Sometimes we are nourished not through our diet but by the energy in our lives. Primary food is more than what is on your plate; it refers to the parts of your life that feed your mind, body and spirit. These factors influence our multidimensional health and happiness, and when primary foods are balanced and satisfying, your life feeds you. There are 12 types of primary foods: your spirituality, creativity, finances, career, education, health, physical activity, home cooking (nourishing your body), home environment (physical living space), relationships, social life, and joy. It is essential to remember that these areas are bio-individual, meaning, what each person needs to feel fulfilled in each realm will differ for everyone.
On the other hand, secondary food is the food we actually eat. Many factors affect what, when and how we eat, and while some factors can be controlled, others can’t. These factors include our physiological and psychological health, lifestyle, environment, location, culture, social life, economics, and personal knowledge and beliefs. Specific health conditions, dietary restrictions, and food sensitivities affect our food choices, and stress can cause cravings that have us reaching for unhealthy options. Being far from grocery stores and farmer’s markets can even influence our food choices out of convenience and accessibility. Whom you spend time with can greatly affect your diet since we tend to pick up similar food habits of those around us.
Humans are multidimensional beings, thus we need more than just food to genuinely thrive and feel nourished. Let’s not forget that although nutrition is an influential piece of the puzzle, your health is dependent upon much more than what is on your plate. You can eat all the kale and spinach in the world and have a “perfect” secondary food plate, but if your primary foods are imbalanced, your mind, body, and spirit will never feel as nourished as they possibly could.