Monday, January 30, 2012

What is Healthy?

I've been thinking about this question for a long time. I've wanted to blog about my thoughts, but it's such a big topic that I think I'll have to break it into chunks. These thunks (thoughts + chunks) may or may not have recipes and pictures. I hate to post without those because this is, after all, a food blog, but I might have to just give you text a couple of days. Otherwise I'll obsess about getting the right food and the right pictures and I'll never get the posts written.

So, back to the topic - what is healthy?

We are bombarded with advertising that promises us health. It comes from drug companies, vitamin manufacturers, sportswear and sports equipment companies, and food manufacturers. It's a fact that "health" sells. People want to be healthy. They want to feel good. They don't want to be in pain or unable to fit in their clothes. So they are willing to spend money to attain "health."

But what is health? Is it being skinny? I don't think so. There have been some people who were really skinny just before they died. That's called starvation.

Is it being buff and fit? Again, some athletic people have made really muscly corpses. It's possible to kill yourself with exercise or steroid use.

I define health as having everything in the body working optimally, the way God created it to be. 

So, how do you get healthy? Is that something that you take a pill (or a handful of pills) to achieve? Do you  become healthy by buying gadgets to shake, melt, or pummel your fat into submission? Or is healthy obsessing over every bite that goes into your mouth and exercising three hours a day? The answer? I don't know. If I knew the answers, I could write the definitive book, go on Oprah, and become a gazillionaire within a week.

I do, however, know a few things that I believe to be true. If you'd like to join me on my journey toward a healthier lifestyle, keep reading. If not, check back now and then as I'll still have some evil desserts to post. I still bake treats to give away.

Changing your lifestyle, if it's going to work long-term, is a matter of baby steps. If you try to do it all at once, you'll fall and fail.  But changes that can be gradually incorporated aren't as painful and are more likely to be lasting.

A big part of health is being aware of what you put into your body. Your body really is the sum total of what you put into it. You have to give it the right kind of fuel, or it won't work properly. You wouldn't pour Diet Coke into your car's gas tank and expect it to run well. In the same way, putting garbage into your body will eventually break something in your body.

So Baby Step #1 is to change you salt. Get rid of the table salt that's in your cupboard and start using sea salt. It comes with bonus minerals and is easier for your body to deal with than the stuff that's extremely processed. (Here's a nice article about why you should use sea salt rather than processed salt.) You don't have to buy Fleur de Sel (which is wonderful as a finishing salt to sprinkle on top of your food, but pricey), just a sea salt that's available in the grocery store will do.

There, wasn't that easy? Hopefully within the week I'll get back to you with baby step #2. In the meantime, enjoy life - it is a gift!


  1. oh I so agree with you!!! It is great to take care of our bodies but we need to be able to have a treat every once in awhile and not obsess about being skinny skinny or all muscle. we need a good balance like you said-exercise and watching the types of things we put in our bodies. I will be looking forward to your other post!!!

  2. I loved trying all your wonderful salts! Especially that really mellow one, I think it was a pink/Hawaiian salt.

  3. What's interesting is that you're talking about a very personal definition of what healthy is - ie not a "one size fits all" approach and I dig that.
    I like to think of health as everything in moderation, listen to your body, don't pollute it too much and eat lots of plants. Because it's not just what you put into your body, but how you think of your body that is important, also.
    Pretty basic.
    And still leaves room for some awesome evil desserts now and then!

  4. My motto has always been "everything in moderation." I definitely need to cut back on sweets again and it's hard when you have a sweet tooth. I lost a bunch of weight several years back and I never denied myself sweets. Instead of a slice of cake, I had a large forkful of really is lifestyle and changes that have to last...

  5. I agree with the everything in moderation motto, including a little bit of every kind of exercise. Hiking, walking, bike riding and acrdio.

  6. "....A big part of health is being aware of what you put into your body...." I couldn’t agree more. Amazingly, there are still people who consume or worse yet; live on what is labeled "diet cookies." No one knows exactly what’s in those so-called diet cookies. Or do you?

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  8. What a great post! I agree with you that whatever we put into our body affects our health. I am glad that I have long since taken the first baby step to use sea salt. Looking forward to reading the next installment of your thunks :)

  9. i think that picture might give me nightmares, and i feel the urge to eat a cookie on her behalf...