It’s more than healthy eating

Joan's Wellness Wheel

Choosing the foods you eat and the beverages you drink is only part of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.  In my professional day’s work, people routinely ask me for the perfect diet that will be their saving grace.  I am always happy to help patients develop meal  plans that will suit their food preferences, budget and medical needs.  However, nourishing oneself is not just about the food.

What nourishes you?  I’m talking about more than just food.  Look at what I call the “Wellness Wheel”.  This is my version, but you could make your own.  At the core are things most people would agree are vital for life such as air, food, water, sleep, etc.  These provide for your most basic needs, but  our human species needs much more.

Notice how the wheel has spokes to support the core.  Each spoke must be present and strong for the wheel to optimally function.  For example, in my practice I often find that people compensate for a lack of intimacy with poor eating choices.  Likewise, being stuck in a job that restricts ones talent and self-expression may lead to excessive or unhealthy intake of food and/or drink.

What does this mean for you?  Naturally we should look at your diet, what you eat, when you eat, and how you eat.  However, the wheel may be used as a tool to assess stressors and why you eat.  Of course food should be comforting, pleasurable and a part of your social activities, but it cannot fulfil these other needs.  I invite you to spend some time thinking about the spokes in your own Wellness Wheel.  Your openness to addressing these other areas, whether individually or with qualified  healthcare providers, plays an important role in your success.  With me as your dietitian we can explore the what, when and how of your eating.