Context – the missing ingredient within the nutrition industry

“I need 5 recipes hishat are good for recovery and why, and I need them for tomorrow”

That’s how it starts. That’s how the new content is put together for many magazines. I went through a stage where I regularly said yes to these requests. Sat down and put hours of work into giving some good recipes and more importantly the context of how they should be used.

Fast forward a month later. Reading through the magazine to see that your recipes and advice are part of a much larger piece, so have lost all context, or have been dramatically misquoted.

Over the last 12 months after meeting some good journalists, who want you to curate content and be part of the journey, I realised it didn’t have to be this way. If you want to change the messaging in the industry you have to go about it in a different way (not provide bit part comments to fill someone else’s agenda).

So here it is. This is this first monthly blog I’m committing to. As I sat down to write this I felt pretty excited. The sun is shining and have a cup of tea beside me to start the day. All is well in North London.


So what’s the aim?

We all appreciate the nutrition sector is experiencing a huge amount of growth, but also talking to clients, there has never been so much confusion and mixed messaging – so my first aim with this blog is to try and cut through a lot of the noise and spin out there.

I’m going to be talking about topics I come across each week – questions from athletes, performers, interesting articles, new research worth knowing, events, innovative design and happenings in food (admittedly this maybe a bit London-centric!), and a sprinkling of new recipes.

It’s all my own thoughts. Not someone else’s agenda. It will hopefully evolve as we go…it’s definitely no Murakami to start with :0)

Woman holding a mobile phone and enjoying a breakfast.

Who are you talking to?

It seems pretty basic point – but I think that in the past I have produced articles that colleagues and students have enjoyed, but haven’t really influenced my clients – so now this is for them – those looking to use nutrition to improve their fitness, improve body composition (lose fat / increase muscle) and optimise their health. This is aimed at being an extension of my practitioner work, to offer some insight to those whom I don’t work with directly.

Context is king

Over the last 5 years column inches related to nutrition and fitness have increased dramatically, but these often lack any continuity – a series of recipes, some supplement adverts, and some research shoehorned in.

The issue with the research quoted is there no consistent thread – a study highlights we should take more vitamin C one month, and the next month another research article is quoted saying this will have negative health outcomes. Often research is cherry picked just to highlight the positive health benefits – but importantly there is no consistent ‘take home message’ on how this should be applied to the diet.

This has led to many clients recently adding lots of ‘superfoods’ to their diet (e.g. chia seeds, cold-pressed juices or coconut oil), in the belief that this will lead to a greater health benefit – but more often than not, just a greater energy (calorie) intake which is preventing them losing weight – their initial main goal!

I feel the challenge here isn’t to provide more content – We’re swimming in it – the challenge is to encourage clients to understand nutrition and their body, so they can use the good content and discard the rest.

That’s the scene set for this month. To finish please see the ‘recipe of the month’ below:

Recipe of the month:

I’ve had the pleasure of working with BBCGoodFood around their Marathon Nutrition Hub, which contains articles, recipes and meal plans around training. For the first month I’ve picked the following recipe from this site:

Mexican chicken stew with Quinoa

This recipe is a popular options for a recovery meal post training. High quality protein and low GI carbohydrates. It’s easy to prepare and great to share with family or friends: