Thursday, May 19, 2016

Carrots and cupcakes

Last month I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always thought would be amazing: give a TED talk. I was lucky enough to be one of the speakers at the TEDx Queenstown event. 

I realise that in today’s busy world, finding 15 minutes to watch a video is quite a big ask. But if you do have the time, I hope you’ll give it a look.

Those of you who’ve watched TED talks online will know that they are about ‘ideas worth spreading’. My idea was really a distillation of my sixteen years working in food media; and more directly, the eleven years I’ve spend working on Healthy Food Guide. It was a personal message, born of my love of eating well, and a little out of frustration at the way we tend to make the notion of healthy eating a lot more complicated than it needs to be. To me, this is an idea I would love to see spread.

We’re surrounded by (often conflicting) advice about how and what to eat, which makes us confused, and creates the false impression that no-one can agree on how to eat for optimal health. Whereas in fact, the basics of healthy eating are simple; have been known for decades and are widely agreed upon. What’s more: we all know the basics.

So my talk is a reminder and a reassurance. It’s intended to be a positive message, not a preachy one. I go through six simple points about how to think about what to eat. I emphasise that food is really important – and it deserves to be given time and importance – but that we also need to relax and remember that food is a joy and it shouldn’t make us feel anxious or guilty. And that perhaps imposing rules on ourselves; dividing foods into ‘allowed’ and ‘not allowed’ and getting too bogged down in the minute detail of nutrients in the diet is not, ultimately, going to serve our health.

If none of that grabs you, I also introduce the South Pole Diet: the next breakthrough in weight loss! 

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