Are You A Health Nut?
“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.” — Redd Foxx
I’ve noticed that different people respond differently to a major part of our lives: what we put in our mouths several times a day or how we treat our bodies.
There are 5 personality types within nutrition and health. Where do you stand?
Note: You can make up your own category if you wish!
1. Don’t Care:
These are the people who eat what they like, or what is convenient, or what they always have eaten. A major part of the population used to be in this category.
Now, because there is now so much attention in the media on the possible benefits of food and all the dangers of not having a healthy lifestyle, this category is shrinking.
But this group is still huge, and the largest segment is men. Men traditionally just don’t pay as much attention to this aspect of their lives and rely on their spouses and eventually a doctor to take care of them. Forget about organic. Don’t bother with green. They are too busy for that.
These are people who have been introduced to some food or nutritional knowledge, and are eager for its benefits.
“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.“
The more positive feedback they get from their bodies, the more enthusiastic they become! They often eagerly share their information with friends, etc.
Next page: Real health nuts
“If you call yourself a health nut, it’s usually good. When someone else calls you a health nut … it’s definitely bad!”
A health nut is someone who is enthusiastic about nutrition and tries to be on top of the most recent knowledge, but realizes that not everyone has the same enthusiasm or beliefs.
Did you know that, ten years ago, if you talked about antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids, you were branded a health nut by others?
Now it’s common knowledge. You know it is common when food packagers are advertising that their yogurt or juice (or whatever) is now packed full of these amazing ‘new’ ingredients.
Today’s health nut…
- Has tried vegan, raw, or vegetarian at least once.
- Of course, eats quinoa and green smoothies. Doesn’t everyone?
- When asked to bring chips and dip, turns up with kale chip and homemade hummus.
Next page: The dark side … hypochondriacs and fanatics
This category could also be called the old-fashioned word, hypochondriac.
“The trouble with being a hypochondriac these days is that antibiotics have cured all the good diseases.” — Caskie Stinnett
Once you have experienced the different effects of food, it’s quite easy to get obsessed about trying to control it – particularly if you are suffering in some way.
The danger in this is that the mind is extremely powerful, and can create its own responses in the body, even if they are not appropriate.
A further complication to this situation is that there is so much new nutritional information coming out all the time. It’s easy to get confused by conflicting information, or scared by dangerous toxins, etc.
Fanatics are people who have come to believe in a certain food rule, and think that everyone else should also follow this. They believe this so strongly that they don’t see other people’s viewpoint or don’t care. Fanatics can be inspiring and can actually have good nutritional information, but because they are so rigid, they can be aggressive against those who don’t share their views.
Everyone is doing their best! Once you have been in the health field long enough, you see that the field of health is still as much an art as a science – that the details are constantly changing and it is therefore just as important how you approach the goal as your specific actions.
At Real Food for Life, Diana and I realized that we didn’t want to be ‘fanatics.’ Even though we are familiar with all the RULES to eating, we do not want to be always dishing them out in a rigid way, because that is not the most helpful way.
That is why we focus on principles to eating, instead of rigid rules. We also teach Healthy Weekend Online BootCamps where people can, for short periods of time, focus on the skills and knowledge to put health principles into everyday use. There are BootCamps for alkalizing your body, or losing weight, or cooking gluten-free, all from the comfort of your home.
Where do you see yourself in this mix? Leave comments below.
I must admit, that sometimes I stray to the dark side. I do worry sometimes and do judge others. Mostly, I relate most with the ‘health nut’ right now. As a child, I was in the ‘don’t care’ category. I guess we all started out that way!
Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator of Real Food For Life