This week I realized I’ve long been applying a standard–a test if you will–to my own approach to health and fitness, and to ideas pushed in the health and fitness world.
I call it the “God” test.
You know the saying, “Does it pass the smell test?” In other words, is it believable or not as a solution to whatever problem it is we’re discussing.
The “God” test, states, in the way that I see it, “Is the proposed solution keeping within the laws of nature and of nature’s God”? (to quote the Declaration of Independence)
Or is it just plain unnatural?
Applying the “God Test” (or “Nature Test” if you prefer) to my health and nutrition choices has served me well for decades, and I believe it can help you stay fit and healthy too.
Do Supplements Pass the “God Test”?
Let me give you an example of applying this test to current health and fitness concerns: Let’s take the subject of supplements, which are being sold like hotcakes as the answer to just about any health issue.
I’ve covered this topic in my blog, “Do You Have a Supplement Habit?”
But I realize I’m not quite done with this issue–it’s too widespread. Now I am not against supplements, as long as they’re kept in their original role as literally supplementing our diets. I do question the flood of supplements that are being pushed on us these days from just about every direction.
So how do we know if we need a supplement? We could get a blood test or tests to see if we’re deficient. Nothing wrong with that.
And let’s say we test deficient in some nutritional categories, does that mean we need a supplement?
Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. For instance, as I pointed out in the linked blog above, what about using food to bridge our nutritional gaps? Yeah, remember food?
Now many people would say, with apparent good reason, that our soils are deficient due to over-farming, or due to many of us living in regions with nutrient-deficient soil.
So sure, there are many reasons to be wary of the nutritional completeness of our current diets. But that reasoning is used constantly to justify the selling and / or purchasing (depending on what side of the sales equation you’re on) of sometimes hundreds of dollars in nutritional supplements per month per person! Sorry–this is crazy, and in my mind, is a perfect example of a nutritional “answer” failing the “God” test.
In other words, would a just and loving God really expect the average person (often of modest means) to spend hundreds of dollars a month on nutritional supplements? Or would He simply provide us with numerous types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, grains, legumes, and animal products such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs, to ensure we get our nutritional needs met?
I think the answer is obvious.
And if you’re making a habit of guzzling supplements instead of eating real food, how will you develop natural cravings for foods that contain needed nutrients? Answer: You won’t.
In the “Supplement Habit” blog, I noted a nice app that allows a person to track a great percentage of their nutritional needs, and I’ll link it again.
I’m sure I’m on solid footing when I say that applying the “God Test” here would have you actually eating the food God has provided for you to be healthy and happy. And eating it as close to nature as you can afford, such as consuming organic produce (or growing your own) and grass-fed meat.
If you’re growing your own produce, and want to make sure you have the complete array of minerals and trace minerals as nature intended, then buy some top quality minerals and sprinkle them in your garden. Or take a good mineral supplement regularly.
Regarding grass-fed meat, butter, etc., you may consider them an extravagance (and they are because of their price); but this is one area where the health benefits they bring appear to back up their consumption. And I believe they pass the “God Test” too, as eating grass and wild greens is what cows and cattle do when left to their own instincts. When in doubt, go natural.
Steroids and Other Enhancers, the Ultimate Supplements?
Here’s a category of popular health and fitness “supplement” that I think pretty obviously fails the “God Test.” What is natural about injecting yourself with anabolic steroids and other concoctions in order to look “better” or get bigger and stronger? The answer is of course, there is nothing natural about these substances. At least in the case of more typical supplements, they’re more closely related to actual food. In my view, and in the view of many, steroids and other unnatural enhancers have ruined the sport of bodybuilding, and turned it into a circus freak show, instead of celebrating the natural strength and symmetry of the fully developed human form.
Here’s a video that about the reality of steroid use in pro sports. One of the bodybuilders featured, Rich Piana, had a major social media following, was open about his steroid use, and later died at the age of 47 of sudden cardiac arrest, that reportedly may have been related to his used of “bodybuilding enhancement drugs.”
In another video, former bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates speaks of his steroid use and what naturally happens when a bodybuilder stops taking them. He also explains the psychological reasons why many use these drugs and become hooked, and therefore have trouble stopping.
There are many examples in the health and fitness world, where applying the “God Test” is useful, and can keep you out of trouble. I fully understand that some of these examples are more harmful than others, yet all unnatural choices do harm.
And no doubt, I will be continue to discuss examples of “God Test” fails, as well as successes, as we move forward. Because everything we do falls into the category of “natural” or “unnatural.” In my decades of experience, natural is the way to do it, if you seek true health and fitness for the long haul.
Patrick Rooney is the Owner of GREEK PHYSIQUE™, LLC a Personal Training company located in Middle Tennessee, which specializes in body sculpting for men and women. Patrick is certified through the National Association for Fitness Certification (NAFC). Patrick is available for Personal Training and Lifestyle Coaching, both in person and via phone and Skype. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.