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What is "Health" anyway?

Thank you all for sharing such great insight in the comment section of yesterday’s post.  Although many of the comments made me stop and think, I wanted to share one in particular: Christine commented: “…we don’t win a prize for eating healthy.”

It’s so true; God (or another higher power in which you may believe) is not waiting up in Heaven to hand out medals to those of us with the fewest toxins in our bodies.  We have to step back and remember that the whole point of eating healthily is to ensure that we live a long and fulfilling life, not one where we’re constantly denying ourselves the foods we crave in order to be “healthy.”  What is health anyway, if not “the condition of being sound in body, mind, and spirit”?  (Thanks, Webster’s.)  One can live to be 100 years old by taking proper care of one’s body, but if his or her life is spent ridden with guilt and worry (i.e. ignoring the mind and spirit facets of health by concentrating too much on the body part), can he or she really be considered “living”?  This is not to say that a person should sit around consuming hot dogs and pints of ice cream all day, as that would be neglecting the body facet completely.

Stuffing oneself with junk also doesn’t make for a healthy mind, as I found out the hard way.

What, then, should we do?  We should really listen to our bodies.  If you’re craving a salad, by all means, have the salad.  But if your body is saying, “Please don’t feed me another salad; I want a cookie,” you shouldn’t still go with the salad solely because it’s “healthier” than the cookie. Don’t forget to take care of your mental health too!

Something else that struck me:

In the original post, I wrote that, as bloggers putting something up for public view, we have a responsibility to watch what we write.  While I still feel this way, a few of you commented that bloggers shouldn’t have to censor every single thing they wish to write in fear that it might offend one person.  Unless we always stick to “safe” topics like our pets or the weather, we’re bound to offend someone at some point.  Therefore, it is also the responsibility of the readers to simply choose to not visit blogs they find controversial or upsetting.  I’m not going to lie about who I am in order to make someone else feel good about him or herself.

So yes, we bloggers should be careful about the content we put up on our blogs, but that doesn’t mean we should lie about our opinions on an issue.  And if you, as a reader, happen to disagree with an opinion I write on my blog, you’re free to do that too!  We can disagree without being hateful or malicious. Let’s celebrate our differences instead of attacking them.

*Steps off her wobbly soap box* (Cue collective sigh of relief)

I’ll throw in a picture of Henry for good measure.


Redefining the meaning of “spoiled rotten.”

Published on June 12, 2009

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Yasmin says

    I am so glad you told it like it is. I have a blog to express my feelings and should not feel like I am going to offend anyone. I’m so sad to hear that some bloggers have received negative comments. If you don’t like it, don’t read my blog! Thanks for getting on your soapbox.

  2. prettyladycmu says

    Thanks for wrapping up the more serious topic so delicately and yet so honestly!

    Glad to see your food featured again and I love the picture of Henry – he’s adorable 🙂

    Have a great day!

  3. elise says

    as usual, great post katie. thanks for the email btw.

    i lost EVERY single subscriber because the google reader subscription link no longer works. so i burst into tears, and now im trying to recollect myself.

    is now what you have to enter into google reader. i have no clue why the “feed” ending has to be there, but thats the only way it updates.

    i really dont like computer stuff.

    thanks for your help though. i hope i recover readers the way you did

  4. Maria says

    Katie, as usual, I love your honesty! It is all about balancing your mind, body, and soul! Before I eat, I always pray that God will bless those exact three things.

    Henry does look super spoiled with his king sized bed and all those delicacies ;).

    Maybe I should try plumping up my raisins, I think it will work well with the silky texture of oatmeal. Ooooh, and I think that’s something frozen with blueberries–can’t wait to see what it is!

    Have a fabulous day!

  5. Jane says

    great post again! And what a comment by Christine, that’s genius.
    i appreciate the fact that you take MENTAL health into account along with PHYSICAL health. getting stressed about the health value of foods is something i struggle with, and regardless if i end up eating a cookie or a broccoli sandwich, i feel better when i let it go.
    have a good weekend 🙂

  6. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) says

    Thanks for your sweet email earlier! I agree with everything you’ve written today as well. I think these are thoughts worth thinking AND putting in writing. So true that we can’t forego the mind and spirit parts in favor of the body! You have landed in the “shared items” box on my blog today. 😀

    Have a tubular weekend!

  7. Cecilia says

    OMG!!! Look at all those ‘bones’ for Henry!!! Hahahahaha, was it his birthday when you took that photo? He looks so happy in the photo – no surprise there!! Awww, give Henry a huge cuddle for me 😀

    Last but not least, great posts again Katie!!

  8. JB says

    ooh that teaser already has me excited for your next post! and henry is so thinking “i’ve got my comfy throne, soft stuffed animals, a million bones, and katie taking pictures of me. i’m such a king!” haha.

    and while i love how you addressed the eating issue, i’m happy you’re back to lighthearted posting!


  9. Sagan says

    Another excellent post. We should definitely be celebrating our differences. Health means something a little different to everyone, and we can share our views but we should also respect other opinions.

  10. Mike says

    As a triathlete who works in retirement living, I’ve been an observer of longevity for years. Long (30-60 mins), fast morning walks correlate the greatest with good mobility and quality of life ’til the age of 80, though those same people likely pay more attention to diet than others. As far as making it to 90, let alone 100, it’s a fluke. Especially when you add dementia or Alzheimer’s to the mix.

    This is totally anecdote-based but I’ve seen a very substantial number of superficially fit, dedicated runner males die of heart attacks in their 40s, 50s, and early 60s. I don’t know about their cholesterol numbers, but the rate seems much higher than the non-obese males I know who get little to no exercise.

  11. Sarah says

    Amen Katie! If someone goes, “Ew,” about something I’m eating in real life, I tell them not to look at it if they don’t like it. Same applies for the blog world 😉

    I’m working on that email back to you!

  12. Paulina says

    Great post! I agree 100% with what you have to say because I too had to learn the hard way (I was denying myself my favorite goodies!).

  13. Marianne says

    Health is so much more than just the food you put in your body – it’s about the whole package. If you get so focused on perfecting one aspect, you will inevitably neglect others. Balance does not equal perfection, and in the grand scheme of things, no one is going to care if you enjoyed some cake along the way.

  14. Erin says

    I fully agree about limiting self-censorship. That’s not good for anyone, IMO, as I kinda think honesty is the best route to follow.

    Loves the soapbox this week gal!

  15. *Andrea* says

    love this post, as usual 🙂 i agree with you about blogging being a 2-way street between readers and bloggers. if i started reading a book and disagreed with it i would put it down and read a different one! just like blogs!

    ps i can’t wait for the next post. that’s one big bowl of purply goodness!

  16. Vegetation says

    Wow! I had so much to catch up on (running late as usual on catching up with my favourite blogs!)!! I have to say that I agree with you completely on all fronts. While I eat vegetarian and try to be healthy for the most part, I’m not against the occasional bit of junk food (okay, I probably eat a little too much junk food, but at least most of it is home made junk food…right? :P)

    Aww love to Henry! There’s no end to his furry adorableness!!

    And yum, I can’t wait to hear all about that yummy looking purple dish (yay for purple food!)

  17. Heather Eats Almond Butter says

    Einstein and Radley would go crazy for that pile of raw hides. Henry may have some competition on his hands.

    This was another great post. Polly and I were discussing restriction, and I loved what she had to say about it:

    A little is perfect. A lot messes us up.

    Loved that. So, yes, eat the cookie if you want it…just don’t eat the whole batch.

    Have a good weekend…off to eat a burger now. 🙂

  18. Katrina (gluten free gidget) says

    Great post! I do sometimes feel my vegan/vegetarian readers will be offended when I post the meat I eat. You know what though, you can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes my body feels like it needs meat. Sometimes my body just wants veggies for days on end. I feed my body want it needs at any given time. It is the only one I’ve got. I should show it at least a little respect and trust that it knows what it needs.

  19. traveleatlove says

    Wow that’s a lot of bones! Lucky Henry. This post was so well written and thought out. I hope posters continue to post honestly and thoughtfully and that readers can click off of a site that brings up issues for them. I personally have to not read some of the health related blogs when I don’t get a chance to work out, because I start to feel awful and neurotic. As you said, mental health is just as important as physical!

  20. Kate says

    So far behind on my commenting. I liked the processed food post and I agree that sometimes it seems that it is a competition for whom is healthier than whom. I think it all comes back to my outlook on life. “Whatever makes you happy and doesn’t harm another person is a great way to live”.

  21. ruby red vegan says

    You are such a wonderful writer! I really enjoyed reading your viewpoint on the whole point of eating with health in mind. And you are so right – we aren’t getting any kind of award for having the least amount of toxins in our bodies. That’s a kind of funny picture actually, standing at the gates of heaven and having a security-guard-angel running some sort of x-ray wand over our bodies that detects the number of toxins present.

  22. Trish (girlatgym) says

    I think you should be able to say whatever you like on your blog. It is your own, after all, and we are blessed with the right to free speech. You’re just not ever going to please everybody – no matter how hard you try. I don’t think you should ever be hateful or anything of that nature – but I think it’s okay to express a different view and have an opinion that maybe others won’t agree with.

    Case in point: I work in a gym and when I opened up the office this morning I found a note on the floor. Some guy doesn’t like the music we play. The fact is, no matter what music I put on, somebody won’t be happy about it. So how do I please everybody? I can’t. I just have to do what feels right to me – pick a station with upbeat music that I think most people will like.

  23. Jess (green appetite) says

    Hi, Katie! I found you via Choosing Raw — what a wise woman you are. I look forward to finding out what that purple pot is all about…

  24. bakersblurbs says

    That was great Katie. Well said. I completely agree about expressing yourself without having to worry about what others think. However, I too was one of those people who was feeling rather put-down by all the “raw foodist” talk.

    And WHAT is that tasty looking purple stuff? It looks like sorbet!

  25. Meghan Telpner says

    Eating healthy helps us to LIVE long. Majority of people today are simply surviving or worse- dying long.

    An old boyfriend, who was a fast food junkie (and comedian by profession) used to tell me that eating healthy increased my chances of being hit by a bus. He was basically saying that it would make no difference should an accident befall me tomorrow. Irony of irony was when he landed the LA Metro job and became the spokes person. His face was on the side of buses all over LA… if I were ever to be hit by own- it surely would have his face on it.

  26. Sophia Pflieger says

    I think health is listening to our bodies, what we crave, what we feel we need. I think if more people practiced intuitive eating we would all by healthier. Your past 2 posts, made me think of how this issue of Men’s Health (my boyfriend was reading this magazine). In the beginning of the magazine if stated how good soy was for you. Then in the middle it had a 15 page article about different ways to cook pork and how good it can be for you. I won’t go into more details. But then a few articles later, they had a huge article on how terrible soy is for you. How is that right?
    I’m all for rants too!

  27. Coconutgal says

    Amen SISTA! Preach it 🙂
    I could not agree MORE!!! Food is just food. There is so much more to life. God honors our spirit and soul.
    I always say– would you rather go through life constantly feeling deprived and grumpy so you can look back on photos and say “I looked good but oh man I missed out when I wanted that glass of wine/piece of pie” or indulge and let yourself have fun in a responsible way with food and look back and say “wow I had fun!!!”

    I am so glad you wrote this. Thanks for being a good example and sharing your open and flexible outlook on food. Awesome Katie!!

  28. Mark says

    “We don’t win a prize for eating healthy” Actually yes you do!! You give yourself the greatest chance of living a long, healthy, productive life and having strong healthy children. If thats not a prize I don’t know what is.

    Also, on this Planet and in this Universe everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is connected. The body, mind, and spirit are all one living flesh. Any imbalance or deficiency in one of these states will inherently affect the other. Did you know that dietary changes alone can greatly help people with mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia? If you take care of the body I believe you give the mind the greatest chance for happiness and the soul the greatest chance for enlightenment. So pass the veggies!!

  29. Elise says

    This was very insightful. Thank you for writing this… I’m 17 years old and have been struggling with an eating disorder. I constantly feel guilty about food but this blog has really aided my recovery…

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