When someone talks about food, we immediately think of the type we eat and feeds our body. But there is another type of nourishing “food” that we often overlook and it directly impacts our life – primary food. I spoke with Stevie Wright, a holistic health coach and the founder of Live Wright Wellness, about how primary and secondary foods work together to keep us happy and healthy!
Q: What is The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Food?
A: Great question! Secondary food is the food that we actually put on our plate and into our bodies. It’s the water we drink, the supplements we take, our whole grains, etc. Primary food, on the other hand, is the food that feeds our soul — the nonfood sources of nourishment. Primary food goes beyond the plate and fills up our lives. It’s important to realize that total wellness isn’t only about physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. If our primary food is out of balance, it’s likely that our secondary food will be unbalanced too.
Q: What Are The Four Main Primary Foods?
A: I work on several different primary foods with my clients, but the main four are relationships, career, spirituality, and physical activity. I believe these are the most prominent areas of our lives. But we also touch on finances, joy, and home environment. All of these are factors that affect our stress and happiness, so it can be very healing to dive into them and see what is and isn’t working.
Q: How Do Primary Foods Impact What Ultimately Winds Up On Our Plate?
A: Primary foods are very important to consider when trying to eat healthier! If our primary foods are out of balance, it’s likely our secondary foods are too. For example, if we’re in an unhappy relationship, or we don’t like our job, then we’re more likely to go home and binge eat unhealthy food. Many people turn to food for comfort when they really just wanted a good hug. If our primary foods are aligned and well, though, it’s more likely we’ll nourish our bodies with nutrient-dense whole foods. It’s all connected. The more primary food we give ourselves, the less we depend on secondary food, and vice versa. Primary food is our true source of nourishment and fulfillment.
It’s important to remember that total wellness is really not just about physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. The program I teach helps my clients heal their relationship with food and understand why they eat like they do! I love going into primary food because it allows me to get to know my clients on a deeper level. They come to me expecting to just learn about carbs, sugar, and how to burn fat, but they walk away with the tools to make real lasting change!
Q: What Are Some Tips You Give Your Clients On Where To Start Their Wellness Journey?
A: I love teaching my clients the crowding out method. Basically, I teach them to first add nutritious, whole foods to their regular diet. Eventually, the processed, low-nutrient foods will get crowded out. I never focus on restriction, dieting, or “NO” foods. I find it to be so negative and ultimately non-sustainable. It’s a much gentler approach to introduce new foods and gradually eliminate the old ones. If I were to give my clients a laundry list of “bad” foods that they’re banned from, they would feel deprived and resentful. And if they do eat those foods, then they feel like a failure and it becomes this vicious cycle. I find that the crowding out method is refreshing to most people and can be easily implemented.