Finding balance in your primary source of life

Good nutrition goes far beyond consuming your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables. Consider the nourishment that sustains your life: spirituality, relationships, career and physical activity. These areas are called primary foods. They affect how you feel every day and have a direct impact on your physical and emotional well-being.

Assess your primary foods
Take a moment to rate how you truly feel about each lifestyle factor on a scale of one to ten - ten being the most satisfied. Then ask yourself why you feel the way that you do in areas with low ratings. How can you gain more satisfaction or fulfillment in those specific areas?

Make the connection
After honest and careful examination, you may find that an imbalance in primary foods can trigger poor decisions when it comes to your overall health. For example, stressful situations could be connected to insufficient sleep, poor relationships could be linked to consuming too many comfort foods, or a lack of physical activity could be tied to decreased productivity.

Make small changes
Once you’ve discovered what triggers unhealthy habits, make small, realistic goals to create better habits. For instance, create a plan to reduce stress at work, improve relationships by designating a monthly outing, or have a set time to go to sleep every night. Don’t be afraid to responsibly modify your primary foods to support your goals and create healthier habits.

While the foods we eat are critical to our physical health, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition teaches that primary foods are fundamental to overall nourishment, health and happiness. Explore your primary foods and make changes that will lead to a fulfilling life.