How to Prep for The Common Ground Fair

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I have been looking forward to returning to the Common Ground fair for exactly 7 years now. That’s how long it’s been. (Thanks, Facebook.)

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It’s the kind of fair where, upon entering, I let out a huge sigh of relief and say, “My people.” It’s the kind of fair you find the most delectable, delicious food that’s also local, organic, and (mostly) healthy. It’s the kind of fair where the parade is a compost parade. It’s a sustainable, organic, earth-loving, people-loving, information-laden, carve-your-own-wooden-spoons free for all, and Trevor and I could not be more excited (or prepared.)

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Changes, They Are A Comin’

Fall in Maine is rife with change. It’s all around us, everywhere you turn. It’s whispering to me through the trees on my afternoon runs- I can feel the leaves crunching, changing yellow orange red with every stride.

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It nips at the river during our morning breakfast ritual. It sweeps great heaps of mist off the surface, sending us shivers and the ducks southbound.

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Again- change begets change. We feel it stir something deep in us, too. We’re hunkering down and thinking through future plans, instead of going out and exploring. We’re heading to bed earlier and getting up later. We’re reaching for sweet potatoes and rutabagas instead of fresh summer greens.

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Let’s Learn: Primary Foods

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Primary foods. What are they? The food you eat first in the day? Nope. They’re not really foods at all, but they fuel you just as much as “real” food does.

Here’s the definition of primary foods from IIN:

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.

Secondary foods are what you’re used to eating- chicken, veggies, rice, chips, pizza fruit, dairy, chocolate, tea, etc. They provide us with the nutritional value that allows us to run, jump, play, work, and get about our days. But primary foods are what really help you live the life of your dreams.

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Often times, we reach for secondary foods- usually unhealthy choices like a big bowl of cheesy pasta or chips, a candy bar, ice cream, a Slurpee- to help us cope with a lack of primary foods in our lives. If one of your primary food needs is not being met, you’ll likely seek something else to try to balance your body, and alleviate the stress/pain/anxiety/boredom/etc. that you’re feeling. For example, if your relationship with your partner is on the rocks, you might look to alcohol to cope. Or maybe you feel stuck in a career rut, and find yourself driving into the fast food lane after work almost subconsciously.

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Life today is fast paced and really hectic, and our inner voice often gets drowned out by all the noise. But ignoring your primary food needs almost always results in an unhealthy habit in another area of your life, and prevents you from becoming your most authentic, energized, and happy self.

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Print out the Circle of Life chart at home to see where any imbalances may be hiding in your life. Simply put a dot in each primary food triangle depending on how balanced you feel in that part of your life. A dot near the outer ring (closer to the red ring) means you feel 100% satisfied with that part of your life. A dot near the point of the triangle/center of the circle means you feel very unsatisfied with that part of your life. Put a dot where it feels true for you.circle-of-life

Once you have put 12 dots on the circle, connect them to see the shape of your primary foods, and notice where there are dips. Those are the areas you want to devote more time to. Right now, I am trying to focus on more physical activity, education, and career.

Interested in learning more? Visit IIN’s page on primary foods, and reach out to me for a 100% free (seriously) health history. I can help you examine your Circle of Life, identify the imbalances, and help create an action plan for us to bring both your primary and secondary foods into balance. When your circle is whole, you’re able to be your best self.