Non-Negotiables and Nourishment by Sarah Moody ← Back to Blog

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A dear friend and teacher shared this quote in her class recently and it has stayed with me:

“True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”

I used to think self-care meant loads of alone time, preferably with little to no talking, lots of bubble baths, and a guilty pleasure like a glass of wine or chocolate covered things (combined with a bath and you have a real winner of a night!), but something has shifted in me recently.

There’s a lot going in our world: we lead busy lives; we are constantly connected through devices and social media; current events are heartbreaking and demoralizing, and at times I feel small and at a loss for what to do. Sometimes I do want to escape with salt baths and chocolate cake, and while they may be short term, feel good options, they aren’t long term solutions. I want to learn how to live with more presence in every day moments, even the ones that feel uncomfortable and messy.

For me, this ‘how to’ is self-care.

I now see self-care as a way to build your life; a list of non-negotiables that support you in being your best self. This list has grown quite substantially over the years and I’m sure I could ease up a bit on not making this another to-do list, but it has truly created a richer participation with my life.

Some of my current non-negotiables:

  1. Homemade meals — this is a must for feeling nourished and fed
  2. Time with my husband — preferably on a bike cycling through the Oakland hills
  3. Movement — yoga, cycling, tune up ball- and foam-rolling
  4. Quiet time — meditation, restorative postures, yoga nidra, journaling
  5. Study — education and inspiration through books, podcasts, classes, workshops
  6. Epsom salt baths — because come on, they’re still great for relaxing!

What are some non-negotiables for you?

Start a list, share it with others, watch it change, and then make sure to put it into action!

Here’s some inspiration to get you going — one of my go-to dishes for that in between winter-spring season:

Raw Beet + Carrot Slaw

  • 4 beets (any variety)
  • 4 carrots
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Hazelnuts (walnuts work great too, or any nut/seed you like), toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Herbs (I like parsley, mint and basil), roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper
  1. Roughly chop the beets and carrots. Feed through the slicer setting on your food processor. Note: if you don’t have a food processor you can cut the vegetables by hand into small matchsticks.
  2. Transfer shredded beets and carrots into a large bowl.
  3. Add green onions, toasted hazelnuts, lemon zest and juice, and chopped herbs to the bowl.
  4. Toss gently to combine.
  5. Season with olive oil, salt + pepper to taste.
  6. To turn this into a full meal, top with chickpeas (protein of your choice), or make it your side salad to a main dish.