The Epidemic Of Sponsored Posts

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With sooooo many sponsored posts on Instagram these days, it’s hard to know who to trust. There’s nothing wrong with collaborating with a company, hey I do it too and I have nothing to hide…..BUT ONLY with companies / products I would personally consume.  I never ever recommend something just for money when I know it WILL cause health effects sooner or later in another humans’ life. I just couldn’t live with myself knowing I was deceiving others….because I was once deceived too long ago.

I’m sick and tired of seeing people get sick and tired from deceiving posts.

Sadly, there are countless bloggers, “health and wellness” enthusiasts, even registered dietitians recommending products with toxic ingredients…and they know it! I have no doubt they’re getting compensated to do so or why else would they promote such a thing? And if they’re not getting compensated and it is an honest recommendation, then I actually question their knowledge. I’ve even seen plenty of people promote so-called healthy desserts like the one below….

I mean, really? Just check out those ingredients.

The purpose of this post is to solely help educate you and bring to light the fact that no matter what or who….always do your own research. I mean, there are countless products out there and the numbers continue to grow daily with new companies launching new products monthly. I take your health just as serious as I take my own health and it saddens me when I personally see so many putting others health at risk to make a buck.

The reason I’m so passionate about this is because I almost died from consuming things I thought was healthy too. I have a deep connection and can sympathize with people who look to others for advice (as I also did) only to be mislead and put their health in a sensitive state.

TRUST: Something easily broken and not easily gained back. I learned this the hard way back when I was 12 years old when I lied to my mother about secretly watching a movie I wasn’t supposed to see. She found out and sat me down saying that the trust she had in me was now broken and now she would have a hard time trusting me about everything else I told her. That hit home! The guilt I had lasted months and I never wanted to be the person no one could trust. Obviously this was a smaller scale, but a lesson learned and til this day I hold trust and integrity as one of the most important aspects one can hold.

A few products I see all over the gram are listed below. Again, nothing negative towards the company….hey, if they change their formulation and make it a cleaner product then I’m all for that and 100% support them and may even try it. But as of now, I’m sad to see products portrayed as “healthy” and as an “every day” promoted item when after regular consumption they can cause various health issues (one of the reasons more people today than ever are developing illnesses, food allergies, etc.).

Note: We all indulge now and then and I personally encourage it! Life’s short so enjoy a treat here and there, but you don’t want to make life any shorter by consuming these as a healthy option on the regular….get my drift?

First thing’s first:
Anything with stevia or monk fruit. If a product contains either of these, toss it! Not sure why health professionals even promote the stuff. Read THIS POST if you don’t already know my stance on it.

Second:
Anything with peanuts. If you have IBS (or even if you don’t) peanuts contains molds and can cause a number of health issues including acne, upset stomachs, and yeast overgrowth!

Now to a few specific items I keep seeing all over:

PRE-Prepared Overnight Oats
This is a fairly new item to the market, and bloggers are cashing in on the advertisement. These packaged tubs of pre-soaked oats are in the refrigerated section and are a convenient “grab and go” option. You all know I’m all about soaking your oats, but come on? How much lazier can you get? Overnight oats is so easy to make yourself! Soak oats in water overnight. Done! haha But that’s just my personal opinion, checking the ingredients, they contain added sugars which you don’t need (we already get enough of that) plus the ingredient “cultured dextrose” know what that is, read THIS POST I wrote a while back that quickly explains. *this post was updated on 3/2/18

Ingredients from the Original of one company’s prepared oats is below.

ALMOND MILK (WATER, ALMOND BUTTER), ROLLED OATS, COCONUT NECTAR, RICE MILK POWDER, BUCKWHEAT GROATS, ALMONDS, CHIA SEEDS, FLAX SEEDS, PUFFED AMARANTH, VEGAN CULTURED DEXTROSE, SEA SALT

And has anyone ever thought about soaked oats on the shelf that lasts longer than a week? ewww.

Vegan Cream Cheese
Have you ever seen me use or feature this acclaimed product? There’s a reason why. Let’s check the ingredients shall we?

Plain Cream Cheese Ingredients:

Almond milk (water, almonds), salt, enzyme, vinegar, xanthan gum, locust bean gum, guar gum, cultures.

Xanthan gum, locust bean gum, and guar gum all wreck havoc on your digestive system….and this product contains all three! These type of gums are added to 1) preserve the cheese 2) add volume and creaminess and 3) make the ingredients “not separate.” Something you should consider if you have IBS…not just this cheese, but all products containing these gums. (And don’t even get me started on the yogurts)

Now the “Soft Fresh” cheese ingredients from this brand are totally different, and that I am totally fine consuming myself.

Protein / “Food” Bars
Not too long ago I did a story on my Instagram about these bars. It was more so about products that contained “flavorings” and I used a well known “clean bar” as an example. After the story, I received more messages than I could count of people telling me their not so happy experience after eating just ONE of these bars. Upset stomachs. Cramping. Diarrhea. Headaches. Even unbearable pain.

And I still see health “pros” recommending them as an every day snack. And apple or banana are a great on the go snack or even Evo Hemp bars.

Different bars using brown rice syrup as the first ingredient can really cause some upsets and flairs (in my own experience). If you haven’t read my post about brown rice syrup click HERE.

photo via iherb.com

And check out all the certifications in the above pic. Certifications are great to have and they do have some validity, but these days, being certified to me doesn’t sell me on a product.

Again, nothing against these companies as a whole. I LOVE what many do to give back and the people behind the products are great and I have spoken and met them even in person. It’s just the products themselves and the ingredients used in these bars I’m not about. I’m actually more upset at (again) seeing so many people in the health food industry recommending them….I often think to myself, “do they really eat them themselves?”
If these food bar companies created a new bar with different ingredients then perhaps one day you may see me test them out…but looking at them now, the situation stays the same.

Plant Based Milks
There’s a pea protein hype and just nut milks in general all over the gram. There was a campaign for one company where they approached me asking if I would promote their items. I quickly declined after checking the ingredients.

Ingredients from one plant based brand (original)

WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 0.5% OF VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVORS, SEA SALT, ORGANIC GUAR GUM, GELLAN GUM.

Ingredients from another plant based brand (original)

Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Pure Cane Sugar, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum

photo via MilkandEggs.com

I encourage you to check the ingredients of the milk you consume and question what they are.

Want the cleanest, quickest, cheapest plant based milk out there? Try any of these below!

30 Second Milk

1 Ingredients Coconut Milk

“Fat” Bars
Again, not sure why health pros and bloggers rav about these. Just check the ingredients.

Ingredients from a “lemon flavored” bar

Organic cashew butter, grass-fed collagen protein, chicory root fiber, XCT® oil powder (caprylic and capric acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut and/or palm kernel oil, tapioca dextrin, tapioca), organic cashews, Brain Octane® oil (caprylic acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut oil), organic coconut oil, lab-tested vanilla beans, sea salt, organic lemon oil, stevia.

Digressing about the obvious, but it also contains “refined coconut oil/” Do you know what refined means? Read THIS POST I wrote which explains why you should always choose unrefined and stay clear of refined.

Breads, Cookies, Waffles, Muffins

Some of these companies actually don’t use stevia!!! We should be leaping with joy right? Not so fast! So what do they use? Allulose. Ever heard of it? PLEASE READ THIS POST if you haven’t. It’s one of the worst things to consume if you have IBS….and if you don’t have IBS, well you will after consuming it!

Why do companies have to add artificial sweeteners to reduce the calorie count of their product and why do dietitians and bloggers fall for it? Sad.

Want a grain free, gluten free, sugar free bread? Try any of my bread recipes below!

4-Ingredient Green Bread

5-Ingredient Bone Broth Bread

4-Ingredient Paleo Pound Cake

Protein Powders
Many companies are catching on to the stevia awareness which is great…but not so great because they use monk fruit instead. I haven’t written a post about it just for the fact that I can’t find the time haha, but it would basically be for the same reasons mentioned in my STEVIA POST.

Vanilla Protein Ingredients from one company:

Protein Blend* (Pea Protein*, Pumpkin Seed Protein*, Hemp Seed Protein*), Coconut Water Powder*, Coconut Cream*, Coconut Sugar*, Vanilla Bean*, Apple Juice Powder*, Madagascar Cinnamon*, Xanthan Gum, Pink Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin*, Monk Fruit Extract

It causes headaches, upsets stomachs, and can actually induce cravings. I have spoken with the company and rumor has it they may be releasing an item that does not contain any monk fruit or stevia, so I’m curious as to what it so and what the formulation will be…and if I think it’s a good fit I most certainly have no problem trying it out. But that’s also if xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin are also removed…Again, as of now, you won’t see me using it.

Ingredients from another popular vegan protein brand:

PEA PROTEIN, NATURAL FLAVORS, ORGANIC ALFALFA GRASS POWDER, PEA STARCH, BROWN RICE PROTEIN, HEMP PROTEIN, SACHA INCHI PROTEIN, SPINACH POWDER, BROCCOLI POWDER, STEVIA LEAF EXTRACT, PAPAIN POWDER, ORGANIC KALE POWDER, XANTHAN GUM.

Also – be aware that come ingredients are listed separately under “other ingredients.” Not saying anything negative about how they organize the ingredients at all, all I am saying is make note.

Conclusion
Like most of the companies mentioned (in fact, ALL of them) I’ve spoken with the people behind them, and they’re very nice people. But that won’t make me promote their product. I cannot and will not recommend something that can cause harm to a human’s health. I wouldn’t consume it, so why would I recommend it?

I encourage you to take action for yourself and question the user and don’t just trust someone just because. Most likely it’s endorsed, and if it’s not, question it anyways!

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