If there is one hump I encourage you to climb over, it’s the perception that “eating better” will change everything. Believe me, I wish it did, but it doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong… eating whole, nutritious and unprocessed foods is immensely important, but it’s not the whole story.
When I was studying at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, there was one thing that Joshua Rosenthal (founder of INN) said that I will never forget. He said something along the lines of, “If someone hates their job, is miserable in their relationship and too busy to get outside and experience nature, getting them to eat broccoli is a waste of time”. Our bodies and our souls crave nourishment. Think about how you feel after taking a long walk on the beach, going on vacation, playing with your kids or talking to a good friend you haven’t connected with in a while. These activities are fulfilling and incredibly gratifying. They help put our lives and our purpose into perspective. These are what us health coaches call “Primary Food”.
Primary Food encompasses relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality & anything else you may do in your life that brings you a sense of balance, happiness and peace.
The problem is that for most of us, our busy lives and endless commitments keep us too far from primary food and we end up trying to fulfill these voids with quick gratification in the form of fast/unhealthy food, TV, alcohol, etc. That’s where the broccoli that Joshua mentioned comes in. Broccoli, although delicious (and one of my favorite foods), is not the answer to anyone’s unhappiness or dissatisfaction.
There’s good reason for why “eating better” is so difficult to achieve. It’s not because we aren’t good enough to make the change, but instead because we are looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places.
As a health coach I work with people to identify where they’re at with these key aspects of their lives. Before recommending any sort of dietary change (also known as “secondary food”), we address primary food. Eating better is like the icing on the cake. But you can’t ice a cake that doesn’t exist.
If you are someone struggling with your diet or obsessing over the food you’re putting into your body (even if it’s healthy) and still feeling unfulfilled or unhappy, I encourage you to refocus your energy on primary foods.
Get outside. Take a walk. Kiss your loved ones. Play a game. Laugh. Love. Be yourself. Find joy in everything, even when others can’t. I promise, once you do all that, eating healthy will be so much easier.
You deserve more than broccoli. You deserve bliss.