As a Personal Trainer I have extensively studied exercise and traditional nutrition practices in relation to healthy living. It is my life-long goal to sustain a healthy lifestyle and to help others do the same. Recently, I have become intrigued by an integrative approach to nutrition that teaches about primary and secondary sources of food. This is an interesting concept that I want to investigate further. Meanwhile, here is a brief explanation.
Primary foods are the non-foods that bring nourishment to our lives. They are the things that fill our lives with joy and feed us beyond the plate. According to the Integrative Institute of Nutrition there are twelve categories of primary foods:
4. Recreational activities
5. Social life
6. Environment at home
9. Physical activity
10. Home cooking
Primary foods fuel us with purpose and passion. It is what satisfies our hunger for life. It has a profound impact on our emotional and mental well-being because it is the primary foods that we rely on to fill our cups and fuel us every day.
Secondary foods are the actual foods that we consume to nourish our bodies. It includes the daily nutrition we obtain through breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, to fuel our bodies.
This is a comprehensive approach to nutrition. It provides nourishment for the whole person. Our daily diet requires both primary foods and secondary foods if we desire to live a rich and fulfilling life. We must examine our lives to see if we are malnourished in any way. If there is a deficiency in our primary food source there will be an increase in the consumption of secondary foods to restore balance in your body. This can result in emotional eating, overeating and cravings. A healthy balance of primary foods makes us less dependent on secondary foods. However, the opposite is also true. The more secondary foods we consume the less room we make for the primary foods in our lives. When we become consumed with one it is always at the expense of the other. Balance is key!
Reflection Questions: What’s Feeding You?
1. Does secondary food occupy more space and energy than you want in your life?
2. Is this because your primary food reserve is low?
3. What category of primary foods could use more attention?