Your Simply Healthy Handbook by Robin Konie

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“Healthy or not? Pinterest lies and other foolish thing…”  Wow, how’s that for a title? You may be thinking that I’m about to bash Pinterest. But I’m not. In fact, if you are on Pinterest you should follow me. I love it. It’s so nice to have a place to store awesome recipes, natural care products, and other random things that you never knew you should know until someone else “pinned” it.

But with all it’s goodness, I definitely have my days where I get annoyed at this social media. I’ve already stepped on my soap box about the unhealthy “motivation” boards. I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment. Today I want to play a little game. We’ll call it: Is it healthy or not? It’s a simple game:

If a pin says it’s “healthy” is it really?

Want to play? Good!

Is it healthy or not?

Note: Because I think most people behind these pins are good people with good intentions, I have refrained from linking to any actual pins, or using anyone’s beloved images. I’m going for general ideas here. I’ve done my best to recreate the images for your viewing pleasure. This is a game AND a learning experience. Awesome!

Healthy or not? Don't believe everything you see on Pinterest. This is NOT healthy.

1. Cake mix plus fat free yogurt

The caption:  “Cake Mix + Fat-Free Greek Yogurt = 180 calories per serving. Never baking with eggs and oil again!”

Is it healthy or not?

The problem: I get it. People still think fat is bad. (*head smack*). Never mind the fact that 60% of your brain is fat. Never mind that fat is essential for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (you know, like A, D, E, and K). And yes, if food were just about energy, 180 calories would be okay… I guess. (hint: food is not about calories!).

This pin has one good thing going for it: Taking out rancid vegetable oils is always a great idea. But that’s about it.

The bottom line: It’s a cake mix, guys! It comes from a box! It’s full of stuff your body doesn’t know what to do with. What kind of stuff? Check out the ingredient list:

Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Monoand Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphat E, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).

Take away the cake mix and what do you have? Oh yes, fat free yogurt. You know, yogurt isn’t naturally fat-free. So fat-free yogurt is… well, unnatural. I mean, consider the bad news that comes from producing skim milk.

So ultimately, this claim for a “healthy” version of a cake is down right wrong. You’ve taken away the only nourishing ingredient (the eggs) and are left with a completely unnatural food-like product. Eat it if you like, but trust me it’s not healthy.

Is it healthy or not?
Verdict: NOT.

Healthy or not? Dawn dish soap is not natural... even if it's added to your homemade stuff.

2. All “natural” homemade cleaners using Dawn dish soap

The caption: “All purpose cleaner with dawn, vinegar and other natural ingredients”

Is it healthy or not?

The problem: Making your own homemade products is all the rage. And I think it’s awesome. It’s about time we learned that we can make our own stuff that is way cheaper and more environmentally friendly. But I keep seeing all sorts of pins that claim to be “natural” but that still use Dawn dish soap (or its equivalent) as one of the ingredients. Uh? Is this confusing to anyone else?

Check out the listed ingredients of this stuff.

water, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium pareth-23, sulfate C-12-14-16, dimethyl amine oxide, SD alcohol, undeceth-9, propylene glycol, cyclohexandiamine, polyacetate, protease, fragrance, FD&C blue, no phosphate

And guess what? That’s not all of it. The other unlisted ingredients are confidential. You know what things are usually kept “confidential”? Top-secret-uber-super-duper chemicals, that’s what. That or stuff they don’t want people know is in there. But even if the confidential ingredients are nothing more than water, the stuff listed above is enough for me to know this isn’t natural.

The bottom line: Stick to the basics when it comes to green cleaning. (This is also true for things using chlorine bleach.) Doing just a little bit of homework can result in effective cleaners that are better for you, the planet, and your wallet.

Is it healthy or not?
Verdict: NOT.

Healthy or not? Using dryer sheets around the house is not healthy.

3. A multitude of dryer sheets uses

The caption: “Dryer sheets to clean the iron!” …or… “Dryer sheets to clean baseboards!” …or… “Dryer sheets to clean the toilet!” …or… “Dryer sheets to clean your pans!” etc.

Is it healthy or not?

Is it healthy or not? Pinterest lies and other foolish things. Yessss.The problem: Maybe you are unaware of the fact that dryer sheets and fabric softeners are some of the most toxic stuff found in homes. Just as a reminder, here are just some of the chemicals founds in these things:

  • Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
  • Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
  • A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
  • Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
  • Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
  • Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
  • Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
  • Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

And I’m using this stuff to clean my pans!? Yikes!

The bottom line: People love a good gimmick  and they love it when something so simple seems to make their life easier. But dealing with the chemical warfare from dryer sheets is really not going to make your life easier. Hopefully you won’t use fabric sheets to clean anything… even better, ditch them entirely!

Is it healthy or not?
Verdict: NOT.

Want to know if something is healthy or not? Some Pinterest guidelines.

I can’t cover all the foolish things that might be swimming around Pinterest. But there are some general guidelines to help you master the art of truly healthy pinning.

  • If something claims to be healthy because it only has a certain number of calories, be cautious. Remember: Food is more than calories.
  • If a recipe says it only has three ingredients, but one of those ingredients is a cake mix, candy bar, or other processed food don’t believe the hype. It is a LIE. The truth is that you will be eating something with more like 30+ ingredients.
  • If something claims to be natural and then goes on to use a commercial and chemically laden product, look elsewhere.
  • If something tries to villainize butter, fat, eggs, or other traditional foods that have helped generations thrive… send them to me. 🙂
Tell me, what other Pinterest lies have you seen? Share in the comments!