Have You Ever Lied About What You Eat? : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Monday Jul 30 | BY |
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stevie gianni small
You’d assume I play the piano by looking at this picture… but…

It’s human nature to bend the truth.

Particularly, when there’s a significant downside to you if everyone knew it.

When I used to drink heavily in high school, I would go out and have 8-12 beers with friends.

I’d then come home and if I was unlucky enough to wake up my mom, I’d have to breathe on her so she could smell my breath.

Of course, she’d smell the beer.

“You’re drunk. How many beers did you have?” She’d demand.

“I had one,” I’d say if I had about three to six.

But if I had more than that, I’d say, “Two.”

I was lying, but I didn’t want her to know the truth. First off, I would get severely grounded, but secondly, I thought she would think slightly less of me if I admitted the true count.

She, of course, couldn’t prove how many I’d had, but by me saying one or two instead — even with my slurred words and stumbling — she could believe a little more of what she wanted to believe was the truth.

This was a compromise that my inebriated mind could accept as fair.

In this case — that her son drank more than he said, but without knowing how much, so the amount was left up to her imagination (or what she felt was a little more than appropriate based on her past experiences.)

I had — unconsciously — stumbled upon a great lesson in human psychology.

Perception is completely subjective unless the truth is shared.

I would have gladly shared how many I had if it were cool to talk about how many beers I drank to my mom and if she would give me a high five and hold my head up while I was puking in the toilet — but that wasn’t the case in my family. (I’m glad it wasn’t.)

So what does this have to do with you?

I’m sharing this story, because I want to compare it to some of the things that I hear in the health world.

Some gurus say they eat 99% raw foods.

Other people who come up to me at lectures say that they eat meat just once a year.

Others say that they’re hard-core Paleo, but eat grains every once in while.

But is it actually true?

Are they truthfully eating that meat once every 365 days? Are they actually eating 1% cooked foods? Are they eating grains once in a while? How much is once in while?

When people — particularly gurus — think they have much to lose if their diet has evolved a bit, then they’re not going to share the complete truth. They’ll leave the subjective up to you.

Just like I did with mom when I let her determine how many beers I drank.

What’s even more interesting is that you can even convince yourself that you ate less of something — using the same psychology.

Did I really eat that whole chocolate bar in 2 minutes (yep)? I know I couldn’t have eating a whole bag of cashews (you did.) I only drink coffee a couple times a week (more like every day except the day you drink three cups of green tea.)

We play this game with ourselves too.

So where am I going?

I actually don’t care one way or the other what diet you’re on or how much of this or that you eat.

I’m also not telling everyone — gurus or not — to lay all their deep dark secrets out on the table. (Additionally, I’m not saying all people or all experts are lying — I’m sure some of them aren’t.)

What I am saying is that closer the distance between what we say and what is the truth — letting go of the perceived repercussions — the closer we are to gaining trust with ourselves.

My mom never grounded me less because I had 2 or 12 beers. The punishment was the same. What dissolved a little bit each time was the trust between what I said and who I said it to — in this case my mom.

The longer you keep it up, the greater the erosion.

These days, I’m by no means perfect, but I know that the closer to the truth I admit to myself or anyone else — the more I trust me.

When I trust myself, I make better decisions and people trust me even more.

You probably will experience this same thing. (Maybe you already are…)

Your question of the day: Do you trust your judgement around food?

Live Awesome!

P.S. If you’re wondering, I can only play a few bars of “Lean On Me.”

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Lorien says:

    yes I do trust my judgement around food. I study a lot, try different things around real foods and settle on what makes me feel the best that does not clash with my understanding about what humans should eat. Sometimes I just eat crap cause I want to. Not often because it makes me feel icky afterwards. But I even trust my judgement there as I know how often “often” is for me and that it’s not enough to over rule what I eat the rest of the time. In the beginning, I changed things around a lot. I make fewer changes now and feel good about how I eat.

  2. Brenda says:

    Yes, I trust my judgement. I am very selective about what I eat AND I am not as rigid about it as I used to be. Life is good. Here’s to healthful choices! Whoo Hoo!

  3. Dana says:

    Im definitely trusting myself more and i think it coincides with being better educated and more mindful. Im finding that it takes quite a lot of guts (literally and metaphorically) to admit to yourself you need a change and even more will power to stick to it. I’ve made it my current goal to tell the truth every time I eat (gorge on) junk food, and after reading this article I feel im going to balance it by telling the truth when i make healthier choices as well. Even though the only person i really have to own up to is myself, i can sometimes be the harshest critic! We’ll see how I go 🙂 and thanks for sharing your truth.

  4. kat says:

    I trust myself completely, because I know I can eat whatever I want. However, I have made a decision to eat a certain way. Is it etched in stone? No, it’s constantly evolving. I did the raw thing for about 9 months and was pretty fervent about it. But when I felt the need to add some cooked food I did. I no longer keep track of how much raw vs cooked, b/c it’s just not important to me. What’s important is my overall health. That transcends any dogma. The health of my body meant making a lot of overall changes. I embraced the changes and benefited knowing that if I gave the body what it needed I would heal. Am I all the way there? Not quite, but I’m getting closer everyday. Because not only do I trust myself with food, I trust myself to honor what my body needs.

  5. Sally says:

    my judgement around food… if i trust it? at times i could but mostly, no. I’d end up manipulating myself and to other people who are checking up on my diet.

  6. Sally says:

    But at the same time, i’m still learning. so at times i can trust my judgement mostly no.

  7. kathy says:

    I will be the first to say “no”. This is a problem I have recognized in myself, that I have certain intentions with food and let myself down often. At times I buckle down and keep a log of what I eat, even when I slip up. It is a good eye opener. Other times ignorance is bliss and I don’t log (and in fact try to forget the junk food binges.) The log can be scary as I realize how far from ideal my diet really is. But clarity is necessary for growth.

  8. estheraida says:

    Sure I trust myself. I enjoy being raw vegan (7 yrs now) mainly because it makes me feel great all the time, and I don’t want to see animals suffer for my appetite. What sucks is when I go food shopping and people see me buying food for my carnivore sons (18 and 17 yrs old). Their story is their story and I’m not about to impose my story on them. They eat plenty of raw foods with me when they choose to, and they eat like their dad (my ex) too. It would nice to not have deal with negative judgements for all of our sakes one day.

  9. Carla says:

    I found myself in a strange situation while I was vegan for a year for health reasons. I told a vegan that I owned a snake. The vegan asked what does it eat. I said, it eats mice and insects. I then told the vegan that I fed it a mouse because it wouldn’t eat anything else that I tried to feed it. I did not like doing it, and would walk away after putting the mouse in the cage. This is what the snake would do in the wild, and I was telling this vegan how bad I felt doing it, but the snake would die if I didn’t. The vegan was SO offended and angry that I fed my snake a mouse. I felt maybe for her sake I should have lied, but I did not and it was such an akward moment.

    Anyhow…I do trust my judgement around food, but don’t always follow it. When I don’t follow it (rare), I don’t get stressed, and just enjoy what I am eating at the moment.

  10. Sazzu Hope says:

    I would have to say sometimes. In very recent history I decided to have pizza and ice cream for my birthday (which I haven´t had in a while) and got sick as a result. Good reminder lesson to keep off the dairy! I feel that we must learn more about food in order to really be able to have the best judgement possible. Right now I´m going to nutrition school (IIN) to clear up some doubts I have around food. Reading blogs such as this one also helps!

  11. Jo says:

    I don’t have to lie about what I eat, as all my
    friends know I eat lots of strange greens as I
    have suffered from environmental illness since
    1978, so they figure oh she eats that for her
    health, but most of them rather not, and the rest the world doesn’t care, so in the end it is
    still about choices.

  12. Anna21 says:

    Do I trust my judgement around food? No, not yet. I do tend to overdo things like eating a 1 lb bag of cashews in 2 days, or having 1 entire pint of coconut milk ice cream every day for 2 weeks, or eating 10 too many organic gluten free chocolate chip cookies (not all at the same time, lol- I pick 1 vice at a time & stick with it).

    I tell myself these desserts are organic so it’s ok. But a part of me knows it’s self-destructive (it’s way too many carbs & sweets for me, a hypoglycemic), then I feel bad and stop. But a few months later I start again. I have gotten more disciplined lately. But clearly I have issues….

  13. mia says:

    I trust my judgment around food most of the time. By the way, that picture made me crack up! Thanks for brightening up my day. lol

  14. Sharon Holmes says:

    Nope! I don’t lie what I eat or don’t eat. I am hard on myself sometimes when I fall of the wagon. Other times I say it is okay, there is always another day to start over again, as I try to find the right type of diet that suits my body and makes me feel better. I realize that I am a slow journey, to reach my goal of getting fit and healthy. But as long as I make progress and see how much better I feel, then all is well with me.

  15. Ed says:

    I’m way too self accepting for this to be an issue.Not today is easy for me to say, still I will binge in both directions. What is a bad choice today didn’t even faze me in the 1990’s and the best bang for the buck and MY TIME makes my use of my champion juicer, vita mix blender. and fiber drinks with zeolite not something to endure but something to enjoy.June was a be kind to my liver month, scorecard I can honestly turn in is 4 days of beer drinking,July hasn’t been that kind of month but than I’m way too self accepting.

  16. zyxomma says:

    I trust myself completely around food and food issues. I eat only organic, mostly raw. Even though I’ve never had an issue with gluten, I’ve given up wheat (starting just over a week ago) because I was so horrified by what I read in Wheat Belly. Exorphins crossing the blood-brain barrier to bind with opiate receptors? Higher glycemic index than sugar? Not for me. Health and peace.

  17. Karen Beattie says:


  18. LynnCS says:

    Yes, I have lied about what I eat and No, I don’t always trust myself around food. It’s better. I like feeling well, so I make better choices, even when there are goodies out on a buffet. I do best when I eat a good healthy balance. I’ve tried every diet there is. I probably will never eat meat if I don’t have to. Beyond that, I try to avoid too much fats and sugars. Try to not overeat. Lots of water. Hopefully I can avoid the big diseases that are caused by overindulging. Exercise is also important. Balance is key.

  19. David and Deborah says:

    What you think you see in others might really a reflection of yourself. I know you are not honest when you say that you will answer your email questions in 24 hrs, because you never answered my question about the toxicity of fire retardant sprayed near my home(which was very important to my family) I find it interesting that you write an article on your concern that others are lying about what they eat, when I reached out to you to see if my raw food was even safe to eat and you never responded, (except to have someone else say that you would respond, but you never did)Maybe you should concentrate on the lies in your own life first befor you worry that others are lying

  20. Sarah R says:

    Great article. Great call to honesty and I appreciate that you’ve been honest about things concerning your diet, your new baby’s diet and your wife’s diet during pregnancy. Transparency is everything! I completely agree that it is human nature to stretch the truth and even forget our own little shortcomings. You have the bite of cake from you spouse’s plate and then in two weeks you tell someone you never ever eat wheat etc. And it is true that gurus have a lot more to loose than the average person if they lie which might create a bias in what is reported in your comment section. Here is an interesting statistics page: http://www.statisticbrain.com/lying-statistics/

    30% of people lie about their diet and exercise routine. 40% lie about following their doctor’s treatment plan. Average number of lies per day by men to their partner, boss, or colleagues: 6 Average number of lies per day by women to their partner, boss, or colleagues: 3 So yeah…humans lie all the time. The sad part is most don’t fess up to it.

    David and Deborah, give Kevin a break! Do you know how many emails he gets in a day? And I think Kevin would be the first to tell you that you shouldn’t blindly trust whatever he says about these issues (re fire retardant and what you are eating). With the internet, you can find all the answers to these questions.

  21. eyla says:

    Great article, I feel the strain of the food dogma that comes with my lifestyle choices and I’m hard on myself when I don’t stick to my plans, but I try to have compassion for myself and others, I don’t think rules help us heal I think that logical choices combined with listening to our bodies is the only way to go, thanks for your honesty. And I agree with Sarah R, I’m sure it just slipped through the cracks, I doubt you just don’t care,and I’m sure you would give a well thought out, researched answer.
    I hope David and Deborah get the answers they need, honestly if it’s that pressing, which it sounds, then they might be better off going to talk to someone in person asap to ensure a quick answer.

  22. Hubert says:

    Hi Kev,

    I thought it was a great article because it goes beyond the food. In very simple terms you explain why you should try to be as honest as possible. Not for the other but for yourself.

  23. Heather says:

    I think part of the problem arises when, we as people, get excited about new information we learn and share it with others. When our convictions change, we may not always be as quick to say “I was wrong” or “that isn’t working for me anymore” when our friends or loved ones have embraced the original information shared. We don’t want to be a bad influence … so we lie (or usually just avoid). When, like me, you have 20 years of nutritional habits that have evolved over time, things get tricky. But I attempt to live openly. After raising my children for the first 10 years as vegetarians, they now aren’t. My in-laws were shocked. Freedom is my new mantra, I want to live free. Freedom is found in Truth.

  24. mork says:

    Believe it or not, currently I never lie (may have in the past). I say “I try to avoid meat and dairy, and eat pretty much all organic”, but then they all want to put me in a category, such as Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw…. I say, I am neither. It seems hard for people to accept someone who doesn’t attach to a food-identity! I was caught eating a steak at a BBQ this summer. I rarely eat meat, but just did it that one time. My friends were more uncomfortable than I was. The conversation quickly went to picking my brain: am I vegetarian, why don’t I or do I eat this or that. It was unsettling for some…

  25. David and Deborah says:

    The point was he (Kevin) had his staff email back (several times)to say that Kevin would respond, but he never did. We did try to research it on the internet and we tried to get answers locally, but had no luck. No one wants to say anything bad about the matter.The fact is the firefighters did save our town and we are very grateful. We reached out here because we thought Kevin or his staff might know. If he didn’t great, but to say he would respond and never do it is not honest. (We have decided not to eat our “organic” food just to be on the safe side) Now we must decide on selling our property or risk that it could poison future crops(after 15 years of work building up our soil) Why would someone take the time to respond, to say they would address the issue, then not do it. Why not just say I don’t know or I don’t have time. We would have been fine with that. At this point we are just very frustrated. We will keep trying to find an answer, but not here.

  26. Morgan says:

    Awesome article. Very thought provoking.

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