It's not a lie ~ We Are What We Eat! - Cliffnotes for your HEALTH!
What are you hungry for...

Is it Primary Food or Secondary Food?
 
You have heard the quote “Life is not about your everyday breaths, but the moments that take your breath away.” It is rare that a meal takes my breath away (unless I’m choking). But my breath has been taken away many times by love, random acts of kindness, a kiss or incredible intimacy.

The information shared here is in my opinion the most important on this website.

Some of the information on this page is an excerpt from Joshua Rosenthal, MScED; founder and primary teacher at Integrative Nutrition. (©2012, Integrative Nutrition Inc., Used with Permission)

What he has to say makes a lot of sense and will help you determine if you stomach is hungry for food, or whether your soul is hungry for life. For the complete chapter please visit his website. Enjoy…
 

Primary Food vs. Secondary Food
 
This may seem strange, but the food we consume is secondary in importance. Carbohydrates, fats or proteins, fresh produce or fast food - are just one source of nourishment. It does not give us (especially long-term) the joy that excitement, fun and love do. The primary food in our lives is our four-legged table: career, relationships, spirituality and physical activity. Secondary food provides nutrition for our bodies, but primary food truly nourishes our soul and makes life extraordinary. Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives.
 
Just as food is needed for the body, love is needed for the soul. —Osho
 
In our country we lack a cultural food discipline, and often turn to food for comfort. If we are missing or lacking balance in our four-legged table no amount of food will ever satisfy our hunger.
 

The Integrative Nutrition Food Pyramid
Below is the Integrative Nutrition Food Pyramid. Adapted from the USDA Pyramid, this version emphasizes the importance of high-quality vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and water. To complete the picture, the pyramid is surrounded with lifestyle factors that create optimal health: relationship, career, physical activity and spirituality.
 
(© 2007-2011, Integrative Nutrition Inc., Used with Permission)

Relationships
Friendships
A key ingredient in personal fulfillment is interaction with your neighbors. Americans lead overly, isolated lives spending large amounts of time with media—watching televisions, listening to iPods and surfing the Internet (I find myself in this category more often than I’d like). You can eat all the broccoli and brown rice in the world, but if you are doing it alone you are not going to be living life at full potential. Having high-quality friendships adds depth and meaning to life.

True friends can be difficult to come by, but you can create a positive, caring environment that surrounds your life. I like Mr. Rosenthal's idea- "look at your relationships the same way people look at their wardrobes. You’ve probably kept many clothes hanging in your closet that you haven’t worn for years. It’s the same with friends. If you think of everyone you know, chances are you will find at least a few people from your past who don’t really belong in your present. Perhaps they are smokers, drinkers or drug users, and you’ve moved on from that scene. They could be past lovers who keep hanging around, or people whose lives are always in crisis, requiring large amounts of time or energy from you, never to return the favor." You should feel nourished by your friendships, not full and bloated.
 
Love and Intimacy
We all have a need to give and receive love. Love nourishes the mind, body and soul. To bring more love and intimacy into your life, Being well connected with others—husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, children, friends, family and co-workers—is an essential part of life.

“When you are in love you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss

When examining relationships, try to understand your personal preference in regard to how much intimacy you want in your life. Avoid making judgments about what is socially acceptable or superficially desirable, and take time to reflect about who you really are and what style of relating works best for you.
 
Touch, Hugs and Cuddles
Babies NEED human touch. It is essential that they are held- it helps them develop into happy, healthy and well-adjusted adults. But because we are adults does not mean we no longer need touch. There is a neurological response in the brain when we are touched lovingly by someone. It has been shown to have a positive emotional impact. I believe many of us do not get touched enough - we seek a replacement in food and entertainment; but there is not replacement for intimacy on a friendship or companion level.

Sensuality and Sexuality
Sensual touch and sexual interaction. These terms conjure thoughts of shame and taboo in some of us. Explotation and misinformation has led a loss of these vital experiences. These intimate activities are VITAL to life yet are rarely discussed in an open, intelligent manner.
 
Regardless of your sexual preference or beliefs listen to what your body tells you when your skin is touched or heart is opened with a kiss. We are programmed for intimacy- do not be intimidated to express yourself. Others will appreciate your good communication skills and respond to your needs. If they do not, they are not going to fit well into your life.
 
Career
Most of us spend up to ten hours a day working. WHen we come home we are exhausted from our efforts and have little energy left for our loved ones. While we are particular about who we are intimate with, we spend years doing work we can’t stand and that may be completely against our personal values. This is not a healthy lifestyle.

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” ~ Drew Carey

We were not taught that we could dramatically improve our lives by doing work we love. We have little to no training or belief that we can walk away from a particular job or career and begin a new one. I remember the crossroad that led me to my current career. I was unhappy at my job, i knew what I loved and I wasn't doing it. I made the necessary (and difficult) sacrifices and went back to school. It was an easy transition or short-term. But my life soon had meaning and adventure, even before I met the finish line.

Keep in mind that your career is much like your relationships. One job or one person cannot fulfill all of your needs all of the time. While your career should satisfy most of your creative and productivity requirements look for avenues to fulfill what is missing. Volunteering, part-time work or traveling are a few ideas.

When facing the obstacles of the economy and funds- walk up to the mirror and realize that you are the one that makes it happen. Each of us has the power to change companies, reinvent our careers and seek out jobs that we find personally and financially satisfying.

Physical Activity
Exercise is essential. I like the saying, "Exercise is the rent for the use of our body." Exercise does not necessarily mean aerobics and weights at the gym. Nor does the goal have to be the body of a god. Dance, walk, martial arts, Wii & Kinect games, ice skating, working in the garden... exercise is movement.

Once you have found 4-5 activities that raise her heart rate, raise that frown to a smile and contribute to your life make them a habit. Mix them up through the week, invite your friends and family to join you. Align your activities with how you feel. If you have been tired and distracted a vigorous and stimulating activity (running or aerobics) might help bring you back to balance. If you feel excitable and sporadic choose an activity that is calming and slow (walking or yoga).
 
Spirituality
Spiritual nutrition comes in many forms. Religion, volunteering, meditation... We all search for meaning in our lives and finding that one practice can help us connect with world around us.
 
Take steps to keep yourself in harmony with the order of the universe. Eat organically grown foods (start your own garden, even if it is just herbs), be outside (at least 15 minutes everyday), sleep consistent hours (even on your days off) and adjust your activities to align with the seasons.

For me personally, being in harmony with nature is my spiritual practice. For you it may be something different - daily meditation, attending church, reading, hiking in the wilderness or flying an airplane. Whatever it is, I encourage you to do it consistently. 

Synchronicity
In Dr. Rosenthal's book he states "Carl Jung popularized the term “synchronicity,” indicating the subtle interaction between individual will and universal law (or God’s will or the movement of the cosmos, depending on your perspective). A spiritual practice can help a person become more attuned to synchronicity." The textbook definition is 'the relation that exists when things occur at the same time'.
 
Of course it is easy to embrace spirituality when life is going swell, but there are times when life is very difficult and you feel many opposing forces. When this happens BREATHE. 10-20 deep breathes or silent mediation for 5 minutes. Let the chaos pass through. You will know what to do after you have calmed. Below are some good exercises to come back into harmony.

"Life is a banquet. And the tragedy is that most people are starving to death." ~ Anthony de Mello
 
Links
  1. Ho'oponopono Mantra
  2. Balancing Right & Left Hemispheres
  3. Empower March
 
Resources
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