I love so many things about studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. But one of the many, many things I love the most is the importance of primary food. These are things in your life that feed you on a deeper level than what is on your plate.
Primary foods trump your secondary foods - the foods actually on your plate. These are things like your career, relationships, spirituality and exercise. Most of the time your primary foods are the driving factor of your choices of what is on your actual plate. The person that comes home binge-ing at night, needing sugar may just be craving some connection. So, is it a an eating disorder or a lifestyle disorder?
"Sometimes we are not fed by food but by the energy in our lives. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment." Carbs, proteins, fresh produce is really just one source of nourishment - a secondary food. We use the food on our plates as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food. This causes the body and mind suffer. Weight gain is just one of the consequences.
In the area of relationships, how can you improve and reach deeper satisfaction? In all relationships: romantic relationships, relationships with family friends and especially yourself. All relationships are teachers. If they reach their 'expiration' date it does not mean they are a failure. Relationships end. We have learned what we need to learn and it's time to move on. Forgive yourself. Forgive the other. Know when to let go and to move on.
The Roseto Effect
A small town in Roseto, Pennsylvania was a part of a study on health and well being.
The results were astonishing. Virtually no one under 55 died of a heart attack; for men over 65, the death rate from heart attack was half that of the United States as a whole; and the death rate from all causes was 35% lower than it should have been. There was no suicide, no alcoholism, no drug addiction, and little crime to speak of. No one was on welfare and no one even suffered from peptic ulcers. These people died of old age. That’s it!
According to he findings talked about the mysterious and magical benefits of people talking to each other on the street and having three generations under one roof. Conventional wisdom explained a long life by looking at what people ate, how much they exercised, and how effectively they were treated by the medical system. Wolf’s findings required that he convince the medical establishment to think in an entirely new way. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand their culture, their friends, their families and what town in Italy their family came from. You had to appreciate their idea of community, their values, and the people with whom they surrounded themselves.
When our relationships get out of balance, our body goes. It can go the other way with connection and healthy relationships also. Think about how a person glows with they fall in love! Healthy relationships are some of the most important pieces of health. Our bodies release the self repair hormones, endorphins, and oxytocins when we feel connections.
This is why I love the story of Roseto, and I love the teaching of IIN on holistic health. The town of Roseto ate lard and drank wine everyday. They had a hard life but they had connection. They had a community where they felt like they belonged and were supported. When you have a life full of love you will thrive.
Ask yourself these questions:
What relationships do you need to work on?
What relationships do you need to let go of?
What about your relationships cause you stress in your body?
Do you feel like you belong in anywhere?
Do you feel like you have toxic relationships?
What steps can you take to get there?
Work to increase your relaxation responses in our environment, in your relationships, your career, and in your relationship to your money. In all areas of your primary foods work to feel balance and happiness and watch your body and your health change for the better.