc.

TIPS + TRICKS

Both Dr. Weintrob and Dr. Dishman have found a few things that work well for them:

  • MEDITATING FOR A MINIMUM OF 3 DAYS / WEEK: 
    • Research shows regular meditation has many health benefits: decrease anxiety and depression, promote emotional health, lengthen attention span, clear brain fog, can reduce age-related memory loss, help combat addiction, improve sleep, control hypertension and generate kindness.
    • Deep breathing also turns on vagus nerve activity. Your vagus nerve innervates all major organs!
    • 5 days per week is optimal but life happens to them as well.
Did you know? Deep belly breathing 20 minutes/day can change your hormones in just one month!
  • WAKING UP EARLY
    • Both of the doctors aim to wake up around 5:50 AM (naturally!) to get in solo time prior to the morning family routine kicking off.
    • TIP: Easing into the morning in a peaceful mindset, rather than rushed and stretched for time, can completely inform how you will react to whatever the universe throws at you during the day.
    • Though waking up early can seem like an idyllic idea rather than a reality; trust us, try it – you’ll thank yourself later!
  • INTUITIVELY TAKING A SELF-CARE DAY 
    • Sometimes if their kids are busy elsewhere, the doctors will intuitively take the day to themselves to recharge.
    • Depending on how they feel, they may indulge in some sweet quiet time, exercise, or catch up on life with friends.
    • It’s all about listening to their bodies and doing what feels good!
#5 COMMUNITY

Part of practicing self-care is making time to connect with those you love.

We gain so much perspective on life via connecting with our community than we ever could in isolation.

Hangin’ with your tribe can help you find light in dark times, bring out different parts of your personality and ultimately, have fun (those laughter-induced endorphins are the best!).

Feeling cared for by your tribe is a form of healthy self-care: science shows that people live longer when they are connected and supported by a community.

Moral of the story? Find your tribe, and make time for them!

With that in mind, both Dr. Dishman and Dr. Weintrob make a point to pencil in a social date once per week.
In the winter, that means gathering the children and adults in their inner circle, skiing in the fresh air and sharing a meal together (+ lots of laughs)!

TIPS + TRICKS on integrating the 5 pillars of Inspired Health into your self-care routine:

TIPS + TRICKS

  1. Schedule 3 days of EXERCISE for 4 weeks straight...eventually this will turn into 5 days!
  2. Eat more GREENS and get used to having them on your plate!  Add a handful of greens – raw or cooked to at least 2 meals (or your ReNew smoothie) per day.  
  3. MEDITATION – Just start! Most people love to say they are not good at this one. Start anyway!
    Begin with 3 minutes in one sitting. Do this 3 times in a week.
    Take note as to how you feel. The benefits of meditation do not always magically appear. This one takes consistency.
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Adrenal Function & HPA Axis Brain Health & Neurotransmitters Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medicine Wellness

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