Let’s get real; sometimes we make mistakes.
Today I only had about 20 minutes for lunch. I made a quick run to the local grocery store, which is known for healthy food and has a sort of “hippy-dippy” vibe.
I picked up a bunch of kiwis, but they won’t be ready for a couple days. I also grabbed a yerba mate as an afternoon pick-me-up, a handful of nuts, and some raisins.
That however will be my snack over the next day or so.
My lunch, well? I was duped.
I needed something quick, so I looked through the aisle containing protein bars and quick grabs. One of them looked enticing. The label proclaims, “Organic Whole Foods covered in Dark Chocolate. It has the USDA stamp of approval on it. (Certified Organic).
It was in the health food aisle. The first two ingredients were coconut oil and shredded coconut. These are both staples of food for me- especially in breakfast, as I typically do a little MCT in my coffee. The bar was covered in dark chocolate, and as someone interested in health… it’s not hard to do a little research on the benefits of dark chocolate. It’s all too easy to convince myself how healthy dark chocolate is. The bar also included key wording such as:
“GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER”
It had all the buzzwords of health and prosperity. The label practically guaranteed I’d be better off for having eaten it. Heck, I’d could probably dunk a basketball after eating it. And I was hungry and in a hurry.
Also, It was delicious! And familiar. A taste of my youth with hints of Halloween.
Let’s just get real; although made by a different company and packaged as a health food, my lunch was an Almond Joy.
Now, in reality, if we were to make an actual side-by-side comparison, I’m sure that this “health bar” would Stack Up better than a traditional Almond Joy on a “nutrient by nutrient, side by side comparison” ala’ quarterback stats on a Sunday game. But only barely.
Labeling is tricky. Every statement you read and see needs to be followed by an internal question.
Antioxidants! Fiber! Healthy Fats! Organic Sugar! Natural Foods! Raw! Gluten-Free! Free of Dye!
“Compared to What?” is a great question to ask.
Because none of these make it healthy.
Honestly, this is EXACTLY what our grandparents went through with Filtered Cigarettes, only it’s a million times more in your face. Marketing is much better and more influential than it has ever been.
My lunch candy bar is by no means “health food.” I was duped.
The reality is I allowed myself to be tricked. I wanted to be. I asked for it.
And the point of this article is that we all do.
It is so easy in today’s world, and the marketing is so good that we, unless completely diligent, allow ourselves to buy into the “ health food” market in a mind-boggling way.
It is marketing, labeling, ingredients, lobbying, and dozens of other sleight-of-hand tricks that allow us to talk ourselves into stupid decisions, often costing us 3-5x more in the illusion that we are eating healthy
I have an entire 100ft Aisle at my grocery store labeled “ health food section” where I can buy any and all kinds of craziness. I’m just asking you to be aware. Like everything on my websites, awareness is THE KEY and changes perspective.
This isn’t the article discussing what is healthy and what is not. This piece simply lets you know that the advertising, marketing, and sales of bullshit under the health food label is a multi-billion-dollar industry targeting you. Be aware of this.
It’s all too easy to note that Red Dye #4 is probably not as healthy as “tint derived from natural organic beet pulp sourced from the flowing valleys of the Peruvian hillsides of the Andes,” complete with a label showing a girl holding a weaved basket in a colorful sweater next to an Alpaca, but…that doesn’t mean it’s “Healthy.” and guys, that’s just the coloring.
Every Vegas magician will tell you, “It’s incredibly easy to be deceived when we want to be.”
I love experimenting with food, supplements, new workouts, and trending diets; I write on many of these. Indeed you will find links to Intermittent fasting, Keto, high-fat breakfasts, and basic descriptions of different diets and macro workups throughout this website. Especially if it’s trending and hot. My patients/readers deserve it if they ask questions, and I love the variety and experience. I’m not unique in this regard.
In the media and online, you will constantly be bombarded by this.
Nowhere is it more apparent than in my Facebook feed. The advertisers have got me. For every post of my friends from Idaho and their kid scoring another basket, there is an ad for Colostrum, Coffee substitutes, Green Mixes, and barefoot shoes. I love this stuff and click on plenty. I’m the guy that AI is being further developed on! Nikki has proclaimed, “ You are addicted to placebos, and Facebook knows this!”
I love to experiment.
Just remember, a huge part of experimentation is awareness of what you are actually testing with a knowledgeable and deep understanding of the critical components that make it an experiment.
It’s not just the dopamine hit of “I did something good!” Because I’m telling you. You can get that from the label and slow-motion advertisement of a hot girl in a bikini on a surfboard.
The awareness that your brain will gladly pick a candy bar and tell you it’s a health food because the label says so – that’s critical.
Am I guilty that I had a candy bar for lunch? Not at all. I’m past the guilt stage of food. I have a healthy and happy relationship with food and it no longer stresses me out.
I am certain that my abs are not closer to the surface, my energy levels aren’t improved, and my mile time is not faster because I chose a candy bar for lunch, though. It wasn’t healthy and didn’t get me even one step closer to my goals and plans. I lapsed and fooled myself. The awareness of this lets me make a better choice the following day.
That, my friends, is a gigantic step in the right direction.