ARE YOU EATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ORTHOREXIA?

 

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  

We live in such a diet-saturated culture, that we don’t even see disordered thoughts when they are literally in in huge black print in front of us.  What is so disheartening is how often I’ve seen it on Instagram.

Big bloggers aren’t just people with a diy website- they have following & influence.  My friend, you may not realize it, but you are eating under the influence.  These influencers are why you have more avocados and sweet potatoes on your grocery list.  They are why you choke down kombucha (let’s be honest- that stuff is vile) for the probiotics.  They are why you make smoothies.  They are why you feel you should “detox“.   Continue Reading →

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7 SIGNS THAT NUTRITIONIST YOU ARE FOLLOWING IS FULL OF BALONEY

  1. They talk about leaky gut as though it is a diagnosis.  

    Healthcare professionals refer to this as intestinal permeability.  Far from being a diagnosis, it is a symptom.  Leaky gut does not cause illnesses, illnesses cause a leaky gut.  Also, aside from an unreliable mannitol/lactose test, there is no medical test for it.  If the site you are on tells you otherwise, chances are the rest of the stuff on their site is unfounded.

  2.  They don’t have real credentials.

    If you are in the US, you do not have to have ANY education at all to call yourself a nutritionist.  If you want to be more official, you can do an online nutrition certificate training program that is only $49 through Groupon, though.  Get your info from someone who has made it through the required science courses in university, has sat for a rigorous examination, who has had other professionals say “Yes, this person knows what they are talking about.”  This vetted professional is much more likely to be able to discern fake studies from the real ones, interpret the results and conclusions for you, and give you sound advice based on it.  The other guy is just recycling what he has heard someone else say.

  3. They have an obsession with detoxing and cleanses.

    But, I’ve already talked about this, haven’t I?

  4. They claim to have the information all the doctors are sweeping under the rug.

    Doctors, dietitians, physical therapists, etc- we want the answers as much as you do, but we have to admit when we don’t have them.  Otherwise we would lose our licenses due to recklessness.  People who don’t have licenses have nothing to lose (and usually, something to sell).

  5. They say their recipe has no sugar yet it calls for maple syrup or honey.

    Sorry to say, but maple syrup and honey are sugar.  For example, 1 T of maple syrup = roughly 15 gm of sugar;  1 T of honey = roughly 15 gm sugar; 1 T table sugar = 15 gm sugar.  Eating too much syrup or honey will still make your blood sugars shoot up faster than you can say paleo cupcake.

  6. They say their recipe has only natural sugars.  

    Whether “natural” or processed, sugar does the same thing in your body regardless of which you choose.  As for the “more nutrients” argument? If you want more nutrients, well- mix in a salad, champ.

  7.  They have before and after pictures.

    There is nothing helpful about these pictures.  If anything, they are triggers for people who have body dysmorphia or eating disorders.  Can we just stop with the sports bra selfies, already?!  What does that say about being healthy?  Or about being beautiful, for that matter? (Also, why do we call them selfies when the pictures say nothing about who we are?  It’s just our shell.  Perhaps we should call them shellies??) Most sites that use before and after pictures are not concerned about health- just the appearance of it.

 

Bonus: They proudly post pictures of themselves with Dr. Oz.

This wasn’t on my original list when I was planning this post, but I have noticed one particular “doctor” blogger with a massive following who has so much nutrition misinformation I honestly thought he was trying to be funny.  Unsurprisingly, he proudly associates himself with Dr. Oz. A man who, when called before a Senate hearing to defend why he lied to millions of  viewers and used his doctor status to sell supplements, said, “I passionately study them. I recognize they oftentimes do not often have the scientific muster to present them as fact.”  Yeeeeeeeet, he presents them as fact.  Do not trust someone who will happily associate their credibility with his.

And, while there are more red flags I could cover, I  believe these will filter out most garbage for you.  Don’t be surprised if this turns into a series of posts, though.

If you’d like to know some of my favorite REAL nutritionists/dietitians to follow are, check this out.

 

Further reading/resources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA0wKeokWUU // http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/how-dr-oz-effect-has-hooked-american-consumers-n134801 //http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dr-oz-endorsed-green-coffee-bean-diet-study-retracted/ // http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/23/dr-oz-products_n_7120654.html
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WHY DO NUTRITION HEADLINES CHANGE SO MUCH?

Many of my patients complained that dietitians went backwards and forwards on themselves. Fat is bad!  Fat is great!  Carbs are bad!  Fruit is bad!   I understand what they are saying-  if you look at nutrition headlines they certainly can’t make up their minds, but dietitians rarely have to waffle.  This is because we have been trained to read the research and assess it.  If the setup of a study isn’t sound, we won’t even look at the results and conclusion.  We know they are at best unfounded, and at worst fabricated.  The problem comes in when people don’t know how to read the research, they just look at the results, and then they spread it on their blogs and newspapers.  This infographic shows you where things can go wrong for people who write *sciencey things based on “evidence”.  (*sciencey:  looks like science because it uses studies and big words, but it doesn’t have a lick of truth.) Continue Reading →

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THE NUTRITION BLOGGING WORLD IS REALLY DISTORTED

 

My last post was in October. My silence on the blog hasn’t been neglect, disinterest, or preoccupation.  If anything, I realized how much I enjoyed writing and food photography, despite my feeble skillz (yes, skillz).  To be honest, I stopped because I got FREAKED OUT.  Why? Well, am I glad you asked…

When you start blogging, you realize the internet is place just as Los Angeles and Belfast are.  The culture in this new virtual neighborhood I moved into hinges on interacting with other bloggers in your field.  I have found some absolutely lovely nutrition bloggers out there, but most of them (and I mean MOST) have some really messed up ideas of food and nutrition.  I don’t just mean scientifically misinformed (though, also wildly rampant), I mean disordered thoughts and eating patterns.  Right about the time I (finally!) started building momentum in readers is about the time that I started feeling uneasy in my new neighborhood – wondering if I weren’t part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.  I cater to a group who have food allergies as we have a few in our house, but were my gluten-free dairy-free soy-free recipes reinforcing a weird mentality of restriction?  Was I perpetuation an idea of all clean eating all the time?  Reinforcing an unhealthy obsession with healthy food?  Were my pretty little Instagram pictures actually triggers for people dissatisfied with their wonderfully  normal bodies?

So, I stopped posting and watched.

Conclusion- Yes, the nutrition blogging world is largely jacked up, but that’s even more reason to be there.

The current generation of “healthy” people might have a distorted focus, but I know we can start correcting our thinking and, even more importantly, teach the next generation a different approach to food- a more normal, functional one. My dream is to someday watch a documentary about how distorted food and eating was in the 2010s, and how fortunate we are in the 2030s to just eat and enjoy food that makes us feel good and get on with it.

In the next few weeks I will be doing a series on how to stop our messed up views of food and eating from bleeding to the next generation.  A huge part of it will be modeling, but another is how we verbally teach kids about food, fat, and eating.  I’ll also talk about something called orthorexia – you don’t have to exercise all the time or purge to have an eating disorder.  Finally, I will restart the Dishlist- so you’ll have a curated list of helpful, thoughtful, reliable food & wellness links.

So, friends- here’s to just eating and enjoying food that makes you feel good and getting ON with it already!

 

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