Food is more than what you find on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.
Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly your mother announced dinner was ready, but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all your attention. Your feelings of exhilaration sustained you and you forgot about food.
Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives. Modern nutrition – carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables – is really just one source of nourishment, commonly referred to as secondary food. Secondary foods nourish our bodies, but are not able to give us the joy, meaning, or fulfillment that primary food provides. We hunger for self expression, adventure, love, intimacy, success and spirituality. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment, and the extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.
When we use secondary food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer. Weight gain is just one of the consequences. Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are national epidemics. One theory behind this is we are stuffing ourselves with secondary foods and starving ourselves of primary foods. If you’re not getting the primary food you need, eating all the food in the world won’t satisfy your hunger.