supposed or purporting to be but not really so
resembling or imitating.
Are you pseudo-healthy?
What do I mean by pseudo-healthy? Although pseudo gives the connotation of purposely being fake, what I’m driving at here is an imitation or attempt at a healthy lifestyle that somewhat misses the mark and often unwittingly sabotages your overall health goals.
Now, I’m not writing this to discourage you or make you throw up your hands and say, “Forget it, it’s too hard, I quit!” Rather, I write this to educate and motivate you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than putting time and effort into something only to not achieve the results we want, whether the goal is weight loss, making strength gains, overcoming or managing a chronic condition or just having more energy every day.
I want you to feel great and achieve your healthy living goals!
[bctt tweet=”Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better – Maya Angelou” username=”@thescrunchymom”]
Our bodies are an intricate and interconnected system that is always attempting to maintain balance and harmony. Every part and process relates to and affects every other part; they don’t exist in a vacuum. We can’t focus on only one area of our health while ignoring others and expect to achieve vibrancy – it’s not gonna happen.
Here are 15 signs that your diet and lifestyle may need a bit of tweaking.
15 Signs You May Not Be As Healthy As You Think
You fill up your cart with produce, but none of it’s organic
Recently, on one of the plant-based Facebook groups I follow, I saw a picture from a very well-intentioned woman showing a cart full of colorful produce from her recent shopping trip. It looked amazing!
Then I looked closer . . . none of it was organic. Now, she may not have access to organic foods where she lives or perhaps can’t afford it, that’s understandable.
But it made me think . . .
Are people still not buying this stuff??
Organic food, particularly organic whole foods like fruits, veggies, meat and dairy products, are more nutritious, and definitely safer to eat than conventionally grown or manufactured foods.
Conventionally raised animals are pumped full of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals (not to mention the inhumane way they’re treated, which is a separate issue all in itself).
Conventionally grown produce is heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides – and don’t even get me started on GMOs!
There are several studies showing that people who eat conventionally grown produce have higher concentrations of these pesticides in their bodies, while those who eat organic have significantly lower levels. 
Lower toxicity means lower cellular inflammation. Inflammation is the cornerstone of every disease. Low-grade chronic inflammation can make it extremely hard for your body to change for the better.
If you can’t afford all organic (or can’t find it), avoiding the “Dirty Dozen” and buying the “Clean Fifteen” is a good place to start.
Most of your fruits and veggies come from a can, plastic cup, package or restaurant
If it’s at least a fruit or vegetable it’s already healthy no matter what, right? Unfortunately, not all produce is created equally.
Packaged fruits and veggies may be filled with preservatives, are cooked (which destroys their vital enzymes) and absorb chemicals and metals from their containers.
Fruits and vegetables you get from restaurants, particularly fast food joints, do not use organic produce and have the potential to carry parasites if not washed properly.
Denatured produce will do little to help you achieve the results you want. The best fruits and vegetables are organic, local, and minimally processed.
It’s not necessary to eat every fruit and vegetable raw every time, but a high-raw, high plant-based diet is extremely important for optimal health. You’re literally eating the energy available from the plant, and I promise you, the more you eat fresh organic produce, the more energetic you will feel!
You’ll eat anything if it’s “sugar-free” or “diet”
Sounds legit, right? It must be healthier . . . it says diet on the label!
As our nation becomes more sugar aware and adverse, we’re attempting to cut back on the sweet stuff. This is great! But how we do this is extremely important.
Sugar-free and diet often just mean that the food or drink is filled with artificial sweeteners and chemicals, which come with a staggering variety of health consequences, especially when you eat them on a regular basis.
Not only are artificial sweeteners in sugar-free and diet foods, but they show up in many other processed foods. This means if you’re regularly consuming diet or sugar-free foods, plus other processed foods that also contain artificial sweeteners, the level of these chemicals entering your body is far too high.
Some of these artificial sweeteners have been shown to promote weight gain – which may be the last thing you want!
It’s far better to just cut back or avoid highly processed foods altogether and opt for whole and minimally processed. Always be sure to read labels; the longer and more unpronounceable the ingredients list the unhealthier the food.
You’re vegan or vegetarian, but you eat mostly processed foods
This is the biggest caveat to the way some people approach vegan or vegetarianism, especially when they’re first starting out.
I remember talking with a friend who had recently changed his diet to become a vegan. He knew there were health benefits aplenty from this lifestyle, but couldn’t understand why he wasn’t losing weight and feeling better.
From observing him it was obvious what the problem was – most of his foods were “vegan”, sure, but they were highly processed!
Are chips, crackers, pasta, white rice, certain breads, breakfast bars, granola bars, and candy “vegan”? Well . . . yeah, they don’t come from an animal. Are they truly healthy? Of course not!
It would actually be better (healthwise) to get the amino acids and protein from meat than to pile your plate with carbs, sugar and empty calories.
Vegan and vegetarian diets can be great for your health, but only when done properly!
You think anything is okay to eat as long as it’s organic, gluten-free, or vegan
But, wait, didn’t she just say . . .
Processed is still processed and it’s always important to read labels. Organic, gluten-free and vegan packaged foods (including frozen) still can’t hold a candle to fresh, whole foods.
It’s not that we can’t eat these foods, but if they’re a staple in our diet to the point that it crowds out real wholesome foods, then we’ve gone too far.
[If you need a library of whole food plant-based recipes and meal plans at your fingertips, I highly recommend Food Matters TV. They are my go-to health and wellness resource that makes my holistic lifestyle so much easier!]
You eat more processed, packaged, cooked, frozen or sugary foods and drinks than fresh whole foods
Are you noticing a pattern here?
Personally, I don’t worship at the altar of any one particular diet. I don’t call myself vegan, vegetarian, paleo, a raw foodist or anything else.
None of that actually matters in my opinion (unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian for personal moral reasons). If anything I simply eat real, whole, and mostly plant-based foods.
We each have to make our own dietary choices according to what’s best for us and our families, but the guiding principle here is balance and moderation – and plenty of organic produce!
You obsess over calories rather than nutrition
I used to be obsessive about counting calories (to this day I still have the calorie count of most foods memorized). When I was trying to lose the baby weight the only things I knew to do were to count calories and exercise. It worked to an extent until I hit a plateau.
Here’s the thing – not all calories are created equal.
Your body metabolizes 200 calories from fresh fruits, vegetables, and clean proteins very differently than it does a candy bar. One gives you stable clean energy while the other leads you to crash, burn and crave more food shortly after.
The purpose of food isn’t simply to provide energy but to build and repair your tissues, what you’re composed of on a cellular level. This is the crux of the saying “You are what you eat.”
Your body will look and feel very different when built on 2000 calories a day from fruits, vegetables, and whole foods compared to 2000 calories of sugar, refined flours, and empty carbs.
You eat low-fat because you think fat will make you fat
This 90s myth has been completely busted many times over. Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.
[bctt tweet=”Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.” username=”@thescrunchymom”]
Healthy fats from avocados, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and seeds are extremely important for a healthy body and mind.
Your brain cells, for instance, are covered in a membrane of essential fatty acids. Eating adequate amounts of fat is necessary for proper cognitive function.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can go crazy and eat deep fried foods! Hydrogenated, transfats, soy, corn and safflower oils, cottonseed oil, and canola oil are very problematic. Stick with the healthy fats listed above.
You think you can eat anything you want because you exercise
Gawd I wish, but no, it doesn’t work like that for most people, especially us ladies.
I tried it once upon a time.
After thinking I could eat anything I wanted because I was pregnant (and gaining almost 50 pounds), I then proceed to eat anything I wanted once again and thought it didn’t matter because I was exercising 5-6 days a week and watching my calories.
You think I would have learned my lesson the first time. I did lose most of the weight, but 10-12 pounds stubbornly hung around and I couldn’t figure out why.
After reading Tosca Reno’s book ‘Clean Eating,’ and learning that weight loss and body sculpting were actually 80% the result of your diet and only 20% due to exercise, it finally clicked.
Within a few weeks after switching to a high plant-based diet and cutting out gluten, the weight melted off effortlessly – and never came back!
Give it a try, it might be your weight-loss golden ticket 😉
You think you don’t have to exercise because you eat so well
The reverse is true as well. Exercise is still extremely important, with numerous health benefits, and is one of the best ways to fight anxiety and depression. If you want firm, toned muscles (which – BONUS – burn fat even when you sleep), and a strong heart and lungs, then exercise is an absolute must.
You think you don’t have to exercise or watch what you eat because you’re naturally thin
Gah, I’m probably going to go through the ringer for this one…
But it’s true.
“Skinny” doesn’t by virtue equate to “healthy” – they’re not synonymous. (Ever heard of “skinny fat”?) You can still have health problems, your body can still be older (on a cellular level) than your actual age, you can still have cellulite, acne, feel like crap, age prematurely – the list goes on.
If you eat terribly and skip out on exercise thinking it’s not a big deal because you don’t gain weight, it will eventually catch up to you. It isn’t a matter of if but when. Serious health problems are descending on us at younger ages than ever before.
You don’t pay attention to such pillars of health as adequate rest, hydration and sunlight exposure
As important as diet and exercise are, adequate rest, hydration and sunlight are also essential.
Only sleeping 3-4 hours so we can “get more done” is a recipe for disaster. If we don’t get enough sleep, the hormone ghrelin can take control of our appetite leading us to overeat, which can lead to weight gain.
Not to mention we feel so exhausted we don’t have the energy to exercise or create that perfect healthy meal. Prioritize sleep and your body will thank you.
Dehydration and lack of vitamin D from sunlight also mess with the balance and homeostasis of our bodies leading to headaches, depression, and insomnia just to name a few.
These are pillars of health that cannot be ignored!
You think detoxing and cleansing are unnecessary
You’ve got a liver after all, right?
That may have been enough a couple hundred years ago before the industrial revolution, but our modern environment is now astonishingly toxic, from denatured foods, cleaning and self-care products, pollution, amalgam fillings, furniture in our homes, tap water, EMFs, prescription and OTC drugs, pesticides, and much more.
A recent study by The Environmental Working Group examined the cord blood from newborn babies and found it to contain over 200 different toxic chemicals! Clearly, we ALL carry a level of toxicity.
Our bodies need our help to flush out these toxins and chemicals which may become trapped in fatty tissues as a way of protecting vital organs.
Of utmost importance is a nutritious diet, but even that won’t shield us from all our bodies are bombarded with on a daily basis. A program of regular detoxification mitigates these harmful effects.
You think drinking “healthy” bottled juices and smoothies from the store will detoxify you
Ah, not quite.
To preserve their shelf life, manufacturers must pasteurize these juices to prevent spoilage. Pasteurization involves heating the juice to at least 250 degrees which destroy its vital enzymes (ie the very thing that makes it so powerfully healthy).
Without enzymes or even the fiber from the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, that juice or smoothie is now nothing more than glorified liquid sugar.
If you’re going to spend the money on these drinks look for raw and cold pressed on the label. Better yet, invest in a juicer and high powered blender (each around $100+) and juice or blend your own fresh fruits and vegetables.
You don’t make time for stress management strategies like meditation, breathwork, journaling or visualization
Stress is a fact of life in our modern world. Research shows those aged 18-35 generally experience the highest levels of stress, with women reporting higher levels of stress than men, which can cause us to struggle to stick with healthy habits.
Not only that, but prolonged stress can lead to extreme fatigue, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, premature aging, weakened immunity, and eventually disease.
What about you? Do you slow down and take time for self-care?
With the hectic pace of life as a woman and mom, it’s vitally important that we not simply “find” the time for relaxation (that rarely works), but make the time for it.
It isn’t selfish, it’s necessary in order for us to show up as our best selves for the people that matter most in our lives.
Do any of these statements (or more than one) apply to you?
Don’t sweat it!
Getting healthy can feel overwhelming when you first start. It seems like there’s so much to learn and putting it all together can be confusing.
Even when we’ve got it “figured out,” sometimes life just seems to happen and get in the way of our best intentions – our exercise streak ruined by an illness, our healthy diets derailed by social gatherings.
You don’t have to do it all at once and you certainly don’t have to be perfect at it (I know I’m not). It’s the little daily habits that we adopt and maintain which make the biggest difference. One healthy habit builds on another.
Although taking a closer look at our daily habits can seem daunting, it’s good to be aware of areas where we may need to improve. We can’t make positive changes and reap the amazing benefits that come from them if we don’t know we need to or we don’t know how!
Do you struggle with any of these areas?
Hi! I’m Liane, mindset coach and holistic nutritionist in training. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday holistic habits that can transform your well-being and life.