what are primary foods?
As a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I studied the fundamental aspects of nutrition and physical activity, but also other factors that affect a person's well-being. This comprehensive approach also takes into account the emotional and spiritual state of a person…
Let's dive deeper and expand on the concept of what are the primary and secondary foods.
Primary foods are the elements that contribute to your sense of nourishment and leave you feeling satisfied in the grand denouement that is your life. All health journeys begin with evaluating our primary foods. Which are actually comprised not of the food itself but rather of all aspects of our lives, from our careers to our interpersonal relationships, to the amount of physical activity we do, to our emotions and spirituality. All of these elements influence the outcome of our wellness journey.
twelve categories of primary foods
IIN use the Circle of Life (pictured above) to demonstrate the Primary Foods. There is also an associated excercise to evaluate your own lifestyle and work out what Primary Foods need more of your attention to optimize your health & happiness.
Draw a dot point in each category to indicate your satisfaction within that factor of life. The happier you are, the closer to the outside of the circle the dot point goes. For example, if you're relationships leave you feeling fulfilled and valuable, the dot would be placed closer to the outside of that category within the circle! After you have drawn on all the dot points, connect them with a line. Step back and notice any imbalances - the goal is to have the circle remain full and smooth.
my healing journey
I'm living proof that Primary Foods are real game changers to optimize one's health. At the outset of my healing journey from early onset rheumatoid arthritis, I changed my diet (this is referred to this as secondary food). I also focused on turning my passion for healthy living through wellness into a fulfilling career as a certified health coach (& Global Glow was born). I ended negative relationships, found sprituality and often re-evaluate these factors in my life to ensure I have balance in each of them. Of course, there will be ups and downs but at least I'm cognisant of the need for it and make the necessary changes before it can affect my overall health.
listen to your body's signals
If you want your body to work in harmony, hence balance your hormones as they are responsible for signaling the body's vital systems, you need to balance your life. The hormonal system is incredibly sensitive to the outside world. If you are not fulfilled, satisfied or thrilled with your life, your hormones will suffer. The mind-body connection is real, negative thoughts or emotions are proven to cause havoc on the body, especially the hormonal system. By working to balance your hormones through the primary foods in your life, you’ll naturally begin to live in harmony with your female body.
When symptoms pop up, it’s easy to feel like there might be a bigger or more complex issue going on or you’re broken and can’t heal. The first step in healing is acknowledging that nothing is inherently wrong with you. You are whole exactly as you are. From a place of confidence in your body’s ability to heal itself, you can get curious about what’s going on for you and tap into the endless toolbox that is primary food. Embody the mind-set that you are healthy now and you can become even healthier. This takes a huge weight off your shoulders and allows your body to naturally reach health.
It might surprise you, but sometimes the harder you work out, the more stress you actually put on your body. Depending on your constitution and condition, you may actually need gentle exercise, like pilates, yoga or walking. Certain forms of rigorous exercise trigger the stress response, so make sure you balance your hard-core workouts with practices that are easier on the body. Gentle exercise might include yoga, meditation, or dance. The mind-body connection is real, when you move with intention, your body notices the difference! You might discover that your body responds really well to these gentler practices when you are in tuned to each move. Experiment for a few weeks and see how your body feels.
"With aligned actions you will find clarity & your body will rejoice".
GET REAL ABOUT REST
Are you chronically exhausted, trying to push through the day? Maybe you’re actually tired. Starting with weekends, let yourself sleep as long as you want. You might notice that you wake up naturally without an alarm clock during the week. Some people will be rejuvenated after one long deep sleep, while others might need to take some serious time off to come back into balance. Sleep is a requirement for good health, especially for balanced hormones. Listen to your body and sleep when you’re tired. Prioritize your sleep routine and do what works for you. Whether that be through reading, meditating, a warm cup of calming tea or an anti-stress tincture to relax your mind, find your rhythm.
EVALUATE YOUR MINDSET
A lot of women feel like they need to keep up with other people. If you don’t want to exercise for one hour every single day after a ten-hour workday, you might think there’s something wrong with you. You might even beat yourself up or feel ashamed and lazy. To ignore your body’s signals and write them off as laziness is not productive or helpful – it actually drains your energy even more. The mental weight you put on yourself (like shame and judgment) can drain you more than a long to-do list. The female body is naturally incredibly fine-tuned. It is designed for deep relaxation and self-care at certain times of the month and linear, productive work at other times of the month. Be sure to respect both the ups & downs of hormonal fluctuations.
BALANCE YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Most modern people spend the majority of their lives in the sympathetic nervous system state, aka the “fight or flight, stranger-danger” zone. That feeling you get when someone creeps up behind you and surprises you – or, perhaps less likely, when you’re getting chased by a bear. Your body doesn’t know the difference between those literal stressors and chronic stress-related to work or difficult relationships. When your body is in this sympathetic state, it can’t be repaired.
If you feel relaxed and calm, your body is in the parasympathetic state – referred to as the “rest and digest” system. This state is brought on by sleep, a good laugh, meditation, reiki, physical touch with a loved one, truly whatever brings you a moment of zen. Your body has to be in a parasympathetic state to heal and evolve. The more you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the more balanced your hormones will be.
If you need further professional support & guidance please book a personalized health consultation with me or one of our Global Glow health experts. This will allow us to dive deep and address your specific needs!