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Modern Dieting – balance is key!

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Put together by the Guardian, this article perfectly describes the issues of modern day dieting and the ‘gospel’ words of many un-qualified celebrity like role models which encourage clean eating and missing out crucial food groups from our diets..

It mustn’t be forgotten that despite healthy cook books and advice being great for those interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle and encouraging cooking rather than buying ready meals, to not take this advice so literally as balance is key!

“Every Sunday in the centre of Brixton, a group of Afro-Caribbean women of a certain age, gather on Atlantic Road to sing lustily about Jesus while wearing big hats. As a diehard atheist I am meant to have no time for organised religion. But the fact is they’re not harming anyone and they look very happy indeed.

If only all religions were so benign. If only all religions were so cheerful. But they are not. Recently a new kind of religion has arisen; one engineered for a godless age and specifically designed to make its devotees feel worse about themselves more often than they feel better. Like all religions it is based on hocus-pocus, misdirection and delusion. This new religion is called The Diet.

Yes of course diets have been around for centuries, promoted just as they are now through books. And for the most part they have always been stupid: the grapefruit diet, the red wine and steak diet, the kitten and stilton diet. I may have invented one of those. But generally they were functional. Do thing A and thing B and you will get result C. They didn’t work because like, pyramid investment schemes, they never do.

 madshaw

What the modern diet books have that the previous lot didn’t is a moral dimension. They are not merely instruction manuals. They are secular catechisms. There is an implication in these titles, written by young people with glossy hair and clear eyes who look like they think their farts smell only of peaches and peppermint, that if you don’t follow their plans you will not merely be fat. You will be bad. You will be a flawed person who through, lack of insight and moral fibre, has failed to reach their full potential in the way the authors have.

Well I wonder if I might be permitted to make a learned intervention into this noble discussion of the human soul, by saying this: sod off! Really, go away. Find something else to do. Take up boxing; it may involve hurting people but at least there are rules. In saying this I am only adding my voice to a growing choir. The brilliant Ruby Tandoh recently examined the speciousness of some of the faux-scientific thinking underpinning various of these works. A new blogger called the Angry Chef has been laying waste in superbly forensic style to the flaws in dietary advice and a general failure to understand the science of food and cooking. And Nigella has had a stab at the use of the phrase “Clean Eating”. Food does not have a moral aspect. Only the people eating it do.

But we need to go further and argue against one other element of all this: the use of guilt as if it were a weapon being wielded by a 14th-century pope. I am often asked what my guilty food secret is. I reply that I don’t have one. Because if I started feeling guilty, where would I stop? There are some foods that I like but which I know I shouldn’t eat too much of and that’s what I try to do. Guilt corrodes. Instead I go to the gym and watch what I eat, like any responsible adult. But I also make a point of enjoying what life has to offer. Food is just too much of a pleasure to be sullied by the stupidities of a bunch of swivel-eyed hucksters whose only real credential is the size of their Instagram following. Put that in your nutribullet and drink it.”

mindful-eating

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