Erin Lanahan Method

Signature method to get fit from the inside out!

What’s Feeding You? May 18, 2010

Hello friends! What is new and good with you? I’d love to hear all about it! Today I want to talk to you more in-depth about Primary Food. I have gotten a lot of feedback from previous blog posts on this topic, and what I am hearing is that the content really resonates with a lot of you. Good! That is what I was hoping! When something makes sense to us…we cannot deny it. For those of you who don’t know about Primary Food, let me quickly explain. Or, you can refer back to these articles as well: Primary Food/Secondary Food and Who’s Hungry.

There are two types of food we need to fuel us and feed us. Primary food, number one, and Secondary food, number two. Primary Food consists of things such as career, relationships, intimacy, exercise, spirituality, fun, rest, and all the things in life that feed us on a soul level.

Secondary Food, is food that we eat. We need a certain amount of nutrients on our plates in order to live an optimal life. We also need the right nutrients from our Primary food, to live an optimal life.

So many people walk around, starved of Primary Food, but thinking they are hungry for secondary food. So they eat and eat, but never feel full. This has become a large, growing problem in society today.

What I do is help people identify patterns. I look at the things that seem to show up over and over again in their lives, and then determine if it’s a primary or secondary food issue. A lot of times, they both need to be addressed, but typically, when one is fed with proper primary food, their hunger for secondary food levels out.

For example, last night I had a coaching call with a client. She has been struggling with food for a good part of her life. In her adult life however, she gets really frustrated because she does really “well” during the week, and “falls off the wagon” on the weekends. She says by Friday, she just gets to a point of not caring anymore. She experiences feelings of being stuck, and feels defeated by the belief that she will NEVER get to her goal. She has thoughts of “I don’t care” and “what’s the point anyway” running through her head. Once the weekend hits, she feels as though she “deserves to do whatever she wants.” So she rebels with food. She eats and drinks whatever she wants because “she doesn’t care, what’s the point anyway, and she deserves to do something that feels good since she’s deprived of feeling good all week.” Sound familiar to any of you? I know I use to experience something very familiar in my life.

It was obvious to both of us, that clearly she wasn’t hurting anyone but herself, so her question was…”Why do I keep doing this?” After asking her a bunch of questions, I realized that the ONLY real joy she gets in life is coming from food. That’s when it hit me that we weren’t dealing with a secondary food issue at all! It was a primary Food issue, and she was not being deprived of food she eats. She was deprived of the food that feeds her Soul! So I began to ask her questions about her job. I had her list out the pros and cons, what she liked and disliked, loved and hated, etc. I began to hear the same pattern, the same voice, the same words. She kept saying, “I just feel stuck, and I don’t care about what I’m doing, but I feel like I cannot do what I really want to do career wise, until I get married and have the security of a husband and his job.” So I began asking her about what she felt passionate about, and what she would do if anything were possible. It was amazing, how similar the voices were that came out of her when talking about food and her job. They were “I don’t care”, “I feel stuck”, and ” I’ll never get what I really want.”

What is happening for her, is that she is not doing a job that feels authentic to her. While there are things about it she really enjoys, it does not inspire her in any real way. Most days, she forces herself to do things she really “doesn’t care about,” and as a result, she ends up bringing the “not caring” into her food choices. The patterns we identified with her secondary food, helped guide me towards looking at where those patterns were being played out in her life with primary food.

Needless to say, we now have her on a path to making small shifts towards a more fulfilling career for her, one that feels good in her heart, that she truly cares about. As a result, I am sure she will begin to notice, as she gets more nurtured on the soul level, she will reach for junk food less and less.

Do you have patterns with food that replay themselves over and over? You may be suffering from a Primary Food deficiency. A lack in Primary Food can feel very defeating, when trying to use Secondary Food to replace it. It will never work. Secondary food, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, and cigarettes simply CANNOT and WILL NOT fill the role of Primary food in your life. I suggest doing what we did. Take a look at all the areas in your life, and begin to find what you like and dislike. What is full and what is lacking?Then take everything you like, and move closer to those things, by finding ways to implement more of them into your life, or exploring options that are in alignment with your “likes”. Please let me know what some of your challenges may be. I’d also love to hear what is working well for you! I am also available for Health Coaching. If you’d like a FREE Consultation, please email me at Here’ s To Your Health, Wellness, and Vitality!

Check out my favorite Food Guide Pyramid. What do you notice that makes it uniquely different from the USDA Food Guid Pyramid?


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