Thursday, 14 July 2016

Clean Eating Dirty Secrets - The ugly truth about clean eating


I'm all for a documentary, like seriously put on the discovery channel and I'm done for the day. BBC three is my go to for the most influential documentaries out there, with Jim Chapman's recent superstar vloggers documentary becoming a huge hit with the internet it's really set the tone for a more behind the scenes, no bullshit look on how the internet actually compares to real life. Vlogger Grace Victory is an absolute babe, so when she was fronting the documentary 'clean eating dirty secrets' I was all over that.

Basically it's a documentary shedding light on the utter crap of 'clean eating'.

As someone who has previously worked for a primarily health/super foods client based PR company I am no stranger to the wondrous world of 'eating yourself happy'. I have since worked out that PR isn't quite the career for me but I did learn a thing or two about the industry. I think it's incredibly important to remember that the majority of these vloggers and bloggers who wouldn't be seen dead dunking a chocolate biscuit into their milky tea, get paid to rave about how insanely good a goji berry tastes. PR companies pay a ridiculous amount to get internet influencers onside and involved with a brand, we look for 'influencers' as being people who have an audience so captive they can make them want a piece of whatever they have, ultimately young audiences are kind of being played.

Of course some people genuinely do love eating clean and have seen such a huge improvement in their wellbeing that they really do believe eating that way can make a huge positive impact. I for one am super excited about Niomi Smart's book 'Eat Smart' being released and can't wait to get my hands on it. To me, she is natural, she never forces her lifestyle on her viewers, in fact it's talked about in equal amounts to her beauty and fashion related content, she doesn't claim to have the perfect life and she doesn't make me feel bad for scoffing a pizza.

In the documentary Grace picks up on the fact that 'clean eating' appears to almost be a class, I actually think she is spot on. Who in their right minds would want to spend £6 or £7 on a powdery substance that you sprinkle on top of your already dry and miserable looking porridge. Even if I wanted to jump on board and go plant based I literally couldn't afford it. I work full time and I earn enough to run my car and live a happy little life but just buying a couple of avocados a week is pushing the boat out for me. I have dabbled in Spirulina and Wheatgrass shots but really it didn't make the slightest difference to my energy levels (I am anaemic), to my skin, to my moods or to my body, so what was the bloody point?

Maybe it seems like I'm slamming diets and maybe I am, to be honest I'm not sure. I worry that people aren't doing it for the right reasons and that is a concern. We all live with FOMO and it's true, even I wanted a piece of the superfood action but really when it comes down to it I don't believe anyone eating a diet so restricted is actually any healthier or happier than someone eating a well balanced pretty normal diet. It's also worth remembering that some of the vloggers and bloggers are talking absolute bullshit, they aren't dieticians, they aren't trained and they aren't clued up on what your body needs. Fine if thats what they want to be putting into their bodies but to encourage vulnerable audiences to do the same really angers me. Who are they to tell me how I should be eating, it's wrong and as a trained dietician discussed on the show, it is 'absolute rubbish'.

It really got to me and it made me incredibly sad, I have always looked up to the  clean eating bloggers who I had previously believed were just trying to better themselves and live a life I could only dream of being able to maintain. I now realise that they are just painting a pretty picture of the way they live their lives and they are using that to cover up the utter crap they are preaching. One states 'gluten is like sandpaper for the gut', I mean sure some people are gluten intolerant but why on earth is the whole world suddenly going crazy about how awful gluten is for us. It's also worth pointing out that Grace had been trying for two months to reach out to wellness bloggers for an interview and for a chat regarding their claims and only one was willing to talk. Turns out everything she said was shut down and slammed because you guessed it - it was a load of crap.

Living your life around a diet made up of restriction shouldn't be deemed as healthy, it's not just physically draining on your body but it's incredibly bad for your mental health. Saying no to every food group going literally just leaves me wondering 'what on earth do these people actually eat?'.

I love food because it's a wonderful thing, we have access to some of the most amazing and delicious foods from all over the world and we are incredibly lucky. Food should be enjoyed, loved and shared, it shouldn't be seen as evil. Nothing in moderation will kill you, it won't harm you and it might actually make you happy. I know when I'm feeling down there is nothing quite like a tub of ice cream to sort me out - just saying. I love a takeaway and I love a cheese and wine night with the girls and I really don't feel guilty about that.

Please watch the documentary, please understand it's incredibly important message and please don't deprive yourself of a healthy but equally happy relationship with food.

But then maybe I just don't get it.

Would love to hear your thoughts.