Do you ever wonder why you continue to eat even when you’re full? Or why you just can’t stop the “not-so-healthy” snacking? Well, you’re not alone, my fellow food-frustrated friends.
We’ve all been there. We’re told that the reasons are everything from stress, to boredom, to “our bodies actually are in need of the fat and sodium in that Chimichanga.” Hmm…not so sure.
Cravings are a wake-up call that something is out of balance in our lives. Our bodies don’t make mistakes. If you tend to overeat or binge, it may actually be a signal that you need to improve something in your life.
At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (www.instituteforintegrativenutrition.com), where I went to school, we were taught that there are two types of food: Primary Food and Secondary Food.
Secondary Food is the actual food and nutrition we consume that gives our bodies energy.
Primary Food also gives our bodies energy but it doesn’t come on a plate. It’s our lifestyle and living the life that nourishes our souls.
Now I promise I’m not going to get all philosophical on you, but it really makes sense. When you’re satisfying your hunger and passions in life, such as your relationships, your physical activity, your career, and your spirituality, you tend to not over-indulge on the secondary food as much.
This is the Food Pyramid that IIN has created. As you can see, the Primary Foods wrap around the Secondary Foods.
Think about your relationships with your spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings, friends, or co-workers. Are there any issues there that need to be dealt with? Should you discuss your concerns? Who are your friends? Are they supportive or are they dragging you down? Take some time to think if there are ways to improve these relationships.
No ifs, ands, or buts, we need to move our bodies. Try to build movement into your lifestyle, whether that means going to a gym, doing an exercise CD or DVD at home, gardening, playing with your kids, household chores, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Just move your body.
This can be everything from what you do for a living that pays the bills, to what you do to volunteer your time to help others. The question is, do you like what you’re doing?
Now I know in this difficult economic time, we often don’t have much of a choice as to which job we’re doing. If it’s a career that isn’t inspiring you, but you need the job, try to think about how you can make it more stimulating. Just by thinking how your job could be more exciting may improve your well being.
This doesn’t have to be an Eastern practice like yoga and meditation, or even a religion. Spirituality can be anything from reading a book, or having a picnic lunch outside on the patio, to shopping at a farm market. To me, I feel the most spiritual when I’m cooking dinner for my family. Find something that you connect with that makes you happy and at peace.
So with that said, I’ve taken some time to see which areas of my Primary Foods could use some attention. I’ve decided that this summer I want to spend more time with Mr. S, go to yoga class more often, take some photography lessons, and get back into the kitchen. Figs & Function will pop into your e-mailbox from time to time…no set weekly schedule this summer. You’ll still be kept up-to-date on nutrition issues, inspired by healthy recipes, and maybe enticed to tackle an organizational project or two.
I wish you all a wonderful summer of healthy Primary and Secondary Foods.
See you in a few weeks.