What is primary food?

Wine and Cigarettes:

Let me first share an eye-opening story that exemplifies the profound influence of balance on our well-being. A cardiologist once discovered that a community of people who consumed fatty foods, indulged in wine, and even smoked had remarkably low instances of heart problems. On the other hand, a group of health-conscious individuals who adhered to vegan diets, meditated, and embraced a seemingly “perfect” lifestyle experienced higher stress levels and were more prone to health issues. This revelation highlighted that true well-being transcends mere dietary choices and hinges on broader aspects of life, such as genuine relationships, community support, and personal contentment.

“Food” off the plate

When considering wellness, our initial thoughts often revolve around food or diet. Undeniably, what we consume profoundly impacts our well-being but there is so much more in life that feeds us than just the food on our plate. It encompasses all aspects of life like healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual practice. When your primary food is balanced and fulfilled, your life becomes nourishing, and what you eat becomes secondary. This is a concept taught by IIN®.

It makes so much sense. When I heard Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN®, talk about Primary Foods, I realized that this is the key to achieving optimal health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. It’s so true!

What is primary food?

The idea is simple: our diet and our health are directly influenced by Primary Foods, which include relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality, finance, and self-confidence, just to name a few. So, if we find ourselves in negative relationships or hating our jobs, we’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices.

You have to embrace the notion that a healthy diet alone does not guarantee thriving if other aspects of life are imbalanced. While it’s crucial to modify our dietary habits, achieving true health and happiness requires addressing all areas of our lives.

Brown rice

Imagine this scenario: you diligently consume brown rice and kale while engaging in daily gym sessions. Yet, if you find yourself trapped in an unsatisfying job or a toxic relationship, your overall well-being and contentment will remain unfulfilled.

This is why I emphasize the concept of Primary Food in my coaching. Although not edible in the literal sense, Primary Food refers to vital aspects of life that nourish and sustain us on a deeper level. In essence, when we are fulfilled and content in these fundamental areas, the significance of food diminishes. I always say that all pieces of the food puzzle miraculously fall into place when you are feeling happy on a deeper level.

Crucial examples

When we prioritize the following areas, we naturally find ourselves making healthier choices when it comes to what we put on our plates. We no longer turn to food as a means of filling a void or seeking comfort because our lives are already filled with fulfillment and joy.

Let’s dive deeper into a few aspects of Primary Food:

  1. Regular physical movement: 

Engaging in physical activity not only benefits our physical health but also has a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being. Whether it’s going for a run, practicing yoga, dancing, or playing a sport, finding a form of movement that you enjoy and can incorporate into your daily routine is essential.

  1. Meaningful positive relationships: 

Human beings are social creatures, and we thrive when we have supportive and loving relationships. Nurturing connections with friends, family, partners, and community can provide a sense of belonging, support, and happiness. Building and maintaining these relationships takes time and effort, but the rewards are invaluable.

  1. Fulfilling work: 

Spending a significant portion of our lives at work means that the level of satisfaction and fulfillment we experience in our careers directly impacts our overall well-being. Finding work that aligns with our passions, values, and strengths can bring a sense of purpose and joy. It’s important to assess whether our current job is fulfilling or if we need to explore other options that better suit our aspirations.

  1. Some form of spiritual connection: 

Spirituality is deeply personal and can take various forms depending on an individual’s beliefs and values. It might involve practicing a specific religion, engaging in meditation or mindfulness, spending time in nature, or exploring philosophical concepts. Nurturing our spiritual well-being provides a sense of inner peace, purpose, and connection to something greater than ourselves.

  1. Pursuing your passions: 

Engaging in activities that bring us joy, fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment is vital for our well-being. Whether it’s a hobby, creative pursuit, or a side project, carving out time to pursue our passions allows us to express ourselves, tap into our creativity, and experience a deep sense of satisfaction.

  1. Non-dietary self-care practices: 

Self-care extends beyond bubble baths and face masks. It involves prioritizing our mental, emotional, and physical well-being on a regular basis. This can include activities such as practicing mindfulness, journaling, getting enough sleep, setting boundaries and engaging in activities that recharge and rejuvenate us.

  1. Embracing playfulness, creativity, and fun: 

In the midst of our busy lives, it’s easy to forget the importance of play and fun. Allowing ourselves to be spontaneous, explore our creativity, and engage in activities that bring us joy can have a significant impact on our overall happiness and well-being. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, painting, dancing, or simply spending time with loved ones, incorporating fun into our lives is essential.

By focusing on these areas of Primary Food, we create a solid foundation for overall well-being and fulfillment. When we feel nourished and satisfied in these fundamental aspects of life, the importance of what we eat becomes secondary. It’s not about strict diets or depriving ourselves but rather about nourishing ourselves holistically.

Wellness wheel

There are many different models who can help you look at the balance of the aspects in your life but I chose the wellnes wheel because I like the visual aspect of a smoothly roling wheel, when every aspect is balanced. 

By assigning a score to each area based on its current importance and desired level of satisfaction, you gain valuable insights into where to focus your efforts.

Once you identify the areas that need improvement, it’s time to set goals and develop actionable steps to move from one level to the next. For example, if you scored low in relationships, you may want to invest more time in building meaningful connections or nurturing existing friendships,. By approaching these goals with intention and dedication, you can gradually cultivate a more balanced and fulfilling life.


It’s crucial to remember that true success and happiness extend beyond physical appearance and achievement. By prioritizing balance and well-being in all aspects of life,, you will experience a profound transformation in your overall happiness and fulfillment.


I am living proof that Primary Foods play a crucial role in achieving optimal health. I discovered a career that brings me joy (health coach). For the first time in my life I have a sustainable excersice routine which also brings me joy,  I ended negative relationships and now I strive for balance in all other aspects as well. Because of this the focus is not only on the food on my plate which puts  ‘ foodstress’ on the backburner.  I understand that there will be ups and downs, but the key is to stay mindful and make changes before they impact your overall health. 

So, the next time you find yourself solely focusing on what’s on your plate, take a step back and consider how your primary foods are influencing your overall health and happiness. Remember, a nourished soul leads to a nourished body. Prioritize your primary foods, and watch as your well-being thrives.

Would you like to know more about this concept or would like to receive a handout of the wellness wheel exercise, send me a dm. Or book in inspiration call on my website.

Bron https://themerrymakersisters.com/primary-foods-institute-integrative-nutrition/


Laat een reactie achter

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *