Watching things unfold from a sideline was never my style, and seeing the wellness industry get criticised, I am compelled to give the other side of the story.
During my nutrition training I've seen people who have had no energy, weak digestion, and who have had very prominent hormonal imbalances, return a month or so later feeling refreshed and energetic just through swapping out processed, sugary foods for nutrient dense plant foods. This 'wellness' movement is not just about body image; there are other very serious diseases in the world that diet can profoundly affect.
As a nutritional therapist I can tell you that there is a copious amount of science behind these natural food recommendations and quite frankly it's a relief that people are finally speaking out about our diets and getting the information out there.
This 'wellness' movement is not just about body image
I'm sad that pioneers in the wellness industry are becoming scapegoats for disordered eating. Whilst I don't claim to be an expert, from what I learnt working in mental health hospitals, disordered eating goes beyond just the food. It can be a way feel in control in a less than controllable world. Yes, some people can take the wellness movement too far, and that's when it can become a problem, but this is in the minority and is found within many different dietary and fitness movements.
Current terminology in the healthy eating world could definitely stand to be tweaked, including phrases such as 'good' and 'bad' foods, but it's unfair to criticize the chefs and nutritionists who want to get an important message out.
We actually need to take a minute to see how much good they are doing.
Let's put the weight loss issue on the side and ignore body image for a moment; it's important to recognise how eating natural foods have helped in the management of disease.
For some reason society has become a place where we eat whatever we want, get ill and then shift the responsibility onto a poor doctor who either makes the symptoms go away or who gets the blame when they don't fix us. All the 'wellness' pioneers who have recently been in the line of fire are merely encouraging us to take some responsibility for our health. Whilst it can be hard for some people, it's what's needed in a blame-blame culture.
It's important to recognise how eating natural foods have helped in the management of disease
The fact is we are living in a very different world to the one it was a hundred or so years ago... the soil is much more depleted of nutrients, the air is filled with many more fumes and toxins, and we are absolutely inundated with stress, so diets need to be different and food choices need to be re-evaluated.
Let me paint a scientific picture... Modern day stress can affect things in our body like insulin (which controls blood sugar), sex hormones, inflammation and digestive health. Therefore, if you consume natural foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, lost during stressful times, you can support the body's natural attempt to heal.
However, if you consume sugary, processed foods, you are further feeding the body's stress response by raising insulin and cortisol, and getting in the way of natural processes.
This highlights that the reason for the word 'clean' is because natural foods don't cause as much chaos in the body as other foods may do. Natural foods basically allow the body to do its thing.
Let me ask you this question... based on this why wouldn't you write a recipe book with vitamin rich foods and sugar alternatives? Why would you not want to get on TV and reach a huge number of people to share this wisdom?
Let me state now that there is absolutely no set diet for everyone. We all have different biological make up and life circumstances, and every one needs to eat according to their own state of health, but please, I ask you, read the science before, ask questions, and be open to new ideas that could support your biochemistry.
If you do have disordered eating, please seek professional help, but do not attack some people who are doing some fantastic things in the world and are really on a mission to help people feel well. There are prominent, serious health issues in our society that can and should be addressed by making healthy diet changes.
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