Primary Food: Nourishment Beyond the Plate
Primary Food is the nourishment we get outside of our plates. It’s the “food” that really feeds your soul. It’s having a self-care routine, having a fulfilling career, having nutritious relationships. It’s how we feed our mind, body, soul. I’m talking watering the spirit in order for it to bloom. Sometimes we’re just really hungry for love or adventure or excitement or success. Our lifestyle is our primary food and actual meals are our secondary food. The more primary food we receive the less we depend on secondary foods to fulfill our needs. And vice versa, the more we depend on secondary food the less we receive primary food.
So you can eat all the kale, broccoli, romaine lettuce in the world, if you don’t feel alive and vibrant on a mind, body, spirit level you will never truly be healthy. And I’m here to help with that. Are we watching TV or scrolling on social media aimlessly? Even that feeds the mind, body, soul. But I want to talk about all the good shit we can focus on in our lives.
Now that we understand what primary food is I want to talk about it’s 5 different components.
We all need some Vitamin L (love) in our lives. We need it in our food, our relationships, our career, our spirituality practice, our physical movement, and in our gratitude practice. Now let’s get started on how we can add some more love into each of these areas of primary food.
Relationships. Having healthy, fulfilling, caring, relationships are essential. It makes all the different when it comes to our food and lifestyle choices. Maybe you overeat or under eat because you’re lonely. Maybe it’s because you’re not getting the type of things you need in your current relationships. Maybe, just maybe, it’s you who needs to do some healing with yourself before you engage into certain relationships with friends and even lovers. Sometimes we need to think am I having an eating problem or is the love of my life acting the fuck up which is causing me body this ice cream pint? All of this can change the way we feel which then changes what we want to eat because let’s face it we are all emotional eaters. And that doesn’t make us bad, nooo not at all. But it does help us become more reflective of both our feelings and our actions.
We all want friends/lovers that are supportive, thoughtful, and inspiring. We need to ask ourselves, are our relationships making us feel loved? Or supported? Are they encouraging? Do they make me feel full or are they draining? Are they adding or taking away? Take a moment to really think about these questions. I know for me a lot of the things that I demanded in my relationships from my man and my friends was things I just wasn’t giving to myself. I began to notice that immediately after asking myself those questions. I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship where my partner inspired me and now that I finally have that I found myself still causing some type of problem by being so demanding. I wanted my friends to always support me, read my work, check out my website, repost my stuff, all that.. But that’s not their place. I need to appreciate and cheer my own work on. I needed to inspire myself. I need to learn how to create gratification in my own work. But enough about me, this may be an issue for you as well. Maybe some of the things we demand in relationships are the things we need to deliver to ourselves. I’m not sure. If that’s not the case and you’re relationships really are lacking things, the next step is to communicate that. Be very transparent with the way you feel and if they fuck with you they’ll either respect that and rise to the occasion or dub ya shit. And either way you got your answer. The Universe doesn’t make any mistakes. Because what’s meant for you will always be for you. It will always come back.
And I do want to suggest that if you want to work on creating new relationships start off with going to more social events aligned with things that you enjoy. It is a perfect way to meeting new people that are into what you’re into. You guys can learn and grow from each other. If you want to meet new people you have to be a bit more proactive about it. They really won’t just knock on your door. Like what’s gooddd oh you like How to Get Away with Murder and Yoga too? Nope. Not happening.
2. Career. Your career/job should feel good. Ideally, it should feel gratifying, and purposeful, and joyful. Not every single moment in a job is going to be joyful but for the most part you should feel a sense of worthiness at your place of work. Check in with yourself. Do you feel like that? If you spend more hours at a career that you hate than with your loved ones, or at home, or with yourself then you have an imbalance. Imbalances causes us to eat in ways that aren’t good to fulfill those missing spots. I’m definitely not saying quit your job because we all need shmoney. But you don’t want to carry unnecessary stress from a job that doesn’t even feel good at the end of the day. Stress is so taxing on the heart and the body. It’s really important that we feed our lives with love and support and purpose.
Until you do find a job that aligns more with your passion and your morals, think about the things that you do like about your job. Write down all of the positives about it. Does it allow you to be flexible? Do you have the opportunity to take off of work at will? Do you have time to do the things you want to do after work? (If so, do you do them? -- think about that.) Does it allow you to do more of what you want? Just think about all the ways your current job does work in your favor. Next, set clear goals for yourself and your ideal way of work. Remain focused on these goals and remember to be practical. I like to start backwards. First I outline monthly goals, then weekly, then daily. It makes things a lot easier for me without feeling so overwhelmed.
Another thing that goes a long way is creating more time for yourself outside of work to do some of the things you personally enjoy. Maybe pick up a hobby, or volunteer. Volunteering always puts me in a space of gratitude and purpose. Maybe learn how to play an instrument. This is all very, very soothing to the mind, body, and spirit.
3. Spirituality. Create and commit to a spirituality practice. This is a greatttt, healthy outlet for the stress that we carry in our daily lives. Any type of practice that allows your mind to be still and quiet. A practice that allows you to come back to a place of peace and tranquility. Being committed to this everyday allows us stay grounded in our intentions, who we are, and who we want to be. It is calming.
I know when I’m aggravated I crave steak! I want it so bad. When I used to work 9-5 at a not-so-cool spot, immediately after work I just wanted to treat myself to some steak. In my mind I considered that a treat… and that’s all I truly wanted was to do something for me. When I started meditating and deep breathing during those moments of aggravation I noticed that I didn’t want a steak anymore. I was smiling at the end. I felt grateful. Shitttt, I wasn’t even hungry!
So I say that to say that a spirituality practice is crucial. It can be anything from meditating, deep-breathing, yoga, finding a way to transform your negative thoughts, it can be traveling, going for a long walk in nature, free-writing anything that feels peaceful for you. Maybe listening to some neo-soul, relaxing music and staying away from your phone. Maybe it’s a warm bubble bath with some candles and oils. It’s whatever works for you. I just say stay committed to it. It is crucial to our mental and physical health.
4. Physical Movement. Moveeee, bitch. Na I’m kidding. But deadass, move. Just get moving. We don’t even gotta call it exercise. We can just say move. Moving includes walking, taking the stairs instead, having sex, taking an fitness class, swimming, jumping rope, rigorous cleaning, dancing. I encourage you to try a fitness class you never thought you would try. Maybe a spin class. Or a pole-dancing class. Or aerial-yoga! I really like rollerblading, pilates, and boxing. Again, this is your life so it’s what ever works for you. But the goal is to get moving in a way that makes YOU happy. When you enjoy your workout you’re more likely to stay committed to it. Not to mention, working out puts us in a greater mood period. It literally sends messages to our brain that gives us energy and makes us happier. Studies prove that exercise improves anxiety and depression.
Experiment with all different types of movement to find what works for you and when you do, stay committed. Get moving about 3-5x a week. Start off with 2 .. or 3 but then work your way up. It is all very possible. Even when you’re not in the mood, still try to do some sort of movement even if it’s really simple like walking. You’ll begin to feel stronger, have more energy, and be in a much better space. This is why physical exercise is another great way to feed the mind, body, soul.
5. A Gratitude Practice. Now this one is my favorite. I could totally be biased but that’s only because gratitude changed my entire life. Boyyy, when I tell you I used to complain… aw, man. I used to complain about everythinggg and then wonder why life still sucked. Like sis, you’re speaking allat bad energy right into existence! I didn’t know any better. The moment I stopped complaining and started practicing more gratitude I began to notice more greatness pouring into my life, my circle, my jobs, my bank account, everything. No lie. Everything started to feel a lot more rich. Consistently practicing gratitude forces you to see the glass half-full at all times. It’s really such a rewarding feeling.
There are a few different ways you can practice gratitude. You can actually say 10 things your grateful for out loud or you can write it down. You can think of a specific person, job, or place and why you’re grateful for that. You can even tell a person in your life why you’re grateful for them. I personally prefer keeping a gratitude journal and writing down 10 things that I am grateful for every day. Even if it’s really small. I’m always grateful for waking up. Grateful for my health and my family’s health. Grateful to be in such a superb relationship. Thankful for being able to travel the world doing what I love. Grateful to be able to afford school. Grateful to be able to see. We can see art and colors and waterfalls. Life is sooooooooo fuckin beautiful. It really is. And practicing gratitude allows us to dwell in all it’s beauty. It reminds us that there’s a lot to life.
Anytime I’m aggravated with my family or my boyfriend I just write down 10 things I’m grateful for about them and afterwards I just laugh like okay, it really ain’t that bad. I really need to relax. I’m telling you that self-reflection is necessary! So I suggest a little journal to write in every morning. I prefer mornings because at night I’m sometimes too tired or distracted. First thing in the morning automatically puts me in a better mood to start the day.
I just want to close out saying primary food is manifesting the love in our relationships, career, spirituality, physical movement and gratitude. Your health is self-care. It is investing the time, money, and energy into your mind, body, soul. Once you heal these areas in your life you’ll feel a lot better about your diet. Trust that. You’ll naturally begin to eat the food that is better for you. You will no longer be looking for the missing parts in your life through your meals. Instead you’ll be attending to those missing parts. And always listen to your inner pilot. Your body already knows exactly what it needs. Remember, different strokes for different folks. Just work on figuring out your stroke.