Have you heard of primary food…the food that feeds you that isn’t food. Say what? What does that mean? I learned about primary food many years ago when I was studying holistic nutrition and health coaching. It was one of those moments where I was like…oh my goodness this is SO right! It truly was a light bulb moment for me.
“Food is more than what you find on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.” – Joshua Rosenthal, IIN
Quite simply this means that our diet and in turn, our health, is literally controlled by our relationships, career, creativity, spirituality, finance, physical activity, self-confidence etc. If you are in a negative space with any of the above, you are more likely to eat unhealthy. We crave positivity and harmony in our lives and when we don’t have it we look for outside sources to make us feel better. For many of us this means food and let’s face it when we are not feeling great no one is eating asparagus and cauliflower. Most of us go to things like wine, pizza, chocolate, ice cream etc. for a mood lift.
I’ve been teaching and preaching about primary food and how to incorporate it into people’s lives for a long time. So it’s hard for me to admit that my primary food fell second the past few years. It’s been rough. I lost my father to Alzheimer’s disease and cared for him through the most difficult and darkest days. I was with him as he took his last breaths. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as well and I help care for her. I have had some serious health scares such as being told I am in the very high-risk category for breast cancer and had to have genetic testing, meet with an oncologist, and will have MRI and 3-D mammograms every six months for life. I have three young adults that have had their ups and downs with teenager, college life, and whatnot. This past week I had to hold my 17-year old sweet kitty as he was put to sleep after a short illness. This and some other things that I will keep private have thrown me for a loop. Yes, we ALL have trials and tribulations and as we know life isn’t a bowl full of cherries sometimes. I had let myself go and didn’t really practice what I was preaching. For me, it has been day-to-day survival.
Seven weeks ago I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a painting that I admired. I thought I would head over to Michael’s and buy a canvas and see if I could paint something similar. Something very interesting happened. I found my primary food…and fell in love with painting. Something else happened…friends, family even strangers started telling me that my paintings were beautiful and to sell them. Ha! Sell them? I have never painted anything other than a wall or occasional piece of furniture in my life and now you want to buy something I painted? Well, ok. Two sold in a week. Now every day I want to paint, and things are falling into place. It’s like my mind craved and needed this outlet and this creativity and had been patiently waiting for the right moment to pop up. So all the difficulties have led to this newly found love and I couldn’t be more surprised or joyful.
What is your primary food? What have you always wanted to try but were afraid? Do you have a creative outlet? Every one of us needs a life that is balanced with joy among the difficulties. We will always, always have the difficulties, but we must find the space, the primary food in our own lives so that we can feed our soul with goodness and positivity. Once your soul is nourished, your plate will hold the right foods, the healthy foods and the foods that fill you.