‘I don’t look the part’

”It is the ethical responsibility of anyone working or studying within human health to acknowledge and critically reflect upon their weight bias, no matter how uncomfortable it feels to challenge one’s own level of privilege. Practicing without doing so is to practice negligently and infringes upon the rule of ‘first, do no harm’.”
– fat_therapist

I read this the other day on Instagram and it stuck with me.
And now, let me tell you a story:

I went to see my counselor the other day (yes, I see a counselor and I am not ashamed to say it) – and neither should you be. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to about life’s all ups and downs. When I say I’m gonna heal myself I do it from all different angles.
I’m getting off topic here – anyway…
I was talking about myself and my future profession and everything I said he wrote down on the big whiteboard – you know, so everything you say is really confronting  – because it’s right in front of you in big black letters. – And that’s when you realize how stupid everything negative thing you say about yourself sounds.
I spoke, he wrote. One thing I said was ‘I don’t look the part’. He wrote it down, and I just looked at it. And the first thing that popped into my head was ‘Are you Freaking kidding me?!’, where did I get this from?
Here I am, advocating Health at Every Size and the non-diet approach and this is what I’ve got going on in my mind, still?! Why do I put my value into the way I look? Why do we put our value into the way we look?
My counselor asked me why I thought that way, and I said ‘well, if you look at all the instagramers who run a health page, they are SO thin (I bet you my mum is rolling her eyes no)! They have a six-pack, all of them! And most of them don’t even have the appropriate education or knowledge to be providing health advice, but still they do – and they get heard because they look the way they do!’
Let me just say, it’s okay to have a six-pack, it’s okay if you don’t. You are beautiful either way. But you know how easy it is to thing negatively about yourself? That was the situation I was in at that moment.
I thought that I wouldn’t get heard as a nutritionist just because I don’t have a six-pack. (This is what I seriously think sometimes, I’m embarrassed just writing it – but I need to do this (YOU ARE NOT ALONE!).

My counselor just looked at me and said:
‘Is that how you picture nutritionists? With a six-pack? I picture a scientist with a lab coat and glasses. Because it’s a science subject.’
Yeah, let’s face it, nutrition is the science of food so he does have a point.

From this I learnt that I’m gonna continue to work on myself and also motivate others to be proud of their body, no matter what they may look like. I work on this every single day, but I’ve come a long way in these last three year since I started to study.

 

Let’s talk about food marketing

Let’s talk about food marketing, and how companies trick people into believing that one particular thing is more healthier than another.

In this post I am comparing two different brands of potato chips, let’s not think about the fact that it is potato chips. If you want to eat good fats and a fibre rich diet potato chips are probably not the way to go. But I just wanted you to get an idea of how it works.

I found this one at a friend’s place and I was just blown away by all the claims it has on the front. Someone would easily believe that this one would be a healthier option compared to other brands.
First of all:
Gluten free – this is a marketing strategy a lot of companies use. I went to a café the other day and a cake said ”low gluten”, what even is that? Are they thinking: it’s just one little table spoon of flour, so that makes it less gluten? It Does Not Work That Way. It’s either gluten in it, or it’s not. There’s No in-between.
Anyway. Who knew that potatoes are gluten free? Who knew that potatoes are natural?
And 90% less saturated fat than what? Are they comparing it to a specific oil? Because, for example, both sunflower oil and olive oil are predominantly monounsaturated fats. Or are they comparing it to butter?

And then I absolutely love the top left corner ”no hidden nasties” – and then we turn the bag over…

 

Most ”original” potato chips contain three ingredients – potatoes, an oil and salt. This bag only contains 60% of potatoes – and it also contains sugar! I would call that a hidden nastiness, wouldn’t you? The sugar they have probably only added to make it taste better. But other brands that you might think are ”unhealthier” than this one do not contain any sugar at all.

People often don’t know what to look for when they read food labels. So let’s break it down for you: the ingredient list always starts with the ingredient that is of the greatest amount in that particular food. For example – when I go to buy a ”healthy” bar for example, I wouldn’t normally pick one that has golden syrup, fructose or something similar as an ingredient on top of the list – it’s still a sugar. I would pick something with a nut as the first ingredient, or something like oats, which is a good base for a bar.

When looking at the nutrition information where all the information regarding the amount of energy, protein, different type of fats etc. – Look at the 100 g column, because that makes it easier to compare it to other brands. Because serving sizes may vary depending on the brand.
I don’t have a good picture of the nutrition information of this particular bag – but it contained, for example, 7.3 g of sugar per 100 g, whereas Smith’s potato chips, another big brand here in Australia, had 1.0 g of sugar per 100 g. The Sodium content of Smith’s was also lower, but not that significant. However, the Smith’s bag didn’t say how much dietary fibre it contained – the bag in the pictures above contained 4.2 g of dietary fibre – which is good. The higher the fibre content, the better.

The Smith’s chips were made out of sunflower oil and canola oil, they did have higher saturated fat content – but not that much. They did, however, also contain greater amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats compared to the ”healthy” one, which is much better! It is important to look at the nutrition information – people are often too scared of fat. The one type of fat that people should be aware of is trans fat. The ”healthy bag” contained 0.1 g, hardly anything. But Smith’s had 0.0 g. And people should be aware of this because trans fat are associated with different health issues, such as heart disease, which is why it is recommended to keep the intake as low as possible. Trans fats are often found in chips, store bought cakes etc.
The Smith’s chips were however higher in energy. But when I eat chips, I’m just gonna eat whatever chips I want to. If a person is mainly focusing on losing weight, the chips would probably not be included in their diet anyway.

I’m not saying that you should go and get a bag of chips now just because one is is better than the other one, I just wanted to show you how food marketing works. By just looking at the front of the bag isn’t enough to keep you informed about what is actually in the bag. Turn it over and look at the ingredients, how many ingredients does it contain? What does it contain?

I hope this helped you a little bit, and if you’ve got any questions just let me know!

 

New year, new me, right?

I don’t like to do new years resolution, I’ve started to make new years goals instead. Don’t you think that is completely different? Maybe?

It is really interesting to hear what other people have set as their 2018 goals. Either they set them too high or they are absolutely perfect. One of my favorites has been: Healthy and happy.
You know what the best part is? She didn’t put any a measurement on it, no ”I’m going to lose 5 kg before March, or I’m going to run x km everyday, or what ever”, we don’t know what healthy is for her. But happiness is a big part of her health. It is absolutely amazing! Don’t you think?

A few of my 2018 goals are:
Give more hugs
Start dancing again
Get better at presenting in front of a crowd
Manage to do 1 pull up (haven’t set an end-date on that one yet, because let’s face it – I’m still in pain and sometimes I lose my motivation – and in enters my personal trainer, don’t know what I would do without him.)
Do my yoga teacher training
Heal my neck
Get full into mastering my mean girl

Do you have any 2018 goals? Please, do tell me! I’d love to hear them.

Is it professional antibiotics?

That’s what I thought the first time I heard it.
Probiotics – which are ass-kicking, gut healing bacteria, without all the side effects of antibiotics.

We all pretty much know that the body is SO complex, or I was hoping that we all knew that…
Until I got a question the other day ”what is the healthiest thing you can eat?”
Do you expect there to be just ONE thing that would be the healthiest thing to eat? What would it be? Please, tell me! Or are you basically just looking for a quick fix when you’re standing there with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other?
Friends, it’s all connected. You can’t just do One thing for your health and you are going to be ”healthier than you’ve ever been”, it’s a work in progress, okay?
And you are doing a great job.

So lets talk about an important part for our health – our gut.

There is sooo much talk lately about microbiome, probiotice, prebiotics, and on the list goes. I thought I’d just break it down for you to make it easier for you to understand.
We all have bacteria in our gut, to help us function in a way we otherwise wouldn’t be able to.  But we also put our bodies through a lot of stress that causes inflammation, poor digestion and poor absorption. – Which we obviously want to prevent, but sometimes life gets in between – illness, antibiotics, environment – diet plays a big part in how our gut is doing, especially changes in our diet – (I’m definitely looking at you, you all ”jumping from one diet to the next”-people. That is definitely putting a lot of stress on your body).

By eating probiotics you are providing your body with the healthy bacteria which will (surprise!) improve digestion and nutrient absorption, and improve your overall health.
A classic definition of probiotics is ”live microorganisms which, when administered in Adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host.”

So where do you find the probiotics? Well, you can find them in supplements, and you might also have heard any of these fancy terms going around lately: sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha, kefir. (#guthealth) And if you’re not feeling all that fancy and want to try something easier (not so unfamiliar), you could just go with yogurt.
These are basically fermented products that contains live microorganisms that improves health.

But to feed these probiotics, to support their growth, you also need prebiotics – ”a non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon and thus improves health”. Banans, asparagus, leek, garlic, oats, legumes – just to mention a few.

 

So basically, if you want to support your gut you don’t NEED to spend heaps of money on supplements, or fancy foods that you don’t like. You can simply eat some yogurt (preferably with no added sugar), with some banana. Great way to start your day!
But remember, even if #guthealth is a big thing right now, that you can have too much of everything. Don’t go and buy all the fermented products I just mentioned because you really, really, really want to improve your health. My advice to you if you think, or you know you, you really need to improve your gut health – go see a naturopath. They will run tests, they will help you figure out what is wrong with you, as an individual. We are all individuals with our own gut, just because one thing worked for your friend doesn’t mean it’s the same thing that is causing you to feel bloated, sluggish, or just very fatigue.
Look after yourself and your health, because it is important <3