Primary Food

Nutrition (whether plant or animal sourced) is a secondary source of energy; i.e., the food you eat every day is really “secondary food.” Primary food (nonfood sources of nourishment) is what really fuels us.

As children, we all lived on primary food. Lovers thrive on the pure bliss and peace they are experiencing, while passionate entrepreneurs are fueled by their work. The excitement and rapture of daily life are our primary food and can feed us more completely than any food we consume.

Imagine children playing outside with friends. At dinnertime, their mother calls to them, “Time to come in and eat!” “No mommy, I’m not hungry yet,” they respond.

At the table, the mother dutifully ensures that the children leave no morsel behind. The children reluctantly force down the minimum requirement, eager to get back outside and play.

At the end of the day they return, exhausted and satisfied. They quickly fall asleep without thinking about food at all.

Can you remember being deeply in love? Everything is light and warm, colors are vivid, and life is full of joy. You’re high off your lover’s presence, sustained and exhilarated by the blissful connection. You float on air, and food becomes secondary.

Think back to a time when you were involved in an exciting work project. You believed in what you were doing whole-heartedly and felt confident and stimulated. Time stopped, and the outside world was muted – food was an afterthought.

Now recall a time you were depressed or experiencing low self-esteem – you were starving for primary food. No matter how much secondary food you ate, you never felt satisfied. The need for love, power, or mere acknowledgment drove the desire for excess food.

Primary food goes beyond the plate, nurturing us on a deeper level. The four main primary foods are:

  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Physical Activity
  • Spirituality

The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food. On the contrary, the more we fill ourselves with secondary food, the less space we leave for primary food – our true source of nourishment. Many religions and cultures practice fasting to reduce secondary food, opening channels to receive a greater amount of primary food.

Take some quality time to explore your personal balance between primary food and secondary food – which area could use some attention?

Included is a self-assessment activity to help you find the areas of your life the need a little extra nourishment.

June 2017 Maryanne Riege, Certified Holistic Health Coach, works with adults and children age 16 and over assisting, supporting, directing people on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle and diet.  Schedule an appointment by calling 262.695.5311.