5 Healthy Words Advertisers Are Using Against You

Photo by  Bernard Hermant  on  Unsplash   Cover Design by Amy Beth Bolden.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Cover Design by Amy Beth Bolden.

If you’ve read up about me on my website, you’ll know that I have a background in graphic design & advertising. Before moving to Colorado, I made a living designing advertisements for a corporate newspaper, built regional magazines, and even created billboards for museums, banks, and regional events.

It’s true. Check out my old design portfolio on Behance.

This was me in 2015 at the ADDY awards while working in Corporate as a Graphic Designer.

This was me in 2015 at the ADDY awards while working in Corporate as a Graphic Designer.

With this background, I’ve learned enough about the goal of what advertising is used for: making money. Companies are getting smarter about how to advertise certain ideas and labels to us that may or may not be truthful. Most of the time we don’t even notice. Qualifications like, “non-GMO,” “Organic,” and “Natural” have blinded us to the fact that most of what’s behind that cardboard box or plastic wrapping is fake, cheap, & easy.

Those definitely aren’t labels I’d tag as descriptions of my husband, nor the kind of lifestyle I want to lead.

I decided to go undercover to rediscover the meanings on these popular labels slapped on products you see all over US groceries stores so we could understand what to be aware of.


1. Non-GMO

The googled answer for what Non-GMO’s are is, “Non-GMO means non-Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are novel organisms created in a laboratory using genetic modification/engineering techniques. Scientists and consumer & environmental groups have cited many health and environmental risks with foods containing GMOs.”

Keep in mind, non-GMO is a claim that is loosely regulated… which means it’s not promising, at least according to US Standards. There are currently moves to make this label a requirement on all foods, GMO & Non-GMO alike.

Anything that says it’s non-GMO is also considered organic. Which leads to my next definition.


2. Organic:

When you hear this word, do you think that your food will be automatically healthier, or do you question if it’s even worth the money?

USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.” (usda.gov)

This means that non-gmo seeds were used in soil free of synthetic chemicals and additives. However, this does not mean that organic foods are pesticide free. Organic certified farmers are only allowed to use pesticides up to the government’s organic standards.

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3. Natural:

This is a overused word marketers use to depict a “fresh” product. If you ask me, I don’t think there’s anything natural about consuming food that comes in plastic or cardboard packaging. A food that is natural is a food that has undergone a minimum of processing or treatment with preservatives.

However, advertisers pull the rug from underneath you by claiming that parts of their product are natural while including some of those GMO, high calorie ingredients they failed to mention. It’s confusing to call a food natural if it still has high-fructose corn syrup in it, right?


4. Healthy:

If someone tells me those Nature Valley Granola Bars are healthy one more time, I just might hurl. Sorry, General Mills, but 11 grams of added GMO sugar does not qualify for a healthy breakfast, it just creates a sugar rush, crash, & burn. Don’t be fooled, vegan food can be just as unhealthy than most people believe, too.

So, what does healthy actually mean? Healthy Eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.

Where are you going to find those sort of foods with the variety you need? Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. There are many “healthy” options to choose from and make from these whole food sources.


5. No Sugar/Reduced Sugar:

Something that is claimed to be “sugar free” is required by FDA to contain less that 0.5 grams of sugar. However, what has happened is companies who claim their sugar-less eats are often using substitutes instead. I’m talking, sucralose, aspartame, maltodextrin, and even sacharin. Popular items like Pedialyte, Splenda, Yoplait, and even Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn are known to contain these chemically harmful substitutes.

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I have always believed that ignorance is bliss, but in the line of health: ignorance is ignorance. Maybe you weren’t taught these truths surrounding food and have a lot of learning to do like me, or maybe you enjoy being blind to the fact so your taste buds are satisfied. Either way, the truths still remain that whole foods are best and processed foods are not. You won’t find many of these misconceptions surrounding whether broccoli is healthy for you, I promise.

If you’re like me and need help in learning the How-To’s of switching over towards a greener & more sustainable lifestyle, check out the Realistic Holistic 6 Week Course or schedule a FREE consultation with me.

I’m here to walk you through this.

Why Weight Loss Won't Change Body Image

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If you're reading this post, I need you to go do something for me. Actually, pull out your phone (or open your camera app) and flip the camera facing YOU. Take a second, look at yourself, and say: You Are ENOUGH!" You can do this in your own creative way, too. Strike a pose. Take a selfie, and then post that bitch* online.

After you've done that… THEN you can come back to read the rest of this post!

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Once upon a time ago, when my husband and I were first dating, I realized that this was definitely the guy I intended marrying. I also knew that I when that time would come where my "glory" would be revealed this man… I told myself that I wanted to be a certain weight… Then I would be happy.. At least I thought.

For some reason, I thought that Brandon would love me more if I looked a certain way in lingerie, that if I was a certain body-type, or he’d respect me in a certain way. Accepting my body at its worst was never in the forefront of my mind because all my life, with the help of societal standards of the womanly body, loving myself at my "least" was often looked at as a sense of rebel or ignorance.

Fast forward to my early twenties where I saw a online friend conquering her weight-loss goals while I was struggling with mine. She was literally melting away, at least it seemed, every time she posted her progress on social media, and I wanted to do the same thing.

At that point, I had become severely uncomfortable in my own skin, especially after becoming a Barista at Starbucks where the uniform requirement was to tuck in our polo shirts into khakis, with a belt. Sorry, not sorry but this is the most unflattering combination to wrap my body figure at the time. I was forever thankful for the apron's we were required to wear which hid the “mess" of a body I thought I had.

At my wits end of feeling "fat," I decided to do what my friend was doing and signed up for the same “health” program as my friend. I began to work hard to "love myself" better, but what I didn't realize was that my mind was punishing my body for all it’s imperfections instead of caring for myself in a very physical way. While it’s good to have physical health goals, if you're reaching them for materialistic, or comparative reasons… you WILL exhaust yourself. I know I did.

This was 1 year into my "weight-loss journey" on the former health program I was doing. I lost a total of 30 pounds from start to finish.

This was 1 year into my "weight-loss journey" on the former health program I was doing. I lost a total of 30 pounds from start to finish.

My mind would spin all day long with how much I was eating, when I was eating, how long I worked out, when I would workout, and counting nutrients. I starred as my own worst critic internally yelling at myself to eat better, work harder, go longer, lift heavier. Then I would scroll through my Instagram searching hashtags like, #beforeandafter & #weightloss to "encourage" myself to get to that point where people would be looking at my post wanting the same thing. While this self-deprivation and critical cycle continued on auto-pilot for a few years, I was slowly building a resistance to every fully accepting myself at my "lowest" point of accumulated weight gain I had during my college years.

When I gained 50 lbs in 4 months

When I gained 50 lbs in 4 months

Years later, after deciding to move towards a more holistic approach to health, and four months of adding more produce into my diet, as well as consistent small steps to get "healthier," I actually gained all my weight back… and then some. I was PISSED. I had been working the "right way" towards better health, and yet things seemed to only be getting worse. I would cry in dressing rooms, quietly & mentally bring myself down about the lack of progress, and my closet seemed to grow smaller as my body grew bigger. What I didn't know was that what I had been consuming from the previous "health program" was actual chemically-induced weight-loss on top of intensely working out, so my body was protecting itself from the damage I had unknowingly done to myself.

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Now that I’ve been making consistent mindful decisions & I’ve started to mindfully accept my body “as is,” I have lost all of the weight that I had gained in my rebound phase. Along this whole journey I am finding that health is a process. We know good things come with time.

Because I had chosen to make an uninformed decision based on my "feelings of being fat," I've had to undergo a new process that has now shown me it doesn't matter what number is on the scale or in the back of my pants, I am still enough.

And it’s still a daily battle.

Every single day, I have the choice to love myself more than I’ve ever loved myself the day before. It’s taken work, grit, consistency, and some soul searching, but I am now finding out that numbers do not define the effort and daily consistency I make happen when it comes to my personal health.

3 (Realistic) Tips for Healthy Unicorn Hair

That’s why her hair is so big... it’s full of secrets!
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If any of you know me in person, you might recognize me by my hair. I'm definitely one of those people who have always had a thick mop on their head, but I've also been processing my hair since I was in the 7th grade. From 2003 when I started my Freaky Friday -Lindsay Lohan chunks to my current purple unicorn mane-- my hair and I have been through a lot together.

Bleaching, coloring, blow-drying, straightening, curling, wanding, and one sew-in weave later, my hair knows stress all too well. Even with all that stress I’ve been able to keep my hair thick and grow it long quickly without special serums or potions.

One of the biggest questions I get about my hair is, "How does always it look SO healthy!?" Luckily, my experience points have added up and I've found 3 not-so-secret-secrets (of the many preventative ways to promote health) which have kept my hair thick and protected during all of my life's transitions & hair transformations:

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1. Are you eating enough produce?

I'm not your mom, but let I have to ask, "Are you eating your fruits and veggies??" Back when the Ombré was in style, I had an accidental not-so-favorable turnout on my hair. I thought for some reason I could go from red to blonde in one day, so by the end of the session my hair was French Fried. My senior year in college was in full swing, and I always ran low on "cares & concerns" for what I was putting into my body, let alone on my hair. I ate all the fast food I could and the only recipe I knew how to make was Chicken Alfredo. Unfortunately for me with this unfavorable turnout, I had to go with the big chop and start ALL over. This time growing out my hair, I've learned that the more leafy greens, berries, and fruits that I'm eating… the better my hair looks and feels! A scientifically-backed way that I've been able to keep my hair quality consistently healthy  is by taking my powdered produce capsules!! Not only am I craving more fruits and veggies after eating them, my hair is growing faster and thicker than it's ever grown in my life.

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2. Are you using an omega?

I'll be the first to raise my and and tell you that I wasn’t fully educated on what omegas could do for the hair, skin, & nails when I first started this whole health journey. I just assumed they were optional. However, after trying out a plant-based omega with the spread of omega's 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9, I’ve noticed my hair thickening up even MORE! The truth is, you don't have to take a fish oil to achieve #hairgoals. The Omega 3’s help in starting hair regrowth and improving increase hair elasticity, Omega 6’s are known to improve scalp health, and Omega 9’s help with keeping the hair moisturized! Check out the omega product I use.

3. Have some patience.

There are lots of unrealistic hair goals out there. Don't let Pinterest poison your mind with the idea that you can go from natural to fashion color in one day because it doesn’t work like that (unless maybe you're already blessed with lighter blonde hair). Also, Healthy Hair takes time. Lots of time. One of the biggest compliments I got from my hairdresser was how patient I’ve been in order to reach the ultimate hair goals, but that’s because I learned my lesson the hard way. You can't go into a salon asking them to perform a miracle if you're not nurturing your hair at home.

So whether you're wanting thicker hair, a new hair-doo, or a unicorn mane… be patient with the process. There are lot's of "miracle pills" & potions out there promising thicker, longer hair in a matter of weeks… but nothing can be done unless you are building the foundation from within.

Check out this video on what I use to color my unicorn hair

The How and Why Behind ThatVeganWife

The long-short story of how I got here...

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I remember as a kid eating big meals with the end goal of a nap, and I remember the contrasting images that the media culture presented of women displaying their perfectly figured bodies while holding a piece of junk food. With my lack of education on the power of food coupled with frequent childhood sickness & an early-in-life diagnosis of severe Scoliosis, life had created The Perfect Storm.

Before I was educated on the relationship between what we consume & how are bodies respond, I always struggled to achieve optimum health. My spinal nerves were (and still are) out of line, my bowels were irritable all the time, acne raged on my face, and I did everything I could to mask the symptoms I dealt with too often. I never got to the root of the problem.

Classic Kool-Aid Stain Amy Beth,  Circa 1994

Classic Kool-Aid Stain Amy Beth, Circa 1994

In my late teens to early twenties...

I transitioned into adulthood attending universities where healthy food was hard to find and physical activity was hardly encouraged unless it was for school credit. With the learned mindset of, "calories-in-calories-out" paired with a terrible body image, the "Freshman Fifteen" quickly became twenty... and then thirty.

I continued to yo-yo diet into my early relationship with Brandon when I decided to try one of those "health products" we see our friends on Facebook using to lose that extra weight. Not once did I think about what ingredients were inside those products, but I didn’t care because it allowed me to lose 30 pounds before Brandon and I's wedding day. My dress couldn't have looked more flattering.

What I wish I would have known was that I had been flooding my body with toxic chemicals while enduring long periods of intense workouts 6-7 days a week. Not a good combination. I also had no idea that the mindset I had built surrounding my health, and even my body, were as unhealthy as my now-formed habits in order to make me "skinny."

The breaking point in my health happened when I realized that the back pain I had been experiencing was progressively making life worse, so I desperately sought help in the form of heavy narcotics just to function. I thought I had no other choice.

During that time, Brandon and I had just migrated to Louisiana in order for him to pursue his PhD degree, and looking back at all the stress my body was under, I don't know how I functioned. Physically, emotionally, and mentally; my body started to break down at 25 years old. Talk about a “Quarter Life Crisis.”

When I realized that I was not able to help my husband move into our new apartment back in 2015, that pain was getting worse, and consistently felt low energy, I was willing to try anything just to FEEL BETTER.

That's when a friend of mine shared with me how her family was consuming powdered produce, then led me to the published clinical research behind it. I admit that I was very VERY skeptical about ANY product at that point but I decided to give that and the Shred10 Lifestyle Program a try. At that point, it was really important to me to know exactly what I was putting into my body and fruits, vegetables, and berries made perfect sense because I was hardly eating ANY of those things! I could barely stomach a raw blueberry.

Within a few days my body started to feel GOOD for the first time. I had finally found an answer that taught me the tools I had been longed for. 

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It was even more important than ever after getting off the previous "health product" because what really happened was: I gained 50 pounds in 4 months. That's too much, too fast.

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Not long into my health journey, with a growing self-education on the power of plants, did I watch some of my very own family members experience their own health crisis' later in their lives. It was a wakeup call both Brandon and I that in order to achieve any of our dreams that we would need to learn the simple art of self-care. I'm not talking about bubble baths and face masks either. I'm talking about eating what our bodies actually need (more produce), drinking more water, getting more sleep, moving our bodies more, and self-assessing our mental health, while enjoying dessert. 

Those few years while I was trying to figure out my health were very hard, they were messy, and they have been most rewarding on the other side.

So why do I do what I do?

I guess it boils down to one thing that Maya Angelou put best,

"If you KNOW better, DO better."

Once you actually gain health, it's really hard to go back and enjoy life the same way. I do not claim to be a health expert, and there are a lot of pieces to physical health outside of nutrition, but I do have a lot of life experience with the human body.

Also: Wow. What an impact the end of our fork has on our quality of life. Not only does it impact us, it impacts the world around us.

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No longer do I see my love for food as a weakness, but a strength I’ve gained which has allowed me to get my health back.

I share my love for realistic holistic living, because it IS possible.

It's not expensive,

It's not complicated,

and the food is NOT boring.

I also love serving people where they are at. I believe in living by example. I don't think we "vegans" should be standing on the street corner banging our loud [and annoying] gongs about why you HAVE TO GO VEGAN. It is not my job to tell you to go vegan, but tell you why you should. It's also not my job to diagnose your health problems, but give you tools in which are proven to create long & lasting health improvements.

So these next few months, years, however & wherever this journey ends up taking us, I hope that you're inspired to become a more mindful individual making choices that everyone can benefit from.

Get to Know Me!

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If you keep up with me on social media, you may know me as Amy Beth, ThatVeganWife, or even AyBayBay. I post a lot about food, as well as my love for nutrition & how it's radically changed my life, but there's so much more to my life than that.

As I am discovering more about myself, especially the fact that my INFJ personality type is more rare and contradicting than any of the rest, I find myself coming full circle with myself in a lot of ways.

So let’s get to know each other shall we? I’ll go first.

Where did you come from? 

I grew up in the hidden parts of the hill country of Texas, about an hour car ride north of Austin. Small town Texas with big heart & big actions.... and big FOOD! We were also raised with all kinds of animals, starting from an early age, so my love for animals was unintentionally stirred up in me. If you don't believe me, ask my 5th grade teacher who witnessed me bursting into tears after reading the ending of the book, Where The Red Fern Grows.

How did you become ThatVeganWIFE?

Brandon and I met in 2012 as co-staff at a summer camp in Central Texas. I noticed him from the first moment he walked in the door, but quickly moved on as I was in a serious, but emotionally abusive relationship. However, after I removed myself from that relationship, that's when my roommate, and at the time and hair stylist, planted the idea of “Amy Beth” into Brandon's head at one of his hair appointments. A few hangouts later, I knew that he'd be the guy that I would marry. We've been together 5 years, as of March 2018, married for 4.

Now, we live happily married in the foothills of the mountains in Colorado where Brandon works as a supervised student therapist, writes music, plays video games, and cooks our meals probably about 75% of the time. He’s amazing.

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What's your favorite food?

At this moment in time, I really dig a good Greek Food plate or burrito... really anything wrapped in a burrito shape, I'll be eating it.

Facebook or Instagram?

Instagram, fo SHO.

Favorite TV show that’s currently on?

I don't have a favorite-favorite... FRIENDS, Stranger Things, Nailed-It, Cupcake Wars are all on my que.

Best way to de-stress?

Sitting outside on my porch in Colorado, or taking a nap.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Invisibility, hands down. I already practice invisibility by wearing sunglasses. Lol.

Do you like your handwriting?

I love my handwriting so much that I designed a font with it! (Check out the ThatVeganWife logo)

 
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What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

I doubt myself WAY too hard and can often be overly self critical. It's time for me to step up and out of this cycle. Thankful for the Brene Brown books I've gotten my hands on recently that's helping me grow out of that.

What is your most favorite thing about yourself?

I love that no matter what happens in life, I've always been shown or have seen the joy and love in every situation; fun and hard times alike. I thank my Granny for that kinda thinking! It's come in handy so many times.

What are you listening to right now?

That is ALWAYS changing, and I'm always finding new music. Currently listening to a lot of Post Malone, Chance the Rapper, & Ariana Grande. Follow my growing Spotify playlist, "Don't Tell Me What's Cool," here:

Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings.

Sweet or Savory?

Can I say both?? Cause I love me a good Orange "Chicken" Recipe.

Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Maya Angelou, Oprah, and Amy Schumer.

Who is your girl crush?

Always and forever, Emma Stone.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

The actual name isn't coming to mind, but I have named a chapter. Farts & Fried Rice. Don't ask, it's been on my mind for a long time.

Coffee or tea?

Tea never let's me down.

What do you love on your pizza?

Basil pesto sauce, tomatoes, red onion, vegan sausage, bell pepper, mushroom, lots & lots of vegan cheese on a thick-ass crust. YUM.

What are you doing when you're not working?

More than likely exploring Denver, reading a book, hanging out with my dogs, watching Netflix with the hubbs, or sitting by/in the pool in the summertime.

Where do you hope to be in the next 5 years?

Hopefully still talking on the LA Talk Radio, if not doing more public speaking gigs around the world while giving back to those who are in desperate need for a plant-based change in their life. I hope to continually remain grounded so I can continue to inspire others who are looking to make changes for themselves. I'm open to whatever the Creator has in store. As my Granny likes to say, the skies the limit.