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Are You Nuts?

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Are You Nuts?

Nuts are good for you. Experts say we should eat more nuts to live longer. Those crunchy little nuggets demand to be regulars in our lives. You can get them in any supermarket or, if you’re so inclined, go premium, natural, or organic. They’re plain, raw, roasted, salted, or served in the shell – all very respectable.

Nutella and fudge nut brownies don’t count.

Healthy nuts mean daily munches five to seven times a week. According to AARP that translates into amounts like eight almonds, six cashews, or a “handful” to replace the chocolate chip cookies hidden in the kitchen.

A Harvard Study found one serving of nuts per day is associated with a 30% lower risk of heart disease and potentially “one of the secret ingredients to weight loss.”

Nuts, however, can be a mixed bag.

Like people, all nuts are not created equal. Most dieticians prefer almonds, walnuts and macadamias. Not chocolate covered cashews, peanut brittle, and butter pecan ice cream.

The health nuts missed something – people nuts.

We all know about the nutty professor and famous nuts like Dennis Rodman who hangs out with Kim Jong-un and Nicolas Cage who built himself a mausoleum in the shape of a pyramid in his favorite cemetery. As actor Jake Gyllenhaal said, “crazy people don’t sit around wondering if they’re nuts.”

Then there’s the neighborhood nut who plants concrete leprechauns on his front lawn or the office nut who wears matching SpongeBob ties and socks. There are nutty critters like the pet parrot who laughs hysterically and the dog who chases killer squirrels (but never catches them).

Who can ignore the orange nut in the white house?

There are also regular nuts among us.

Contrary to modern use, the word nuts has a respectable history. It goes back to the 1600s when nuts referred to any source of pleasure. The word evolved into a reference to the head, and by the mid-1800s it was used to mean crazy.

We ended up with a lot of colorful similes like nutty as a fruit cake, nutcase, and off one’s nut. There are also opinions like you belong in the nuthouse, you’re completely nuts, and the ultimate question, have you gone nutso?

Truisms are part of the picture – “I shook my family tree and a bunch of nuts fell out” or the op-ed, written by the editorial board of The New York Times, “Is Mr. Trump Nuts?”

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, an American professional wrestling manager (a job you have to be nuts to take), mused:

If you’re poor and you do something stupid,

you’re nuts.

If you’re rich and do something stupid,

you’re eccentric.

Nuts can be fake news – dressing and acting the role. Think Lady Gaga, KISS, and the infamous “people of Walmart.” Or nuts can be the real thing, like a President with an alien hair-do to cover his bald spot.

Where do you fit?

Are you dancing, dressing, or thinking nuts? Are you eating, faking, or arguing nuts? Or are you just plain nuts? If the answer is “none of the above” maybe it’s time to reconsider.

Going nuts can be a lot of fun.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at,,   or to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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