The LIES We’re Sold.

Froot Loops are not a good source of fiber; No matter what it says on the box.

Nutella is not a quality breakfast choice; No matter what the mom is telling you on the commercial.

And alcohol is not a health tonic; No matter what the articles want you to believe.

Our common sense tells us that Froot Loops is a junky, sugary cereal that sends our kids’ blood sugar through the roof only to see it come crashing down before they even make it onto the school bus.

It tells us that it would be preposterous to believe that eating chocolate for breakfast is a healthy choice for our kids.

And it whispers to us that alcohol is a toxic substance that addicts and kills millions while wreaking havoc on people’s lives.

But we are lied to. 

Almost constantly.

And we can begin to hear the lies as truths rather than heed our own inner wisdom and guidance.

And I, for one, am tired of what we’re being sold.

Because when we are sick and depressed and filled with pain and disease, the people behind the taglines or the catchy phrases or the fancy billboard ads won’t be there to throw us a rope and help us out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.

They won’t be there when we get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or fatty liver disease or various forms of cancer. They won’t be there when we suffer the heart attack or when we receive the call that there has been an accident involving alcohol or when a loved one slips away from us as they sink ever farther into their addiction.

No. They won’t be there.

Only we’ll be there; left to pick up the pieces of our lives and come up with a way to put it all back together.

This isn’t new, either.

We believed them when they told us that smoking was good for our health.

We trusted them when they told us that fat caused heart disease.

And we continue to listen to them when we’re told that sugary cereal is high in fiber and that feeding our kids chocolate for breakfast is a good idea and we believe them when we read that all we need to do to keep our brains sharp is to drink wine after work.

In this article, we learn that drinking any more than one glass of wine (for women) and one to two (for men) significantly increases their risk of health problems including high blood pressure, obesity, stroke and cancer.

And we (finally) read the truth that “While drinking red wine in moderation is often touted as being healthy for the heart, possibly due to an ingredient called resveratrol, research is conflicted. And while the American Heart Association notes that ‘the best-known effect of alcohol is a small increase in HDL cholesterol,’ it points out regular physical activity is an effective way to get that boost.”

But we wouldn’t learn that from the headline.

Because, you see, the headline of the article reads as follows:

A glass of wine after work may be good for your brain, according to science.

From the headline, we’re likely to believe that the article will prove that drinking wine is good for the brain.

But it doesn’t. Not really.

And that’s what they bank on; that we won’t get farther than the headline.

In fact, most people don’t often get much farther than the headlines. According to a 2014 study by the Media Insight Group, “roughly six in 10 people acknowledge that they have done nothing more than read news headlines in the past week.”

Headlines sell.

Quick bite-sized pieces of content are all we need to confirm our beliefs, and so when we find them, we file them away as evidence to support our behaviours. “It says wine is good for my brain. Bring on the wine!”

But if we invest a little more time, we’ll often find evidence to the contrary, which is precisely what we don’t want. We just want to know that we can keep eating our Froot Loops (remember, fiber!) and guzzling our wine (uh, brain health!) and that if we do get sick, then it’s most definitely not our fault.

Listen, I never, ever mean that all illness and disease is preventable.

It isn’t.

And that sucks because we want to be able to point fingers and cast blame and sometimes…we just can’t.

But when the 3 leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer and stroke, we tend to ignore WHY these are the leading causes.

We don’t want to associate our lifestyle choices with statistics.

But the leading causes of death (heart attack, cancer and stroke) are caused by behaviours we are choosing, namely smoking, poor diet/lack of physical activity, and alcohol consumption.

The things that are killing us are things we can change.

What they don’t want us to know is that, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), “Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Here in Canada, we see similar numbers and yet we continue to be brainwashed by the stakeholders whose livelihoods rest on keeping us in the dark. Because as we grow our sober tribe (and it is growing, my friends. Not fast enough, but it is most certainly growing, with encouraging numbers coming from millennials who view drinking as “something old people do”),  we improve our chances at living a life we feel good about; and good in.

No one can argue that we feel better after getting a good night’s sleep, drinking lots of water, eating well and exercising. We feel better simply because we are giving our brains and bodies what they need to thrive.

And no one can say, with total honesty, that they feel good about feeding their kids Froot Loops over a well balanced breakfast, no matter what the marketing would like us to believe.

And no one can say that their brain feels sharper after a night of drinking versus a night of self-care. To demonstrate this point, check out this video to witness changes in the human brain when exposed to alcohol.

But it can be incredibly tempting to catch the headlines and run with them.

So the next time you are watching a commercial or driving by a billboard or scrolling through Facebook or reading a headline, ask yourself who the stakeholders might be; be curious about what organization might have funded the study; question the accuracy of the claims; and listen to your gut.

Because it never lies.

And I want you to love your life one bite at a time.


P.S. Want some real truths to show up in your inbox daily? Then I hope you'll sign up to my 14 Days of Wellness! Simply enter your name and email address to begin receiving positive daily intentions around your mental and physical health. It's free, with no diets, products, challenges or catches...just a chance to remember how amazing your brain--and body is--for 14 days.

P.P.S. Speaking of brains and bodies, on April 21 & 22, 2018, Roger and I, along with our team, are hosting The Healthy Brain and Body Show for a second year. We are so excited to bring this show back even bigger and better! We would love to see you there as an attendee, where we have so much we want to share with you. We can't wait to explore, connect, learn and shop at the show WITH you! Please say hello if you come. Roger and I will both be there the entire weekend. It would be a thrill to meet you. 🙂

And if you--or someone you know--might be interested in being an Exhibitor with us, feel free to send them here where they can view/download the Exhibitor/Sponsor Package. Note that we have SOLD OUT of Sponsorship spots and we are over 85% sold out of booths!

We can't WAIT to serve you, so remember to save the date! 

P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. Plus, as a thank you for joining, you will receive my 14 Days of Wellness.




  • Sandi Shaughnessy

    Reply Reply February 6, 2018

    Sarah, you nailed it. We often talk about people who have passed from disease.If diabetic or heart attack/stroke,cancer. Car accident always mentioned. Alcohol no, you might get the symptoms listed ie,complications from pneumonia, liver complications, or just nothing, passed suddenly,even in death that the stigma pervades. I get it a
    family doesn’t want to say Mom died from liver failure due to her alcoholism. But on my obituary it will be mentioned God willing that I led a proud and sober life. Proud member of AA

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply February 6, 2018

      We don’t talk about alcohol being a factor, do we? We just talk about diseases and ailments and events like heart attacks. But we don’t talk about the lifestyle habits that lead us to sickness and disease. Because it puts the blame on us, and that doesn’t feel fair…especially when we’ve done all the things we were told were “healthy”. Wine is HEALTHY (DOCTORS tell us to drink a glass a day!) Froot Loops are HEALTHY (it SAYS SO on the box). We don’t want to know the truth because the truth means no drunken nights and no sugary cereals and no FUN. But when we wake up and see what’s REALLY going on (that we are being SOLD to), we can decide what FUN actually means, and for some of us, that looks like a sweat session and a La Croix. I love your epitaph. I hope it reads exactly the way you want it to. I love you. xo

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