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Food: an essential component of self-care

Are you a foodie? Do you love to cook? Do you experiment with food from different cultures?

What food or dining experiences bring you joy? I have many, although I consider myself to have a more predictable relationship with food. I have my favorite restaurants, foods and dining experiences. How about you?

Have your comfort foods ever let you down? They can help you navigate tough times in life and wrap you in something comfortable and predictable when you need it most.

What about your favorite dining experiences? Have they provided lovely memories that you can bring to the forefront when you feel like reminiscing? These memories bring joy because they usually involve family and friends, a feast for the senses and interactive experiences.

Having been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in my late 20s, I began a lifelong experiment with food as medicine. My joy came from finding foods that helped my wellbeing and overall health. Another element of joy came from the feeling of control in an otherwise powerless situation.

I am now a breast cancer survivor, and my joyous relationship with food continues. This time, it involves knowing that what I consume can be a tool in helping me fight cancer recurrence. When I prepare something that is healthy AND delicious, I readily celebrate another element of my post-cancer self-care.


  • Arrange dining experiences with family and friends. You can be the catalyst for planning fun gatherings.
  • Experiment with food from different cultures; you might be surprised by what you like. I like to do a little research on food from different cultures; it helps me create a richer experience.
  • If you want to gain some additional insight, try a meal-tracking app on your phone. It can be eye opening, especially if you add relevant notes to your daily entries.
  • Trust me, if you are reluctant to exercise, having a delicious, healthy snack can add a bit of joy at the end.
  • And finally, consider food as medicine. Our bodies are complex and phenomenal. Find joy in giving your body what it needs to thrive.

Food doesn’t have to be central to your life, but defining what it means to you can be so empowering —and joyful!

Written by Tina Meilleur

Tina Meilleur, CPA and MBA, is an executive coach for professional women and women business owners, the founder of Design Your Success and the creator of Power Talk for Women. She is also a chapter chair for the Women Presidents Organization. Reach her at (504) 330-7405 or at

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