BMI is bullshit, and other things that are wrong
Plus a new section called "Can I air fry this?"
Preamble to the preamble.
This newsletter is late.
It’s late because I have been hesitant over whether to send it to you or not. The reason for sending is that I wish I had this information through my 20’s and 30’s and so I reckon it’s useful information for some, that you may or may not know.
The reason not to send is that it is a bit ranty, and dear reader, I want you to know it is that way because it is a very passionate topic of mine and I struggle to rein it in. So if you’re reading this and thinking “yikes a bee, calm down, Lou” just know I’m like this because the health and wellness industry makes me lose my shit a little.
At the very least, the new “can I air fry this” will lighten things a bit, no? Let’s find out!
Who doesn’t love Schitt’s Creek? I saw this on a Buzzfeed list, best of David Rose, and it has inspired, in no particular order, this list of things that are wrong. Or in some cases, right!
The aim is not to bitch and moan about things, but hopefully help you wade through the fitness crap often spouted by people who should know better. If this list isn’t for you, scroll on down to a new section “can I air fry this?” where I put foods in my air fryer and rate them out of ten as to how air fry-able they are and if they were delicious.
BMI is bullshit.
It was developed by a mathematician (Adolphe Quetelet), in the 19th century to study people and populations. He was not a physician, or a dietitian, and if you’re interested in the history of BMI - warning, it’s a gnarly story, the best summary is by Aubrey Gordon, host of super wonderful podcast, Maintenance Phase, and author of What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat.
You do not need to move more and eat less.
People are of course free to do whatever they want without judgement from me, but telling people who are already vulnerable that all they need to do is move more and eat less, well. It’s like the worst piece of wrong advice ever. Anyone still touting this bullshit in the fitness industry should be avoided. Actually, the more you move, the more your body will request to be fed. Go figure.
People who say “there are 24 hours in the day, you should be able to find an hour for exercise” can suck it.
People who say this have no idea about your life, your freedoms, or your responsibilities. Exercise is good for us, and can often help up to feel really good afterwards. No one is disputing that. But telling people that they should be able to do a thing, without fully understanding that person is just plain abhorrent. If you are on the receiving end of such garbage, please let it wash off like water down a duck’s back.
No pain, no gain.
Firstly, ugh, gross. Secondly, workouts that do not produce sweat or muscle fatigue are just as good as ones that do. A simple walk is the single most underrated exercise ever. Really! If you did no other movement besides a daily walk to the end of your drive/road and back for the rest of your life, you’d still be better off than doing no movement at all.
Never miss a Monday
Why? What happens? (spoiler alert.. literally nothing)
Fruit is bad.
This could not be more wrong. Fruit is really good for you and if you’re choosing something to eat and are in a space to choose your food, fruit is an awesome choice. Any type, any quantity, eat till you’re satisfied. I can’t believe I have to say this, but there are insta fitspo types saying fruit is bad and they are just wrong. While some fruit would be considered a simple carb, with a quick release of energy, people often forget all the good micronutrients in fruit that our body needs in order to thrive. Fruit is not the demon it’s made out to be. Eat up.
Carbs are bad.
Again, not at all.
There are three types of carbohydrate - sugar, starch, and fibre. Also known as simple, complex, (and fibre is also complex but a different kind). The starch carbs found in things like breads, pasta, rice, and starchy veggies take longer to break down, thus giving you a more sustained release of energy. Sugar carbs like some fruits, syrups, lollies etc are quicker to break down, sometimes giving some people a short sharp boost of energy. Fibre carbs are also a complex carb, but they can’t be digested by the body and so they pass through. Fibre does a bunch of other stuff, but I’ll save that for another day.
Some people feel yuck and gross after eating a carb heavy meal, so they avoid eating a lot of carbs. That’s a fairly normal behaviour towards a food or food group that makes us feel sick. However, removing an entire macronutrient because of a diet peddled to you by someone who is not a registered dietitian or registered nutritionist can be problematic and leave you malnourished. No one wants that.
Personally I love food laden with carbs. Like everything else, it comes down to the person doing the eating. For me, carbs are a wonderland.
Registered dietitians and registered nutritionists are the only people qualified to prescribe meal plans.
If you’ve been reading any of my waffle for a while, you’ll know I love me a good dietitian. Dietitians are degree qualified with a masters in dietetics and they know their stuff where food and eating is concerned. A registered nutritionist is also a good source of information on foods to eat, but keep in mind that RD’s are the only ones qualified to feed sick people, RN’s can feed healthy people.
Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, so check where they got their degree from, check if they are registered with a professional board, and you’re golden.
There are loads of courses and papers and things that other people can do, to give very basic advice, like me as a personal trainer I have done some food study but there is no way a personal trainer or a health coach or anyone not degree qualified in food should be giving complex food advice.
Speaking of personal trainers, if when they open their mouths and words come out warning you about type 2 diabetes, you must run quickly in the other direction. Unless they are a personal trainer also registered as a dietitian, they are not qualified to speak on any medical matters. They should shut the hell up, thank you British dude bro trainer with the nonsense book on nothing interesting.
Size does not equal health.
Thin and fat people can be healthy just as they also may not be. How to find out if you are healthy or not, is first to determine what health actually means to you. The very best place to start is to take note of how you feel living your life and tell your GP. If they think something sinister is going on, based on the things you tell them, they will order some blood tests, check your blood pressure, and have a general poke about. The results of all those tests and maybe some others will tell you if anything needs addressing, and your GP will either tell you how to do it or more likely send you to a specialist who will do that job a bit better.
We all know that exercise is good for us and if we want to live strong and healthy lives, regular movement is a good idea for that. However, for some people there is a tonne of trauma associated with exercise to be unpacked and dealt with, first. Creating a good relationship with exercise can take a really long time. Some days it’s going really well and other days it’s not as you thought it would be. You haven’t failed because you didn’t go to the gym today. I did not go to the gym today, and it does not mean I have failed and should quit because it's too hard. The dial that you can switch up and down depending on what you are able to achieve across relationships, movement, food, work, other stuff is probably one of the most healthiest practices you can do.
Can I air fry this?
Crumbed Camembert by Leader
8/10 - good, but my ADHD prevented me from checking on them enough so some split and made a bit of a mess.
While at the supermarket the other week, my daughter who is notoriously fussy around food, selected a box of crumbed camembert pieces.
“These look yum, can we air fry these?”
So we did, and because my daughter and I really love cheese, hot, melty camembert cheese, was always going to be a winner.
One thing to keep in mind. If you leave the camembert in the air fryer for a touch too long, the little pieces split and you get the hot melty cheese escaping out of the crumb, and into the bottom of your fryer basket. Not the end of the world, but keep checking on them for the best outcome.
We bought these crumbed camembert from Countdown in our usual weekly rage shop. You can probably get them from other places, other brands, I’m not sure, but it’ll be an occasional treat for us. Ours didn’t look like these ones below, though.
Thanks for reading this newsletter. I really appreciate the time you give to me for this and I hope you get some value from it. If you have any questions you can reply directly to this email or if you’ve landed here from a link, email email@example.com. You can also follow me on Twitter here, and instagram here.
Please remember nutrition is an interest of mine, I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, and information shared here is through my own personal study or a peer reviewed study I have nerded out on reading and sharing with you.
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Bloody love this Lou! Fabulous list! And yeah I've air fried those babies before but I always overdo them and the cheese splooges out because I like the outside crispy. 😁