Why You Need A Nourishment Menu!

How do you provide nourishment to your body?

When you hear the term nourishment, your mind might immediately turn towards food…what are the most nourishing foods you can eat?

Vegetables, organ meats, dairy products, fruits…

Sure those foods nourish your body, but there is more to nourishment than what makes up your food.

Sticking with the context of food, food can nourish you in other ways. Foods can be used to celebrate special occasions, bring you closer to friends and family, comfort you when you are not feeling your best, or bring your happiness and remind you of ones who have passed away.

Here are some examples…

  • You might go out to a special restaurant on your anniversary.
  • Share a nice cup of coffee with a friend at a local coffee shop.
  • Help you cope with a recent break up.
  • Celebrate a family tradition with the ones you love.

All these things can bring your nourishment, not physically, but mentally and emotionally.

Nourishment is more than just the physiological nourishment of your body. Nourishment can nourish your mental, physical, and emotional health as well.

When any part of you needs some nourishment it is very convenient to have a list, or menu of nourishing options to choose from.

The idea of a nourishment menu is not something I came up with. I first heard of the idea from Precision Nutrition. They used the idea of a nourishment menu in the context of stress eating. Certainly that is one application of a nourishment menu, but I think the idea can be broadened to all types of situations.

So what is a nourishment menu?

Basically it is a list (menu) of things you can select from to nourish you in times of need. You could even break the menu up into categories that address different types of nourishment needs.

Some categories you might consider are:

  • Stress
  • Social Connection
  • Physical Nourishment
  • Emotional Nourishment
  • Restorative Nourishment
  • Relaxation/Sleep Nourishment

I encourage you to sit down and think about what things nourish all aspects of your wellbeing. Remember this is about YOU not about anyone else, something that nourishes you might do the opposite to someone else, but that doesn’t matter.

If you are looking for inspiration here are some ideas from my own nourishment menu.

  • Walking/Hiking – this one for me helps will aspects of my health and is my #1 go to item
  • Meditation
  • Sauna
  • Reading
  • A big ass salad
  • Breath Work
  • Cold Exposure
  • Exercise
  • Cooking with my kids
  • A meal with my wife
  • Training with my friends

Need some other ideas…here you go!

  • Play or listen to music
  • Sing or dance
  • Garden
  • Yoga, Tai Chi, Stretch, Foam Roll
  • Massage
  • Float Tanks
  • Play with your pets
  • Color
  • Do a puzzle
  • Pray, go to church, etc

Whenever you find yourself depleted mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, select something off your nourishment menu to help you nourish your body and/or mind. Ideally the things on your nourishment menu would be part of your life, as they were ancestrally. However, because life has so many demanding tasks we tend to push the things that nourish our bodies to the side and we end up not doing them. That is OK, as long as we can listen to our bodies and shift our priorities when we need them. This is something I work on with my one on one clients. I have even gone as far as scheduling it as part of their workouts!

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