I don't usually post anything on a Wednesday, I usually stick to a post about food on a Tuesday and a post about fitness on a Thursday, and maybe a Saturday post if I have something to say. However, there is something I need to get off my chest which has been annoying me for a while now so I'm just going to write it down and hope that it gets out to the right people so that they stop once and for all. Brace yourself, this is going to be a bit of a rant.
Recently I got contacted by a brand (let's call them Brand N) asking me to promote their product – fine – they said that my way of living perfectly reflected their brand and message – fine. I checked out their social media, all looked fine. I replied and asked for more info. Then I began doing some further digging of my own. I never promote or work with brands who I don't believe in. This isn't to say you won't see me eating a bar of Galaxy chocolate or a Cadbury's Wispa (fav chocolates) but that's different, when I eat those I know that they are bad for me. I know that they are full of additives and preservatives. I know that after more than 20 years of eating them my body craves their sugary chemicals. The cravings are reducing but I don't expect a 20+ year habit to change in 6 months to a year. Anyway, my point is those chocolate bars are not trying to be anything else. They are just tantalisingly addictive and I know that they are bad for me. So much so that I strongly believe that it's only a matter of time before "junk food" comes with a health warning to tell the user that after an hour they will feel lethargic, dizzy, potentially suffer from a drastic drop in sugar levels and get the face sweats (all symptoms I get when I eat too many sweets).
Anyway, the point is I began my research into the product from Brand N and the first ingredient was Guar Gum. I had no idea what this was so I used my trusty friend Google to get some more info. "Guar Gum is a white flour-like substance made from an Eastern Indian seed" – fine. "Use small amounts as a thickener, binder and volume enhancer" – not so fine. "It is used as a laxative and in treating diarrhoea, constipation and in reducing cholesterol" – erm, no thanks. Brand N also shout from the roof-tops that their product is gluten free. This to me means it's a faddy product trying to be fashionable. Approximately 1% of people have celiac disease (meaning that they are intolerant to gluten), this includes one of my best friends. I know for her that it's a big deal and she has to be very careful with what she eats. For the rest of us, gluten is not a problem. In my opinion, companies that promote that they are gluten free louder than anything else about their product means that they are trying a bit too hard. What works for me is reading the ingredients label, if there's an ingredient I don’t recognise I give it a quick google but most of the time if there is a long list of chemicals I put it back on the shelf. Again, this isn't to say I never eat a biscuit or that I eat a completely "clean" diet, I don’t. However, if I do eat a biscuit I know what's gone into that. I know that it's bad for me and there lies a big difference. I think it's really disingenuous and potentially harmful to trick people into believing that you are selling them a "healthy" product when you know it is stuffed full of stabilizers and chemicals. One huge problem with today's society surrounding food and fitness is lack of knowledge. We need support from brands to help us to learn, we do not need to be tricked into purchasing their products just so they can make a quick profit off a fad.
If you hadn't guessed already this is something that I am pretty passionate about. I truly believe that the performance you get out of your body depends on the fuel you put in.
(In case you were wondering, I politely declined Brand N's offer and told them it was because I wasn't happy with the ingredients list. And the pictures ... they are just photos of me and my dog Gatsby because I didn't want to use a picture of Guar Gum).