Not Plant Based: Why 2 Girls Are Fighting Back Against So-Called 'Wellness' Bloggers
The Debrief: Chocolate tastes good. So shut up and eat it.
Photos by Katzfilms.com
How many of your daily conversations revolve around food? I’d bet good money that the munchies chat is not just restricted to meal times.
Here’s another question: how many of those food conversations evoke a sense of shame, inflict rules or make you re-consider your lunch choices?
I remember the first time a 'friend' informed me that cow’s milk was 'poisonous'. I called her ridiculous, poked fun at her idiocy and put her tenuous claims down to her own obsession with thinness. Yet, a week later, I opted for Soya milk where possible, before eventually ending up on skimmed milk only. Trust me, this shit seeps in.
Fast forward three and a half years and, on the road to recovery from an eating disorder, I’m still under strict doctors orders to take daily calcium tablets to compensate for my milk-dodging spell (it began with skimmed and then eventually went down to no milk at all - clever me). And they taste like utter dog shit. Over the years, this progressed and I cut more and more food groups out of my diet until I was very unwell indeed.
Since when did we stop trusting the advice of qualified, medical experts and instead, start heeding the advice of untrained Instagram babes? Probably when we realised that we’re so desperately insecure, we’ll do anything just to look hot, so who cares about being healthy? Fortunately for most, snapping out of a fad diet is as easy as, 'look there’s a cake!' For others, however (i.e me), it’s not so simple.
And I’m not alone.
When I first met Laura, I was almost a year in recovery from Anorexia and I immediately noticed two striking similarities between us: 1. We both love food. 2. We’re both highly anxious individuals. A toxic combination for anyone vulnerable to an eating disorder.
After hours of impassioned conversation, and several exchanges of, 'did you know some people believe watercress actually boasts more nutritional value than kale; you don't have to have any qualifications to be a 'nutritionist'?’, we decided to join forces in order to re-educate the Instagram generation about the nutritional value of ALL food. The aim is to stop our friends being unnecessarily scared of one of the few pleasures in life. And we should know. Not only has worrying about food made both of us unhealthy, but it made us sodding miserable too.
Luckily, I had a wonderful battleaxe of a mother, an extremely supportive boyfriend and a local eating disorder service. Laura, on the other hand, struggled with Bulimia in silence for several years – too ashamed to admit her compulsions to anyone but her parents. She had no psychological help, no dietetic advice and meanwhile was soaking up all the incorrect, unhelpful advice that the ‘clean-eating’ brigade had to offer.
We agreed – enough is enough. And hence, NOTPLANTBASED.COM was born. So whilst 'wellness' bloggers try to convince you that gluten is 'sandpaper for the gut’ (and some battle a lawsuit for lying about curing terminal illness with a restrictive diet), the aim of NOTPLANTBASED is to provide a safe, healthy celebration of ALL food and ALL women. With the help of qualified, experienced experts and with the support of the UK’s leading eating disorders charity, B-EAT UK, we will change the food conversation for the next generation; teach women (and men) to love themselves just as they are and open up an honest and frank discussion about mental health.
We are not vegan. We are not gluten free and we are NOT PLANT BASED.
For more information head to Not Plant Based's website.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Is Wellness Actually Making Us Happy?
The Moderation Movement Food Trend Is Proof That We've Lost The Plot About Our Diets
'You Can't Self-Diagnose!' How Your Gluten-Free Diet Might Actually Be Harming Your Health
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating