As a health coach, I work with my clients to not just improve the food that they put on their plate. We focus initially on their Primary Foods, which is made up of these four areas: Relationship, Career, Exercise and Spiritual Practice. The physical food on your plate is actually your Secondary Food. When your primary foods are in balance, the physical food you put on your plate (your Secondary Food) will also be in balance. Together improving the Primary and Secondary Foods in your life will lead to total mind, body and soul wellness.
Relationships: Think back to a time in your life when you were newly in love. You probably felt energized, vibrant and beyond happy. I bet when you where in the beginning of this relationship, you lost track of time and didn’t focus on what was going to be on your plate at your next meal. I also imagine that you didn’t come home after an amazing date and plop down on the couch with a pint of ice cream. When you can surround yourself with relationships that lift you up and bring joy to your life, you will be more likely to make healthier food choices.
Career: How are things going with your career these days? Here’s a hypothetical to imagine for a moment - If you think of yourself as a beautiful plant sitting on your desk and your coworkers, job title, boss, daily activities, etc. as the water that nourishes your plant. How much water does your plant get each day? Is your plant happy and healthy or is it looking a bit sluggish and starving for good “water”? Does your career fulfill you? Does it bring you joy? Do you wake up each day excited to go to work? If not, what could you do to feel positive and uplifted in your job. Think about what your day would look like if your career were a source of contentment and inspiration. How do you feel? When you get home from the office, what do you prepare or choose to eat for dinner? I bet if you enjoy your job it’s not a greasy burger and fries.
Exercise/Movement: We all know we need to keep our bodies moving consistently. It is one of the key components to a healthy body and mind. Don’t you feel good about yourself when you know you are taking great care of your body physically? I know I certainly do. When I skip a workout or don’t exercise regularly, I feel not so great emotionally or physically. When I do exercise consistently, I feel great. I feel inspired, motivated and energized. I also make sure to fuel my body with nutritious, whole foods as often as possible because goodness knows, if I make the effort to be physically active, I am definitely not going to sabotage my efforts with unhealthy, sugar, chemical and additive loaded processed foods. You don’t have to go all P90X here if that’s not your gig. Just choose something that you will enjoy and look forward to doing each week. Be sure to mix up your types of exercise as well so your muscles don’t get bored and plateau.
Spiritual Practice: I know this is a super sensitive issue for many people and I respect that of course. I would just like to encourage you with whatever your spiritual practice is to strive to nourish it every day. It is a very important element that connects us to our amazing spirit and the core of who we are. How do you feel in this are of your life? Is your spiritual practice one that you chose for yourself? Is it one that your family or loved one chose for you? I hope that in this part of your life you are actively honoring it in a way that completes you. This is food for the soul my friend!
An exercise you can do to visualize where you are in these areas of your life is to complete The Circle of Life below. The Circle of Life is your wheel of life. When all the spokes on your circle are even (hopefully at a high level of contentment) your wheel will be balanced and roll smoothly. How well does your wheel roll?