One of my favorite concepts I learned while attending IIN is the idea of primary foods. Nutrition is actually our secondary source of energy. Primary foods, or non-food sources of nourishment, are what really fuel us as human beings.
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 can feed us more completely than any food.
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 you ate, you never felt satisfied. The need for love, power, or mere acknowledgement drove the desire for excess food.
Primary food goes beyond the plate, nurturing us on a deeper level. The four main primary foods are:
- physical activity
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?