I’m an introvert and that’s ok

If i am honest….. i have many times gotten sad over the fact that i am an introvert. I have tried to be extroverted…. but it just isn’t me.

I am not someone who needs to be around people all the time.

I am not someone who needs the attention on me.

I am someone who needs my alone time. I enjoy being with my close friends who give me energy… but it also takes alot of time for people to break down those walls around me to actually become a close friend

I am not saying that all extroverts want attention or to always be around people. Everyone needs their alone time…. i just need more than others.

Of course i am more of an ambivert in recent years. Wanting to be more social, wanting to spend more time with my close friends, wanting to meet new people and not always be on my own. Not needing as much alone time as i did before. In a way, i guess the majority of people are ambivert, i.e both introverted and extroverted… even if some are just either or the other.

When i ask people to describe me… or what their first impression of me is/was, the answer is 95% of the time:

You are rather quiet. You observe before you speak and you choose your words. You are never someone who judges and i feel like i can tell you anything without being judged. You are amazing at listening.

But i also get… You are very different when i actually get to know you. You are sarcastic, joke and laugh alot when you are comfortable around people.

Of course… for me to get to that stage where i feel comfortable just being myself, being sarcastic, open and laughing… it does take a while. Which is of course why i can come across as very shy, in the background, listening…. not taking up alot of space. I don’t like small talk…. i prefer to talk about other things and meaningful things. Even if i love jokes, sarcasm and memes. I am not someone who feels the need to speak… i can walk beside you in silence and not feel awkward or feel the need to say anything… but of course, if the person i am walking beside gives of an awkward energy because they don’t like being quiet… then i also begin to feel awkward. But i like spending time with people who are ok with just being quiet sometimes… not feeling the need to fill every second with sound and talking.

What is an introvert and extrovert?

“An introvert is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.

Introverts are the opposite of extroverts. Extroverts are often described as the life of a party. They seek out interaction and conversations. They aren’t one to miss a social gathering, and they thrive in the frenzy of a busy environment.” (Healthline)

Being introverted, having my guards up does make it hard for me to make friends… or atleast very close friends. I have alot of friends, but maybe not ones who are super close because i never really get to that stage where i let my walls down.

And this does sadden me…. sometimes i feel like i need to change. I need to change who i am. I need to change my personality and try to be someone else… someone more extroverted… someone who has lots of friends… someone who is social all the time. But on the other hand, i tell myself that this is just who i am and i should accept it….

On my recent trip, we were talking about being extroverted and introverted, and everyone else was pretty much an extrovert, even if some were more like me…. slighly held back and maybe not as open and energetic at first. However i was told that i was very introverted…. and even if i am aware of it. It saddened me…. maybe because i feel like i am really trying? And i didn’t feel like i was holding back or being shy, infact… it was the most extroverted, open, friendly and energetic i have been around others. To think that i spent 12 hours a day with a group of people and never once felt tired or drained of energy from being social, instead felt comfortable being myself…. but yet, i still came across as very introverted. They didn’t mean it in a bad way, but it made me sad…. and that was what sparked me to write this post.

To make me realize it is ok to be an introvert. I am ok the way i am. I don’t have to change or try to be anyone else. People like me the way i am… even if it takes time to truly see my personality and true self. I still socialize, i still have friends, i still enjoy meeting new people and being social. But i also want my alone time…. i don’t always have to say what i am thinking, instead sometimes i can just listen…. be someone who people want to talk to or feel like they can talk to me about anything – which is what many people say that they feel when speaking to me.

I am telling myself that i am ok the way i am.

And if you are introverted, just like me…. tell yourself the same thing, that it is ok to be an introvert. Of course… do push yourself to be social, do push yourself to meet new people. When you find the people you feel truly comfortable and yourself around, they will fill you with energy. For me personally, my closest friends and family always give me energy and i can spend hours with them without feeling drained…. Find people who love you for who you are and want to spend time with you. You may feel lonely….

Even if introverts, like myself, love their alone time… love spending time alone and just doing what you want to do. It can get lonely, or it can feel like no one really likes you because you have a small group of friends or never really open up enough to let people know the real you. But remember, try to just be yourself… try to be as open and friendly as you can be with new people. People will like you for who you are, and you don’t need to be someone else… it won’t last anyway. In the past i have tried to be someone else… put on a personality and facade that wasn’t truly me, just because i thought i needed to act a certain way to please others and make them like me. The fact is, it doesn’t work that way. Be true to yourself and accept yourself the way you are….. even if you also need to be honest with yourself and change the habits or personality traits which may be self destructive or harmful to others. I.e just saying that you are a bithco r have a hot temperament as an excuse to be rude to people is not ok… and is instead a personaity trait that can be changed or atleast controlled.

It is ok to be an introvert… we need both introverts and extroverts in society. Just don’t isolate yourself because you feel/are introverted…. you still need to push yourself to be social and step outside of your comfort zone.

The importance of regular meal times

Many people like to focus on the small details of nutrition and food, but maybe forget the larger picture.  Often times people focus on amount of protein they eat, or how gmany rams of carbohydrates they eat, or how much salt is in their food…. But maybe forget about the bigger picture such as, eating enough fruit and vegetables each day, eating balanced meals and also eating regular meal times.

Before focusing on the smaller details of food and nutrition, you should look at your intake in total.

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And one of the best nutrition and health tips I can give is…. Eating regular meal times.

There are many benefits to this which I will mention down below.

Some people skip meals to “save” calories.

Others skip meals just because they aren’t hungry or don’t have time.

 

But skipping meals can lead to:

  •  Sweet cravings in the evenings.
  • Ending up snacking lots in the evenings or in the following days to “make up” for the lost energy.
  • Not having energy, concentration or focus because you have skipped a meal.
  • Feeling hangry, i.e hungry and angry… and that may just cause you to lash out or get angry or irritated at those around you.

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The best thing is to have a routine with your eating in general, even if somedays may vary from that routine. If you aren’t a huge breakfast person, that is ok…. You can eat brunch or a later breakfast instead. Or if you are someone who prefers an earlier dinner… or maybe someone who prefers a later dinner, that is ok as well. Just that you have some form of routine and regular meal times.

The best of course is to eat between 3-6 meals a day, just to keep yourself energized all day and avoid going far too long without food which can make you feel tired, rely on caffeine or lose concentration.

But some people prefer 3 bigger meals, and that is ok a well… just as long as it doesn’t go 10-12 hours between your meals each time.

Eating every 3-4 hours is recommended for the general population, even if there are some benefits to fasting for some people as well. It is not recommended for everyone. And what I can say is that it is better to just eat all your meals between example 6am and 9pm each day, and not constantly be eating from 6am to 12pm each day.

So why eat regular meal times?

  • It will give you energy throughout the day
  • It can minimize cravings because you will energize and fuel your body with your main meals and snacks
  • Typically your main meals and snacks will be composed of healthy foods, which also helps you get all your vitamins and minerals you need. Whereas spontaneous snacks chosen out of hanger or extreme hunger due to skipping meals are most often not the most nutritious…. Unless you are someone who naturally grabs a fruit or some nuts in those panic-hunger moments.
  • Better concentration and focus throughout the day. Also with a regular routine with your meal times your body will adapt to this and you will feel hungry at those times.
  • Your body feels “safer”/more balanced if you eat at similar times each day, compared to one day eating 3 meals, another day eating 6 meals. One day eating your first meal at 10 am the next day eating your first meal at 6am

If possible, mealprepping or packing snacks with you is a good idea. Then you will always have nutritious food with you for when you feel hungry and need some more energy.

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Often times, as mentioned above, people can skip meals to save calories or because of fear of weight gain… if this is how you think, then now is a good time to combat those fears and thoughts. Because regular meal times is actually one way to help maintain a healthy weight. Often those who skip meals end up overeating or binging, or snacking on less nutritious foods due to extreme hunger and that can lead to weightgain. Or lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and a binge-restrict cycle.

So for overall health, mental and physical, regular meal times is recommended.

As mentioned, when you eat regular meal times you are also more likely to plan your meals and have them prepared and therefore also eat more nutritious meals which is beneficial for overall health.

So… if you are someone who eats irregular meal times or has no routine with eating or mealtimes… then it may be time to structure up your eating and mealtimes and find your routine.

No, you don’t have to eat breakfast at 7am, no you don’t have to eat 6 meals a day. …. Maybe you are someone who wants to eat your first meal at 10am and only eats breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is ok… just try to stick to that routine everyday. (Of course… if you are on holiday or away from your regular routines, there may be a difference in how, what and how much you eat… that is ok. As mentioned in the beginning, focusing on the bigger picture and what you do the majority of times matters more than what you do/eat/how you eat from time to time!)

Of course, eating breakfast does set you up for the day and gives you the right fuel when you need it the most. But I will save that for another post, talking all about the pro’s of eating breakfast!

If you like this type of nutrition post, let me know in the comments down below or let me know if there are any other nutrition related posts you want me to write about or talk about on my Youtube Channel (follow me there ;))

 

 

 

 

Intuitive eating vs tracking | which nutrition advice is right?

On social media, everyone seems to be a nutritionist…. There is a lot of nutrition advice given, for both the better and the worse.

There are plenty of qualified people online giving nutrition advice, which is great… they are sharing their knowledge to help others. And then there are also those who have gotten their nutrition information online from maybe not the most scientific sources. However, this is not what I am going to discuss today…. But there are some red flags to be aware of when getting your nutrition information online from different sources. But that can be for another post.

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Instead, this post is about….. the type and way nutrition information shared. I have noticed that there are two ways of sharing nutrition information and advice – and you can easily tell which category I fall into – and that is, “eat whatever you want when you want it, try to eat intuitively and balanced. Everything in moderation” vs. “Track your calories and macros. Eat according to a schedule and mealplan if possible. Only eat certain foods on certain days, and do a tough workout either before or after your ‘cheatmeal’ to earn it”.

So… which is right? Do you need to track your food and earn your “cheatmeals”, or can you just eat whatever you want when you want?

This may not be the answer you want to hear, but I would say…. It is very individual what works.

For some people, they may struggle with a more restrictive mindset. Feel guilt around food and want to restrict calories or certain foods. Then, giving them the reminder that everything in moderation is healthy (this is of course true for EVERYONE, regardless of weight or goal). Also reminding the person that they should try to listen to their body, follow their hunger and fullness signals and allow themselves to eat…. To overcome the fear and guilt associated with food.

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Whereas for others who may have tendencies towards overeating, binging, extreme emotional eating and may gravitate more towards eating processed and junkfood on the daily. Then giving the advice to follow a mealplan or to track their intake and keep portions and foods in line with their goal.

Just eating whatever and whenever may not be the best advice for some… just like telling others to track their food and calories and that they have to “earn” their food may not be the best advice for others.

It is very individual. And as a nutritionist or dietitian you give different advice to different people, depending on their goal and situation. There are food and nutrition recommendations for the general population, but individual advice may differ for different individuals.

But on social media… what may be individual advice is instead given to a large population. It is aimed at “everyone”, even if the advice may only be healthy and applicable for some groups of people. THIS is something that YOU as a reader should be aware of. Not all nutrition advice is applicable for everyone…. You also have to be aware of, “is this advice and recommendation suitable for me?”

The advice for someone who is recovering from anorexia will vary from someone who has a large overweight and needs to lose weight. But will also vary between those two groups and someone who has a healthy weight and maybe wants to build muscle.

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The thing you will notice online is that the person giving the nutrition advice will most likely adjust their advice given according to their followers… if someone has a lot of followers who struggle with overeating and need to/want to lose weight, they will give different recommendations from someone like me… who knows that I have a lot of followers who struggle with different forms of restrictive eating.

My personal opinion is that…. It is not necessarily wrong to track your food intake or follow a meal plan. For some people, that is what they need to do for a SHORT period of time to readjust to regular portion sizes and try to find balance with food again. However, how precisely you track your food intake is another question…. And that is very individual. Some people can track their calories or macros without it ever getting obsessive, while others easily get consumed and obsessed with numbers if they try to track their food. So my general recommendation is to not focus on calories, but to focus more on healthy foods and eating the right size portions.

My nutrition advice is of course adjusted for the individual when working with individuals, but my overall recommendation for everyone is to try to focus on balanced and intuitive eating. Even if it may be a long process to get to that stage, that should be the ultimate goal. To be able to listen to your body, to not have to overthink food or track every single food you eat.

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When you begin listening to your body and find intuitive eating, you do fall into a routine…. You feel hungry at certain times, you find meals and foods you like which become a regular, but you also aren’t scared to try new foods or meals or eat at different times when the hunger kicks in. That should be the ultimate goal, which is also why I share that message so often.

To summarize this post…

Well, there is a lot of nutrition advice out there and it is not applicable to everyone. You as a reader, do also need to think rationally and ask yourself… is this information relevant and healthy for me? Would it be healthy for me to track my calories or exercise to compensate for food? Would it be healthy for me to just listen to my body? Would it be healthy for me to just eat what my body tells me… ?(For some people at certain stages of their life, this method isn’t the healthiest… it may be the goal but at certain times a mealplan may be necessary to find structure and balance with food again).

Lastly… I also think that the majority of people will follow those online who give the nutrition advice that most suits them. If they are someone who wants to eat more intuitively and balanced, they will most likely follow someone who gives that advice and motivates them to eat that way. Whereas, if someone wants a stricter approach to eating and wants to track their food and be reminded of portion sizes or calorie amounts in food, they will follow people who give that sort of advice.

However on social media… you can’t always control what appears in your feed or recommended pages, so sometimes you get nutrition advice and recommendations which may not be the ones aimed at you or the advice you want to hear or see.  But that’s social media.

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So which is better….. it is individual, one isn’t necessarily better than the other… even if I personally believe that the intuitive eating and balanced approach to eating should be the ultimate goal for everyone. You as an individual also need to ask yourself, which approach to food and eating works best for you?

Do animal lives matter more than human lives? | Vegan question

I got a rather interesting – and hypothetical – question asked to me which was… if i had to choose between an animal (in this case it was a cow) or a human, which would i save. And this was based on me being a vegan. (It’s a bit like the… if i was stranded on an island with only a chicken/pig would i eat it type of question all vegans seem to get asked).

Of course i hope that i will never be in this situation… and it sounds rather hypothetical. And the answer to that question is that i would save the human…. which someone may think is strange because “I am vegan and for the animals… wouldn’t i save the animals… you don’t want animals to die?” .

And why would i save the human… well, for many reasons but even if a cow has a consciousness and nervous system, meaning they can think and feel, a human being does have that extra consciousness. Of course i wouldn’t want the cow to die, but in this hypothetical situation i would choose the humanbeing to save.

Of course, if it was between my own dog and a human it might be a different answer… but then again if i had to choose between saving (which i never hope happens) a family member or my dog… that would be a completely different answer and situation… i really couldn’t choose.

In our society, the majority of us DON’T need to eat or use animal products to be healthy, to get nutrients or to live. The majority of people can survive without animals having to die for their consumption.

I don’t believe in factory farming. I don’t believe it is correct for thousands and millions of animals to die each year just to be eaten or in worst case… to die, be turned into food and then just thrown away because the food has gone bad. I don’t believe in the animal abuse/torture that happens on a daily basis just for the production of food…. when the majority of people in society don’t need it. It is more sustainable for the planet to actually not consume so many animal products anyway.

So i am against the killing of animals when it is absolutely not necessary.

In the past it might have been necessary to kill animals to get enough nutrients to survive, develop and grow as well as use the fur for warmth… now a days, we don’t need any – or very little in certain cases – animal products to survive. But the killing of animals is on a much higher level than the actual requirement or need.

I am against using animals to test on for different experiments. I am against locking up animals and in some cases beating them just for the sake of entertainment. I am against using horses or dogs for racing or any other animals just to fight each other.

I am against the abuse of animals in all forms.

This however does not mean i think animals are better than humans or that humans should die out so that animals can live in peace, which some vegans believe.

I still believe humans have a higher conscious level and are more developed…. though it also surprises me then that not more people make the choice to go vegan or atleast try to eat as vegetarian as possible.

These types of questions are interesting and can lead to quite a discussion and debate, which i am fine with having – though i would prefer to have it in real life, not online. However they are also unrealistic and hypothetical situations… and i live in a society where i don’t need to choose between saving either a human or a cow…. i can do both. By eating vegan and also doing things such as giving blood, being an organ donar and helping people in other ways.

This is my thoughts on this topic, and as mentioned i don’t mind getting these types of questions…. however it is easier to discuss and bring up different thoughts and nuances in a real life discussion.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment down below… would love to know how others think.

Working because you have to vs. working with what you are passionate about

This summer, just like the past 3 years I am working in a food store as my summer job. It is something I have done for a long time now… something I know. Something “easy/comfortable”. There is not so much thinking, nothing “new”…. Even if everyday is different and there are always new and different customers and different situations that can occur. In general, it is the same thing and nothing really “New” happens. It’s a job I do for the sake of money.

However, this year…. I have realised I am done with this type of job. It has given me a lot of experience. How to handle stress, how to handle different situations, being in charge of different sections of the store… but even my type when working in a “recruitment” agency where I worked at different stores each day. Being flexible and hard working.

However the past 3 years I have always used the excuse that, “I am still in school, I am still studying, I will wait until I have my degree” and then begin working with something else as a reason to not really work anywhere else. Not to mention, I have always had my social media as a part time hobby/job.

But now I have realised… I want to give 200% to my social media and working with health and nutrition. I no longer want to work in a store… I feel that it is taking too much of my time that I could be spending on other things, such as working on my social media and applying for jobs within health coaching and nutrition.

Of course, this summer I am working fulltime (and more) at the store and that is what I will do…. But this will be my last summer. From autumn and forward I want to work with what I am passionate about… work with what I love and work with the area I have my degree in.

I am grateful that I have a job, I never take it for granted. I remember when I first began applying for jobs it was so hard to get a job… and even the year I worked at a recruitment agency it was because it was so hard to get a job elsewhere. And I know that I will be facing the same problem when applying for jobs within health and nutrition, but with a good CV, personal letter and experience hopefully it won’t be too hard.

When I work with my social media where I share recipes, take food pictures, share inspiration, do research for blog posts and even now with creating small IG videos and Youtube.. I LOVE DOING IT. I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to work. I can’t wait to spend the day creating and being able to share what I love.

I also LOVE being able to do sponsorships and sponsored content, even if I don’t do them so often (which actually gives me a little anxiety as that is the only form of income I get from my social media).

I love feeling that inspiration, that happiness, that willing to work from 8am to 10pm. It is a happiness, a motivation and a drive….. and I have so many other things I want to work on. I want to have time to film and edit Youtube videos. I want to have time to write and maybe create another ebook or two. I want to be able to post weekly blogposts with *actual* good content.

I want to work fulltime with what I love (even if things like taxes, emails, cleaning dishes isn’t always so fun, it is part of doing the thing I love so it is ok).

And now when I am working in a store… I am doing it for the sake of money, but feel like it Is taking time from the things I want to do. It also makes me think…. If you are unhappy with your job, CHANGE…. I know this isn’t easy… trust me. I know the fear and struggle of applying for new jobs and getting no’s…. the fear of not having a job and not being able to pay rent. So it is not easy to just quit your job.

But if your job makes you unhappy… you have to think about making a change. For me… I can live with this anxiety for 2 months and just work super hard these 2 months and then know that I am going to work with what I love and am passionate about in the near future. This isn’t a forever job.. this is a “I need to pay my bills” job.

So I envcourage you all… if you are unhappy or your job gives you anxiety, begin to make a change. Find what you LOVE. Find what you are passionate about. Even if you may need to work your job for a few months or even years, just to pay your bills until you can move on… please don’t ever settle for a job that makes you unhappy or gives you anxiety.

You have one life to live and the majority of people spend 1/3 of their life at work and working… do you really want to waste 1/3 of your life on anxiety and hating what you do?

(And note, I know this is easy for me to write coming from someone who knows what she wants to do, knows what she loves to do, and already has some sort of hobby business set up and a university degree. If you don’t know what you want to do, have little or no education or don’t live in an area where there are a lot of jobs available or don’t have the economical safety to just quit your job, then it is not so easy. But maybe this post will just get you thinking about what other options are there for you?)