When it comes to our health, we often know what we should be doing, but it's just hard to do. That's where a health coach can help. -Janna Kerr

201: 12 Areas of Non-Food Nourishment That Affect Your Health for Exhausted Moms with Janna Kerr

It’s pretty awesome when the first answer to your health may very well be “awareness.”

My guest today is health coach Janna Kerr, and you’ll absolutely love the stories she tells, especially the one where not changing ANYthing was a path to an actual health change! Wow!

We discuss the concept of “primary foods,” which are actually all the non-food aspects of life that affect what we put on our plates and thus, our overall health.

Building an understanding of these “primary foods” will help us live healthier, more fulfilled lives and even be better parents.

If you’ve ever felt out of balance or like you just aren’t hitting your goals (or don’t even have the bandwidth to SET goals), this interview is for you. 

Can’t see the video? Watch 12 Primary Foods here on YouTube!

No time for the video? Here are the notes!

Nourishment for Exhausted Moms

  • 0:45: Today I’m here with Janna Kerr, a health coach who helps moms take care of themselves so that they can care for their families.
  • 1:35: Janna shares her story with us and how she became a health coach. 
  • 4:02: What does a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach do? Janna defines it as asking questions and helping to guide people to make the best goals and choices for their bodies and lives and then helping to hold them accountable to those goals.
  • 7:26: As you listen, you’ve probably already thought of an appointment you’ve had where you received good advice from a doctor or nutritionist and then you didn’t stick with the advice long-term so it didn’t have the impact you wanted. That’s where a health coach can fill the gap.

"Primary foods" are the non-food areas of our lives that impact the food on our plates. -Janna Kerr

  • 7:54: It caught my ear when Janna talked about “primary foods” and I realized that these aren’t foods we eat. They’re non-food sources of nourishment that affect our health
  • 9:00: The 12 primary “foods” are: spirituality, career, education, finances, joy, creativity, home environment, home cooking, physical activity, health, relationships, and social life. 
  • 9:30: These primary foods are all part of one big integrative pot. Start by focusing on one. If one area specifically jumped out at you as you read that list, you know where to start.
  • 11:32: Some of these areas are obviously connected to our health, but others might have surprised you. Creativity for example isn’t often connected with health and wellbeing. It doesn’t mean being artistic. Creativity is just about sparking your imagination. 

Creativity and joy are 2 “primary foods” that moms need to focus on more. -Janna Kerr

Practical Self-Care for Moms

  • 13:10: When I’m teaching kids to cook I talk about creativity in the kitchen. For many moms, cooking has become more of a drudgery than a creative outlet. How can we lean into that aspect of cooking? You can shift your mindset around cooking, or try something new and look for something that gives you a spark of inspiration. If cooking is a chore to you, check out these practical tips and mindset shifts.
  • 15:14: Education tends to confuse people because we think of education as going to school. Cultivating education in your life is simply learning new things. What are you curious about? Do you want to learn a new hobby or skill? 


  • 18:17: One of the biggest benefits Janna has seen from focusing on these primary foods is awareness. Instead of plowing through the day or going on autopilot, you’re more aware of how you’re spending your time and energy and can put intention into your days
  • 20:04: Janna had a client who really struggled with home cooking. She was a full-time teacher with a young child and just didn’t have time to make it a priority even though she wanted to cook more healthy food at home. Her first step was to cook breakfast and not worry about the other meals. Over time, she noticed that this one change began trickling over to other meals as well. She began packing healthier lunches and snacks and feeling better overall. 
  • 21:55: Another client was a stay-at-home mom who was a caregiver for an ill child and she was very isolated for many years. She chose to focus on her social life and started reaching out to rekindle old friendships and saw the fruit of those connections in her life.
  • 25:00: Are any of these areas more important than others? Generally speaking no, but for each individual, there’s always one that needs your attention the most in your current season. You may choose to make one or two your top priorities for your life, for example, spirituality is the most important for Janna and she sees it as the foundation of everything else. She shares an analogy to help you visualize the priorities. 

Get Started With One Healthy Habit

  • 27:05: Let’s get practical. This week, notice some of these areas in your life and the choices you’re making within them. What’s one thing you can shift in one area to improve your health? Just be curious, not judgemental. 

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  • Kōkua Suncare with tons of antioxidants and my kids’ favorite scent and application
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  • Raw Elements for so many reasons, including their tinted stick for adult faces (all styles, use KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Maelove, which I call the best “transition” sunscreen when moving away from chemical ‘screens
  • Others that make the top-recommended cut: Badger, ThinkBaby, Kabana

If you’re worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.

  • 28:36: “Home environment” is anything related to your home, surroundings, and where you live. Do you live in the city or the country? Is there lots of natural light in your home? Is it cluttered and stressful? Do you have loud neighbors? Is your bedroom conducive to sleep? Some of these things can’t be changed, but how can you do the best with the situation you’re in when there’s stress?
  • 29:47: Relationships and social life are separate on this list. The relationships area covers intimate family connections and social life is anything outside your home.
  • 30:40: As parents we want our kids to understand the importance of these “primary foods” and start good habits young. Your example is huge with young kids. With older kids, you can help them notice how these areas affect their health. 
  • 32:50: Habits are important to keep forward progress going. Focus on one area of your life at a time, but set habits and routines in place to maintain your progress

Start with one thing, get a good handle on that no matter how long it takes, and then add the next thing. -Janna Kerr

  • 34:45: Janna has a free 10-day Healthy Habit Reset Challenge quarterly and does a 12-week coaching program for exhausted moms.
  • 27:08: We leave you with a super practical step you can accomplish today. Sit for 30 seconds and choose the next step you want to take. It doesn’t matter what “primary food” area it fits in, just choose one small change. 

Resources We Mention for Tired Moms

Janna Kerr Janna Kerr is an IAHC Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and founder of At The Well Coaching. She serves exhausted Christian moms by meeting them “at the well” — in the midst of their day-to-day — and empowers them to love and care for their bodies so they can fulfill their God-given mission in this world.

As a mom of three, Janna knows the struggle of not having enough energy to make dinner, let alone “find balance”. In 2016, Janna was able to shift her focus from the nonprofit world to the health and wellness industry. Personal connection with her clients is the best part of her day and she’s passionate about giving them simple, realistic, and actionable tools.

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to the Healthy Parenting Handbook Newsletter

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3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

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About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship®, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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