Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Should we listen to 'Health Gurus'?

As I mentioned in my post about what you should know about 'sugar free', we're constantly being presented with a new healthy living writer or 'guru' (if you must), like they're on a conveyor belt on rotation. The vast majority of these writers are fantastic and I really applaud their courage and passion for healthy living and getting their ideas and recipes out there to inform as many people as possible exciting and easy ways to live a healthier life.

HOWEVER. However. It seems there are still a handful of these 'gurus' (seriously, is there another name?!) that are providing us with misleading information, or seem misinformed themselves when it comes to some health related advice....



Sugar Misconceptions
Of course, eating a homemade energy ball made from dates, nuts, maple syrup, cacao and goji berries is going to be more nutritionally beneficial than eating a Mars Bar after a workout. However it's when I read that because this is natural, it is therefore healthy, or 'agave nectar is a healthier version of sugar and does x, y and z to your blood sugar and energy levels and therefore this is a seriously healthy recipe that you shouldn't feel guilty about enjoying'. When the book is advertising being 'sugar free' and so on, yet there are plenty of sweet recipes, laden with three different types of 'sugars' (all natural, of course), it just makes me feel so disappointed. Just because this new book you've picked up is number one of the 'Healthy Lifestyle' booklist on Amazon, doesn't mean you should take everything as Gospel. Do some research into what's been recommended in the ingredients list, and eat the sweeter treats in moderation, whether they say so or not.

What works for them, may not for you
Several of these healthy lifestyle writers often become inspired to help others after they've been through a difficult time with their health - just like why I'm inspired to write about healthy living after my own issues, and that's great! However, understand that what works for one person, may not work for you. Feel inspired by them but like I've already said, don't take their words as Gospel (unless it obviously really works for you). One of my favourite health bloggers is Deliciously Ella, who went through a seriously awful period of her life when she discovered she had PTOS, meaning she had to teach herself from scratch how to eat in a truly healthy manner. However, a lot of her recipes are vegan or her sweet treats are too 'sugar' laden for me which will affect my hormones and skin. What I like to do is treat her blog and book as a chocolate box and pick and choose things that work well for my needs and of course, feel inspired by her.

What even is healthy?
Who's to say any of these books or blogs are even healthy? I think there is a definite ideal of health - as long as your organs are working properly, your mind is working as it should, you're eating a balanced diet and you're throwing some moves every now and then, then of course that's healthy. However, there's no point in preaching that your specific way of eating is the absolute healthiest thing to do. Being a vegan looks great sometimes but not realistic for me. An alkaline diet may help numerous people however there is evidence that the results aren't quite what is presented. Whatever makes you genuinely feel good and healthy, is what is healthy for you. Not what that person says, or what he says, or what that blogger says. Take inspiration, but you define what is healthy for you.

I think it is important to listen to health writers/bloggers etc, and take inspiration from them however it's so important to understand that their books or blogs shouldn't be followed word for word because really, they're letting you know what has really worked for them and what sits well with them. They hope that you too will be able to enjoy their recipes and posts but they haven't sat down with you and worked out every intolerance and health concern and written the book for you (though, if anyone is willing to, I'd welcome that with open arms!). This is what works for them. You should feel excited and inspired but don't feel disheartened when you realise your concerns still haven't disappeared, despite following their recipes morning to evening, seven days a week.

Take inspiration from them, research the recipes and ingredients, listen to your own body and mind (and cravings!), and do what works best for you.

What's your opinion on health 'gurus'? Are there any out there that you've found really helped you? Can you think of another term other than 'guru'?! (Bonus points for the last one)
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8 comments

  1. Loved this post! I think it's very important to always take everything you read with a pinch of salt, or do some more research. I never trust just one source, I wanna know more! xo // Naomi in Wonderland

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    1. Thanks Naomi! It's good to hear you take a similar approach to me and I totally agree, I always want to know more about a particular 'new' healthy eating approach. xx

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  2. Great post! The definition of healthy is such a subjective thing and very personal to each individual. What works well for one person isn't going to work well for everyone and we all need to remember this.

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    1. Thanks Jemma! Totally agree and I'm glad we're on the same wavelength - our bodies and minds all work in different ways, it's all about being inspired and tailoring approaches to our own needs.

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  3. Great post, some really important points you have made. Healthy can mean different things to different people.

    Ooh La Luce | Beauty, Life, Fashion

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    1. Thanks Lucy (great name by the way...). Just go with what's right for you :) x

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  4. I totally agree.... I always raise my eyebrow with healthy sugars - you should still watch your sugar intake even if it's not processed!

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

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    1. Good to hear you agree too, Erin! All sugar is sugar at the end of the day, I'm sending you an internet high five right now, so glad to hear you think the same way as I do!

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