Friday, September 16, 2011

Nourishment vs purification

I write a weekly column for a Bulgarian women's website and I love it. I get to introduce different topics of interest to young women, ranging from nutrition education, recipes and current news to staying in shape and even beauty tips. As we know beauty comes from the inside, so the common topic of proper nutrition runs through all my pieces in one form or another.

More than anything I enjoy looking at the reactions of women to my advice and the different topics I present. There are anywhere from 2000 to 20 000 reads of each article and readers get to both rate articles and share them, so it's pretty clear what their reaction is within a few days of posting.

So far, the topics of articles with most reads, votes and shares are:

1. Best fruits for weight loss
2. How to properly wash fruits and vegetables
3. Using the mind for weight loss
4. Forming new habits
5. Tips for drinking more water
6. Detox diets
7. Any recipe with fruit
8. Why people overeat and what to do about it
9. Tips for sexy legs (exercises included)
10. Tips for sexy arms (exercises included)

and the highest rated of all time: causes and types of cellulite, is cellulite a modern disease and what foods to eliminate to reduce cellulite (a series of 5 articles)

To my utmost surprise, here are the articles that get read and rated the least.

1. Anti cellulite foods that you should add to your diet
2. Emotional eating reasons
3. Emotional eating solutions
4. The truth about muscle tone (aka lift weights)
5. The truth about meal frequency
6. The truth about sweeteners

Here is what I make of the number of reads, ratings, comments and re-posts:

1. You have a problem with your style of eating and it's not you, so there must be some food out there that will solve it
2. You need to eat new and clean foods to provoke change
3. You need to think yourself thin
4. The more you eliminate from your menu and your life, the more successful you will be
5. Beauty comes from deprivation
6. The body needs purification
7. If you don't have what you need, you are not working hard enough
8. If you have more of the right information, you can become perfect

Can you see an onion's layers worth of misinterpreted intention, misguided information, but most of all, lack of understanding, compassion and love for the emotional and sensitive human beings that we are?  I surely do. Diets that require cleaning, detoxing, getting rid of something, purification and elimination, to the extreme of colon therapy and plastic surgery to remove what we do not want or understand, seem to be the easiest to accept. Give us fruit, water, cucumbers, arugula, tea....those are all good and clean. Better yet, how about some weight loss pills? That should fix the butt that just won't bulge! Get rid of what is in the way of your dreams and let's just pretend it never existed.

As soon as I write about actual nourishment, care, understanding, building, adding, creating and growing, the reads go down. Add healthy fats, add rest, add proteins, add animal foods, add prayer time, add vitamins, minerals, soups, strength training....and my reads go down. I am not helping in removal, and not just that: I am asking for addition. Add something good and let your body heal. Seek to understand. Love.

See the self - harm vs self - care juxtaposition? As if we can only be made perfect and right through some act of self rejection, because we are not good enough for food, nutrients, love, growth.

Without going all Freudian or worse, all hippie voodoo on you, I just urge you to think about those things in your own quiet time, whether you are a woman, or someone working with women and their nutrition. We have both a responsibility to ourselves and others to start waking up to our emotional selves and stop looking at information and willpower as some universal solutions to all our issues. If the issues are coming from the inside, so will the solutions, don't you think?


  1. Thank you for this post Galya!! Very eye opening, especially the Ted talk video you shared, thank you!

  2. It is wonderful that the video resonated with you, Jenae!

  3. Lots of wisdom here!



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