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TMHS 437: Buying Science, Healthwashing Labels, & Sparking Real Change – With Guest Vani Hari
If you knew an ingredient in your food could make you sick, would you still eat it? Probably not. Yet from orange juice to peanut butter cups, the synthetic ingredients lurking in everyday pantry staples could be doing you more harm than good. And while industrial food producers would love you to think otherwise, poor nutrition is a leading cause of preventable chronic diseases. As the saying goes, you really are what you eat.
Our guest on this episode, New York Times bestselling author and food activist Vani Hari, explains “health washing” and shares how innocuous terms like “natural flavoring” can mask toxic ingredients in your favorite foods—and what you can do about it.
Vani is no stranger to confronting the food industry, and her investigative work has led to significant changes from major brands like Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Subway, and many others. Armed with what she’s learned in her own personal journey and thousands of hours of research, Vani explains how to empower yourself and your loved ones to make better food choices.
While this year has been a rollercoaster, taking charge of what you put into your body—especially during a pandemic—is one small act you can do to regain control and fortify your health. If you’re ready to take a critical look at the food in your kitchen, listen and learn!
In this episode you'll discover:
- What century-old food helps fight viruses and reduces symptoms of asthma and allergies.
- Why Vani and Shawn value their daily workouts—now more than ever.
- Why you need to take agency for your own health instead of depending on others.
- How $4 trillion is spent on healthcare every year, yet we’re sicker than ever.
- Why “health washing” is a problem.
- How food companies use unnatural flavors to create addictive products.
- How to get your kids to love vegetables.
- Why orange juice companies add synthetic vitamins and ingredients.
- What we can do right now to effect change at the community, corporate, and government levels.
- How Vani got her brother to change his lifestyle and turn his health around.
- The three simple questions you should ask yourself before every meal.
- Why it’s important to reach out to family members and neighbors right now.
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Very pumped about this episode. We need change right now, we need change and we need it fast. This entire year has been a roller coaster, to say the least. The most elaborate roller coaster of all time. And I come... I'm from Saint Louis. Alright? We didn't have a lot of theme parks, we did have Six Flags, and we had a roller coaster there called the Screamin' Eagle. Alright? The Screamin' Eagle was made of wood. Alright? Not just regular wood, 'wood'. And that stuff would bend like... You would feel it bend. And there was one part where it, when it comes off the tracks, everybody knows that part, and it's just like that... "That, it shouldn't be able to do that." It did. Alright? So this year has been like the Screamin' Eagle. Alright? And with that said, everything can be innovated. Alright? Screamin' Eagle hung on as long as it could, but eventually, it's taken over by something else, Batman comes along, you know, the Batman roller coaster comes along and makes the Screaming Eagle extinct.
Alright, right now we need to change, we need to upgrade, we need to get rid of the Screamin' Eagle roller coaster and do something different. And it's so interesting because this time of year right now, funny enough, it's like this creepy season, right? It's Halloween coming up, but this whole year has been like Halloween. And it's so funny here in the state of California, Halloween is banned. They softened it a little bit, but is banned. And it's so funny, 'cause this is like the only pro-diabetes holiday we have, not the only but the most prolific of all holidays for diabetes promotion. And now they're going to stop us from doing that? Everybody's already wearing masks, we're all already got our outfits on, our Halloween costumes, so it's not a big transition there, but just saying we're experiencing all this stuff during a very interesting time and a time of change, and a time to... Many of these regulations are to take care of ourselves and to look out for other people, and we've been going into the data here on the Model Health Show, of course, as you know, the past few months and looking at what is actually appropriate, what is poignant, what is necessary, what's based on real science.
Because the term science has been thrown around like a freakin’ rickety free Frisbee, you know, it's one of those freebies you get when you're out at different places, they give you a Frisbee, it's been tossed around like a Frisbee and science right now is in a different space where certain pieces of science are okay, other pieces are not. This scientist's recommendations are appropriate, this one isn't. This doctor's word and experience is appropriate, this other doctor shouldn't be saying anything. And I've never seen this kind of dichotomy before, and that end of itself should make us question things, "Why are we taking the advice of one esteemed resource and not the other esteemed resource, and then we try to drag that of the resource down as if it doesn't exist or it's censored?"
We need to hear all sides of things, even if they're outlandish and wild, we need to be able to make our own decisions and take in all the data, and we've only been hearing really one lane of the data, when this is like a huge 8-lane highway that's available for us and the decisions that we've been making as a culture has many ramifications that we have simply, in the beginning, have not looked at and they should have been considered, "What's going to happen for our children, long-term, mental health, now that millions upon millions of children, tens of millions here in the United States alone are having their livelihoods through a screen, what does that do to their mental and emotional development?" These are all things to consider.
Not saying that it's not necessary, we're not getting in that conversation, I'm just asking the question, "Did we consider what that will mean for them in their development?" And I'll tell you, outwardly, we did not, we did not, and we will only know in the future how this is going to turn out for our children. There are children right now that have truly... And I just... My son has one of his friends, he hasn't seen any other children since the pandemic began, since the shutdown began back in April, he hasn't seen any other children, no physical contact. Is that okay? And I just want us to be able to ask these questions and think about it. So with that said, we still have ample opportunity to love each other, to take care of each other to the best of our ability, and that's what today is really about, it's taking control of our health, be a little bit more empowered in that and making decisions and looking at one of the biggest glaring issues in our world today, and I just did an episode recently, so make sure you listen to it, the Pandemic Behind The Pandemic, we went into all the data, all of it, really good. A good face-to-face look in the mirror.
Alright? With what's happening here in America, with our state of health, alright? Now, it's kind of like a candy man in the mirror situation, candy man... Candy man... Candy... You say it, and what you see in the mirrors freak you out. Alright? But we got to look at it, and that is what the catalyst to change always is. We have to take a real good look at the problem, and I share the quote that is originating from... Believed to be from Albert Einstein, that if he had an hour to solve a problem on which his life depended, he would spend 40 minutes studying the problem, 40 minutes studying the problem, 15 minutes reviewing the study of the problem, and only five minutes coming up with the solution, and the problem is we just start throwing solutions and we don't even know the problem, and all the different dimensions of the problem, what, with this problem we'll create other problems if we try to solve it the wrong way.
We have the capacity for genius, but that's not what we've been showing, and we can change this because here in the United States, and this came out, this is published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, recently, we've known this for a long time, but recent, the data, it exists now, JAMA published a really eye-opening study affirming that poor diet is the number one cause of our most pressing chronic diseases here in the United States, the main killers that kill millions of people every year, obesity, heart disease, diabetes cancer, Alzheimer's, the number one causative agent behind our chronic diseases or epidemics of chronic diseases is poor diet.
Our food matters, but this is not a part of our education system. Our system of medicine neglects the most important thing, the thing that affects our health the most. What sense does it make? It doesn't make sense. This isn't hard. Well, we dug deeper into why this can even exist when it doesn't make sense, and the truth is something that our guest today has a very close-up intimate experience in changing and really being a champion for it. And so I'm really excited to have this conversation today because it needs to be had, and also I'm excited to bring on somebody who's accomplished so much in this field and really helping to usher in and create change in our food system when so many people have relented to accept it as just, it is what it is, or they've attempted to change it in small ways, but didn't know how to make a big difference, and she really opened the door, she's like the Roger Bannister of change in food. Once she opened the door, other people start stepping up and finding ways that we can change this thing.
So again, very excited to have this conversation, but one of the big things is obviously a big part of change for our nutrition right now, is to understand there's so many things available, so many foods, real foods with so much benefit without all the crazy side effects that have anti-viral benefits, clinically proven and study after study, especially after everything has become so politicized, the data exist showing us we have so many different things out of these remarkable anti-viral effects, that these aren't the things you see on the news headlines, these aren't the things that you see on the different social media feeds to help you to enhance the function of your immune system and your body and have protective agency against viruses, but these are some of the things I'd like to just drop these nuggets in throughout the show and to help to inform us and to know that there's so many cool things that are easy to add in that we can do to really support our immune system in dynamic ways and things that have been done for thousand years.
One of those things, if we look back, I'm talking about for centuries, the ancient Greeks, Romans, the Egyptians, "Walk like an Egyptian... “ This was one of their most prized medicines, what I'm going to share with you right now. In a recent study published in Phytotherapy research found that this particular medicine, this particular food product that again has been used for centuries is so effective at reducing viral load and killing viruses, it's even well noted to help to reduce one of the most tricky viruses that's known, the herpes virus has this really interesting ability to basically hide out in the nervous system and your immune system... It's kind of like off-limits for immune system to attack your nervous system. In the general... I mean, there's, of course, there's dynamics that make many of these things more complex than what I'm saying, but just in general, it's kind of off-limits for immune system, this is why it's able to hide out, but this study published in Phytotherapy research found that topical use of this particular food that's been prized, food/medicine for thousands of years, from a topical application of this three times a day accelerated the healing of cold sores just by doing this one thing, nothing else different, no other medicinal things are added to the fold, nothing else changed with the nutrition, just topical application of propolis, this wonderful product from bees.
The researchers found that the topical propolis, not only reduced the amount of the herpes virus present in the person's body, but it also protected the body against future cold sore outbreaks. What? Yeah. There's things that can help, but you can't put a patent on Mother Nature. Right? That's really remarkable, really remarkable. And I take this a step further because that's one of the most tricky... Again, it has the ability to kind of hide out in your nervous system, but there's a meta-analysis published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that propolis has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-tumor properties as well. And it's well noted to be an immuno-modulator, so this helps to modulate your immune system, if your immune system is operating too low, it can help to up-level the immune function, if your immune system is running hot, running too high, there's this term going around now, cytokine storm.
When I share all the data, on how important it is, and all of these statistics and studies on how we can support immune system against a myriad of viruses, including novel viruses, by helping to support the adaptive immune system, all this research, this thing... This thing... This thing... There'll be that one person... Thousand people like, "Yes, this is it. Here's what we can do, we got this," but there is a one person... "Excuse me, I like to miss the point," and they'll say, "You know what, it's so... You're right, that data is amazing, but it's so unfortunate that some people's immune system, while you want to improve people's immune system, it's unfortunate some people's immune system works too good, #cytokine storm, they put the hashtag on it, marketing.
Now, of course, our immune system can absolutely get out of hand, but when we throw terms on like cytokines or Thor, all of a sudden it's the cytokine storm, it just makes it more... Another angle of fear, and we're talking about the exception and not the rule, we're talking about the majority of people can be massively served right now if we can improve the function of their immune system, but just... You get the missing-the-point award, right?
But if somebody's immune system is running too hot, immuno-modulators help to bring it back down to normal, so we don't have a hyper-inflammatory response, which this particular novel virus is going around is a hyper-inflammatory kind of lung targeted virus, but the body... It's not the virus, it's the body's response to the virus that causes the symptoms. The inflammation is something our body creates as it defends itself against the virus, the novel virus, but our bodies are doing this all the time, 24/7, against all manner of things.
And most of the time when something takes us down is when we're over-stressed, under slept, under moved, under nutrified, we're lacking a nutrition, we're under nourished, were malnourished. Alright? These are the times when these things happen. Are we covering the basics of being human, that's what we're dedicated to, and then we can get it into all the fancy pants stuff, but there are also very simple things that exist in the realm of food and nutrition that can give us support. We don't even have to know all the ins and outs of how it works, I like to share that because it's pretty cool, and I know you like to nerd out with me as well, but at the end of the day, these are just simple things that we can add in our day-to-day lives and get the benefits. We don't even have to understand all the details. That's why they even have... I'll tell you in a second, actually. I'm going to tell you in a second 'cause I want to share this other study with you. Why is it found to be this immuno-modulator and be so effective against viruses being anti-viral, anti-bacterial, etcetera?
Well, not only that, it was also found that patients treated with propolis showed a reduction in severity and incidence of asthma and allergy symptoms. The question should be why, I'm always asking why. What is it? Well, there's over 300 active compounds in the propolis, the majority of these compounds are forms of antioxidants, alright? Now, specifically polyphenols, which are well documented to reduce inflammation and fight disease, even more specifically, these polyphenols have been found to inhibit the activity of coronaviruses. That's according to recent data published in the peer review journal, Archives of Virology. Won't you want to get some data from Archives of Virology, they probably got archives. A virology. But why would this journal that's driven towards medicine be talking about this natural compound because it obviously is remarkable, alright? And this is one of the things, again, is seen with propolis is its array of polyphenols. In another study published in the peer review journal, Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy revealed that propolis has significant antiviral effects, specifically in reducing viral lung infections.
I have a propolis spray, and there's also a kids propolis spray, specifically for our little ones that I give to my son, and this is something that we do on a regular basis, just because it's just part of what we do, but if more people knew about this and they had access, maybe they can add this in too.
And we get our bee products from Beekeepers Naturals exclusively because they test for a myriad of contaminants, 'cause a lot of bee products, unfortunately, they're contaminated with things like arsenic, cadmium, lead, DDT could end up in your medicine cabinet, right? AKA, when we're talking about bee products, many medicinal benefits, E-Coli, salmonella so they test for all these things to make sure that you have the highest quality bee products without any kind of nefarious things sneaking their way in there. And so I highly recommend you pop over and get yourself some of their propolis spray, it's beekeepersnaturals.com/model, and they're also going to give you 15% off everything that they carry. Alright, so it's B-E-E-K-E-E-P-E-R-S, naturals.com/model, 15% off everything. Oh my goodness. They're super food honey, I love it so much. Alright, they've got the bee pollen is off the chains, but also again, this specific thing for this time, why not? It's got the data to back it up, taste good. Kids like it. Why not? These are more things to add to our superhero utility belt, and not just have one means of trying to protect ourselves from the things that are in our environment, let's have many things that just keep us as healthy and resilient as possible, so that we stay ready and we don't have to get ready.
Again, beekeepersnaturals.com/model. And now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.
iTunes Review: Another five-star review titled, “I Needed You This Year” by @career_cafe_slc. “I was in a pretty low place this year, not really sure how to get a new bounce in my step. Your podcast was recommended to me and it's changed everything. Thank you for your heart, your dedication and sharing your knowledge. You are a part of my daily routine, and I know I'll never go a day without listening to a current show or so many I need to catch up on from the past. Thank you.”
Shawn Stevenson: Thank you so much for sharing that, and...Trust and believe many of us have felt the same way, this has been a challenging time in more ways than one, and I appreciate you sharing your voice, I appreciate you stepping up to make change and to allow this mission and this show to be a part of your life, and you are part of the change, and truly just for you, hitting play and imbibing this information and being the model yourself, just adding in the little things that you can on your day-to-day lives, that's how we can transform in the world, so this means more to me than you know, so thank you so much for taking the time to be a review and listen, if you have to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for the show. It really does mean a lot.
And now let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is New York Times best-selling author, Vani Hari and Vani was named by Time Magazine one of the most influential people on the internet, and she's been such a powerful force of change and influencing how major food giants like Kraft, General Mills, Subway, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks create their products. And her advocacy has steered them towards making more helpful policies.
She's been profiled in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors show, CNN, the list goes on and on. She is such a powerful and important voice that we all need right now. She's demonstrated how powerful we are, she is just one person who stepped up and said enough is enough, I'm not going to allow these things to be in our food system and to injure unsuspecting consumers to injure children all over the country, all over the world, we can change this, and she stepped up and made it happen. Alright, so Vani is one of the big reasons that there's been so much change in fast food and in processed foods, and she is just one person, but she is powerful, she is remarkable as you are, she said yes. She just said Yes to stepping into her mission and being an advocate for change.
And again, I'm saying this because I want to remind you of how powerful you are. We all are powerful beyond anything we can imagine, and it's so wonderful to have these conversations and to talk with Vani to see how she did it, to see what she's up to think, to hear what she's thinking about right now in the context of what's happening in our world today, and her leaning into this discomfort with all of us and seeing like, what is she going through? What is she thinking about? And also she's got a new little surprise that she's developing right now herself, a new addition to her family, she got a Corona bonus at this time, there's also...
Within the turmoil, there's also these things of beauty, there are moments of opportunity and beauty, and it just depends on what we are able to see, the questions we ask and the actions that we take, and if anybody knows about action and advocacy, it's our guest today Vani Hari. So let's jump into this conversation with the amazing New York Times best-selling author, food advocate, the Food Babe herself Vani Hari. Vani, welcome back to The Model Health Show. How are you doing today?
Vani Hari: I'm so good, Shawn. It's so good to see your face. Let me just tell you that, I wish I was in person. I wish I was in person so I could give you a big giant fat, wet hug.
Shawn Stevenson: There's a reason behind the fat portion, beautifully plump is you're having the baby, your daughter's about to be a big sister.
Vani Hari: That's right, she's going to be a big sister to a little boy and... Yeah, I'm getting ready. It's coming up soon. I got to get a game time on, I was... Got up early this morning and worked out, was pumping iron and shared on my Instagram, I was like, Hey guys, giving birth is a real athletic sport, you need stamina, you need physical endurance, especially if you want to do it naturally, you really got to be in shape, you can't go into that experience, being out of shape... Let me just tell you.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. That is so true, and it's same thing mirrored by my wife and so many other women just sharing the story is just getting prepared for it, you know. And this is something we have evolved doing, just being active, out gathering and taking care of things, but this is just a big shift that's taking place, and even right now, it's probably been a little bit more complicated for a lot of people just to get outdoors and just to be active. So I just want to commend you for that, pumping iron, getting up for the baby, that's awesome.
Vani Hari: Yeah, I'm just so thankful, gyms are open back over here, for the first half of my pregnancy they were closed, and that was really tough mentally, because I had to have that motivation to get in that gym, my own little home gym at home every day and in our basement, and it got old after a while and not having that external motivation and doing everything on a screen, it was just... It was very tiresome, so I'm so glad to be able to go back and in the community and workout and have that external motivation and the loud music and all of that, it's just... It's the best.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I feel the same way. And this is one of those things, and I'm so grateful to talk to you. And just even in the intro that I put for you just... You're such an inspiration to me, you're such a hero that we all need right now, and I'm so grateful to have you and to have these conversations because for some folks, the gym has been... It's not just about the physical health side, it's their mental health, mental and emotional wellness, being able to get access to that, and it was just kind of been this big law even here, and I'm in Los Angeles, all the gyms are still closed.
Vani Hari: I literally would have moved... I would have had to move away.
Shawn Stevenson: A lot of people have.
Vani Hari: I would have moved away because that's what it is for me, it's like my anti-anxiety medication... Right, it's my anti-depression medication, it's that routine, every single day, I start my day and I go to the gym and I do my workout class, and I come back and it's a game changer, it's my meditative practice that I have to do, and for something to take that away was an insult on my body for the government to take that away. And I shared actually an interesting meme on Instagram when our Governor continued to close gyms but would allow people to, for example, go to golf clubs or tennis clubs, but they wouldn't... You couldn't go to a gym, there's all of these rules that didn't make a lot of sense, and I said, "Hey, if you got McDonald's open, open my freaking gym, if you got McDonald's open, open my gym goodness sakes."
Shawn Stevenson: It just makes sense. It just makes sense, but that's the thing that has... Throughout this whole experience, and I love this quote, that science hasn't been very scientific, and just like there's a logic of you can go into, you can go into Sam's, you can go into 7-Eleven. And even right now, and this is a true story right now, I just went to Whole Foods three days ago, and it looked like the Great Depression when people lined up around the building, everybody's socially distance, everybody's in a mask, they only let a handful of people in the store at the same time, and it's just been progressively getting worse and worse and worse here in California, and everybody's been adhering to the restrictions because we have to just to be able to go anywhere. And yet, we have the highest number of cases in the country, but we've had this massive rate of compliance, and I think the rest of the world has been looking at us like there's all these super spreader events, there's all this stuff going on, all this nefarious stuff, these regulations we can't operate normally, we can't operate in that fashion, but the logic here is you can't go into...
You can't go into a gym like that, but you can go to 7-Eleven, the things that support our health and all I wanted from the beginning, and I know you as well, it's just like, let's take all sides of this into consideration. Let's look at this from the bigger picture, and there's also this interesting meme that you shared as well, that talked about being able to buy certain factions of how the system is structured. Can you share a little bit about that? Because I think a lot of this stuff just goes over our head, we don't really think about it, and we just pass these things off on other people, like they're doing the right thing.
Vani Hari: You know, Shawn, because of what I've been through as an activist, going up against the biggest corporations in the world and fighting for everyday people to have good ingredients in their food, at least the fact that the majority of these American companies make safer, better alternatives of the same product overseas, just demanding the same here in America, just doing that alone has made me a target of these big chemical and food corporations, and they use every tool in the book to try to misrepresent who I was, to try to destroy my character, to do whatever they could to continue to allow the food companies to sell these ingredients here because they make more money. And so learning those things because I was an activist taking on these billion dollar corporations and getting them to change, I know that it's easy to buy a scientist as it is to buy a politician. And that's the meme that I shared on Instagram. And there's kind of a wide range of response. There are some people go on Vani, you're really offending all scientists by saying this, and that's not what I was doing. What I was pointing out was that what we are going through right now on a world stage, we have to critically look at who's benefiting from the lock-downs, from the restrictions, from the vaccines, from the things that are being proposed as a solution to this pandemic, where everything in my bones and everything in my body is telling me something is wrong with this picture.
Everything that I've learned over the last 15 years of my life, going through my healing journey, going from a zombie on nine prescription drugs, to learning how to cook and freaking create a cook book and doing the research, getting these corporations to change, every single thing that I've been through in all the research has taught me that health is something that each individual person needs to take control of, that there is no outside body that is going to be looking out for your best interest, that you have to make a commitment to change and learn and adapt, and that means that when we're in a situation like we are in today, that means what can you do to best protect your body, because the things that the government is proposing right now are all band-aids to the issue, and in some case could provide harm 'cause we don't know the long-term effects of a lot of these proposed solutions like a lockdown, I see suicide rates right now, and I'm like, we've had the largest suicide rate in all of history.
How is that benefiting society? I look at the utter lack of disregard to diet in this pandemic, not a single government official, anyone running for President, I don't care what side you're on, they're not proposing what to eat or what to do to boost your immune system, they're not calling out companies like Kellogg's who invent new products like their new waffles that are targeted towards children, unicorn and mermaid, full of artificial food dyes that directly affect a child's immune system. They're not doing any of that stuff. Right. And it goes back to our earlier conversation. They're keeping the fast food chains open and closing down the businesses that keep people alive and healthy like a gym, and those are the fundamental things that I have had a huge issue with.
And I know you too, Shawn, and it's so nice to have people in the health movement that are not scared to critically look at what's happening and call it out for what it is, and because of everything I've learned, and if you've read Feeding You Lies my last book, you know that science can be bought, that politicians can be swayed to promote that science especially if you followed anything to do with Monsanto and GMOs and how for years and years, the EPA, our own environmental protection agency, our own CDC, have colluded with Monsanto and Bayer and other chemical corporations to hide the effects of roundup, and now they're being implicated in several different cases in lawsuits to be causing cancer, and these juries are awarding these victims billions of dollars, so we're at a very unique space and time, Shawn where this is the awakening, right.
This is the great awakening of, Are you going to wake up to how screwed up the healthcare system is in this world where what is being proposed and talked about in the media continues to just allow you to be sick, or are you going to take back, control your health.
Shawn Stevenson: Vani, you just dropped in so many nuggets right now, one of the things that you just said earlier, when you said like I feel it in my bones, I just said this statement the other day, everybody's heard that, It's seeing is believing. Everybody's heard that there's another part of that statement, it's seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth, and I think all of us collectively can just feel something is not right, something is not adding up, and we can collectively at least agree on that, the details of that is debatable, but one of the things that I really love about you, and I want to reiterate for everybody, you really took it upon yourself and stood up in champion change for some of these major companies, these major fast food companies and processed food companies Kraft and Subway.
And I remember you just recently posted your segment where you took a bite of the yoga mat, which is super classic, but one of the ingredients from yoga mats being in Subway's bread and then Subway is like we were taking it out anyways, there were a line, they're scared, you really did something to change the world, you actually changed the world, you changed industry and started making people really pay attention, not just that, but to know that they can change it, and that's what's needed right now, more than ever, and you're one of those people, you really armed yourself and you've demonstrated for us how we can affect change, and like you said, this is truly an awakening because we've got two options here in front of us, I see we're at a massive fork in the road, things are going to get exponentially worse, or we're finally going to get it, we're finally going to understand, there's four trillion dollars every year spent on healthcare in the United States, and I was trying to articulate how much a trillion dollars is, that's 999 thousand and 999 billions plus one more billion times four.
There's so much money in play, there's a lot of people making money off the farming of sick people, and if we don't get these things and understand that, and the craziest part about that, Vani, which you know is that even with all of that, we are sicker than ever and everything just keeps going up, they haven't cured, everything is just getting worse, and we're spending more money because we're just throwing fuel on the fire really and... Again, I'm so grateful for you or for your work and the waffles that you mentioned too, that's the pandemic special. They put these kitty unicorn waffles out during the pandemic. Right.
Vani Hari: That's exactly right. Hey, Kellogg's, if you're listening, why don't you create something that's going to improve children's immune systems right now, why don't you help mother cook better ingredients in their kitchens, Why don't you take a pivot and create a whole grain-based waffle without additional sugar, and use real fruit to sweeten it like I do at home and my recipe is in my new book, Food Babe Kitchen, you know, take any of my recipes, feel free to copy them, Kellogg's, I will not sue you, copy them and mass produce them and sell them in the freezer section because that's what I do with my pancakes and waffles, and you listening Kellogg's, I hope you are... This is the Model Health show.
Shawn Stevenson: Listen up. Tony the Tiger. Listen, so... And that brings me to my... Listen, this recipe right here, the sweet potato waffles. Oh my goodness, gracious. Vani, this book in and of itself is absolutely beautiful. And your energy is infused throughout the book and your insights, there's so much wonderful data here in the front of the book, not to mention these amazing, absolutely amazing recipes. And I want to talk to you right now, something in this in the book, and it's a term that I had never heard before, which I've been seeing and I never articulated it like you did, because marketers will screw up everything, they're always looking for a way to manipulate and make it look a certain way to continue to sell product, to make money for their shareholders. That's how it works. And so when something like a new health term comes about like, "natural", and you label this health washing, so these companies are health washing, these labels to make it look a certain way. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Vani Hari: Yeah, absolutely. So the word natural is a 40 billion dollar industry in the food industry, and people don't even realize that that "natural foods", that actually doesn't even have a legal definition according to the FDA, the FDA has not required food manufacturers to tell exactly what's in natural foods. So, many natural foods can still contain GMOs, they can contain synthetic ingredients, and one of the worst natural foods that you see in just about everything at the grocery store shelf, it's like at least 95% of the products on grocery store shelves is the word natural flavor and this is like my arch-nemesis because this is the ingredient that gets me every time, and I'll tell you why I know this is because when I eat an Annie's Chocolate Bunny, okay, I should be able to eat a small bowl of those, a good portion size, and I should be good to go, that should be enough sugar and white flour for me for the day, right?
I love those 'cause they're USDA Organic and they had pretty good ingredients, but they were using natural flavoring, and I'll tell you, Shawn, I can't stop eating those things. I want to eat the whole freaking box, and the way they create that addiction flavor to those chocolate bunnies is the natural flavor. The natural flavor is not something they've just taken from nature in and put it into a product like that you would do in your own kitchen, it's made in a laboratory, it's made with several different chemical potions, and concoctions, and they take the one millionth best part of something, some taste, some chocolate flavoring, some kind of trigger that triggers your brain to remember that flavor, and even my mouth is kind of watering right now thinking about those Bunnies, and it activates it in a way that you eat more than you should, and I think the added flavoring is one of the biggest culprits of why we are experiencing obesity in this world, because it creates an unnatural flavor in food products that normally wouldn't taste as good as they do because they're meant to sit on shelves for nine to 12 months.
And they create an unnatural flavor that you wouldn't find when you just pick a strawberry or some blueberry off of a tree, you would basically... Or Bush. You would... You're experiencing something that is made by usually sometimes the same scientists that made tobacco more addictive back in the day, they took the same science, and they applied it to food chemicals, and you're eating these products trying to say, Hey, it's organic or whatever, it's natural, but then you're still falling victim to the same issues of the products of the past. So natural flavoring to me is one of those things that you have to get out of your kitchen, and the first 55 pages of Food Babe Kitchen, I go through what you need to do to stock your kitchen, how to create a Food Babe kitchen, right? What's in my kitchen? And so I take you through a pantry purge, we go through the no-no list, and people don't realize that natural flavorings in a bunch of different spices that they have in their pantry too, and that's the same thing, you don't want to be cooking with these ingredients, you want to be cooking with real oregano, real chili powder, real cinnamon.
You don't want to have anything with any kind of flavoring added to it, and so I take someone through every single grocery store aisle on what to do and what to choose and how to choose the best ingredients before you even start looking at the 100 Plus Recipes of the book, so that there's no room for error. If you stock your house with the best, you're going to eat that food and feel amazing.
Shawn Stevenson: Those funny bunnies though. Those funny bunnies. The kids love those, you know, They're that little grab and go snack.
Vani Hari: Well of course, and we're engineering our kids to have that hyper-focus taste of everything they eat, and that's a problem, right? We need to be engineering our kids to love fruits and vegetables, and that's actually one of the things I did with Harley and you know my... The best thing about this book, and I got a call from one of my friends and he goes, Hey, Vani, I just got your cookbook. Thank you so much for sending it to me. I just want to let you know my favorite parts of the book are actually seeing pictures of Harley and Finley, my husband, and he goes, that's been so cool to see that part of your life, and I haven't shared that personal side of me as much before ever in a book, obviously. And... But everything that I have done as a mother to allow my child to just have the love of fresh fruits and vegetables has made a tremendous impact on what she eats, and I include all of her favorite recipes in this book.
And one of the things I did when she was born is, around six or seven months when she started eating real food, I introduced every vegetable first, before I even started with a fruit, I wanted her to taste every single vegetable I could put my hands on, so that she would learn what vegetables tasted like, and she's the best vegetable eater I've seen out of any child I've ever witnessed, and she sometimes will eat her vegetables and that's it, and I'm like, But honey, there's some fruit over there, or you know, Hey, there's a piece of cheese on your plate or whatever, Hey, they're bacon, right, and she will go for that Bok choy every single time. And...
Shawn Stevenson: Wow.
Vani Hari: And it's a beautiful thing to see, and we have so much power as parents, on what our kids are exposed to and the palate that they create for themselves, and we can't outsource that to the food industry, we can't outsource that to these chemical laboratories trying to hijack our brains and our taste buds, because then that's what happens, and I know what happens, 'cause it happened to me as a child being addicted to processed foods on nine prescription drugs and feeling like a zombie and dead for half of my life. And that's why I do this work and why I created this book because I didn't learn how to cook when I grew up, my dad kept me out of the kitchen. And if you guys know, anyone's listening, Indian parents from India, they care about two things, they care about math and they care about science, they want you to learn either or. You become a doctor or you become an engineer. Okay. So I went to the College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte, and I became a computer scientist, that was my, "Okay, parents, this is what I'll do for you", kind of thing.
And, well you can see where that led me. I was like, "Computer science, what. No, I'mma be a food activist." But... So my parents did not want me in the kitchen learning any kind of life skills like that, they wanted me to study, they wanted me to study and get good grades, I did not get the best grades though, because I was just one of those rebellious children that would study the night before and do the best I can just to get by, but... 'Cause I was more interested in doing debate in high school. But anyways, that's a whole another thing, but that's what taught me how to research, so I'm so grateful for the fact that I skipped everything else and learned how to debate, 'cause back then we didn't have Google. So, you had do it the hard way, so you know you dig deep, you know, you dig deep when you're in those law libraries going through the microfiche, you know how to dig deep. So that's why my research is always so deep, right? And that's what I love about you, Shawn too, your research is just point... It's just on point every single time.
You can't argue with it. You can't argue with your research. I can't tell you how many times I've sent people to your site to look at something, and they had no arguments, they're speechless, because once you present the facts and the data and all of it, both sides of it...
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.
Vani Hari: People who are smart and have common sense figure out which way to go. And so that's why I wrote Food Babe Kitchen because I had to teach myself how to cook in my early 20s, when I went through this health journey. I didn't know how to cook anything, you know, I was eating Lean Cuisine's and buying all the pre-made packaged stuff that I thought was healthy, the healthy choice meals and all of that kind of stuff, the Fiber One bars and all of that stuff, thinking that that, you know Weight Watchers promotes this, Oh, this is got to be good. And that's what I was doing, and I wasn't learning how to cook from scratch, and so I taught myself, I started binge-watching Food Network and figured it out, and then started to learn from some of the best chefs in the world, every time that I would travel, I would ask to meet the chef, and I would ask for a recipe, and I would go try it at home.
And I can't tell you how many times I've done that and it's been such an amazing thing to do and ask them questions about a flavor or how to get this profile or what to do, and it's been such an amazing journey and it's made me a great cook, but by any means, I'm not a chef. So every single recipe in Food Babe Kitchen is something that you can make in probably 30 minutes or less, except for my Strawberry Cake at the end, because that Strawberry Cake is just a piece of, it's like it's a beauty, it's just... It's just so beautiful, but it took...
Shawn Stevenson: It's an the experience.
Vani Hari: That thing took me all day to make, but that was the only thing. And the only reason is 'cause I'm not a cake baker or whatever, but my daughter for a third birthday said, Mommy, I want a strawberry cake, and there was no way in hell I was going to buy her Duncan Hines strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese icing already pre-made. I wasn't going to make her that. She'd, I mean, obviously, had never seen that before. But she was like, Mom, I want a strawberry cake. I don't know where she came up with it, but I said, Alright, got to make a strawberry cake, but I've got to make it look like a strawberry cake, it's got to be pink. So what I did in this recipe, which was so fun, is I took a big bag of organic freeze-dried strawberries, one ingredient, I pulverized it in my coffee grinder, and then mixed that in with the organic cream cheese and butter and organic powdered sugar, and I made the icing for it, and it turned out so pretty and so pink, and it's one of my most prized recipes in the book, because I made it happen and I served it to all of our friends and family that came to her birthday party, and they loved it. And it was... The cake itself was really healthy too, and all organic, and I just wanted to prove it could be done. And now that recipe is going to be in thousands of people's kitchens, and it's just going to be so cool to see.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. That's so cool. Some of these things coming from our own story, and you share that in the book as well, and even in our past conversations, you didn't grow up hanging out in the kitchen, so we are like the perfect people, myself included. I didn't eat a salad until I was 25, it was the first time I ate a salad. We are the perfect people to figure this stuff out, if we can do it, truly anybody can, and I love that about you, you know making things very simple, and also pointing us to the very simple ways to avoid things that just like at this point, we should know this stuff, but this is what we need to continue to talk about until it's no longer a conversation because it still exists. Another one of the things that you mentioned in the health washing domain was how they throw up "fortified with vitamins and minerals, enriched with... " What does that mean, Vani?
Vani Hari: Well, this is the thing that kills me about what's happening like with marketing, with especially food marketing, when you go grocery shopping, 'cause you'll see... I mean, I don't know, I'm sure you have seen, if you go down the orange juice aisle, it's the perfect example. The orange juice there's some with Calcium, there's someone the Vitamin D, there's some with extra Vitamin C, I mean you see all variations of orange juice. It is... It runs the gamut, and what they're doing is they're health washing a sugary drink. Orange juice is like 40 grams of sugar, maybe even more, depending upon the serving size, and it's something that will spike your blood insulin, it's not something you should be consuming all of the time, it's definitely not a health food as it's purported to be. Now, there's nothing wrong with a little fresh squeezed orange juice mixed with water or whatever, or have that in a smoothie with some real whole ingredients, there's nothing wrong with eating a real orange, but you can eat like... I think it was like 30 oranges for the amount of sugar that you get in some serving sizes of orange juice that you can buy a single serve out there.
So there's a problem with that. And so one way they get you hooked to orange juice, they're like, Hey, we can add Vit... You can get your vitamin D this way, you can get your calcium this way", and they're adding synthetic forms of vitamin D, synthetic forms of calcium, synthetic forms of vitamin C boosters to these products, and this is actually one of the reasons why I started my company Truvani, because I was sick of seeing these synthetic ingredients in all of these food products, and I wanted see vitamins from real food, and you being able to take them with the least amount of unnecessary ingredients. To get my Vitamin D, I don't want my blood insulin level to be spiked and trigger diabetes in my body, right? I wanna get vitamin D from a natural vegan source, and so that's what we created with Truvani.
And so when I think about fortified foods at the grocery store, they're there for just one reason, and that is a marketing purpose only, and if you look at actually the chemicals that have been invented in the last 50 years, they're only there for one sole purpose, and that's to make the food companies more money, and that's whether they're fortifying with these ingredients and these synthetic ingredients, or they're preserving these products to last longer on shelves, or they're creating flavors that create addiction, so you can buy more product and you end up being hooked to that product, or they want the product to act a certain way, like they don't want it to de-stabilize on the shelf, they don't want it to get oily or break down. You know what's it's so funny, is starting your own food brand and your own food company has taught me so much because there's so much that the food industry does to make money that will just blow your mind and they cut every corner, and I am faced, as the person who is in charge of ingredients and products at Truvani, I'm faced with those decisions every single day as we're creating our products, and I have to push back on food manufacturers left and right, and some of these suppliers left and right about what components they want to include in the creation of new products.
And I think it's one of the most, the toughest positions to have, because I have to constantly tell my team who spent months putting together some product dock, no, on a product because of a certain ingredient of how it was made or how it was produced, or what this supplier's doing behind the scenes on this specific ingredient, and to be that person that always says, No, just, it's not fun. It's not fun at all.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. But this is another... Again, the reason I really love you is that those standards... We really don't have to worry about that with you because you're somebody who's pushing other companies to make the same adjustments, some of these things, again, it just shouldn't be the industry standard, but I think a lot of times... We don't realize that it is. And so one of the things that I want to talk to you about... Definitely want to talk to you about is what can actually do... What can we do right now in this day and age that we're living? We're living during the age of COVID, and we're going to do that right after this quick break, so sit tight. We'll be right back.
Growing up, if I thought about chocolate, I think about Three Musketeers, I think about a Kit Kat Butterfinger, right? I had all these ideas, hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, those are the things that would conjure up in my mind when I thought about chocolate. Little did I know that chocolate itself, the original root of chocolate, which comes from something that's botanically a seed, these cacao seeds, was one of the most healthy foods in the world. Listen to this, this was from a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that's published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that polyphenol-rich cacao, or cocoa, without the sugar, has remarkable prebiotic effects on the human body. So what the study found was that folks who are consuming this sugar-free cacao flavanol drink for four weeks significantly increased their ratio of probiotics, or friendly bacteria, bifidobacteria, for example, while significantly decreasing their class of firmicutes, which is associated with fat gain. So there are certain types of bacteria that are associated with gaining fat in these firmicutes.
So the saying in health right now is that if you want to be firm and cute, you got to reduce the firmicutes, alight? I didn't make that up, somebody else did, alright? But the bottom line is, "Wow, it has a really powerful, remarkable impact on what's happening with your microbiome." The study also found that it was able to reduce levels of systemic inflammation measured by something called C-reactive protein. And if that weren't enough, cacao also has these compounds that have a really powerful influence on our mood, like anandamide, which is known... That translates to mean bliss chemical. Serotonin, tryptophan, these precursors that help your body to produce things like melatonin, right? That helps you to sleep better. It goes on and on and on, but the quality matters a lot. And when you get real chocolate into something that is even more health-giving, you've got something really special.
And that's what they have with the new Chocolate Organifi Gold drink. So they've got the chocolate along with their incredible delicious turmeric formula. And as you know, turmeric has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and it also has been clinically proven to have antiangiogenesis properties. So this means that turmeric literally has the ability to cut off the blood supply to cancer cells, alright? And we all produce cancer cells every day, but a properly functioning immune system and being able to regulate this angiogenesis, which we need, but we need at certain levels, is incredibly important. And food can help to regulate that. So, I'm a huge fan of Organifi, and now they've got the new Chocolate Gold. So pop over there and check it out. Just released, just delicious. Organifi.com/model. You get 20% off that and everything else they carry. Alright, so head over there and check them out, organifi.com/model. That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model for 20% off. Now, back the show.
Alright, we're back and we're talking with New York Times best-selling author and food activist, Vani Hari. And I've got her new book right here, which you can pick up today, the new cookbook, Food Babe Kitchen, so many wonderful recipes in here, but more so we're talking about how to actually put this stuff into play in our real lives. And before the break, I was mentioning we're living at a very strange time, and there's, and I text you this, there's no accident that your book is coming out right now, we need it more than ever, and I know that you're going to be on your horse, you're going to be screaming from every mountain top possible.
Why this matters so much. And what we've been doing, unfortunately, we're looking to the same institution that we've been talking about that allows these things into our foods, that allows so much sickness, we're looking to them for the cure, we're looking to them for the solution, and it really is just... There's something broken in our thinking that that's even possible. So I want to talk to you about what are some of the things that we can do right now, Vani, a lot of people are, especially people that listen to the show, are much more proactive about taking care of our own health, but I want to talk to you about what can we do from the top down, how can we affect change at the community level, corporate level, government level.
Vani Hari: Okay, well, I got two things that are instant bestsellers ideas right now. Okay, number one, I have a recipe for home-made Doritos in my book, if you have a friend out there or a family member that still buys Doritos, invite them over and make them that recipe, show them that they don't have to be addicted to the MSG-laden Doritos, Frito Lay product out there that they can make something healthfully in their kitchen, and I tell you it comes out hot out of the oven, and there's nothing better than hot chips. Let me just tell you that right now. And the second recipe I want people to recreate for their friends who love Chick-fil-A, I've a homemade Chick-fil-A sandwich, which if you like any fried chicken sandwich, whether it's from Popeye’s or KFC or Burger King or McDonald's wherever, if you like a fried chicken sandwich, make this for someone in your life that still eats fast food, and I tell you they will be sold, they will be sold on this lifestyle and realize that you can make the things that you love to eat in a healthier way.
And you ask asked what we can do, and not only can you inspire people by bringing them into your house and making recipes and showing them how this lifestyle can be achieved, because again, like you said, a lot of people who live listen to your podcast, like people like me who listen to it, health's a priority already. But if we really want to change the world, we got to... We got to get our friends and family on board, 'cause there's nobody I care about most other than... That's it. My family and my friends, I want them to live as long as I do, I want them to be around and be healthy and free of disease and out of the hospital, and if they're... Take care of themselves, like I'm taking care of themselves, if they just take 50% of the steps. They can do it, and that's the most beautiful thing to watch. And when people ask me, "Hey, Vani, which campaign was your favorite, getting Subway to remove the yoga mat chemical or the beer manufacturers to post their ingredients in beer, or getting Kraft to remove artificial food dyes or Chick-fil-A to go antibiotic-free or Chipotle to go GMO-free.
Like, what was your favorite one? What's the one that you're most proud of?" I'm like, "They're all great, and I'm glad we got it done. But the thing that I'm most proud of is my brother," my brother, who is seven years older, would never listen to his little sister if I paid him. It took me being the Food Babe and being on the front page of papers and writing books to finally wake him up, and he's realizing health that he's never thought was possible before, right? Just a whole new level of health, and to see that vibrance in him is my ultimate accomplishment. Right? And so when we can affect our family and friends through our own actions and our own inspiration, that's a beautiful thing, and you don't need to be the food police and go through their pantries 'cause I tried that and that didn't work. So instead, I led by example, and there's this simple three question detox that I just live by, that if people follow these three simple things that they ask themselves before every meal, they would not only become a food expert, they'd become their own nutritionist, they would become a chef, they would become...
They would take back control their health. There are so many benefits to asking yourself these three simple questions every single time you go to eat or you sit down for a meal, and that is... Number one, what are the ingredients of what I'm eating? If you can't answer that question, you have to go find out. You have to either ask the restaurant, you need to go look it up on the back of the package, you need to go look it up online, if you see an ingredient you don't understand or don't recognize, or don't know why it's there, find out what it is, why is it there, What's mono-diglyceride doing in my bread that I'm eating on my sandwich, what is that ingredient? That will lead to an exploration of you finding out that mono-diglycerides is a chemical component that has been invented by the food industry to allow oils not to separate, similar to trans-fats, actually contains minute amount of trans-fats, it's one of the ways the food companies continue to use trans-fats in our foods, even though they've been banned by the FDA, and you'll learn this and you'll go, "Wait, maybe I need to choose a different bread."
And you'll start to look for different alternatives, right? And so the first question is, what are the ingredients? The second question is, are these ingredients nutritious? And when you ask yourself that question, you don't need to be a nutritionist, you don't need to have a degree to do that, you just need to use common sense, and in the example of mono-diglycerides, you'll know that ingredient isn't nutritious. There's no nutritional purpose for that ingredient, right? So next time you go to eat a sandwich, you'll say, You know what, I'm going to choose some bread with nutritional ingredients inside it, right? You just use your basic common sense, if it came from Earth, it's usually nutritious.
And then the third question I want people to ask is, Where do these ingredients come from? Are they coming from the factory, are they coming from a factory farm, are they coming from a box a bag, right? Where do these ingredients come from, are they coming from a chemical factory? Or the majority of things that I just asked about the ingredients, is that a long list of chemicals I'm eating? Wait a minute, what's this TBHQ in my Reese's peanut butter cups that I just got out of my daughter's Halloween bag? Right, what's that mean? Oh crap, it's an immune destroying ingredient that actually produces allergic reactions in people. "Oh my gosh, why am I eating that? Why am I allowing my kids to eat this when there's Justin peanut butter cups that are organic, that don't include this ingredient?
And you start to make these changes, right? You're eating a piece of meat and you say, Where's this from? Oh crap, it's from that factory farm down the road that smells like crap. I don't want to eat it from that factory farm, I want to choose a grass-fed beef farmer, and I show you how to do all of those things in Food Babe Kitchen. And that's why I wanted the first half of the book to be this guide book on how to think this way, so that every time you sit down to eat, you're asking yourself the right questions, and then you've got all the recipes right there to make. And it's like, you create this beautiful life, and it's just... I just don't want anyone to feel like I used to feel. And I know there's so many people out there that feel like I used to feel... And that's why I do this work.
Shawn Stevenson: And we're all grateful for that Vani, truly. Where can we follow you? How can we be an activist, join the Food Babe army, get your book. Let us know.
Vani Hari: Well, the book is going to be sold anywhere books are sold, come on over to foodbabe.com, we're giving away some bonuses, the launch week of this book, if you want to come over and get the book right away, Food Babe Kitchen. You could also go to foodbabekitchen.com and see all the details there, and just would love everybody to join my email list, so you can join the army. If you want to take on Kellogg's, I have an open petition right now on Kellogg's, it's foodbabe.com/babyshark. I'm going to be delivering those petitions to get Kellogg's to finally remove artificial food dyes as soon as this pandemic era ends and people get back in offices, I'm going to be delivering that to their headquarters. I was supposed to do that this Spring, but travel got shut down and people got out of offices, so I'm going to be doing that probably after this little baby comes out of my belly, but I'm going to hold them accountable for the crap that they're doing too... To children everywhere. And yeah, that's what I'll be up to.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, Vani, I appreciate you so much, you're making the most important recipe right now with that little baby boy coming very soon, so I appreciate you taking the time to hang out with us and just thank you so much for putting your time and your energy into creating something so beautiful, this is one of those things for years and years and years, it's going to be in people's kitchens making food, so you're just making an impact in a whole different dimension. So I appreciate you so much.
Vani Hari: Thank you so much, Shawn.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in to the show today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this and listen, Vani dropped some incredibly important nuggets here on this episode today, and one of the biggest takeaways for me and something that I've really been an advocate for... But she just rekindled the passion and the desire to do this even more so, which is one of the greatest ways that we can affect change, and this is even affecting the corporate level, and in the government level, but kind of our core and community level, is to take good care of our families, take good care of our neighbors, start to care for each other, start to uplift each other truly more so than any other time. If you really want to affect change right now, and you don't want to just relent and outsource your health to somebody else or to outsource change to somebody else, this is the time to not only focus on keeping ourselves as healthy and happy as possible, but to reach out to your neighbors, reach out to your aunts, your uncles, your family members, shoot them a text and just check in, see how they're doing, a lot of people are struggling with their mental and emotional well-being right now, obviously, based on the data that we shared here on the Model Health Show a lot of people are struggling with their health right now more than ever...
At any other time in human history. Let's do what we can, even a 1% change, a 5% change in somebody's life can help to make them more resilient against any type of viral infection. Because this, what we're experiencing right now. This is not the last time. This is not the last time, something is going to come in and spread throughout our community, but this could be the beginning of the end, this could be the last time that something like this has shut our lives down, has shut everything down. If we get the message, if we get the message, we have to get our citizens healthier, and it starts with us, and it starts with us extending that to our families and friends, so please, after finishing this episode, send a message.
Jump on facetime, send a text, give somebody a call, just anybody in your family or friends, just reach out to somebody right now and see how they're doing. Alright, and if you can, within the context of that conversation, just ask if maybe, Hey, maybe you guys can go for a walk together, even if it's virtually, even if they're in another city like, "Hey, 5:00 PM tomorrow, let's go for a walk, you hop on your headset, I'll hop on mine, and let's go and walk for 10 minutes or 20 minutes and have a talk."
Alright, find creative ways to connect and uplift each other and to keep everybody healthy, we've literally been doing that with our neighbors, just checking in, make sure, "Hey, what do you guys got going on with activities for the kids?" We find creative ways to do that. And so this is the time more than ever to rekindle the American family and rekindle the American community. Right? We used to know our neighbors, we used to know our neighbors. We used to play together, but as time has gone on, we've known our neighbors less and less and less, and I'm talking first-hand experience as well. I probably, I didn't even know my neighbors two houses ago, I didn't even really... I don't know any of their names. And I lived there for like seven years. What is that? Now here, because of this change in mindset, I know everybody around me, I know people probably that's on this block right now that have lived here for 10 years, that nobody else knows, I know who they are, and part of that was just being out just walking around my neighborhood, I'm doing rehab, so I had a lot of time out by myself and people out there cheer me on as I was recovering from an injury, but that modus operandi to want to connect led to those moments happening, right?
It used to be an event when people would come to your house. I remember being a kid and the doorbell would ring and we're like, "Oh, who is it?" We hop up and go to the door, you know? My grandma was in front of the door and we're looking around her like, "Who is it, grandma?" And then she invites them in and they're just like, "Oh, I was just out, I was just in the neighborhood," you know. And now, let somebody ring your door bell in the middle of the day on a Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 PM, you start looking around, "Did you guys... Did you call somebody?" Everybody's trying... I literally, we look at each other first like, "Who allowed this to happen? Who allowed for somebody to bring our doorbell?" It might be a package outside, but don't let it be somebody trying to come over you call before you come. Alright? With the advent of cell phones, call before you come, matter of fact, don't come.
Matter of fact, don't call, send a text. Matter of fact, to send a text, send a DM, Snapchat it. Alright? Human connection. We need it. We need it now more than ever. So that was a really important part of this episode, and something really inspiring for me to just take it a step further, to take one more action today, and I'm going to do the same thing that I'm asking of you guys, reach out to somebody, check in, see how they're doing, encourage any form of health and wellness practice, anything can help, any small thing, just check in like, "How's your sleep, you're making sure you're getting enough sleep right now? Are you taking your supplements, whatever it might be, find a way to uplift the people that we care about.
Alright, so that's one thing. And also Vani, she dropped so many nuggets, I think we can easily look past them, but just the fact of how food manufacturers have found creative ways to maintain the status quo and putting dangerous, proven, proven ingredients that are dangerous to human health into the food products. Just talking about trans-fats, they've found maneuvers and ways to still include these things, even though they've been banned. Trans-fats have been in food, a legal ingredient for years.
It's only recently that's changed, for years, and true story, 19 years ago, when I started in this field, working at the university, working with clients in the gym, I would have these little cereal bars that were popular, these little cereal bars, and I would show the package to the new clients coming onboard like, "Hey, look at this," Trans-fats, and then I also printed out an article, I printed out a study as well, just to show them like, Hey, these trans-fats are causing some serious issues and they're actually being banned, they're working on banning them in restaurants in New York City, that's what was going on at the time, and I was like, If it's getting banned in restaurants in New York City, Why is this allowed through all these other products and all these other restaurants throughout the country? And just started to help them to put one and one together, this has been going on all this time and have they completely removed it? No, they just put in a different outfit.
Alright, they dressed it up in different clothing, and say, "Hey, this is... " What, is that called putting a dress on a pig? Is that what the saying is? I don't know, but no disrespect to pigs, they can be super cute as well, alright, but we're dressing up something that is not that thing, we're dressing up something to make it look like something that it's not... This is still something that's proven to have serious issues with human health, but yet it's still allowed in our food system, and this is the same system of food, the same system of healthcare, that work together, Food and Drug Administration, same entity is what we're looking to, to funnel our next new wave of drugs through to save our lives, and not understanding every single year, over 4000 drugs and medical devices are pulled off of the shelf because of the injuries caused to human beings every year, and this is the entity that we're looking towards. They get rid of that, bring in another pig with the yoga pants on, alright. It's still a pig. Again, no disrespect to pigs. Alright, Charlotte's Web, shout out to Charlotte's Web, alright... I balled on that one when I was a kid.
So I appreciate you guys truly, and make sure to follow Vani, be a part of the movement. She is about that life really. Alright, so follow her on Instagram, Vani Hari, and make sure to check out her new book, Food Babe Kitchen. It is stellar. It is such a beautiful cookbook. The recipes are easy. And best believe we're having these sweet potato waffles this week. Alright, so again, this week, matter fact, right now, reach out to somebody you love, somebody you care about, reach out to a neighbor, friend, family, send them a message, check in, see how they’re doing. Offer a word of encouragement, a word of advice and action plan, something where you can encourage health and wellness. Within the people that you love and that you care about.
And we’ve got some more epic, epic episodes coming your way very soon. So make sure you stay tuned. Take Care, have an amazing day and I’ll talk with you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much and take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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