Mental Health Week and North Coast Naturals
This is a pretty important week for me. So often as athletes, we focus on physical training that we forget that we are made up of more stuff than just bones and muscles.
Putting in long hours of training and losing the ability to spend quality time with friends and family. Focusing so much on racing that you neglect down time.
Comparing yourself to other athletes and coming up short.
I’m talking about mental health and as it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, I urge you to assess how well you are doing in that area. Athletes are notoriously hard on themselves and although it is important to always be improving, it is vital to cut yourself a break sometimes.
Go to a movie. Sit on a patio with some friends. Order the chocolate cake. Speaking of chocolate cake, yesterday was International No-Diet Day and I celebrated it by joining TRELLIS in a local screening of America the Beautiful: The Thin Commandments, which looks at North America’s obsession with dieting.
This is a side of mental health that I am particularly interested in because of my sister. I received such an amazing outpouring of support on my series for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week that I thought I would take this week to do a follow up on how she has been doing since.
Jolene had reached a point this winter where we needed to either place her back in a treatment centre or take drastic action at home to ensure that she put on weight. We felt a bit like we had tried everything and we had a family meeting with her dietician and therapist to try a route we had never gone down before – the natural one.
We are fighting to keep Jolene a part of the treatment plan this time. Before, she has been under 18 and we have signed her into a centre where she needs to follow the rules. End of story. Jolene is an incredibly sensitive girl and her therapists strongly believe that she will respond positively to a more gentle approach where she plays a big role in her own recovery.
She is seeing a naturopath and as a family and medical team, we came up with a meal plan with an increase of calories, but most importantly, nutrition. The biggest change for her was adding in a smoothie and let me tell you – it is a nutrition packed doozy of a drink.
As always, it is better to hear it from Jolene herself, so I sat down and chatted with her about the changes to her meal plan and the addition of the drink. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you have ever suffered from an eating disorder, you can understand what a huge step it is for her.
Nothing like editing a video late at night and completely missing a part to cut out. Now you can see how delightfully awkward the interviews ACTUALLY are. This was an Easter afternoon and we were on our second take. Thank goodness Jolene knows what’s going on. (The awkward moment when your little sister is so much more clever than you are.)
Jolene’s Smoothie Recipe
– 1 cup coconut milk –
1 scoop protein powder (She uses North Coast Naturals in Chocolate)
– 1 scoop greens powder (She uses North Coast Naturals)
– 1 TBSP peanut butter
– 1 cup of frozen fruit
– 1 TBSP flaxseed
Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. This week, to celebrate National Mental Health day, cut yourself a break.
Do something for someone else
Discover new things
Manage your stress and worry
Take time to practice gratefulness
What are your steps to better mental health?
Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) says
Love this! Love that you guys are switching over to whole foods. I am no expert (obviously) but it definitely sounds like something these new recipes and foods are things that Jolene would be able to continue to use. As opposed to just focusing on putting weight on. Whole Foods and Proper Nutrition will be great additions to her life skills!
Thanks Krysten. You may not be an expert, but you certainly are educated in the area and your support means so much! xo
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
Loved this post, Jess! I love that quote you included. Like you say, so often we only focus on what’s visible, and that’s typically in someone’s physical appearance. I think that in many cases, mental illness is an even bigger beast to tackle, and so often it goes unnoticed. Thanks for bringing attention to the issue, and I’m looking forward to chatting about how that screening went – sounds like a really interesting film. Have a great day!