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Not What But Why


Article posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, November 2nd, 2011


When trying to lose weight or be healthier, we often focus on calories, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, and other fun food facts. That is a very important part of the health equation but sometimes it is more about why we eat than what we eat.

As a Health Coach I work with clients around two categories of food . Secondary food is the food that we eat. It fills us, comforts us, and makes us stronger. But there is another classification of food that is just as important to our well being. This is known as Primary food. It also comforts us, and makes us stronger but it does not fill our bodies, it fills our soul.

Primary food is divided into four Categories:

  • Relationships

  • Career

  • Exercise

  • Spirituality

According to Joshua Rosenthal, author of Integrative Nutrition. “Primary foods feed us, but they don't come on a plate. Elements such as a meaningful spiritual practice, an inspiring career, regular and enjoyable physical activity and honest and open relationships that feed your soul and your hunger for living all constitute primary food. The more primary food we receive, the less we depend upon secondary foods. The opposite is also true. The more we fill ourselves with secondary foods, the less we are able to receive the primary foods of life.”

The interplay between primary food and secondary food is very strong. Often times when we eat, or overeat food we think it is because we love sweets, or we are weak and cannot stop at just one cookie. Consider instead, that we are using food to fill up a void left by a lack of primary food.

Think about a time in your life when you were happy and fulfilled. Maybe planning your wedding, decorating a new house or writing your first book. You felt stimulated and happy and did not mark the time by the next meal or snack. In fact you forgot to eat at all at times.

Now think of a time when you were depressed or emotionally struggling. A broken relationship, an unfulfilling job, or a physical injury that kept you off your feet. You found yourself eating throughout the day but never feeling full.

We use food to mask feelings so we do not have to feel them. The less we rely on secondary food to sooth us, the more we are forced look at the primary food in our life and see what is lacking and where we need to focus to get ourselves back on track.

The holidays are often a time of increased emotions. Stress, sadness, loneliness and joy. It is the perfect time to explore the connection between your primary and secondary foods. So while it is important to keep track of just how many pieces of left over Halloween candy you consume, it is just as important to realize why you want the candy in the first place.

Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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