I’ve meant to write about this “issue” for a long time but I wanted to figure out how to do so without sounding too pissed off.
It drives me crazy when food bloggers publish a post and make it sound like they’re offering something healthy, when in truth they’re posting a dessert recipe or a meal that is so imbalanced it could cause cardiac arrest or put you into a diabetic coma. The only reason they’re doing this is to keep and/or improve their SEO rankings (Search Engine Optimization).
On New Year’s day I was sitting at the table after breakfast reading my Twitter feed. I came across an article from a site that I follow that made me want to lash out.
It’s New Year’s Day and of course this is one smart food blogger posting on January 1st. The blogger published an article about how to “detox” for the New Year and paired it with a new e-book based on their “healthiest meals” to get readers to subscribe to their newsletter.
There is nothing wrong with this food blogger’s website in question, but 70-80% of their recipes are vegan and gluten-free deserts.
Wellness is the process of choosing health-promoting behaviours to enhance your well-being, the quality of your life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
When you eat healthy, you nourish your body and feel good. Taking care of your body gives you the vitality to be more, accomplish more, and focus on what matters most in your life.Here’s an article I wrote on what I consider to be healthy eating.
The author of the blog used the word detox a few times, but with no real understanding of what a detox is. Detox is a medical term and the word has been misappropriated by people who don’t understand its definition. In most cases it would be better to use the word, “cleanse” (even though that too has implications that I won’t discuss here).
The author paired their new “detox eBook” with a grain-free vegan dessert. While certainly a healthier dessert (I checked out the ingredients), this again has nothing at all to do with a detox. Even though the dessert doesn’t use refined sugar, eating too many foods containing natural sugars (like fruits) are not good for your diet if your goal is to loose weight.
Note – I took the time to review the author’s free eBook. There are lots of healthy recipes, full of vegetables, but the book does not offer a detox menu. Sorry, but chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast do not a detox make!
If your goal is weight-loss, or if you have a health condition like diabetes, then you need to eat to support your body’s needs and your personal goals. For example, eating 2-3 servings of fruit per day might be appropriate for someone trying to gain lean muscle, or a highly active person. For a diabetic, or someone overweight, to keep your insulin levels stable, and to promote burning body fat as a source of fuel you would want to limit fruit intake to one, at most two servings, per day.
Reading further down the author’s post, the unbelievable happened, and I quote,
“We use the term “detox” loosely.”
Then why the hell bother using the word at all?
The simple answer is this: the owners of the blog are highly successful and want to keep up their SEO rankings and increase their subscribers with their so-called healthy, vegan, gluten-free recipes. I believe they are following a trend which is great for their SEO rankings, however, how credible should a site be if its main focus is on healthy desserts? Is this not counterproductive to “healthy” itself?
I’m sick of that approach – publishing for the sake of rankings.
I don’t do that on my blog.
One thing you can expect from me is honesty. I will not write about something that I don’t understand. I will admit to not knowing the answer. I will also not write a post just for Google rankings at the expense of offering you something of value, be it a healthy, easy recipe, or an approach to fitness or wellness. I also eat desserts – I’m not being a hypocrite, because I know how too much sugar negatively affects your body and mind.
My hope for 2015 is that food bloggers like the unnamed one above switch from caring only about “appearance” and ranking and focus on quality and integrity first, and then how to best promote their content and to increase their subscribers.
By all means if you want to publish a gluten-free, vegan desserts blog, just do it and do it well. But please, don’t misuse terms like “healthy” or “detox” for the sake of rankings.
There is too much fluff online that is gussied up with pretty photography or flashy graphics. When I launched my blog last March I struggled with using iPhone and stock photography. I knew I had to buy a DSLR camera to compete in the food blogging sphere and I eventually did.
Just because a blogger is using 15 gorgeous mouth-watering pictures of a meal doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.
Unfortunately these are often the blogs with the biggest followings and influence. I’m not saying that these blogs are bad. Many of these food blogs offer helpful recipes that are good for you and could improve your health. Conversely, many of these pretty picture food blogs have no damn clue about what’s considered healthy and yet they keep using that word in their post titles.
It’s time to let go of the need for pretty pictures and instead embrace quality content, be it a long read or a well-researched article with low quality images.
He’s my hope for 2015: that as blog readers we all become more discerning of quality and helpful content versus pretty pictures and trending words and concepts. Let’s get real!
If you’d like to try a 14 or 30-day challenge to improve your health for the New Years, then try one of my Healthy Eating Challenges instead.
These challenges are not based on eliminating, detoxing, or starving yourself. They are based on creating healthy eating or lifestyle habits – practical and actionable changes that work.
It’s about eating a healthy balance of good fats, clean sources of protein, more nutrient-dense foods (kale, spinach, berries, etc.), as little processed food as possible, limiting refined sugars, and controlling over-eating.
Like I say at the end of every post…
Eat well to be well!