Growing Through Challenges
At 22 Days Nutrition, we’re passionate about improving our lives. Whether it’s by taking better care of bodies or minds, it’s all about living the best life that you can create.
That’s why we were excited to talk with Marquita Smith. As the author of P.S. Pray the Same for Me and founder of the website, How I Grew Today, Marquita has made it her life’s work to share her reflections on self-growth and help others expand their own lives. When we sat down to talk with her, she shared her tips for growing every day.
22 Days: Tell us about How I Grew Today. What was your reason for starting it?
Marquita: I always say that How I Grew Today started as a selfish pursuit, as a way for me to ensure that I stayed present during the course of my day. I was at a point in my life where everything was really zooming past and I couldn’t tell you what happened 30 minutes ago let alone last week. I was disconnected and disassociated with my life. I no longer wanted to live this way so I made a commitment to myself show up in my life, mindfully and in full awareness.
I started to chronicle all the things, big or small that I learned during the course of my day. I started to pay attention to all the opportunities of growth that presented themselves to me. Whether it was meeting someone new, learning a new quote, reading a new book, trying a new recipe, whatever it was, I wanted to be aware of it and assess how it added to the bottom line of my life, how I grew from this encounter or revelation or experience.
22D: How has it evolved since you first started it?
MS: Now I am sharing my growth and discovery with others. I have taken it from my personal pen and pad and I now put it on full display, which wasn’t an easy thing to decide to do.
22D: You share a lot of personal stories on the website. Is it difficult for you to share them?
MS: I’m normally so private and to decide to be so transparent with my journey and share with others on such a vast scale was scary. Once I did, I felt a sense of peace. It just felt right to do.
When I think about the encouragement and support that my sharing provides, even one person, the fact that I can help someone else, outweighs any fear that may entice me to keep this as a solo mission. My mission to encourage others to seize their days, to see and honor their growth, is so important to me.
22D: What do you do on a daily basis to take care of yourself?
MS: My routine may vary depending on what comes up for me to work on, but there are constants that I do no matter what. I meditate (I really try to meditate twice a day) I pray, I write, I give thanks (gratitude for what is and what is to come) and I do visualization.
22D: What advice do you share to help others grow?
MS: Always be open to self-reflection. Self-reflection gives you a view of what you need to work on and that is key to continued growth.
22D: What does self-care mean to you?
MS: EVERYTHING. Self-care is taking an active role in your well-being. It is deliberately replenishing and nourishing yourself both inside and out.
22D: What role does nutrition play in your self-care?
MS: It’s such a vital role in me caring for myself. When I eat well, I feel well.
Nutrition and self-care are tantamount. What you put into your body not only affects how you feel physically but how you feel emotionally as well. This is where we really get into the connections between Mind, Body and Spirit. This connection is paramount to our experience in life.
I remember times in my life where I didn’t feel good about myself and I would punish myself by going on these strict diets. I unconsciously made a connection between what I ate and how I was feeling. Now I understand how important it is to feed myself mentally and physically with nourishing, live foods.
22D: How has adding more plant-based foods to your diet changed how you feel?
MS: When I eat plant-based meals, I feel like every cell in my body is awake and ready to take action. I don’t feel dense and sluggish.
22D: Can you share a favorite plant-based recipe of yours?
MS: I’m from the South and LOVE Southern Food. Every family gathering or Sunday dinner included Greens (Collard, Turnips or Mustards). I remember it use to take forever to make them. Friday was for cleaning, Saturday they were cooked on low all day and Sunday after church they simmered a little bit more until it was time to eat. They would melt in your mouth. I loved them but I’m sure all the vitamins were sacrificed by the lengthy cooking time and the fat from the meat didn’t help. I have come up with a version that is meatless and the taste and texture isn’t compromised. When I make this for my Friends and Family, they can’t believe that I didn’t use any meat to season them.
Thank you Marquita for sharing your story and your delicious greens recipe with us! You are a true inspiration!