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Bio-individuality, Primary Food And Secondary Food

Written by: Deanna Goodson, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I got my certificate as a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in January 2021. I spent a full year studying nutritional concepts and learned a great deal that has helped me in my private practice and in the scope of the work I do as a coach for Modern Health, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

One of the first concepts we learned about at IIN was bio-individuality. Bio-individuality holds that everyone is different physiologically and biologically. We all have different needs when it comes to food and fitness in general. Basically, diets don’t work because they don’t take the individual into account. Each of us should find a plan that works for us. What works for me, for example, will not work for you and vice versa.

Bio-individuality is basically a simple concept, but it is an important one. As a health coach, I help people create personalized eating and fitness plans that help them achieve their goals. The process is not rapid, but it is there. To lose weight effectively, you have to do it slowly at a rate of between 0.5 lbs.– 2 lbs. per week. Some people get very upset that the process isn’t faster. They want to see rapid results, but losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint and you have to change your habits. You don’t just go on a ‘diet’ for a short period of time and revert back to your previous eating and exercise habits once you lose all the weight you want to.

That’s a recipe for disaster and yo-yo dieting. Studies have shown that yo-yo dieting can cause more damage to the body than being obese. Read that sentence again. Yes, yo-yo dieting can be more harmful to the body than being overweight. The best thing to do is to find an eating plan that works for you. I often recommend that people stick to whole, unprocessed foods and refrain from eating sugar, gluten or too much dairy. I highly recommend an eating plan that has lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

However, I also work with people on the concepts of primary food and secondary food. Primary food in a nutshell is what nourishes us besides physical food. We do need food to survive but primary food is what makes our lives worth living. There are twelve areas of primary food. They are:

  • Spirituality

  • Creativity

  • Finances

  • Career

  • Health

  • Physical Activity

  • Home Cooking

  • Home Environment

  • Relationships

  • Social Life

  • and Joy.

If something is amiss in any of the areas of primary food, then our secondary food will be out of alignment with our health and wellness goals. Secondary food, as you may or may not have guessed by now, is the food we eat.

How you structure your eating plan is up to you and hopefully your health coach. I work with people often on building an individualized plan to help them get to their optimal health and fitness goals by helping them optimize their primary food and eat secondary food that is nourishing and life-affirming. If you’re interested in working with me to see what I have to offer, I’d be happy to offer you a 60-minute consultation.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Deanna!


Deanna Goodson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Deanna Goodson is a professional life and mental health coach, nutritional counselor, and writer. She received her coach training at Rhodes Wellness College in Canada and received an ACC credential from the International Coaching Federation in May of 2019, which was recently renewed. As a mental health coach, Deanna is well-versed in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique, aka Tapping. Deanna is also a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and has a certificate in Emotional Eating Psychology (EEP). She follows an intuitive eating approach for her clients and helps them repair their relationship with food.



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