"Insert Guru Here"

"Insert Guru Here"

Guru - a teacher, guide or master of a knowledge or subject area. Someone who helps to shape values, shares both literal and experiential knowledge, a source of inspiration and guidance.

I think it's fair to say that 'guru' status isn't something that is applicable to most. Being qualified or simply interested in a subject, in my humble opinion, does not equate to the mastering or guru status of said subject. Do you get where I'm going with this?

I am becoming increasingly concerned with the rise in fad diets, the promotion of restrictive nutritional relationships and the bastardisation of the sacred "guru" label in the health and fitness industry. Self dubbed gurus, usually a consequence of social media stardom, are using their influence to promote their own agendas. Who suffers? Essentially, everyone who is looking for ways to improve their health and lifestyle. The convenience of Instagram and Twitter makes it simpler than ever for these people buy into (yes often actually pay for) advice from individuals who have absolutely no credentials. Having millions of social media followers isn't a qualification.

As you all know, my social media accounts revolve around my profession. I am a personal trainer and fitness coach to the Royal Ballet. I am qualified to give nutritional advice but I am absolutely not a nutritionist/dietician (yet!). My aim is to share my professional journey with you - how I exercise, recipes I create, how I motivate myself and those that I work with. I do not claim to be something I am not. I am good at my job, I take a lot of pride in what I do. I do not condone fad diets, restrictive eating or any sort of obsessive relationships with food. My only consistently applied nutritional guideline is that I only eat freshly occuring foods, nothing processed or refined. That's it! 

I simply cannot fathom the idea of someone making bold statements on how to eat solely on the basis of promoting a product or uneducated presumptions. It's totally and inexcusably unethical.

Alongside this, the will to achieve 'wellness' seems to be getting in the way of society's judgement when met with such statements. The need to seek proof behind statements like "cook every meal with coconut oil", "juicing will detox your body" or "don't eat carbs after 6pm" seems to be muted by the will to achieve the optimal health. Newflash - no registered nutritionist would give you this advice.

Are you cutting out entire food groups or demonising nutrients because "insert guru here" told you you should? Perhaps it's time to start asking yourself why. Who are you putting your trust in? If you are following an account which is promoting a restrictive and obsessive approach towards nutrition, perhaps it's time to start looking into what backs up these requests before you implement these changes. 

In a world where pseudoscience reigns and people no longer seek proof behind statements of "fact" - please note: All food is super. Gluten isn't evil, smoothies aren't meals. Don't allow media driven nutritional trends to determine how you eat. Research, read, make your own mind up, but PLEASE don't just take everything at face value. Your health is too important.