Food & Fitness

What’s your definition of “health”?


Yes, yes I am going to spend the new few months talking about my excitement of going to the BlogHer 2010 conference in NYC in August 😉 The agenda and speakers look awesome (Sahar is one of them!) and it looks like it will be a fantastic time.

It will be especially fantastic if you- yes you, fellow BlogHer attendees- want to room with me at the Hilton. I have a room booked but I am still roommate-less. Even if you already have your boarding arrangements figured out, let me know if you’ll be in NYC at the beginning of August!

Defining Health

About a month ago, we discussed and tried to define “emotional eating”. I’m interested again in hearing your thoughts about a definition: this time, about your definition of “health”.

To me, health is about balance. It incorporates happiness and goals and progress and achievement. It involves learning and evolving.

To me, healthy eating is about eating natural, whole, real foods. Healthy eating is when we have a good relationship with the food we eat; when we like what we eat and when we nourish our bodies with a variety of wholesome nutrients and appropriate amounts of the macronutrients. It is when we listen to our body and hunger cues.

To me, a healthy body is about enjoying fitness and reaping the benefits of being both physically and mentally sound. It is about including exercise as an integral part of everyday living, so that it becomes as natural as breathing. A healthy body is a body that can take care of itself with strength and power in the muscles and the organs.

To me, a healthy mind is when we challenge ourselves by stimulating the brain. It involves reading and communicating with others; it is when we practice the ability to look at the world from a new perspective and listen to new ideas.

These are only three small components of a healthy lifestyle and a healthy being. Health is in everything- there’s spiritual health, financial health, environmental health, and social health, to name just a few. But we all have different ideas of what it means to be healthy in these different ways. I recently received reader mail asking me about my thoughts on stevia and artificial sweeteners, for example. Even though stevia is generally considered a “natural” sweetener, I don’t like it much. And I do not believe that artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, are healthy. But from reading other health and nutrition blogs, it’s clear that there are many who do consider those ingredients to be healthy. Every time I come across a recipe with the word “healthy” in the title, which then turns out to have 1/2 cup of sugar (or more!) in it, I think to myself, “no, that is not healthy if it’s full of sugar!”. But that’s just my thoughts on the subject.

Which brings us to the question at hand: what is your definition of health? Is there any “healthy” product that you do not approve of? What components of health (if there is any in particular) do you tend to gravitate towards and focus on the most? And are you going to the BlogHer conference this year?


  1. Dr. J

    I think that medicine defines health as the absence of disease. Sort of a negative way of looking at it, no?

    I would rather think of health as a process of moving toward a more complete, active participation in life on many levels.

    Keep up the good health, Sagan 🙂

  2. love2eatinpa

    i think you define things quite nicely, although i’m a very fussy eater and do not necessarily eat natural, whole real foods. i do the best that i can to eat healthy with the foods i do like.

    i live in pa, not so far from ny. please give me some scoop about blogher 2010- exactly what dates, etc? where can i find all this info? thanks!

  3. Maggie

    Ooo I didn’t know you were going!! I will see you there 😀

    I am undecided on stevia. I don’t mind it in Zevia (the “healthy” diet soda) but I can’t stand it when i put it on my oatmeal and stuff like that. It can be ok with baking. I know that Splenda is pretty much awful and I am shocked when people say they are being “healthy” by eating Splenda. Yuck.

  4. Sagan Morrow

    Em- I will indeed!

    Dr. J- That DOES seem to be a negative way to look at it. It’s nicer to think of it as an ongoing process.

    Love2eatinpa- Well there’s the kicker: that’s my definition of healthy; it doesn’t necessarily mean that I always DO eat those healthy foods 😉 Ooh even if you don’t come to BlogHer, come to NYC for that weekend so I can meet you! It’s the at the beginning of August; you can check out all the info at their website:

    Maggie- YAY that will be excellent! I’ve tried even small amounts of stevia in baking and it still made my nose wrinkle when I tried it. It has such a strange aftertaste; to me it just doesn’t FEEL natural.

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