Fill Your Plate | Feed Your Life

One of the fundamental principles of Integrative Nutrition® health coaching is that we are not only nourished (or toxified) by the food we put in our mouths—our secondary foods; we are equally (perhaps even more so) nourished or toxified by our primary foods: the relationships, work, physical activity, spiritual practice, sleep habits, etc. that we choose to embrace.

primary foods
© Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. Used by permission.

I love the work of Geneen Roth, author of a number of books such as Women Food and God and When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair: it was Roth who introduced me to the idea that our relationship with food can often serve as a mirror image of just about any relationship in our lives—not only with people. (You can read an earlier post about this titled “How do you come to the table?”)

While writing Fl!p Your K!tchenI came to realize that the act of cooking—of feeding ourselves and others—is similarly, deeply symbolic, which is why one of the intentions of the book is to not only be a cookbook and meal planning coach but to bring the concept of mindfulness to the kitchen.

My clients will tell you that I regularly ask, “How do you show up in the kitchen?” and often what begins as a cooking class turns into a gateway for discovering not only what dietary choices we make but what primary food choices we might want to shift.

If you don’t like the scene you’re in, if you’re unhappy, if you’re lonely, if you don’t feel that things are happening, change your scene. Paint a new backdrop.

~Leo Buscaglia

I love that the USDA has been constantly adjusting the dietary guidelines—yes, we can argue that they aren’t quite what they should be, they are often influenced by money from big food and big ag…and the fact is, they are constantly tweaking them, which is simultaneously frustrating (WHAT? Margarine was in, now it’s out? Eggs were out, now they’re in?) and liberating.

What looked like this:


Can actually look like this:


That’s right: you do have permission and the capacity to decide how to fill your plate—and your life!

During the last month of 2016, I invite you to spend some time pondering how your plate—primary and secondary—looks now and how you’d like it to look going forward.

Naturally, it’s advisable to—as we say only half in jest at our house—”Make good choices!”

[Edit: Please note that the registration for Supper + Support is now closed.] What are the “good” choices? That’s for you to decide, and if you need some guidance in and resources for making the decision, I invite you to join me for Supper + Support, the group coaching series I hold twice a year. For four months, we’ll meet twice a month—once for integrative nutrition and whole foods meal planning and once for a hands on cooking class.

supper + supportYou will come away with a better understanding of what diet and lifestyle choices suit you and your family best and the skills to implement them so that they don’t become another forgotten New Year’s resolution! And we’ll enjoy some good food along the way.

More information and registration details are on the blog—I look forward to helping you fill your plate and your life with the primary and secondary foods that will nourish you on a whole new level!

And during December, follow me on Facebook and Twitter, where I’ll be posting about some of my favorite resources—books, movies, websites, and podcasts—that can help you on your journey.