We’re so thankful that we made the decision to study with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It opened our eyes up to the world of Primary Food. When you hear these words (unless you’ve studied with IIN) you’re most likely thinking Primary Food = fresh produce, meats and whole foods. We know we did!
Here’s the low down on Primary Food…
Food is more than what you find on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary. IIN
It makes sense right? When we heard Joshua Rosthenthal (founder of IIN/amazing guy) speak about the Primary Foods we were like OH MY GOSH this is it! This is the key to optimal health, happiness and life satisfaction! Pretty major, hey!
It simply explained that our diet and therefore health is quite literally controlled by Primary Foods (relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality, finance, confidence to name some). So, if we’re in a negative relationship or if we hate our job, we’re more inclined to eat unhealthily.
There were some serious brain waves when we heard this. Before we had even heard the term Primary Foods, we realised that we had slowly but surely been improving them. We’d already began to recognise what no longer served us, the negative stuff that was holding us back form reaching our goals. We began making changes to become more happy and healthy.
IIN use the Circle of Life (pictured below) to portray the Primary Foods. You can use it to work out what Primary Foods are out of balance or need more attention. We like to do this exercise at least once a month to make sure we’re on track with our health and happiness.
Here’s how to do it! Place a dot point in each segment to represent your satisfaction within that area of life. The happier or more satisfied you are, the closer to the outside of the circle the dot point goes. So we’re clear and making sense (we hope we are!), if you’re in a career you absolutely love, the dot goes closer to the outside of that segment within the circle! Once you’ve placed all of the dot points, join them together with a line. Take note of the imbalances (they’re the ‘crashes’ in to the centre of the circle). The aim is to have your circle remain full and balanced and not a crazy scribble.
We are proof that Primary Foods are serious game players for optimal health. We’ve lived and breathed this circle (we still do!). First we changed our diets (we refer to this as secondary food), we then discovered our perfect careers (merrymakers), we ended negative relationships, we found spirituality, and now we ensure we have balance in all other aspects too. We know there’ll be ups and downs but the key is to keep an eye on it and make a change before it impacts overall health.
Take a look at your Circle of Life. What’s out of balance? The first step is to simply recognise the imbalances, then you think about the changes you can implement, then you take action.
Emma + Carla
Read about our experience with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition