Fruit vs. roots: do you make this big health mistake?

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About Lisa Byrne

Lisa is the bestselling author of Replenish and founder of WellGrounded Life. She's got a big-hearted vision of a world where moms are fully equipped to live calm, healthy, and vibrant lives. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three kids, and 110 pound yellow lab.

Lately, I’ve been working on my upcoming online course, Designed for Wellness. I’ll share more about the course at the end of this post, but I wanted to talk a bit about how lasting change happens in our lives, and one of the biggest mistakes we all make when we try to make healthy changes.

The ways we experience our days and how we feel in our bodies are the fruits of our health.

Some seasons in life we feel energized; other times we feel depleted and drained. Some days we’re overwhelmed; other times we are transcendent. We may feel heaviness in our body, or lightness and strength. We may combat stress daily or know a reserve of calm.

The fruits of our health manifest in how we experience life.

To produce better fruit, focus on the roots

When we are facing chronic times of bad or uncomfortable fruit, we tend to reach for “fruit fixes”– surface, quick fixes in attempt to bring some kind of relief to the situation.

But what is needed for any sustainable, real change in our health and well being is a root cure.

Let me give some examples.

Exhaustion

If you are battling exhaustion, a “fruit fix” is to reach for caffeine to give you the jolt of energy you need just to make it through the day. But that kind of fix never solves the problem — in fact, that keeps you spiraling deeper and deeper in poor health.

If you focus on the root cure for exhaustion in your life, you’ll seek out true ways to nourish, restore and replenish your body so you can tap into deep reserves and meet the demands of your day head on. For example, you may choose to eat foods that rebuild your body, energize your mind and promote restorative sleep.

Mood swings

If you experience mood swings, a common “fruit fix” is to reach for sugar in order to elevate your down moods. This kind of fix establishes a deep craving/addiction cycle and never truly regains mental health.

The root cure will focus on caring for your mental health by bringing in nourishment and wellness practices that lift your moods, all while supporting hormonal balance and health.


Photo by Brian

Being overwhelmed

If you are going through your days feeling overwhelmed and frazzled, a common “fruit fix” is to simply shut down from taking good care of yourself. It may seem counter intuitive but when women feel tapped out, we tend to go on auto pilot, caring for everyone else’s needs and not taking care of their own.

A root cure for being overwhelmed is to shift your focus and gain the skills and strategies you need to handle life from a well and grounded place. It’s the paradox of expending energy in order to gain energy– it all depends on whether what you’re doing will produce real results or is a surface, band aid treatment.

Take a quick assessment: Do you currently use a “fruit fix” for something that requires a root cure?

If you’re ready to focus on the root cures for gaining more health, vitality and energy in your life, I invite you to learn more about the Designed for Wellness course.
This course is for moms who have their plates full, but want to feel the freshness of true energy again.

It’s for moms who are ready to put themselves back on their list of priorities, while not being expected to check out of their lives and responsibilities in order to make those shifts.

For moms who want more than to lose a few pounds only to gain them back — who want a sustainable, true way to nourish their body back to their ideal weight — and an ideal feeling.

It’s for moms who want the clarity of an uncluttered mind, the ease of balanced moods, and a deeper sense of knowing themselves and how to best care for their bodies.

When I became a mom, I needed to find ways to regain my health that fit into my busy lifestyle.  So I designed this course specifically to provide concrete and practical tools that fit into a busy mom’s lifestyle, just as it is. It’s an uncomplicated process that allows you to bring in major change at your own pace and in ways that fit you best.

You can learn more details about Designed for Wellness here. The course begins September 18, 2010 and registration is now open.

What are some of your current “fruit fixes”?

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Comments

  1. One of my alltime favorite fruit fixes is ice cream, and I’m sure I’m not the only one! It’s a great mood elevator, also because it is usually paired with a light and funny movie, a fleece blanket and a husband to cuddle up to. Great success :)

    BTW your part on being overwhelmed is so recognizable. Focusing on other’s people’s needs is an easy way to ignore your own.

  2. Hi Alison,

    I agree with the ice-cream, fleece blanket and a cuddly husband…I’d dare say that swings itself into a root cure though :)

    I’m all for indulging in the sweet treats of life too!

    It’s when those fruit fixes start to mask underlying issues that keep us feeling yuck, the root is a good place to turn for some lasting relief!

  3. Hmm… that’s a good question. I agree that as moms we often focus on taking care of everyone else. My husband has helped me with this lately – he watches the baby on Saturday mornings so that I can go to an art class for three hours. It’s something that I get to do for myself, I get to feel creative, and I get to experience some quiet time. It’s been a great way to help me recharge my batteries and appreciate my sweet little one the rest of the week.

    • Tabitha– ooh that art class sounds divine.

      Practicing my art is something I have lost in the past couple of years and I know it would do me a world of good to pick up a paintbrush again.

      And I totally know how you connect not only the creativity to painting (or creating art) but also that necessary QUIET time with yourself. Beautiful!

  4. Joining the group here… with being overwhelmed while taking care of everyone else other than me. Seems kinda selfish. Except when I actually think about it, if I am taken care of, I’ll be in a better position to take care of everyone else.
    Ok, enough rambling. Sorry, Lisa. I loved your post (it made me stop and think!) and am heading over to check out the course as well.

    • Hi Prerna– It does seem backwards, huh– that right when moms need to care for themselves the most, we tend to feel guilty and selfish about it…

      But our “job” is just so demanding (and of course rewarding) that our health is really our greatest asset to doing the kind of job we want to do!

  5. As I get older, I noticed I’m getting much better about getting the root of things. I love this way of looking at the issues in our lives — root vs. fruit.

    We so often want the quick fix — but that’s not what brings lasting change. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. My fruit fix is usually a piece of cold chocolate, but only one and only one time per day.

    Great post!

  7. Lisa! I love the analogy! Simply perfect. In theory I am an advocate of focusing on the root causes of things, but in reality most often I get stuck with focusing on the fruit side of stuff, but it is a journey I am learning and growing from. I am right ALL about learning to put myself first so I can give more authentically and generously to others, and that I can give out of abundance.

    My peas this summer produced a good handful of fruits in the beginning and even though I suspected the roots were damaged, did nothing about it. After a few weeks of enjoying fresh peas from out garden, our plant died, just like that.

    Sobering,

    Thank you for the reminder! And by the way, I have been telling other people about your class too!

    • Hi Vina–
      Thank you for the beautiful comment — and for passing on the word about the course!

      Your reflections, as always, are spot on. Love the pea example…eloquent in how simple and true it really is!

      And also love the point you make of wanting to give out of abundance to those we love…it’s a wonderful cycle to get into.

  8. I can so relate to your post! And i have to agree, one of my all time favorite fruit fix is ice cream too!

  9. The roots yield the fruits, so it’s always better to fix your roots properly so as to get maximum benefit out of it in the form of the best fruits. It really is a matter to question self and get insight into owns inner self. A shortcut is always risky, and when the life is messed, we feel, with the worries and problems, we indeed get in search of a quicker solution to fix it. Great mistake we all do and more often, in spite of knowing the importance of the root fixes. I would really love to discover how often I choose fruit fixes over the root fixes.

  10. I love these images- so helpful. I will be using this today….second week of easing into the school year at home

  11. I definitely resort to coffee when I wake up in the morning. It’s an on and off addiction. I am also pregnant and stick to a cup or less of coffee a day, but I should wean myself off of it now that I am in my last two months.

    I’ve found that just getting off my butt and doing something productive, even if I don’t feel motivated at the time, is actually the best way to feel more alert. In the past I have always been such a lazy person, and only in the past year have I been making the effort to overcome it.

  12. Thank you for this reminder to take better care of ourselves, Lisa. I’m SO bad at that.

    These days the coffee just gets stronger and stronger (brewing some as we speak!), BUT I hope to get a fall rhythm in place where I’m getting more sleep.

  13. Definitely a coffee drinker and an ice cream eater. Homemade ice cream is the best. Locally sourced, organic, plus you get a work out making it!

  14. Yes, yes, we KNOW we are running on a sleep deficit right now. Just when we’re starting to make progress, the baby gets hit with something that leaves us up all night and exhausted. Reach for coffee, repeat. The root cure we need right now is to just go to bed an hour earlier, so I can get my hours in BEFORE the nightly wake-ups occur. Easy to say – hard to do.

    For now, our other root cure seems to be exercising – the classic example of expending energy to boost energy.

  15. I really had no idea that we have to analyze fruits and roots. It’s cool how fruits and roots have different functions in helping you with your day to day life. I might just have to print this out so I can reference it whenever I feel tired/exhausted. :)

  16. Hi Lisa-
    Great post and a relevant question. I have to admit my “fruit” fix is coffee. When I get overwhelmed or exhausted I reach for another cup.

    It not only helps the exhaustion but I love the taste of cinnamon flavored coffee. The problem is I can overdo it – up to 4 cups a day on a particularly busy day. Moms need some time for themselves, but as a single mom it takes some planning with family to get the kids covered.

    They are worth the time and effort though.

    I do generally take good care to watch my eating habits so I don’t eat unhealthy or fattening foods, and sometimes I am so busy I don’t eat at all rather than over eat!

    I think the root is to take time, even ten minutes throughout the day, of a “quiet” time for me to relax and regroup. That may help you know. It would be a good thing to do with the children, would teach them the importance of focusing on the roots of the problem. If the house is a mess let it go for 10-20 minutes and focus on relaxing, maybe some yoga!

    What do you think?

  17. Wow…what a great post. Thank you for articulating this so well. I definitely find that I feel my best when I’m nourishing my roots. :)

  18. I’m guilty of some of these quick fixes, but joining the gym has really helped me get back on track.

  19. I definitely think I need to look into your course! I’m very much a fruit fixer, and I know it needs to stop.

    P.S. I recognize my apple photo up top – how fun! :-)

  20. I’m on the upward swing of a down time with feeling totally overwhelmed. My husband has been much better at taking our son out for a while to give me quiet time. Alone time is how I recharge, and moms know how hard that is with a 4 yer old! As I type this, I’m sitting in a cute little local cafe, enjoying the guitarist, a glass of lemonade and dinner is on the way. My husband is out of state for a few days and my son is spending that time with my parents. Coup of the year, I’d say!

    My goal today, my first afternoon “off” was to catch up with my “Mom Stuff” email folder-this post is perfect!

  21. I took a nap this afternoon for about a half an hour while my 15 month old son was taking a nap. It was absolutely devine! My husband tells me all the time that i need to listen to my body and slow down but being a mom working from home and taking care of the house it can sometimes be difficult to find time to take care of myself. It’s the little things each day that make a big difference; 5 short minutes of quiet meditation, 30 minutes of yoga, my protien shake with my fave soymilk, a nap from time to time, my fave glass of wine in the evening, giggling with my son.

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