From advocates for going gluten-free to limiting fruit intake to lower sugar consumption, the internet has never been as saturated with health and wellness advice as it is right now. But the question is: how credible is this information?
Take Ella Woodward, a food blogger-turned-cookbook-author and owner of two highly successful health delis in the UK – all of this by the tender age of 24 and no health-related qualification. But does this mean we cannot trust the health tips she shares?
By Jana du Plessis
Ella, better known under her blog name Deliciously Ella, has built her wellness empire on what started as a simple journey to improving her own health. After being diagnosed with a postural tachycardia syndrome and not finding a cure through conventional medicine, she turned to food for healing. Her blog was born, and as it grew in popularity, there was no denying the influence she had on her followers and fans.
Luckily Ella soon realised this and regularly reminds those visiting her blog or social media pages that her advice is purely personal and shouldn’t be interpreted as the holy grail of health and wellness. And what an important footnote to read! She follows a wheat-free, sugar-fee and plant-based diet, and avoids meat and diary at all costs. If you were to take this advice as the way you should be eating, you’d get awfully confused when you stumbled upon the Hemsley sister’s blog…
The Hemsley sisters
UK-based health gurus Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley started their catering service based on their passion for easy, affordable and nutrient-dense foods. Through that, Hemsley + Hemsley aims to educate people on the importance of gut health and having a healthy relationship with food. Although they also prefer going sugar- and wheat-free like Ellla, the rest of their philosophy promotes almost the exact opposite, with their love for grass-fed and organic meats and regular use of ghee and bacon.
So what should we listen to and what food philosophy should we adopt?
Although most of these bloggers, TV show hosts and cookbook authors aim to spread the language of nutritious food and healthy living – but they all admit to not having any qualification in the field of nutrition. It’s merely a love for food, life and a balanced life that drives them to discover new eating plans.
It is great to see that it no longer takes a medical professional to spur on healthy habits among the less healthy. But just because Ella is gluten-free, is doesn’t mean it’s the best way for everyone to eat; neither will eating bacon by the mouthful. We all are our own individual with varying needs and reactions to foods and should act in accordance to our unique bio-individuality.
Keeping an open mind
Your head may be spinning from all the contradicting takes on health, weight loss and lifestyle that you read online, but with an open mind and conscious effort, we can all learn something from them… Perhaps by experimenting with a plant-based diet you find that skipping meat benefits you. Or by choosing a fattier steak you feel more energetic than ever before.
Either way, as much as there is to learn from their different opinions, always check the facts with a medical professional before making a drastic change to your diet.