I conducted a little experiment the other day. I asked five of my friends a simple question: Which foods would they recommend for someone to stay healthy? Well, I thought it was a simple question. But based on all the different answers I got, it became a complex and interesting discussion.
Some of their answers included:
- Quinoa, because the ancient Mayans used to eat it
- Organ meat, because our ancestors ate it and it’s packed with vital nutrients
- Butter in my coffee, because the fat will make my brain work better
These and other answers were different and sometimes unexpected. But what if I told you those were all secondary foods? Important but not Primary.
Four Primary Foods
- Physical Activity
Let me explain. We can eat the healthiest food on the planet but it’s much more than that. If our Primary Foods are out of balance, our health will follow suit. Let’s say you hate your job. You feel anxiety, 8 to 10 hours a day. Imagine all the stress hormones released into your body on a daily basis. In particular, a hormone called cortisol has been linked to many of the health issues that plague our society, e.g.
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Dampened thyroid function
- Decreased bone density
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Sleep issues
- High blood pressure
- Lower immune function
I’m not necessarily suggesting you quit your job. That might be the solution for some but for most, learning how to deal with stressors will help. This is why “career” is on the Primary Foods list. Let’s break down the other three now.
We need to move. Our bodies are designed to be athletic, agile, and pain free. By adding some physical activity to our daily life, our bodies will break down food much better. Our digestive system will extract more nutrients. It will transform and transport them to the different parts of the body and create healthy cells. In addition, physical activity improves our mood and keeps our body young.
This could be applied to partners, friends, coworkers, family members, and so on. Making the effort to have healthy relationships is important and extremely rewarding. There’s a reason we have specific people in our life—even those who annoy us. I believe everyone has a lesson to teach us. If we change our perspective, we can reap the benefits and appreciate what they are trying to “offer” us. One of the things I do—especially when I want to snap out of a “bad” place emotionally—is think of one person who really needs me. How can I help them? I envision myself becoming a channel of positive energy to that person. In order for that energy to reach them, it must go through me! Suggestion: Think what you can do for others and not what others can do for you.
Of course, this could mean many different things. Some take a yoga class, some follow religious practices, and for others (like myself), the choice is meditation. Discover whatever helps you center yourself and clear your mind. By connecting mind and body, you’ll decrease stress and increase happiness. Spirituality is like a muscle. You need to work on it if you want to get good at it and feel the benefits. If you don’t use it, you lose it. So keep at it, even if it’s 5 minutes a day!
These concepts are very often overlooked by doctors, nutritionists, trainers, and health coaches. However, I feel they play a huge role in our health. Of course we need to eat healthy. We must take the appropriate nutritional supplements and herbal medicines. But if we do so without working on the Primary Foods, it becomes an uphill battle. This is why our health programs at Oak Point Health & Vitality Centre are so effective. We choose a holistic approach to enhance your health.
Written by Dimitri Boules LAc, LMT, CPE, CPT