Something I have noticed is that people equate health with eating well. They decide they want to be healthy, and get laser focused on their food and what they are eating. However, there is waaaaay more to being healthy than just what you put into your mouth.
That’s not to say that food is not important- it is. Good nutrition can mean that people get lean, avoid having diseases like cancer and diabetes, reduce risk of heart disease and can have strong immune systems. But diet is only one piece of the puzzle that needs completing in order to follow a truly healthy lifestyle.
What you actually need is to also put effort into being a well-rounded healthy person. Obsessing only on food does not make you happy- and happiness is the key to being truly healthy.
Health is more than just diet
It doesn’t matter how clean, natural or organic your food is, if you are not enjoying this food, if you are miserable, without any friends, you never move your body, you have no passions to pursue and you look after yourself terribly (late nights boozing all the time and never getting outside to enjoy nature), then you cannot say you are healthy.
This is where working on your soul foods comes into play. My clients are often surprised that we really only focus on the diet side of their lives for such a small portion of my program in the work I do with them.
Together, we also focus on the Soul Foods of relationships, passion and purpose, movement, spirituality and self-care.
Why are Soul Foods so important?
Well, as of yet, scientists haven’t created a happy pill. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a pill and feel happy? When we are happy- TRULY happy in all aspects of our life- then we automatically look after ourselves, we eat well, make the healthy choices that are positive and fulfilling and live a life with joy.
That is why food is the secondary focus when it comes to overall well-being. Diet comes naturally when the other aspects of our lives are in balance.
If you don’t follow your passions, for example, or are unclear on your purpose for waking up on the morning, then it will be very difficult for you to feel happiness and to therefore be healthy.
I know this from my own experience, of dragging myself out of bed in the mornings to do work that did not fulfill me. When I discovered health coaching as a profession, I knew that I had found my calling- this would be the perfect career that melded my passions and skills to help people, what I love to do most.
Passion and Purpose
Everything changed for me when I had this purpose and I started feeling passionate about my life again. The times when I have been unhappiest, directionless and feeling completely unfilled doing work that did not light me up was also when I didn’t look after myself, I ate badly, stuffing my misery and negative emotions down with food, and when I didn’t exercise.
But when I was doing work that lit me up like a fire inside, I started brimming with happiness, and that reflected in other areas of my life too. I was more relaxed, smiled more, had more energy. And this made me more attractive to others and feel better about myself too. This then lead to having confidence that oozed from inside me, and it was when I was feeling like this that I met my now-husband after many years of being single.
Which brings us to relationships. This isn’t just those of the romantic kind. If you have friendships or relationships within your family network that are not fulfilling, that frustrate you and make you feel upset or angry, then you are likely going to be turning to your comfort foods more often, feeling miserable and stressed, and neglecting yourself in many different ways.
If you are able to forgive, do the healing work you need to do to salvage the friendships or relationships or on some cases just ditch the friends that no longer serve you, then you will feel lighter, freer and more open and receptive to bringing the right, supportive people into your life.
This then makes you feel happier and less depressed and you start to focus on your self-care practices that help you to feel relaxed and to enjoy life more.
Can you see how these soul foods all tie together to make you into a well-rounded person who can feel healthy and happy? See how little the food you eat has to do with it?
If you want to feel healthy and happy, start working on balancing your soul foods and then you should start to see results.
- If you need help in identifying the soul foods you need to work on, and need support to get you on-track, then you might want to consider working with me one-on-one. I have some brand new coaching packages now available and space in my calendar to take on a few more clients. I’d love to help you to be truly happy and healthy at the soul level.