Hands up if you watched Grace Victory’s documentary, Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets, on BBC Three? If your hand isn’t up right now I’m gonna stop you right there. It’s only ~35 mins long. Go watch it RIGHT NOW. It’s very important.
Have you watched it now? Good. Let’s crack on, then.
(Apologies for the slightly random photo. That’s what I get for writing “spur-of-the-moment” posts. Sigh. It’s really shit, isn’t it? OH WELL.)
I am no stranger to food fads. I would never say I have ever had a particularly problematic relationship with food, but there have definitely been hills and troughs within that relationship. And the internet/social media has always been the reason for the troughs.
I do want to reiterate the fact that I’ve never suffered. I’ve never had any sort of eating disorder, I’ve never been on the brink of any sort of eating disorder and, like I said before, I’ve never had a particularly problematic relationship with food. BUT I feel like I am not alone when I say that my relationship with food has been turbulent. I don’t think there are many people that can say they’ve had a totally smooth ride in regards to food/diet/body image.
I also want to add a little, tiny disclaimer. This post is in the “wellness” section of my blog. That section is not the same as the “wellness blogging” I refer to in this post, but rather an easy umbrella term to add my posts on fitness, health, mental health and general health to. I ain’t telling you to live your life any way – you do you. Cool? Okay.
There’s always a fad – I remember when I was younger and adults were jumping on the Atkins bandwagon. There’s always something new that has amazing results, changed the life of Susan down the road, helped Jane on Facebook lose 5st, is SO EASY to do. It’s a thing that we have to live with and be aware of.
I find food, nutrition and exercise extremely interesting and find myself researching it quite often. And I’m no stranger to jumping on bandwagons *cough* 90 Day Plan *cough*. A few years ago when I first lost a load of weight I started a fitness Tumblr blog and my eyes were opened to the brand new world of “clean eating”. It seemed so easy. Just cut down on processed foods and you’ll look better, feel better and be better. Sounds easy, right?
Flash forward a few years and you can’t even go into your local supermarket without having this new, warped version clean eating shoved down your throat. Should you quit sugar? Should you quit carbs? Should you only eat raw? Should you eat only alkaline foods? Should you go vegan? What about paleo? Have you ever noticed how every single one of these “healthy living” solutions all contradict each other – surely that’s a sign that most of them are total bullshit?
Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets was seriously eye-opening. And that’s coming from someone who thought they were pretty clued up on the lies that are spewed from the mouths of “wellness bloggers”. Most of the things they were saying weren’t even just inaccurate, they were outright lies. Some were even funny. (Can we talk about Freelee the god damn Banana Girl saying she gets protein from her own flesh? Good god, get a grip girl.)
It’s so easy to be a pretty, thin, aspirational figure who says they “eat clean” to be healthy and happy. But what even IS clean eating? Because they all seem to preach how wonderful it is and yet take even the smallest peek into their diets and cookbooks and all you see is restriction. Whether it’s no meat, no sugar, no carbs, nothing processed ever ever ever UNLESS YOU WANT TO DIE, it’s toxic as hell and it’s affecting other people’s lives.
To me, diet should always be about balance. And I’m not talking the bullshit balance that these so-called “wellness” bloggers preach. I mean ACTUAL BALANCE. It’s not going to hurt you to have more fruit and veg in your diet, let’s be honest. Eating slightly healthier is never going to be a bad thing – I try to make healthy (or at least healthier) choices wherever possible because at the end of the day, healthy food IS good for you. But the key is to not feel guilty when you just want a dominos, or a glass (bottle) of wine, or a sharing bar of chocolate because oh my god life is SHORT. Don’t spend your life only eating raw food because you think it will make you healthy, don’t spend your life cutting out gluten when you aren’t actually gluten intolerant because someone on the internet said it’s poisonous (it isn’t, for most people, by the way), don’t spend your life worrying about whether what you’re eating is healthy or not because you’re just going to be miserable.
Today, I had a healthy lunch and a healthy dinner. Tomorrow I’m going to get a takeaway and have a few pints. And I’m going to love doing them both because I love food, whether it’s healthy food or not.
And for the love of god, take what these wellness bloggers say with a pinch of salt because there’s definitely something wrong with the fact that none of them wanted to be a part of the documentary (and when one of them did, she wouldn’t answer the question of “well I asked a Doctor and he said what you’re saying is bullshit”) NOR have they commented on it since it’s release. (So far, at least).
Kudos to Grace and BBC Three for finally breaking the silence and calling out these internet famous, pretend nutritionists for what they are.
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