Session #5


What is Primary Food?

Integrative Nutrition has a philosophy about food—it’s that everything we consider as a source of nutrition is really just a secondary source of nourishment.

The foods you eat are secondary to all the other things that feed you—your relationships, career, spirituality, and exercise routine. Those are the things we call primary foods.

All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy.

Our lifestyle has enormous effect on our health and the health of our family.

Lets talk about all factors in our lifestyle that can create or deteriorate a healthy lifestyle.

In a recent conference I asked a group of about 200 participants “what does a healthy lifestyle mean to you?”

Most of the responses related to food and exercise. But there are other factors that do influence the health of your families life.

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the largest nutrition school in the world based out of NYC,  they teach a concept known as ”Primary Nutrition”. Other non-related food categories under IIN’s Primary Nutrition concept included things like Relationships, Physical Activity, Career, Spirituality, etc.  So going back to the question at hand, Does eating healthy really make a difference?, you can clearly see that the answer is not a definitive yes or no…….I think the best answer comes from Integrative Nutrition.

The Integrative Nutrition pyramid depicts a balanced approach to nutrition: more high-quality, organic vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, protein and water; less meat, milk, sugar and artificial food.

The pyramid is surrounded with the primary food circle, the parts of life that satisfy our hunger for living and create a balanced life.

Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity and a spiritual practice are essential forms of nourishment.

When these “primary foods” are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary.

A healthy lifestyle is the sum of all parts; holistic in nature.

Let’s take a look at the Primary Foods:

1. Relationships:

What is the healthiest part of your relationship with your family?

List each individual and write whatever comes to mind regarding your relationships.


2. Career:

How do you feel about your career? Is there anything about your career you would like to change? What is the best part of your career?


3. Spirituality:

We are not talking about religion only spirituality. Are you spiritual? How do you feel about spirituality?

What are some ways you can become more spiritual?


4. Exercise Routine:

How do yo feel about exercise? What is it that you like about exercise? What is it you don’t like about exercise? How much time do you spend exercising?

There are no right or wrong answers here. This exercise was merely used to open up your true feelings about Primary Foods. Primary foods can sabotage your secondary foods so it is important that you understand your true feelings regarding your mindset toward  your  career, relationships, spirituality and exercise.

Remember -An unhealthy lifestyle means more illness and more expense to treat those illnesses. This means a bigger burden on an already challenged healthcare system. Poor health also means more time lost at work, less quality recreational time, and even shorter lifespan. But the people in this modern day have a mindset that takes good health for granted. One can suffer from years of aches and pains, and would just ignore them, and then feel so surprised when one finds out one has developed a serious chronic disease. Majorities would usually leave their health to the hand of the doctors, relying on the advance medical technology, medical drugs when the fall sick. We have the choice to live a healthy lifestyle, but many chose to live just for today, enjoy life, and most of the time end up suffering in pain with chronic diseases and illnesses.

After reading this webpage, you may want to try making some changes, embracing a lifestyle of better health and wellness,you have to realize that, in health, there isn’t a 100% one-size-fits-all approach. Nobody knows your own body better than you do. You will thus have to customize your own lifestyle to your own unique needs and preferences through a certain degree of experimentation. To do this, you will also have to learn to listen to your body.

Creating health is simple, but it sure isn’t easy. In fact, it is sometimes hard work, and it definitely takes perseverance, discipline and determination, since temptations are everywhere. Do realize that, often in adopting a healthy lifestyle a holistic approach must be taken, and it’s not just about taking one substance or doing one thing to cure a condition or obtain perfect health.

For more information on Integrative Nutrition email me or check out http://www.Integrative