In 2013, super lady Ruby Tandoh came to the public’s attention on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off and has since blossomed into an author, queen feminist and advocate for good mental health. Her latest cookbook “Flavour: Eat What You Love” was released in 2016 and for me, this is one of the most wonderful books released in the 21st century. Not just because of the flourished and flavoursome recipes it contains, but the important message Ruby pushes behind food. Simply, eat what you love.
The world of food is a weird one. However great it is, there is such a conflict and negative schemas lurking behind every eye of fame. One diet is best right? We get told what to eat, how much to eat and what to avoid. And yes, this is true. Nutrition and healthy lifestyles are so important. But do we push to far? Are we starting to forget the enjoyment and pleasures that come from food?
As a foodie and nutritionist, my brain is programmed a bit weird. I look at food and I automatically think about it’s chemical composition, how it was made, it’s macros, micros and how it will affect my health. Every. Time. I. Eat. I’ve read the nutritional labels of products religiously since I can remember and I’ve been trying to “diet” a lose weight since the age of 12. And it is exhausting.
But besides that, I really love food. In 2016, I lost a substantial amount of weight and developed a bit of a negative relationship with food. I didn’t want to eat, I ate the same three meals which were low calorie and quite frankly, a bit boring. I fell out of love with food for a little bit. Which sucked. For the last few months, I’m trying to get back on track with my food and health. Sometimes it goes a bit far, and yes, I do eat that whole BBQ chicken pizza to myself. And yes, I have gained a little more weight since I hit my life goal aim of being a size 8/10. But you know, I’m starting to love food again and in the process, trying to gain body and personal confidence in the progress.
Ruby’s message, alongside many other smaller artists is such an important one. Mental health with food isn’t just anorexia and other eating disorders (even though they are so important in regards to regaining health), but the way we think. Our diet’s are becoming so much more healthier than in recent years, but are we pushing it too far? Are we going to the other end of the scale? “Clean eating” and other ridiculous fitness trends are fast swamping and brainwashing our populations into a completely different type of disordered eating of it’s own. And it needs to stop. Specialised athletes do need to eat differently. We all do. We’re all individual. A learning what works best for us, is healthy for the body and mind and makes us feel good is so important !!
So you know, yes, don’t overeat ever day. Don’t feel pressured to tell your friends you want the salad instead of the pizza, you wanna feel good. But still, if you want that burger, if you want dessert. Treat yourself. You go girl. You deserve it.
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.