And as we all brainstormed, we knew at the root of so many of these problems that we, as a society, are experiencing these days is ONE GIANT CAUSE...
(It's like the big pink elephant in the corner that no one talks about--especially not your average dietitian or nutritionist....)
....but we, as Health Coaches, are well-versed in this concept.
Lack of "Primary Food" As A Major Factor For Decline
As you may know, I'm a graduate from the largest nutrition school in the world, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. As part of my education, I studied every MAJOR dietary theory in the world, from modern Macrobiotics to ancient theories such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
But one major theory that's unique to my school is the concept of:
"Primary Food vs. Secondary Food"
I've talked about this in my workshops, on my blog and my clients know we cover in our sessions but for those who may be new to this concept, allow me to explain...
Secondary Foods, are the things you find on your plate... your breakfast, lunch and dinner. But Primary Foods are the things that "feed" us that aren't food. You could call it nourishment for the soul-- they are all the things we need to feel happy and satisfied from life.
As an example, I know that spending time with my friends and family makes my life more enjoyable. I know that the work I do provides me with a deep satisfaction knowing that I get to help people lead happier and healthier lives every day.
So what are your Primary Foods? What are the things that make your life more satisfying and worthwhile? Is it the creativity you feel when you have a paintbrush in your hand? Is it your morning yoga class? The community group you lead? Or maybe you're passionate about health and wellness too!
At this point, you may wondering how does Primary Food relates to the health crisis this country is in and how you can tap into it this concept to better yourself??
How Primary Food Contributes To Health and Happiness
I want you to think back on a time when you were deeply involved in an exciting project. Did time just fly by for you? Isn't it amazing how the hours can simply slip away when you're deeply stimulated and satisfied by the work you're engaged in?
You might stay up late into the night working or forget to eat lunch because you're so filled with passion for the task at hand.
Or remember your childhood and imagine a day when you were out playing after school. Your mom would call you to dinner but you weren't hungry at all. You were so filled with joy that playtime was all you could think of.
These experiences show us how we receive nourishment from all areas of life. We hunger for excitement and adventure, fun and play, success and achievement, love and romance, intimacy and connection, and feeling connected to something larger than ourselves.
The critical point to understand about this concept is that when our primary food is lacking or out of balance, oftentimes many of us will reach for secondary food to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food.
As a consequence, we begin to see weight gain and other diet related health conditions.
Clearly this substitution simply does not work. When our lives lack something larger and more meaningful, we'll never be able to "eat" enough to give us the comfort we're seeking or satisfy our hunger for primary food.
More so, this imbalance can spill over into all areas of our lives leading us to feel "out of synch", constantly struggling, unsatisfied with life, or like we're always searching for what will truly make us feel happy.
The One BIG Piece of Primary Food That's Most Missing
As Health Coaches we often marvel at the sheer numbers of men and women who come to us for dietary advice, yet at the root of their problem, we immediately recognize a primary food imbalance. More importantly, there's one SPECIFIC area of primary food imbalance that simply tops the charts: Career choice.
In today's day and age, the average American spends more time at work then with their own friends, family and loved ones. There's an old adage that says, "How you spend your hours becomes how you spend your days, and how you spend your days becomes how you spend your years...."
Many people are recognizing that their hearts are simply not in their jobs anymore. Or worse, there are many who actually loath going in to work day after day. They find themselves needing more and more coffee to drag themselves out of bed every morning to face the prospect of another day at the "daily grind".
So ask yourself now, do you feel like your living your life's purpose when you show up to work every day? Or do you feel there's something greater you're supposed to be tapped into that you just haven't found yet? How happy are you REALLY with the work you do every day?
My Advice for 2011
For those of us that contributed to this article, there was a definite and distinct turning point in our lives. We knew we were passionate about food, health and happiness. We also knew we had a greater gift to
contribute to the world. We knew we were meant to help others.
If you're a reader of my blog and newsletter than chances are, you're also passionate about health and wellness. So my question for you is, could you see yourself in my shoes, passionately spreading the world about what keeps us healthy and happy?
Is my shocking advice to go out and quit your job so you can follow your heart?
For some of you ... YES! It may just be the thing you need to start living to your fullest potential and really see the MASSIVE change that leads you toward the fulfillment you desire.
But more specifically, for all of you, there is ONE recommendation that I can make that trumps all others. This was the greatest recommendation I have ever received and nothing has changed my life in a more positive and meaningful way:
Please explore the possibility of becoming a Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
I can tell you from personal experience, when you find a job that nourishes your soul, it's like never again working a day in your life....
I'm sure you've heard people say this before, but when it begins happening to you, you'll never feel happier knowing such sweet satisfaction.
The education I received from Integrative Nutrition opened many new and exciting opportunities to me. And now my days are GREAT because I get to:
• Be my own boss, make my own hours and build a business I'm really passionate about • Earn an exceptional income in a career that's really meaningful• Transform the lives of others by helping my clients achieve true health and happiness
Do yourself a huge favor.... give yourself the gift of a lifetime.
This is more than an education--this is a passport to an entirely new way of living and being.
Here's The "Scoop"
It's easy to learn more about the program by visiting my school's website:
www.integrativenutrition.com but I want to give you a little "insider advice": My friend Julia works in the enrollment department. She's absolutely the BEST person to talk to in order to see if the program is right for you. (Plus if there's a special offer for enrolling when you call her, she'll totally be able to hook you up!) She'll be straight with you just like she was with me and not just give you a 'sales spiel'. There was never any pressure to enroll, always just an honest conversation and I took the leap when I knew I was ready. (Truth be told, I wish I had leaped a little sooner at times, but I know I'm exactly "where I need to be")!
ACTION STEP #1: Check out the website where you can see the course curriculum, download a brochure or even attend an information session: www.integrativenutrition.com . You're going to love what you see!
ACTION STEP #2: Email my friend Julia firstname.lastname@example.org . She'll answer all your questions and give you the "skinny".
So what are you waiting for? Here's to your new life in 2011! May you find all the happiness you've ever desired this year.
This article was the collaborative effort of Marissa Vicario and many other talented Health Coach graduates of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.