Holistic Health: Primary vs Secondary Foods

Welcome to the very first Mid-Week Healthy Bites!

These are our bite-sized episodes to break up your week, where we take 5 minutes to chat all things health and wellness.

In this episode...

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I mention health?

Usually it’s either nutrition or exercise; however I’d like to introduce the concept of holistic health and start to get you thinking greater than just purely what we eat and the output through our bodies.

We touch on the concept of primary and secondary foods and how all of these are integrated in their relationship to one and other.

So let's dive in!

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Transcript

Amanda: [00:00:20] What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I mention health?

Is it nutrition? Or exercise?

Usually they’re the first two things that people will mention, but I’d like to introduce the concept of holistic health and really discuss how it is so much greater than just purely what we eat and the output or the exercise that we do through our body as well.

I mean, health has such an integrated nature. There are so many different aspects that are all connected and I’d really like to touch on that today. So I want to introduce this concept of primary and secondary foods.

Now there’s a big hint here. Primary foods are not those that we eat. In fact, what is on our plate is considered to be the secondary food.

And I’m sure you’re probably thinking, hang on, that’s not what I’ve been taught growing up. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But if you think of primary foods as being your life foods, these are the things that nourish our mind, our body and our soul.

 So, let me explain that in a little bit more detail…

Now there quite a few different areas of our life that fall under this primary food category. We have things like career. So are you in a fulfilling career? Does it bring you joy? Does it bring you excitement or is it something that sort of drains you as you go to each day?

How are your finances? Are your finances in a good position? Or are they something that causes you stress?

Education is also something that falls into the primary food category. So, are you in a position where your education is serving you well? Or is it something that you need to put more time or effort into?

How about your creativity? Are you allowing time for a creative outlet in your life?

And spirituality? Now I’m not talking about religion here. I’m talking more broadly in terms of… That could be meditation, it could be yoga, it could even be, just be mindfulness. It’s really around finding a spiritual outlet that works for you.

Joy also falls into the area of primary food. So how much joy do you have in your life?

How about your social life? Are you making time for friendships or is that something that needs improving on?

And your relationships? And again, I’m not talking purely about your romantic relationship. Yes, that is part of it, but consider things like your relationship with your friends, your family, your parents, and the others around you as well, so it’s a broader category here.

Your home environment and cooking as well. Do you come home each day and is your home somewhere that brings you a sense of calm or is it a stressful environment? Do you make time to cook? Or do you tend to eat out a lot.

How about physical activity? Yes, here it is, physical activity. So that is something that falls more into the primary food category. And it doesn’t just need to be purely exercise in the traditional sense. It might be more about are you making time to get up and move? So how is your body feeling? What kind of activity are you doing?

And then lastly, the broader category of health. How is health in general?

The thing about these primary food categories is that being out of balance in any of these areas can actually then lead to physical and emotional symptoms to appear.

This really brings us to the idea of the integrated nature of health. So for example, if you’re unhappy in your job, what you might be feeling is anxiety as the weekend draws to an end.

So Sunday night, you know that you have to go to work the following day. How are you feeling? Do you find when you get to work on Monday, you’re sitting there and you’re snacking all day long, even though you’re not hungry, but the real reason behind it is just to distract yourself and faith of boredom that you may be experiencing.

Or maybe you don’t have a spiritual practice and you’re finding that you’re feeling a little bit lost and you’re stuck learning to look to other people to fill that void instead of finding peace and fulfillment inside yourself.

So it’s little things like this. I mean you’re probably starting to notice a bit of a pattern now how our health is not purely just around good nutrition and exercise. There is so much more to it and the thing is everything is connected.

It’s pretty amazing when you start to look at that bigger picture and really consider how the different aspects all tie into each other. So I welcome you to do that next time, that you’re feeling a little bit out of alignment in one area, it could be because there’s something in the primary food area of your life that isn’t quite sitting right.

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