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A 587-word column written by Heather Hetheru, Personal Change Coach. Let her 25+ years’ experience helping others navigate the journey of life through books, workshops, and 1-on-1 coaching work for you too. For more information visit or reach out to



When you hear the words, “Soul Food” what comes to mind? Is it a menu of food items, like greens, mac and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken or fish, black-eyed peas, and banana pudding? Does the movie, by the same name, starring many of the iconic African American actors and actresses come to mind? Or do you look beyond these “traditions” to seek something deeper? Do you believe the phrase “you are what you eat?”

     To begin this journey into “soul food” we must define what the “soul” is and the deeper purpose of “food”.  Here are some words to consider for a better understanding of the word soul; a people; psyche; person; energy; wave; time; vitality; bio-plasma; chakras; KI; vital force; ego-self; self-other; social; individual; entity; mind (as in the popular expression "body-mind-spirit"); limbic system, instincts, essence, and/or consciousness. I would like to focus on the latter description called the “essence” and/or “consciousness” of our being. This is an important platform to build from because it is the seat of our choices and the receiver of our consequences and rewards.  Here are some words to consider for the word “food”, nourishment, bread, meals, rations, supplies, material, substance, and sustenance. I would like to focus on the latter of this description and use substance and sustenance because it is the provision of fuel that allows us the continuity of our choices.

Lessons from the Journey: Soul Food...It’s Important to Choose Wisely