Some of you may have seen from my social media and from previous blog posts that I am training to become a Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I signed up to IIN because I have a keen interest in nutrition and nourishing my body with the best possible foods as a form of self love. What I didn’t realise when I signed up to IIN, is that as well as teaching us about the importance of a good diet, we would go just as deeply into the fundamentals of what nourishes us off of our plate.
When signing up for my training as a health coach, it didn’t occur to me that a lot, if not the majority of my focus with clients will be to do with things that go beyond our physical body. Because what is beyond our physical body has the greatest affect of all on our physical body.
With the help of IIN, I am learning to look at my health (and that of my potential clients) holistically.
The Cambridge dictionary definition of holistic is:
‘Dealing with or treating the whole of something or someone and not just a part’.
This is the idea that all aspects of you and your life are interconnected and everything has a knock on affect on each other. It allows you to look at the big picture of your life. In able to look at your health holistically, it is important to recognise that there are two main forms of nourishment. Myself and IIN refer to these as Primary food and Secondary food.
Primary food is everything that has the capacity to nourish you that exists OFF of your plate. This includes your career, your relationships, physical exercise, finances, home environment, the levels of joy and creativity in your life and spirituality to name a few. These areas of life are referred to as Primary food as they are just as, if not more important than the food on your plate. As I discovered a little while ago, you can be eating all the kale in the world but still be unhappy. Being unhappy in one major or many areas of primary food can affect your stress levels, which could lead to chronic disease in the body if under stress for a long period of time.
Secondary food is the term used to refer to the food that nourishes you on your plate. Secondary food should nourish your body and provide it with everything it needs to thrive and enjoy the areas of Primary food mentioned above. There is no one way of eating that suits everyone. Diet is bio-individual and can change for you over the course of a lifetime. Some people may thrive on an omnivore diet, whilst others on a raw vegan. It’s about finding what works for you, your lifestyle and your body.
Why is having a holistic view to health so important? EVERYTHING in this world is interconnected. Both on a microcosmic level with your own life and a macrocosmic level in the wider world. For example:
You may have a hectic job that you fell into after school because the pay was good. But the hours are long. It’s not 9-5, more like 8-7. The work is rewarding in some ways, but doesn’t fulfil you on a deeper level. You feel stressed and depleted at work, and long hours and a commute leads you to feeling tired. Your tiredness can affect your relationships with loved ones as you often feel cranky when you come home. You have little time for yourself and are often pushed for time so eating healthy meals slips by the wayside. Your sleep pattern is irregular as you find it difficult to sleep and often kay awake thinking about work. The stress has begun to manifest itself in physical ways and you often get aches, pains and migraine headaches. See how one area of your life can have a profound affect on the big picture? If you went to the doctors for relief from your migraine, you may have received a prescription to cover up the problem but the root cause wouldn’t be addressed (that is not me discrediting doctors for the work they do, I believe they are wonderful and definitely needed). But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could prevent before going to the doctors office rather than have to cure later down the line?
As a health coach, I will help you to look at your health in this way. On a deeper level, where all parts affect the whole. I will provide support, and where necessary, advice in a safe, client led space to help you take charge of your own health in whatever way you wish to. My aim through this training is to help empower people to live the life they always wanted on their own journey of self love and growth. I am SO excited that this beautiful work is becoming a part of my own journey.
Have you noticed areas of your life where you can view your health holistically? Does having a health coach to help you achieve your wellness goals sound like something you be interested in? If so, drop me a comment below or send me an email privately. I would love to connect and let you know what I have in the pipeline.
As always, thank you for giving me the space to share my thoughts. Have a beautiful weekend.
With Love, Light & Best Wishes,