Our World
Listen On Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

This episode is sponsored by Purity Coffee

Use code QUIETTHEDIET for 20% off your first order! 

Season 2 Episode 12:

Everything Wrong with Nutrition on Social Media

with Michelle Shapiro RD and Nicki Parlitsis, MS, RD, CPT


Episode Summary:


In this episode, Michelle and Nicki are back with a (slightly controversial) episode to wrap up the season 😬 They’re getting into the issues with the current landscape of social media, why you see conflicting nutrition information, and how exactly to decipher it all! 


They discuss: 

  • The issues with HAES, Intuitive Eating, Conventional Nutrition, AND Holistic nutrition accounts on social media
  • Nutritionism - what is it & why is it a problem? 
  • Why all foods do NOT fit 
  • How to sift through the noise on social media 
  • Supplement ads - yes or no?

Subscribe to get your weekly dose of NYC-style-sarcasm, nutritional nuance and messages of healing.



20% off Purity Coffee - Code QUIETTHEDIET
  (1st order)
Follow Nicki on IG @nutrition.nicki

Work with Michelle and her free resources: 

Quiet the Diet
Podcast Page 

Work 1-on-1 with a functional Registered Dietitian at Michelle Shapiro Nutrition LLC
Learn more about the practice
Follow the pod on IG
Follow Michelle on IG
Sign up for the Newsletter
Join our FREE membership community! 
Functional nutrition conference 2023

Subscribe to the Quiet the Diet Podcast
Video Poster Image


(14:30) Issues with Intuitive Eating & All Foods Fit accounts

(25:15) Issues with Holistic/Functional Nutrition accounts

(32:10) Why different Dietitians have differing recommendations

(39:55) Issues with Conventional Nutrition accounts 

(43:42) Supplements in the online world

(51:00) How to sift through social media noise

(1:00:00) Why our view of “normal” is skewed

(1:04:20) What exactly to look for on social media




What’s Wrong with Nutrition on Social Media

I have been a dietitian for 9 years, over nine years now. And really, so much of what I’ve seen in the nutrition world has changed based on what the consensus is of society and how the world views our bodies and how the world views our mental and physical health. And what I’ve noticed in recent years and I know I’ve talked about in other episodes is that the nutrition world has kind of become divided into different groups and different types of dietitians are now preaching what seems like completely opposite ideas.

I fall somewhere in the middle of all of these different practices. So during this episode, I’m going to be talking about different kinds of dietitian professionals, different kinds of nutrition professionals that aren’t dieticians, who I still really trust and respect. And want you to understand that I know that all of these nutrition professionals are doing their jobs for the right reasons. They are intentionally trying to help people in the way that they know how to help people.

What ends up happening is that these nutrition professionals or dietitians, end up preaching something that they feel or really the word I’m thinking of is believed to be true. Two different types of dietitians can think two totally different things are true. A dietitian who helps people with weight loss might think exactly the opposite about nutrition issues as someone who works with eating disorders.

So where I get confused or nervous about what I see on social media, and that’s really what this episode is about is how to help you navigate social media and to explain to you what you’re really seeing on social media. My concern is when anything goes in too extreme of a direction when Intuitive Eating practitioners start posting things like all foods fit and advertising unhealthy foods. When weight loss or even functional dietitians end up posting cure all like this one supplement will help you with everything kind of posts.

I want to help you navigate the nuance of this because we already know like diet culture is bad, we kind of got that stuff down packed. Where I always want to live and explore is the in between. So we’ll talk about the extremes of what we see on social media. When it comes to nutrition professionals what we see when it comes to non nutrition professionals like doctors, for instance, who are extremely qualified in their fields, but most of them not all of them are have no nutritional understanding. So there are times when a health coach might have a little more of a comprehensive nutrition education than even a doctor.

While I want everyone to be preaching, health and hope and healing, if there are just medical doctors who have no nutrition education, preaching about one superfood over another or saying this one food is a cure all fix all it can be really confusing for the consumer of that content. So while I want everyone to contribute and we want not only to view dietitians as the only nutrition experts, we want everyone to elevate together.

That being said I get real sassy in this episode so is Nicki – she actually more kind of calm than I am in this episode – but I want you to know that coming into it I’m aware that any doctor and nutrition professional or dietitian who’s posting something on social media I believe in my heart is doing it with the best of intent to truly, truly help people.

So if I’m a little bit harsh on the messaging, it’s only because I feel extra protective of you, the people who are looking at this information the people who’ve expressed to me how confusing or harmful this information may be, but I will never point out a single practitioner. I will never point out someone’s account.

We’re going to talk in this kind of general way of what I’m seeing with all these different types of nutrition professionals when they get to the extreme, when the extreme appears on social media, and what you can do to arm yourself when you’re looking at this. And really just explain to you what the heck is going on when you’re seeing these different posts. We can’t wait to see you in there.

Our Views on the Social Media “Wellness” Landscape

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

What’s been burning both of us is to talk about what we’re seeing on social media regarding nutrition. And it’s funny because when I really made Quiet the Diet, my goal was to make Quiet the Diet about real nutrition information, real functional medicine information, but also about dispelling a lot of what I see in the nutrition world and in the context of society and how what we preach in nutrition changes.

The science changes. Our perception of the science changes, and that all happens from cases of morality of society changing. So this episode is going to be what trends we’re seeing on social media, and really just for us to lay the landscape of why this has happened in the first place, and also how we can safeguard ourselves, you know, you the listener, while viewing social media, while looking through it.

I will tell you that this is going to be a very spicy episode. but I’m gonna stay cool and calm, but I get revved up. I know Nicki gets revved up about this because for me, I feel like the fact that healthcare information is monetized in the first place is some, and that food companies have marketing that, you know, the fact that healthcare is a business in the first place is already puts us at a huge disadvantage for getting true information, I think.

So I get very nervous with what I see on social media. I get very, for consumers, I get very frustrated because I see like really like guerrilla sales tactics all over the place. And I also see just what I don’t believe is, again, and I’m saying this in a specific way, what I don’t believe is true nutrition information. Now, we’re gonna talk about how subjective nutrition information is in a moment, I would say that a lot of what I see is not what I would consider true factual nutrition information. What do you think, Nicki?

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

I mean, I would be just crazy if I said I didn’t agree with you because I do. I feel like we’ve had these conversations. I’ve had these conversations with other friends of mine that are dietitians.

It can be frustrating sometimes, particularly when you’re looking at nutrition information, because since everyone eats, a lot of influencers tend to put themselves out there as nutrition experts because they’re eating three, four, five times a day. And just because I have feet doesn’t make me a podiatrist. You know what I mean?

“What I Eat in a Day Videos”

For some reason with nutrition, people look at it very differently. There’s a huge trend of what I eat in a day videos, which can be great for ideas, for healthy meals, etc. But I would say, I don’t know, 80% of them, 90% of them are starting with an ab check. So people are showing their abs and then showing what they eat in a day. There’s this implication that if you eat the same exact thing as me, you will look the same way as me.

Us being in the nutrition world, we know that’s not the case. Bodies are different. People are different. In the fitness world, people are showcasing a bulk that they’re on. They’re eating 3,000 calories, and they’re showcasing their abs. And I was on a bulk. I couldn’t eat 3,000 calories. That just isn’t how my body works.

But we have to be able to look at these videos and accounts on social media with some knowledge that we’ll give you today in terms of “how am I actually supposed to take this information?” Like, what’s the truth? What’s not? How do I even decipher what is and what isn’t?

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

What you’re saying about the what I eat in a day is really important because Nicki, even if you and I, like we’re similar-ish heights, you have a tremendous amount more muscle mass than I do. Even two people who don’t look that dissimilar, I think we look pretty dissimilar, but we’re in the same realm of looking the same, let’s say. Me being a person who has lost 100 pounds, like I lost a lot of muscle in that process too.

Again, what you eat versus what I eat is so different and the way that our bodies process it is so different. So when you’re looking at a person, you have to understand you’re looking at not only who that person is right now, but what their entire medical and health and nutrition history has been before.

So that is absolutely scary that people are doing the ab checks and then doing the, or the body checks, they call them, right, and then they’re saying here’s what I eat in a day because they are very intentionally drawing the link saying what I eat equals this body and a person who’s always been in a smaller body again, versus someone like me, there’s no way that our bodies are going to process things the same. We don’t have the same cellular makeup. It’s not, it’s definitely not going to happen. So right off the bat, that’s an issue.

We kind of know at this point, like what’s the really toxic social media stuff, right? People get very triggered by before and after pictures at times, that’s dependent on the person. We know anything that’s pro eating disorder, we can pretty much spot it out at this point. I think people have really strayed away from that.

What I want to talk about today is what’s in the middle that scares me. Because obviously someone saying you should eat as little as possible and move as much as possible and starve yourself. We can instantly see that as a problem.

When I was growing up, we had pro anorexia pages, and we weren’t even knowing they were bad. It was just totally different. Now we have leveled up. In the sneaky Diet Culture realm, there are people saying you can have food freedom, but also count your macros at the same time. Counting macros can be food freedom. We’ve talked about this on Quiet the Diet

The premise of Quiet the Diet has always been bridging the gap between functional nutrition and body positivity / intuitive eating. So in the nutrition world, let’s say we’re breaking it down into, three points. 1) Functional nutrition and holistic health, 2) Conventional nutrition and Registered Dietitians, and 3) Health at Every Size (HAES) / Intuitive Eating practitioners. In each category we see different practitioners doing different things. And there’s extremes in every category.

Issues with HAES/ Intuitive Eating on Social Media

On the furthest side, on the Health At Every Size (HAES) and body positivity side, we have the All Foods Fit videos. This is not every single Intuitive Eating practitioner. And what I want to make clear is that Intuitive Eating is not just “oh I want to intuitively eat Oreos all the time.” That’s not what Intuitive Eating is at all. There are 10 principles. They’re scientifically backed for people to have a more positive and supportive relationship with their bodies and food.

But I also don’t believe that intuitive eating is an answer to physical health problems, basically at all, to be honest with you. That’s my controversial opinion, but I do love intuitive eating as a means to connect with our bodies and have a better relationship with food. And that’s pretty much as far as it extends. And I’ve gotten more strong in the stance as time goes on.

What’s Wrong with “All Foods Fit” Videos

The other day Nicki sent me one of those All Foods Fit videos. And what I mean by all foods fit is the premise that “no food’s going to kill you. No food even relates to health problems. You can just eat what you want intuitively.” And this is where it’s “fake” intuitive eating. Because that’s not actually what Intuitive Eating is, right? Intuitive eating is a system and a set of principles to help you develop a better and more in tune relationship with food. It is not “eat whatever you want” at all. You have to tap in with yourself. It’s totally not like that.

So some of these All Foods Fit practitioners are making videos, and this is a total stereotype. This is absolutely not accurate for every single one of these practitioners, but a lot of them are naturally very thin-bodied practitioners, many of whom openly disclose that they’ve had eating disorders in the past.

Nicki, tell us what was in this video you sent me.

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

I’ve seen this many, many times from many, many different, let’s say, influencers, but what bothers me more is when I see it from practitioners, especially Dietitians. So, someone who promotes themselves as an intuitive eating dietitian, and, you know, for example, looking at like a large Starbucks drink and you’re saying, “here’s my order. This excites me every day, and it has three pumps of one flavor, three pumps of another flavor.”

We know there’s a certain amount of sugar and a certain amount of other, just things that we might not want to be having first thing in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, or really kind of at all. But on a routine basis, let’s load all of these things into one drink, This person in particular doesn’t promote their body, but at the same time, they’re a very thin-bodied person.

People may look at this and think, oh, I can have that and look a certain way. But then what comes from that, because I have also been on that end of Instagram thinking that way, and then there’s this disappointment that comes in when inevitably you think that there’s something wrong with you when you can’t drink a Frappuccino every day and look the way that these people look. But we’re not even, and from a practitioner standpoint, we’re talking about internal health. That should be our main focus as dietitians.

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

Absolutely right.

The Responsibility of Dietitians on Social Media

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

In a world where we’re increasingly moving toward a level of metabolic dysfunction, and we need to really be doing everything that we can to promote things that lead to proper metabolic function, optimal function of the body, we shouldn’t be promoting certain things that might lead people astray.

And we’re not talking about trying to create food fears in people, like of course, we don’t want people to fully restrict, but at the same time, I think you had posted this recently on Instagram, what we now look at as just eating a healthy diet is now considered restriction because of the world that we live in. We’re just surrounded by a wide variety of food access that to just maintain a pretty normal healthy diet in the context of the past couple hundred years, that’s now restriction.

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

I need to pull apart some of the really important things you said. So first of all, what is a nutritionist? What is a Dietitian? What is our job, right? Our job is to talk about the nutritional effects of food, to talk about the context and health of how food impacts us on every single level, a biological, it could be even a spiritual level, like these dietitians talk about, it’s fine, all these things.

And I always, of course, talk about the whole of the person and that’s what real functional nutrition is, right? It’s holistic, the whole of the body. But we are first and foremost nutrition professionals. We are dietetics professionals, right? Which means that we have to focus on nutrition as being a major feature of our health.

When I see a Dietitian posting about drinking a crazy Frappuccino and saying, you can have this too, this is my favorite order. Promoting, first of all, a food company, you’re promoting, they’re good. Starbucks is good. They’re like a trillion dollar company, I’m sure. I think they’re fine. They don’t need your promotion.

It bothers me on a food accessibility level, if people are following this information for free and they have seven, the $7 drinks, she got like a venti frappuccino with, I’m not kidding, Nicki. I looked it up after was like 50, 60 grams of sugar or something like that.

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

I did spend like 10, 15 minutes after calculating the sugar in it. Cause I was like, this is crazy.

What is Objectively Healthy

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

If we can’t look to nutrition professionals to provide nutrition information, who are we going to look to? Right? And I know that social media again is free. This is a private commodity that we are electing to put up, but it is so counterintuitive for a dietitian to be posting, promoting something that is objectively unhealthy.

Let me go over what objectively unhealthy means. Okay. Nutrition information is always changing. Our understanding of nutrition information is changing, but the mechanisms of how our pancreas and our cells process sugar is not changing. It is absolutely not changing. And you know why it’s not changing? Because we can tangibly look at someone’s blood sugar in real time and see what the impacts are.

If your blood sugar goes above a certain level, it’s dangerous. And if your blood sugar goes below a certain level, it’s dangerous. So this information in my head is now going, as I’m talking, is now escalating to dangerous, right? That’s enough to put someone at a major metabolic disadvantage in the long-term and actually a potential medical issue in the short-term.

So it’s nice, and I understand that a lot of these practitioners truly are doing this because they had eating disorders themselves and they do not want to demonize certain foods, but at some point we have to ethically understand that as dietitians, as nutritionists, and I’m speaking not only to you, the listener, but to other practitioners, that we need to know what’s objectively healthy and not objectively healthy.

I can promise you there’s not one person in the world that needs a Frappuccino and that a Frappuccino will benefit on any level. Now, again. maybe from a psychological perspective saying, hey, I can have Frappuccinos and nothing bad will happen to me if I have an eating disorder is important for someone. But I still don’t believe that people with eating disorders necessarily need this dietitian to be promoting this food commodity. I don’t believe that is important in healing at all.

I would say, by the time you’re seeing these messages, your algorithm is probably skewed into the intuitive eating paradigm. And what’s the best way to do that? Again, these practitioners who are, some of them are not in this all foods fit model. Many of them are focused on just hunger and satiety cues. That’s amazing. But they are also not disseminating nutrition information anymore. They are talking specifically about the psychology of food, which is part of our degree, but it is not all of our degree. We’re missing the big chunk of our degree.

We Need More Balanced Nutrition Content on Social Media

You know what the other problem is? Eating disorders are deadly. They are important. People suffering from them are important. And their needs are important. They are not the general population who’s seeing things on social media. We know that dietitians disproportionately suffer from eating disorders, a lot of them. I think the information is skewed as in like, I’m seeing like 70% of dietitians posting this and we’re looking at 10-15% of people who are suffering from some sort of eating disorder.

So the information is not being targeted to the right people because it’s being targeted to the general population. I think there needs to be resources for people who are suffering with eating disorders. Like more than anything in the world, I think it’s essential. And I also think there needs to be resources for the 70% of people who are in larger bodies and who being in larger bodies impacts their health. I think that they deserve information too.

And a lot of the intuitive eating information is relevant to everyone, but much of it is not.

Why Food is NOT Medicine

So, what does it mean to be objective in nutrition information and how do we know if it’s subjective or objective? So I think the important thing to know is that when functional dietitians look at nutrition information, what we want to understand is how does food interact in our environment? There is something called Nutritionism, which is the idea that one food component or one food can drastically impact our health. And I think that’s something we want to get away from.

Especially on social media, I see a lot of like “the top 10 most anti-inflammatory foods” or things like that. And I see this from my functional RDs who are amazing practitioners too. And there’s amazing intuitive eating practitioners too, but we can’t look at food as medicine. And I’m a functional dietitian. When I say food isn’t medicine, what I mean is that food is a healing agent as a part of a greater toolbox for sure, but food is not like the cure-all for every ailment you have. You still have to look at every single other aspect of your lifestyle.

Food is not going to completely heal or cure most advanced autoimmune conditions. It is a tremendously important tool and it’s certainly… when you’re consuming the wrong foods can make things worse. But I think we overemphasize in the functional nutrition social media space, how impactful food is on a healing journey. And I think we under emphasize it in the intuitive eating space.

Why Intuitive Eating Does Not Work for Chronic Illness

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

No, I completely agree. And I think just in my own personal experience, going through some autoimmune stuff and going through certain things prior to my nutrition degree, there was a hyper fixation on the food because it tends to be, I mean, no pun intended, honestly, the lowest hanging fruit because it’s all people talk about. There’s all this information out there about food: this food can cure you, don’t have this food, eating this food one time will just set off all of your symptoms for three weeks (which in some cases may happen).

But I think what it comes down to is it can be very, very confusing to be seeing both messaging. So, especially when you’re sitting there dealing with either a new diagnosis or symptoms that are just unexplained and you’re just so confused on what to do. You’re seeing all foods fit and you’re like, oh, maybe I should just be able to eat everything. Why can’t I just have the foods that I wanna have and feel better?

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

Wait, I need to hold you there for a second because that’s really, really important. There’s two pieces to that. So people who have chronic illness are looking at the intuitive eating pages and feeling something like this: It’s so unfair that I can’t eat those foods. How is this person like in a body that I would love to have, they seem so healthy, they’re in this body that looks great aesthetically and they’re consuming freaking frappuccinos. And I can’t even have a tomato without having a rash or something like that.

It feels like very, and I like to say this a lot, which is that intuitive eating is a privilege for people. It is a privilege for people who are not suffering from chronic illness. We know with our clients, Nicki, that they could be in really deep symptomatic states and they might not be tolerating a lot. And our goal is to get them to tolerate more. We don’t try to cut foods down. We’re always trying to add foods back in after they’ve been on these long journeys.

But that’s the first thing they’re probably feeling is like, damn, I literally have to do two hours of things to get out of bed every morning. Like I have to make sure I do my exercise. I have to drink water before I even stand up. I have to do all these things. And they’re just walking to Starbucks and getting a frappuccino and they feel great. Like that’s not an inclusive feeling. That’s not a good feeling to have.

And then also they’re getting this information of the unfairness. And on the other hand, they’re thinking, maybe the reason I’m chronically ill is just because I have a bad relationship with food. Maybe if I just had these Starbucks Frappuccino, it would heal all of my autoimmune conditions. That’s what intuitive eating says. It can help with diabetes and all these medical conditions. Maybe I just have, maybe my bad relationship with food is the reason that I’m not healthy.

Nutrition Confusion with Chronic Symptoms

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

Yeah. And there’s so there’s obviously these two categories is, you know, someone who’s witnessing all of this from a chronic illness standpoint and someone who’s witnessing it not from a chronic illness standpoint. But speaking first from a chronic illness standpoint, there’s, we can tolerate different things at different stages of our healing journey. So maybe intuitive eating is something we can graduate to after we have gone through all of these, you know, different. components of our healing journey, which by the way, our nutrition is a part of it, but it’s not all of it.

And then there’s the other side of things where we’re then seeing these holistic accounts that are saying, oh, the reason why you are still having symptoms is because you’re having a tablespoon of creamer in your coffee or because you’re having coffee, because you’re having a bite of… one thing, that’s the reason why your symptoms are still there. Not because you’re chronically stressed, not because you’re not sleeping, not because you’re not hydrating or don’t have adequate mineral status, but it’s because of just the food. It’s only the food.

Then you’re hopping back and forth and seesawing between these two different types of accounts, and then you’re just lost. Then it’s like, now I’m so confused. I have no idea. Either I should be eating nothing or I should be eating everything. I think the problem with social media in general is that it lacks nuance. It lacks individualization. That people are putting information out there for the general public…

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

Or for themselves . A lot of people are really putting it out for themselves because they wanna show their Starbucks thing and they wanna say, look at what I’m doing, look what I’m doing. Let’s be real about that too for a second.

How to Detect Nutrition Misinformation on Social Media

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

Yeah, and there’s two components of it. I think there’s, in my opinion, when it comes to influencers or people who are posting, I think there’s the group of people that are posting for primarily clickbait. So they’re like, oh, I know this’ll get a lot of comments. This’ll get a lot of likes. This’ll get a lot of shares. Even if it’s coming from like a negative standpoint, but that’ll just bump me up in rankings and then I’ll get more followers. I’ll have more brand deals, et cetera. It’s a money-making machine.

And then there’s the other side of things where I do think some people post these things because they’re like, this helped me in my healing journey. I had anorexia, I had restrictive eating, and so in drinking these frappuccinos, it saved my health. And so that can be great for you. I’m happy that worked for you, but I would argue that the majority of people need, first of all, everyone needs a completely different approach. And second of all, the majority of people, that’s not what’s going to help them. And as a practitioner, it’s your job to know that just because something helped you in your anecdotal experience, doesn’t mean that it’s gonna help the majority of people.

Better Coffee: Free of Mold, Toxins, and Third-Party Tested

Michelle Shapiro 

Coffee is such an important part of my clients daily routines, the joy they experience the feeling they get in the morning. And what is such a big concern for me when it comes to coffee is quality. I’m overjoyed to say that our podcast sponsor today Purity Coffee is one of the highest quality coffee brands if not the highest quality coffee brand that we can get today. And really every single step in their process is health focused and driven by scientific research. They are third party tested to be free of pesticides and toxins to be free of mold.

These things are just essential for my clients to feel well. So this is such an important recommendation I’m giving and I’m so honored to have Purity be a sponsor for that reason. They also use specialty grade organic Arabica beans which are top 1% in quality worldwide. The difference for my clients between having coffee that makes don’t feel well and doesn’t give you the difference between a whole day of feeling well or not.

And the difference really could be seen in less anxiousness, less jitteriness, and less stomach upset. So these are essential components of feeling well. And Purity Coffee really has my clients backs for that reason. If I’m drinking coffee, it’s really recreationally. And so I’ve chosen and loved their calm decaf, medium roast, it’s really high in antioxidants. It’s naturally decaffeinated, which works well for me, and honestly, I’ve tried some different decaf coffees just, you know, I like to taste.

And this is actually the best tasting one I’ve ever had. I love Purity Coffee, I recommend it to my clients and so much so that I have included a an affiliate link and a huge discount for you guys. If you use the code QUIETTHEDIET at checkout, which we’re going to include in the show notes, you’ll get 20% off your first order of Purity Coffee, thank you for the sponsorship and enjoy your coffee.

Why Nutrition Experts Don’t Agree Online

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

So this brings me to this idea of nutritional objectivity and consensus. What I need people to understand is that we as dietitians practice basically independently. So we have licenses in some states. We are registered as dietitians. So we absolutely have to maintain certain standards of decorum, not a question, professional integrity, but. the way that we practice can be literally opposite of each other.

My friends who are functional dietitians, the work that they’re doing, and myself and you, Nicki, is nothing like what an eating disorder dietitian is doing. It’s nothing like what a clinical dietitian is doing. We are giving sometimes opposite recommendations and the question must be, well, how is that possible? How is it possible that two dietitians can think of things so differently?

It’s because we don’t really have what I would call a nutritional consensus. So we do have the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which tells us position papers, like standards, what they kind of feel is acceptable, but we are not bound by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to disseminate specific types of nutrition information. Now, if we were disseminating harmful information, that’s a whole different conversation. But I have friends who are keto dietitians, right? I have friends who are eating disorder dietitians. The way that we interpret nutrition is extremely subjective.

So yes, you can literally be on Instagram and within one minute, see two completely opposite posts, which just so doesn’t help. So what I at least try to do on social media is I try to let people know what I’m seeing from both sides and say, here’s how to be discerning from both sides, because you quite literally can get opposite information in a two second time span. So the reason for that again is that we don’t have nutritional consensus.

We two dietitians don’t agree and a new stream of dietitians that I see a lot and you’ll notice by the way in this conversation, I am talking about dietitians. I am not talking about nutritionists.

Really quick distinction by the way, a registered dietitian is someone who has completed a masters of nutritional science and has completed a dietetic internship and then sat for like a board exam basically. A dietetic internship is a year long program where you work as a dietitian essentially, but you’re shadowing people and learning from them during that time. So it could be like a seven or eight year degree.

Nutritionists, there is no, in many states there is no standard for. So you can be an IIN nutritionist, you know, go to the integrated school for nutrition. It’s like a six month to a year program, I think. You could be a functional nutritionist and have done like Andrea Nakayama’s functional nutrition program. There is not a standard for that.

So when you see people who are holistic health coaches or nutritionists understand they could have anywhere from zero to 10 years of education. Dietitians are more regulated, but I don’t believe that dietitians are the only nutrition experts, which is very different coming from a dietitian. Part of the kind of what I would call a propaganda machine of dietitians is just constantly reiterating we’re the only nutrition professionals, we’re the only nutrition professionals. I don’t believe that at all.

I think naturopathic physicians, CNS, FNTPs, I think there’s a lot of really, really good nutritionists too. And I don’t think that being a dietitian is the end all be all. We can’t just take at face value that someone says they’re an expert, they’re an expert. We need to be discerning viewers and consumers of social media.

So I’m not saying that, I think that the likelihood of someone being a dietitian and disseminating good information is probably higher, but it does not necessarily mean the information is for you. It does not necessarily mean that person is not posting it for themselves because we don’t have nutritional consensus. And someone who was coming from a different life path might have different information.

So you kind of wanna align with people who probably get you, right? If I had an autoimmune condition, I would be going to a functional dietitian. I would not be going to an intuitive eating practitioner. If I had an eating disorder, I probably wouldn’t, may not feel ready to go to a functional dietitian. And maybe I would want to go to an intuitive eating practitioner. So you need to look at not only the information someone’s posting, but I don’t want you to assume that just because someone has a degree that their information is for you or that they’re posting correct information, to be honest with you.

Nutrition information is so different now than it was 10 years ago. It’s so different now than it was 30 years ago. We have to remember like even in the context of health that like at one point, medical doctors were saying smoking cigarettes is great. Like we have to. really rely on ourselves to discern, which is hard.

I would also say that just social media in general, don’t go with just degrees, go with intuition around it. Do you feel like this person is communicating a story that’s good for you? And then also just try not to get nutrition information or medical advice from social media, because I have to say, and this is so honest, people are, it’s a business platform. for people, right? They are promoting things very intentionally to support their own businesses, to hit on pain points and things like that.

So just go in really discerning. Don’t assume just because someone has one type of degree or another that they’re better or worse. And I’m saying that as dietician, which is supposed to be like the top notch best one, right? And I think functional dieticians are the freaking best, but don’t roll with someone just because of that and do not take every piece of information at face value. I’m sorry to say we can’t do that. So that’s the thing I needed to talk about with nutritional consensus.

Issues with Conventional Nutrition on Social Media

Now, when it comes to those like camps, we talked about my concerns and the intuitive eating all foods fit side. In the conventional nutrition side, just like regular dieticians, there is also now a group of like, what I would call like misinformation fighters, and they are just hunting and attacking functional dieticians. And what their goal is to basically apply nutritionism and single studies to broader audiences. And so it’s a lot of like those food science, food research kind of pages.

They’re just like, “aspartame won’t kill you.” Now, I think it’s good to not be afraid of everything all the time. But when you’re looking at one study or you’re looking at one specific food and a dietitian is mentioning one study or one specific food without mentioning the mechanism that the body goes through, that’s a problem.

I know there was a huge thing with the omega-6 fats and everyone’s saying a lot of dietitians were saying omega-6 fats aren’t bad for you, you know, they’re not inflammatory because there was no randomized controlled trial saying that. But my question to all these dietitians was like, okay, we get that. Let’s look at what happens when Omega-6 fats are introduced into the body and broken down in the body. You can literally see the inflammatory pathway.

And also, let’s apply knowledge. When I say Omega-6 fats, I mean, the ones that are commonly found in vegetable oils, which we know in the 1990s was super like, yes, you should eat vegetable oils. They’re really healthy, heart healthy. And now there’s kind of the opposite. reaction saying that actually consumption of them is extremely dangerous and could be driving all the chronic illnesses that we’re seeing.

So it’s, it’s almost completely flipped on its head, but there’s now dietitians who are giving backlash to that and saying, no, Omega-6 fats are heart healthy for you. In fact, when we were working in hospitals and we were working with people on tube feedings, you actually couldn’t have a certain proportion of Omega-6 fats, Omega-3s, because it was so inflammatory for people who were in compromised positions that it could result in It is so, or major medical outcomes. Death would be the most extreme case, but we have to, again, look at, on social media, look at the mechanism.

I’m talking to anyone consuming it. Don’t worry about one random meta-analysis about omega-6 fats being okay for you. I would look into like, you can go on Wikipedia or Google and look at what happens when omega-6 fats are broken down into the body. I’m more concerned about what I’m seeing in real life people.

So that’s the kind of dietitians or practitioners you do want to follow is people who are looking at trends and pattern recognition, not people who are saying this one study means everything. This one nutrient means everything. You have to look at it and you have to look at people. I think who are like healers who have just seen real life people and their actual experiences versus people who are just day in and day out looking at the studies will have differing viewpoints.

There might not be a study saying that lemon water can help with digestion, but I watch it happen all the time. I watch it happen all and it’s not for everyone, but I don’t really need a study to experiment lemon water with someone because it’s cheap and it’s if it’s effective and cheap and it’s safe because lemon something we’d be having abundantly in our diets anyway.

I’d rather take the risk with someone of doing that than being a dietitian who’s online saying lemon water. There’s no studies to say that lemon water helps with digestion. It’s like, who are you helping? You’re preventing someone from taking a risk with some lemon water? That’s not helping anyone. Let people self-experiment. And I want you, the listener, I want you to play around. I want you to self-experiment. Now that doesn’t mean take medications experimentally or even nutritional supplements experimentally, but the power of healing comes from the fact that you will know what’s the best for your body.

So I think that kind of middle food science, nutrition professionals who are very stuck on specific studies and not looking at mechanism, not looking at patterns, not looking at real people and real results. I think I also question like who even funded these studies? Like I don’t need a meta analysis to ask a client if they want to try drinking a little lemon water with salt in the morning, you know?

So I think that’s another leg of dietetics that I find troubling in that middle. And I find it so troubling because I always ask this question, who are you helping? Maybe, maybe someone is really afraid of drinking aspartame and Diet Coke. And then they see the study and they’re like, great, I can drink a lot of Diet Coke. Is that helping them heal an eating disorder? What is that helping them do? to promote people eating processed foods of any kind. Who are you helping? That’s always my question. And as the consumer, I want you to think, how is this helping me? How is this helping me?

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

I think when some of these people are posting things like, don’t be afraid of whatever it is, like soda or something. Should we be terrified of soda as we would be of like, poison? No, for sure not. And if you had a couple sips of something or even if you had a can like one time, you’d probably be totally fine.

But I think where it gets misconstrued is when, yes, we shouldn’t be afraid of these foods, but at the same time… that also doesn’t mean we should be consuming them every day or even on any type of routine basis. So even, and I would argue that even the people posting that information, I guarantee you, are not eating those foods every day.

But as a viewer, we wanna put things in a bucket of good or bad. So when we see information like that, we’re like, oh. this thing has now moved from the bad bucket to the good bucket. That means it’s okay all the time as much as I want. But that’s not how bodies work. So it’s more about what are we doing on a consistent basis. And we know, okay, if you had, you know, like a half of someone’s can of Diet Coke, and you probably did that once every three months, like depending on your situation, you’d probably be okay.

But at the same time, if you have an option… should you choose something different? Yes, so we can look at these things with nuance and we also have responsibility as a viewer to understand that life is about that nuance. It’s not that something is in the good bucket or the bad bucket, it’s more about using our common sense to say, okay, yes, let’s maybe not have these food fears and let’s not be afraid of food as we would be afraid of something that’s like an immediate threat to us.

But at the same time, something that we consume on a consistent basis can be a threat to us. And so we need to have this level of understanding in terms of, okay, I wanna be cautious about what I put into my body. I know that, you know, I don’t want fear to be a part of it, but we also have to have a level of, you know, responsibility and understanding of that nuance.

Should You Buy Supplements You See Promoted Online?

And the other thing that you had mentioned was this idea of self-experimenting. And I completely agree. We have to be able to see what works for us versus what works for someone else. But at the same time, we have to understand, are we getting, because we had mentioned nutrition is just a piece of the puzzle.

So are we getting all of those other pieces of the puzzle as well before we go out and spend, just because I had so many friends talk to me about these TikTok trends, that it’s like a supplement that costs like $85. And they’re like, should I go out and buy this? I’m like, how are you sleeping at night? And they’re like, Well, my sleep isn’t great. And I’m like, well, maybe let’s focus on the sleep first before buying the focus supplement because no focus supplement is gonna be strong enough to give you focus if you’re not sleeping. So that is a kind of a part of our decision process as well.

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

Well, Nicki, you just brought up the most important part of this conversation is that there is no one food that’s going to kill you unless you’re allergic to it, then, you know, very dangerous. There’s not one food that’s gonna do that kind of harm. There’s also not one food that’s gonna fix you. There’s not one supplement that’s gonna do that kind of harm or really that one supplement that’s gonna really fix you.

Again, when I see the holistic health space, these supplements will fix you. When I see the… conventional nutrition space, these supplements will kill you. It’s like, it’s definitely neither. It’s definitely neither. It’s not going, it’s going to be somewhere in the middle, but when you’re being sold to, I think you need to, first of all, you have to understand, and I’m saying this so seriously, you have to understand you’re being sold to constantly by practitioners, even on social media. Like, it is a… Website for business. We have to be clear about that.

Everyone is, I wouldn’t say guilty of it because it’s literally that’s the place, but every post you see is probably some level of a sales tactic. By the time you’re seeing an ad for this digestion pill or whatever the thing is that you are being sold to. So look at this information, ask yourself, what am I being sold here? Is this going to actually help me? And does this make sense from a foundational standpoint?

We intuitively know we have to be, we talk about this in every episode almost of the season, but we have to be human first. We have to sleep, we have to eat regularly. We have to get sunlight. We have to talk to people that we love. We have to be in nature, right? We have to drink water. We have to do all of these things. And until we can correct all of those things, nothing else is going to fix anything. Even the, the. I love some of my supplements. Like I love them, I love them. No replacement for the human stuff.

How to Weed Through the Nutrition BS

So, taking that back to what we ask ourselves when we’re looking at social media, ask like, is this foundational? Is this essential information for me to consume? Is this shifting something inside of me in a positive way? And what you always wanna be going towards is listening to yourself, not listening to other people. feeling safe around food and then making ultimately food choices that are beneficial for your health.

So again, I would ask in all the dietitians posting about saying, you know, aspartame doesn’t cause cancer. Okay. And well, how does that, all right, it doesn’t cause cancer. So what does that tell me about what I need to do in my daily habits to change my life? If I feel like crap every day, does knowing that aspartame doesn’t cause cancer help me every single day? Does that help me? That’s the questions that you want to be asking when you’re looking at studies.

And I’m always really cautious when I’m posting because I have like a lot of PubMed studies that I have on my sidebar. I’m like, oh, will I share this? Will I share this? Different journal studies. And I’m always asking, does this help anyone? Or the question we asked before, is it just helping the person? Does the person just want to post about their frappuccino? I don’t know.

Maybe it is a thoughtless thing where it’s just like, Oh, I’ll just post about this. Does this person think they’re helping people with eating disorders? Probably, and maybe, and that could be something too, but think about who is posting this information. What do I want from this person? How is this helping and affecting me? And how am I incorporating that into the foundations of my life? That’s the questions I would be asking.

Like I find there’s entire dietitian accounts who are wildly popular and all they do is rip down. They repost and rip down other holistic healthcare professionals, many of whom I love and trust and value. And it’s much more unpopular. You know, a lot of functional dietitians also will do like supermarket tours and they’ll like be like, oh, this food’s good for you. This food’s bad for you. If I’m food shopping, I like this.

And then the conventional nutritionists will say, you’re creating food fears in people. But at what point are we actually allowed to give nutrition information, right? I think you, the person listening to this podcast, you actually want nutrition information, but you also understand because you’re smart and seeking it and are adult humans who can make decisions for yourself. And I fully trust you can.

You also understand that you’re gonna take things with a grain of salt and look at social media as just more data as opposed to impacting everything you do. And I know that you won’t look at a functional dietitian who’s saying you should choose almond butter over peanut butter or something like that. for inflammation reasons, let’s say, and then say, I’m never, peanut butter’s gonna kill me. You know, like if that is how you’re feeling around social media, I would say social media might not be safe for you. And that’s something to consider too.

Know When Social Media is Right for You

If you can look at social media and just look at it like data and just say, oh, great, I got this information, great, I can use this, I can not use this. It’s a good time for you to use it. If you are triggered by social media, which is totally possible because super freaking triggering. or it’s not adding value to your life, but confusing you more and making you more unhealthy in any way, it just might not be the time. Maybe it’s not the time for it.

Curate Your Social Media Feed

And if you’re finding again, the confusion of nutrition information and you really don’t trust a lot of the sources, unfollow people, block people, anything you need to do. If you’re finding that it’s a negative space, unfollow and block, because that’s another piece of this too, which is that social media on the whole, is not great for our mental health. And if it’s adding more stress to your life than adding more positive influence to your life, try to get it down as much as we possibly can too.

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

And same thing, if that’s coming from either a person or an ad on Instagram, you can click, I think it’s the top right corner of these three dots, you can click that and ask Instagram to not show you things like that post in the future. So you can do that with ads for whatever, if you’re getting an ad for something that you feel triggered by.

And also know that if you’re feeling triggered, it might just mean that you’re in a part of your journey that is… you’re a little bit hypersensitive right now, which is completely okay, and know that might not persist forever. Like you might, a year from now, six months from now, then go on and be able to see all that stuff and be completely fine with it.

So know that it’s not permanent, like that feeling is not permanent, but it might be a sign that something internal is, something feels off. Like you know intuitively that something doesn’t feel right when you’re on these accounts. And if you do go on social media, it should be a break from reality. It should be something that lifts up part of your day.

If you’re seeing accounts that don’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo says, if you’re in that stage where you really just need social media to spark joy, curate your TikTok to be just a bunch of videos of dogs and babies, because that is extremely therapeutic and amazing. But if you’re in a place of your journey where you can take this information as just data and you really wanna learn and you’re not triggered by that information, then you can start to follow some of these accounts that you do feel are reputable.

And if someone, I hate to say this, cause it’s so cliche, but if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Like if there was a supplement that just made everyone healthier just by taking it like one time or one different thing or one different food, wouldn’t we all be cured by now? Like we would all be fabulous.

I love blueberries, they have extremely beneficial properties. But if eating blueberries and doing nothing else at all completely cured your brain health and the rest of your problems, I’m pretty sure like we would all just be completely fine and eating blueberries every day. So All of, we need all of these different components as pieces to our puzzle, but try not to believe anyone that tells you that it’s just that “one thing.”

Modern Use of Ancient Healing Modalities

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

I have to say, Nicki, what I’ve liked seeing on social media, it’s very cute. Like I’ve seen on TikTok, castor oil is having like a moment. And I’m like, I love that for castor oil. And again, if it’s a cheap solution and you’re willing to experiment in a safe way, but you’re not saying this is gonna fix everything.

I think it’s totally fine to play and get excited about something about the healing properties of supplements, foods, oils, things like that. And especially when those modalities have been tried, true and practiced for thousands of years in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and other indigenous medicine forms. Like if you’re seeing castor oil on social media, like if you’re seeing castor oil on social media, understand also, it’s not like these people are inventing using castor oil for these reasons, they’re sharing ancient information.

So that’s also what I would be looking at is, are the people who are sharing the holistic remedies also using, yes, evidence-based science, but also, ancient traditions and understanding and respecting and honoring those traditions and knowing where they came from. I think that would be really important because in America we say anything that’s not Western medicine is snake oil. Anything that’s not Western medicine is hoopla and whatever. I don’t know what word to use, but that’s not at all how functional dietitians feel. It’s certainly not how practitioners of Eastern medicine feel. And they are valid random stuff online.

You’re not going to find studies about Eastern medicine modalities the same way you’re gonna find studies about Western medicine because we’re an evidence-based for-profit model of science. So it doesn’t mean just because you see something, A, that you should write it off, B, that it’s gonna fix all of your problems or anything like that, and C, that the practitioner… has made it up themselves or something like that.

Very often times we’re being taken back to those ancient modalities, which just needs a hammer in this point again, when people are so obsessed with evidence-based science and they dismiss 10,000 years of ancient information, it is ignorance. I mean, that’s just ignorance. And it’s also very narrow minded and narrow sighted for. other cultures and other inherent truths of science that we somehow like from the creation of modern medicine, I think it’s like, I think we’re from a hundred, it’s either a hundred or 300 years that it’s been around, but that we just dismissed the other 10,000 years in favor of the 100.

Same thing with intuitive eating, we’re favoring a 30 year body of information over a 10,000 year body of information, to me just makes like, no sense and I wanna learn as much as I can about things that are tried, tested and true in any culture I can learn from in any way over time. And I think we should all be so open-minded.

And there’s quite a difference between what we perceive in America as evidence-based medicine and what other cultures perceive as evidence-based medicine. We think it has to be done in a lab. Other people think if you repeat it for 10,000 years. you’ll get some good information.

And I think that’s my concern with social media too, is that when we get so evidence-based obsessed, we lose sight of the big picture, which is that there’s a world outside of our labs. There’s a world of information outside and it’s been meticulously passed down. And that is what good science is.

Intuitive Eating in Our Modern World

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

A lot of times the comeback that we hear from the intuitive eating world is, oh, well, this hasn’t just been around. We’ve eaten intuitively for centuries, but we were able to eat intuitively because we had access to real food. And our stress levels were, I mean, that we had different stressors, yes, for sure. But the world that we live in now is not the same world that we lived in 100 years ago, 300 years ago, a thousand years ago, it is constantly evolving. And so we have to evolve with it.

And if that means that we need to spend a little extra time on sleep. when it’s something that we never had to really think that much about, then that’s something we have to do. If we have to not purchase something at the grocery store so that it’s not sitting in our kitchen because it’s been manufactured to be hyper palatable to us, we can either use an insane amount of willpower, like every single day, to try to avoid something that is designed to make us eat more of it, or we can just make it a little bit easier on ourselves.

We can say, hey, you know, let me try to just not keep that in my kitchen or to not have that around me all of the time. But of course we know if we have, it’s not to say that we should be afraid of certain foods as we said before, it’s more of the fact that as the world changes, we have to kind of change our approach along with it. And so that would be my response to that argument that I see on social media a lot in terms of intuitive eating.

Chronic Illness is Common, Not Normal

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

And in ways of the world changing, Nicki, which is our last piece that I wanna talk about, what we consider to be normal in ways of illness is obscene. Obscene, we are the sickest we’ve ever been in this country especially. It’s different when it’s more in developing nations who have low access to food and water and essential needs. In a country where first of all, essential needs should be met. It’s ridiculous that we have in this country, many people go without essential needs. That’s obscene to start with.

But now we’re up to over 60% of people are suffering from some sort of chronic illness, or cancer, heart disease, I mean, it’s not even conceivable how sick we are, given how much money we have compared to other places. We are one of the sickest countries in the entire world, and we have the absolute most money in healthcare.

So what I see a lot in social media too, is a lot of those conventional dietitians I was talking about saying, listen, there’s no evidence-based cure for Crohn’s disease. You just have it. And I’m like, would you have just had it 50 years ago? Are we really not gonna talk about or think about the fact that our food system has changed and our consumption of pharmaceutical medications has changed so much? When do we know what’s freaking normal or not?

I think a lot of the intuitive eating practitioners and a lot of conventional dietitians do not believe that food impacts our health. I don’t believe that they think that. I think that they think autoimmune conditions come up randomly. I think that they believe cancer comes up randomly. And that whole model of thinking is so counter to what we do, Nicki, and so counter to what functional dietitians do.

Because we very much understand how every single thing that happens in your life, if you’re in a moldy environment, if you drink a certain drink, if you don’t sleep, if you have a stressed out fight with your friend, everything impacts us. So I take things very seriously when it comes to my client’s health. And I think that everything that we do is so important, whereby it’s kind of like this thing where it’s like, eh, if you have some Starbucks, at least you’ll have a good relationship with food.

I’m out here, Nicki, you’re out here. Like we are fighting to, as much as we can, shift on an individual basis, because I don’t think we can shift on a system-wide basis. The idea that we can’t heal, We literally watch people heal from these conditions all the time. And that doesn’t mean, maybe it could mean going into remission. I don’t wanna use the word healing as this flirty, fun kind of word, but like truly watch their labs change, go down to almost zero symptoms. Like we watch it every single day.

So when people say it’s not possible to reverse IBD, it’s like, okay, but then why is everyone who’s a really good practitioner doing it with their clients? Like how are their clients actually able to do that? And the answer is we do have a great capacity to heal. And the problem is that we do not all agree on that. And that’s what you’re seeing on social media. People do not believe in ancient practices. They do not believe in our capacity to heal. They do not believe that the reason that so many of us are sick is anything but genetic and coincidence. And I absolutely emphatically disagree with that.

I believe that our food system, our pharmaceutical system, our way of thinking about our bodies, the fact that we interact all the time on social media and not in person, all of this matters. What you do in your health matters. You are important. If you are listening to this, you are so important and what you do every second matters because your life matters.

That’s the premise I think that really separates all of us and why we can’t get on the same page from a consensus standpoint, because Nicki, honestly, when we were in dietetic school, you’re not learning about reversing conditions, you’re learning about managing them. Right? You’re learning about if it’s acid reflux, it’s like, well, don’t eat foods that are going to irritate it.

As a functional dietitian, we learned, well, why is your body producing excess acid? Why or are you not enough or whatever it is? So until we get that premise together and we’re all on the same page, which we’ll never be on the same page about because people are not going to dismiss what they learned in school. Many people, some people will. Um, we are not going to see uniform content across social media. That’s also a good thing because there’s a time and a season and a place for you to consume different parts of media.

Online Nutrition Content to Look Out For

So this is what I would say to you. If I was you and I was a consumer of social media, what I would wanna look at is first of all, that information feels relevant to me. It feels like it’s coming from a safe place. It feels like it’s helpful. And it feels like the person is targeting an audience that is like me. That’s what I would be looking at on social media.

And then also take the information with not only grain of salt, like it’s a little tiny piece of data. It’s not even that much. Oh, that’s nice. Blueberries are good for me. That’s great. Okay, maybe I’ll have some blueberries. Awesome. Not like blueberries are gonna reverse my brain degeneration or something like that. It’s always blueberries and the brain stuff too, but because of the antioxidants.

But think about again, how can I take this information and apply it from a foundational perspective? Not, I have to do this one thing and this is the thing, this is the thing. That’s what I would say about social media. And I know we went in a million directions today about the landscape of social media, but there are incredible intuitive eating dieticians.

There are incredible functional dietitians and incredible conventional dietitians. But they have to be the right person for you and they have to be giving helpful information for you and just be aware. I don’t care if it’s me or Nicki, everyone. This is their business website, if they’re a dietitian, right? Even if they’re just throwing stuff up like I do, be wary of everyone, be wary of everything on social media.

And it’s so frustrating and heartbreaking for me to see a lot of these posts, like a dietitian posting a 70 gram of sugar frappuccino, where I know my clients who are suffering from blood sugar dysregulation, that could throw them off for three days. I mean, that is really frustrating to me because we want to be trusted professionals.

How to Detect TRUE Nutrition Information

I want all dietitians to have the same like baseline understanding. And when I say baseline understanding, it’s that your health matters. You have the capacity to heal in some level from your health. Eating real foods is always better than eating processed foods. There’s no exception to that. Like eating food that looks like food is always better. That’s an easy thing.

And I would say that you have to get your foundational health together first. Get your sleep together, get your nature together, get your connections together, get your eating regularly together before you start ordering fancy supplements and like that. If you go in with that mindset, social media can be a fun playground as opposed to the most important thing for your health, which I don’t want it to be.

Even on my page, which is a very, I hope to be as nuanced as I possibly can be, but, and as uncalculated as I can be and just telling you what I see, but I even want you to be wary of the really good practitioners too, because it doesn’t matter what they’ve experienced or what their clients have experienced, I want you to experience it for yourself.

When to Take a Social Media Break

Nicki Parlitsis, RD, CPT:

The only thing I would add to that in terms of actionable items to take home with you after listening to this episode is one, how long you’re on social media for. So even if you are looking at it as just data, there’s a cap on how long you can kind of how much you can absorb without starting to feel like your mind is swirling.

So know that again, just like as all of the stuff with food we were talking about. There is that middle ground as well with just how long, like if you’re scrolling for three hours, it doesn’t matter what you’re looking at. Like you probably need to kind of give it a break, come back to it later. The other thing is know maybe when it’s the right time. So there’s some days where you might realize today is not a social media day.

No matter what I see, I’m already not feeling my best. I’m gonna be, and I feel like a lot of people have this conversation with like, are seeing a bunch of people, they’re trying to get pregnant and they see a bunch of people having babies and they’re like, this is just, it’s too much. It’s too much emotionally for me to take right now. And so we can do the same thing with the nutrition piece of it.

So if you feel like you’re having either a bad body image day or you’re struggling a little bit, like know that it’s okay if that day you stay off and then maybe tomorrow you go on. Like it doesn’t have to be this all or nothing thing. You can kind of learn yourself and learn.

A really good way to do this is I was told one time I was laying on the couch already in a bad mood looking at Instagram years ago and my boyfriend looked at me. He didn’t even look at my phone. He looked at my face and he was like, are you on Instagram? And I was like, yeah, how do you know? He’s like, because your face just got a little more upset. You just look sad. So you can kind of know, “How did I feel before going on and how did I feel coming off?” And if the answer is that it was more of a negative outcome, then maybe that’s kind of your sign.

And then the other days, if you feel like you go on and you come off of social media happier, then maybe you’re following the right people and it was the right day to go on. But just know it’s like everything else where it’s not an all or nothing thing. And you can kind of learn when the right time is.

Michelle Shapiro, RD:

100%. And I know that parts of this episode were aggressive. And, um, this is something I have sat on for a long time, but I always want you to leave with a positive note, which is that if there is information that is meant to meet you, I believe it will meet you and you will find the right practitioners and the right people to follow that are safe and smart and helpful.

I believe that you have the capacity to heal in a major way. And I believe you will come across. the information you need to do that. We are so excited about season three already. We already have some big stuff brewing and we will see you very soon. Thank you so much for listening and be totally tough on social media and don’t take crap from anybody. And we’ll see you next season.


Looking for more episodes?


Check Us Out Here!