Primary Foods…What’s Eating You?

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:

  • career
  • relationships
  • physical activity
  • spirituality

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?

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Eating Seasonally – The Best Foods To Enjoy This Spring!

I am a big supporter of eating locally produced food that is in season. Our bodies were designed to consume certain foods in certain seasons. When it’s cold outside, our bodies don’t crave cooling foods like watermelon or pineapple. We crave warm, earthy foods like sweet potato, dense protein and fats. As spring approaches, I wanted to talk a bit about what some of the best foods to consume are if you are trying to eat “in season.”

Spring is a great time to focus on eating your leafy greens! Foods like swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley and basil. Enjoy them in salads, green juices or as side dishes! Greens are one of my all time favorite foods. Artichokes, asparagus, garlic, lemons, peas and strawberries are also great foods to enjoy in the spring.

By feeding your body the foods that are most appropriate for your season and locale, you are giving your body the nourishment it needs to thrive optimally in your particular climate. Our bodies are truly amazing – when we listen to them and fuel them with what they need to thrive, it is incredible what they can achieve.

Happy Spring!


How Your Food Affects Your Energy

Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on using foods to prevent and treat disease. Knowledge of food energetics can help one build a stronger sense of health and well-being by eating different foods that impose different effects[1]. Like the saying, “you are what you eat.”

The principles of macrobiotics involve creating a yin and yang balance in all aspects of life – including the food combinations we choose to eat.

Eating from your own garden or buying your produce from the local farmers’ market will leave you feeling more connected to your home or local community. When you eat seasonal, locally grown produce, the body is more able to maintain balance from the inside out.

It is beneficial to take advantage of cooling fruits and lighter greens in the summertime, when they are at their peak in harvest. At the same time, heartier vegetables, such as deeply rooted carrots and squashes, grow more abundantly in the wintertime, and are going to add warmth to the body. It’s good to maintain a balance of eating seasonally as well as locally, as much as possible, to stay in harmony with the natural order of things.

   Quality Food Preparation


Root vegetables

Sweet vegetables

Meat, fish



Pressure Cooking





Leafy greens

Wheat, barley, quinoa


Raw foods




Gas stove cooking






Microwave cooking

Electric stove cooking

Factory farming



Organic foods

Whole foods

Local foods

Brown rice

Home cooking

Home gardening

© Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

[1] Leggett, Daverick. “The Energetics of Food.” Journal of Chinese Medicine. 56 (1998): n. page. Print.

Organic Fruit & Vegetable Storage Tips

10All fruits and vegetables go through different ripening processes from the time they’re grown. During these processes a natural ethylene gas is emitted from the produce which can spread to other fruits and vegetables. It’s important to store different foods properly to reduce the chances of quick spoiling or flavor transfer.

Produce Storing Conditions Storage Container Notes
Apples 32°F plastic bag away from strong scented foods
Bananas warm area plastic bag heated bananas will quicken the ripening process
Broccoli high-humidity vegetable crisper, up to 3 days refresh in ice water to maintain color
Cabbage humid vegetable bin plastic bag will last a week. Savoy and Napa 3-4 days
Cauliflower coldest part of refrigerator with highest humidity plastic bag will last several months
Carrots (with tops) refrigerator crisper plastic bag will last up to 5 days
Celery humid vegetable bin plastic bag will last about 2 weeks
Chard plastic wrap store for up to 2 days
Collards crisper plastic bag store up to 5 days
Corn plastic bags with husk best eaten immediately
Grapes keep refrigerated, or store in freezer remove spoiled grapes or ones with broken skins before storage
Green beans refrigerator crisper perforated plastic bag, paper bag store up to 5 days
Kiwis refrigerator, or room temperature once ripe, store far away from other fruits firm kiwis can be stored up to 6 months; ripe 1-2 weeks
Lettuce vegetable drawer of refrigerator plastic bag do not store with melons, apples, pears or ethylene gas emitting fruits
Mangoes cool room temperature may be placed in paper bag to speed ripening ripe mangoes will keep for 2-3 days
Melons refrigerator or room temperature Tightly wrap cut melons Can be stored for 3 days
Onions dry, dark, well-ventilated area.       Do not refrigerate.
Oranges cool area, outside refrigerator eat within a few days
Pears room temperature sealed plastic bag store with ripe bananas
Peppers refrigerator plastic bag stored for at least a week
Potatoes 45-50°F, cool and humid
Spinach Cold, moist surroundings – 32°F with 95% humidity clean plastic bags with paper towels rinse thoroughly before storing. Will last only 2-3 days.
Strawberries refrigerator moisture-proof container extremely perishable. Refrigerate immediately. Eat within 48-72 hours.
Summer Squash refrigerator plastic bag store for 3-5 days
Tomatoes room temperature, not below 55°F Will last 2-3 days when ripe
Winter Hard Squash cool, dark, well-ventilated area store up to 1 month

[i][i] “Storing Apples.” The Gardeners Network. N.p., n.d. Web.

“How to Maximize your Organic Produce.” Organic Authority. N.p., n.d. Web.

Mom Was Right!

The report is due in two hours. Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a mid-term exam. Or you’re making sales calls. Suddenly, bam! Around 10:30 a.m. you hit a wall. All you want to do is look out the window.

Hmmm…what did you eat for breakfast?

I hate to say, “I told you so,” so I’ll turn to Mom, who has said it countless times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the meal that’s designed to supply a third of the macro and micro nutrients your body needs to run without a hitch.

So what are you eating each morning to do all these things? A cup of coffee gulped down on the go? A cup of sugary yogurt and a muffin eaten at your desk? Nothing at all?

Your body deserves so much better than that. And so do you!

When you eat a good breakfast, your day goes smoothly. No growling stomachs, low blood sugar shakiness, or wandering attention to keep you from nailing those big goals you’ve made for yourself.

What Breakfast is Right for You?

One of the best—and most fun—ways to find out which foods serve YOU most powerfully is something called the Breakfast Experiment. For one week, eat a different breakfast each day. Record in a notebook what you ate, how you felt immediately after the meal, and how you felt again two hours later.

  • Day one: Scrambled eggs or tofu
  • Day two: Bean soup or a bean salad
  • Day three: Oatmeal
  • Day four: Boxed breakfast cereal
  • Day five: Muffin and coffee
  • Day six: Fresh fruit
  • Day seven: Fresh vegetables

Feel free to repeat the experiment for another seven days with different foods each morning. Which breakfasts made you feel energized? Which ones didn’t? After the experiment, try adding in more of the foods that made you feel great!

Side Effects to “Dye” For…Let’s Talk Food Dyes

Food coloring…sigh…this is one of those food topics that infuriates me! Did you know that some countries actually ban the use of food colorings in foods because of the dangerous side effects associated with them? So why is it that food manufacturers like Kraft are willing to make safer, naturally dyed versions of their products but still serve Americans the more toxic counterpart that contains food dyes. It all comes down to the almighty dollar. If they can save a buck by offering us the less expensive, more toxic version of their products, then who gets hurt, right? Our children do, that’s who.

Recent studies have linked food dyes to a host of potential health problems, including cancer in animals and A.D.D. in children. In animal testing dyes have been linked to diseases like tumors of the bladder, kidneys, testes and immune system. Although the FDA has admitted that Red 40 and Yellow 5 dyes trigger hyperactivity and behavioral problems in some children, they are still allowed! Why? These provide no nutritional benefit and can only harm our growing children’s bodies!

These brightly colored foods have a strong visual appeal to our easily influenced children, making them a preferred choice when given the option. Offering our children dyed food like substances instead of healthy, nutritious whole foods is part of the reason why our society is in such an epidemic of disease and malnutrition. Spend your money wisely. Read labels. Every dollar you spend on a product containing food dyes is a dollar you are using to support the use of these dangerous, toxic products in our food supply.

The Importance of Chewing your Food Properly


Digestion initially begins in the mouth. As you start to chew your food, digestive enzymes found in saliva begin to break it down, preparing for nutrient absorption. It’s importantly to chew your food thoroughly to achieve maximum absorption of all your vitamins and minerals.

How to Chew Properly

To get into the habit of chewing foods thoroughly, try counting the chews in each bite, aiming for 30 to 50 times. Try putting your utensils down between bites to help you better concentrate on chewing.

  • Chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times each, until the food becomes liquid.
  • Chewing breaks down food and makes it easier on the stomach and small intestine.
  • Saliva assists in the digestion of carbohydrates.

If under pressure at meals, take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you. Taking the time to chew will help you to enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal.

Good Chewing Suggestions

Before eating

  • Wash hands
  • Shower or wash face to help relax.
  • Turn off the television, radio, telephone.
  • Do not read.
  • Find a clean quiet place to eat.
  • Light a candle or play soft music.
  • Stretch, breathe.
  • Align your posture and breathe.

During your meal

  • Place a bite of food in your mouth.
  • Put your utensil down.
  • Place your hands together while chewing.
  • Begin chewing and deep breathing.
  • Concentrate on what you’re doing.
  • Look at your food or something attractive, or close your eyes partially or fully.

After eating

  • Say thanks.
  • Sit and talk after your meal.
  • Take a light stroll.

So next time you think about gobbling your food on the go, think twice. Sit down, enjoy a nice meal and most importantly – CHEW YOUR FOOD!