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Self-care…placing our oxygen masks on first before helping another is a counterintuitive move for most of us, but it is essential so that we can be at our best for ourselves and for others. It is also a move that I get a ton of pushback on from many of you. But, I think we can agree that it is incredibly important and critical in the different areas of our lives – family, work and especially our health and well-being.

Two weeks ago, I was in Tokyo, Japan, with my daughter Megan. Concluding 2018, a year that seemed to fly by with so many firsts: I authored my first book Glow15, that included an inspiring foreword by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, interviewed more than 80+ experts for my free docu-series, The Real Skinny on Fat, built the superfood company, Simply GOODFATS– a brand of products that I am so proud to share with my family and all of you; as well as being a mother to my four children and helping them grow into who they will become, plus all the amazing discoveries made during my travels. It was, however, this very last trip of 2018 that brought me to a moment I have been dreaming about for two years, and until now had been unable to experience.

I was at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, on December 18th at 1: the 15 pm…my heart was pounding out of my chest, anticipating my meeting with none other than Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in medicine for mechanisms of autophagy. I had been trying to set up an interview with him for the past two years. But as I discovered, interviews were not something he often did. Indeed, from what I could find, Dr. Ohsumi’s last print interview was more than five years ago, and his last video interview was well over seven years ago!

What happened during our interview was so moving and so powerful that it brought me to tears. Dr. Ohsumi shared his story of being a malnourished child and the challenges he experienced with his mother having tuberculosis. This led to a lifelong quest – 30 years ago he decided to begin to research autophagy, taking this unknown path in science he told me was the only choice he had for his own life. As I listened to him reflect on the choices he made for his life, I realized how many millions of lives he has, and continues to, positively affect by his work. I could not help but think, ‘so this is what an angel on Earth looks like.’

At this same moment, I also realized that this was my expression of self-care, and it took me back to all the reasons why I wrote my first book – to support you in achieving health and wellness and further gaining an understanding of the great importance of practicing self-care in your own lives.

As I was writing this post, I asked members of my staff to take a quick moment and think about one big thing they have done for themselves this year to support their self-care; and I would like to ask the same of you too. I’d love for you to share it by posting a comment below. If perhaps, this practice may have gotten away from you in 2018, set the intention for 2019 right now. You will thank yourself come this time next year.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and wonder-filled 2019!

Naomi

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