Dear Sugar Research Advisory Service

Posted on October 25th, 2016

My mate David Gillespie pointed me to this video yesterday (the clip is below), in which advertising strategy expert Carolyn Miller (of TV show Gruen fame) provides marketing advice at The Sugar Conundrum Workshop, put on by The Sugar Research Advisory Service last year to dieticians. Yes, you read right. Dieticians. Miller uses me as an example of what, as David puts it, “the enemy” looks like.

The obligatory "Laughing with salad" photo as referenced

The obligatory “laughing with salad” photo, as referenced

The clip is more than a year old, but it remains relevant and enlightening.

I was intrigued to see how the industry views my calculated marketing skills. I was also struck by how baffled the sugar industry and dieticians seem to be by “wellness” and having a lifestyle. I shouldn’t be after all this time, and after witnessing the lengths both go to to discredit and hinder anyone who questions the vested interests of the sugar industry and the health impact of the stuff. You can read more on this here.

I decided to write the SRAS a letter. Better late than never.

Hey there Sugar Research Advisory Service,

Thought I’d reach out with an idea. Next time you hire someone to talk you through the calculated insider tactics of wellness bloggers and they use my (supposed) strategy for duping people into eating less sugar as a case study, maybe think about getting me in instead to talk you through things. You know, go straight to the horse’s mouth.

I’d be happy to show you that I don’t fit the profile you’ve given of what I presume you see as your nemesis. I’m not young and I didn’t grow up in the Eastern Suburbs. I also am not one to share my thoughts on unicorns and rainbows.

I just got very sick eating sugar. You can read about my very uncalculated journey here if you like. Don’t have time to read the details? (I don’t think Ms Miller did). Let me give you the topline: I have Hashimoto’s disease and sugar played a massive part in it. I had to adjust a number of wellness/lifestyle issues, as directed by my team of doctors and endocrinologists. I started blogging about it six years ago. For two years, I made no money from sharing my experiences and helping thousands do the same. I was just into it. No vested interest.
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Are you really an introvert?

Posted on October 20th, 2016

Ha! I quite love this. Just when we thought it was cool to be an introvert, we get a whopping great mirror held up to us that says, “get over yourself”.

Image via

Image via

I’d been cringing about this for a while with my mate Rick, observing that everyone around us was suddenly coyly declaring themselves an introvert to all and their sundries on social media (the preferred expressive outlet for introverts, apparently). 

Then, wonderfully, the New York Times stepped in with the proverbial reflective glass for us both.

In an article by KJ Dell’Antonia, we’re pointed to the introversion explosion, led by Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” Suddenly. “A resistance to social intercourse became, not just acceptable, but cool, “ she wrote. Everyone started posting pictures of themselves in their pyjamas on a Friday night and sharing personality test results they’d done on Facebook.

I can be accused of doing the same. My schtick has been more to the tune of loneliness. And aloneness. However, I’ve definitely been known to chime in (at parties where I’m standing “awkwardly” by the door) that I’m a functioning introvert, while allowing for the possibility I might just be a dysfunctional extrovert.   Read more

What should we give a f*ck about?

Posted on October 18th, 2016

You might have heard of Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck? The guy’s a personal development blogger and hyped-up online marketing dude. I skimmed his book recently in a bookshop. And frankly, I think it should be called The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck (leaving out the “not”) because, in some ways, this is the more pressing issue (knowing what to give a fuck about amongst all the fucks that fly our way).

Image via ShopRiffRaff

Image via ShopRiffRaff

We’re all wanting to know where to draw the fine line on our fucks. And where to draw the line on the pain inherent in caring so much about so many things. Or at least the expectation to.

I pull out a point that Manson made in a recent interview on Mother Jones, a great political and cultural site you should subscribe to, BTW.

He points out the importance of giving a fuck:

“Pain is inevitable, and the only really reliable way to persevere or deal with (pain) is to find a worthy cause or a worthy reason for dealing with it.” 

He uses an example from his book: 

“If the biggest problem in my life right now is that my favourite TV show got canceled, that’s a pretty poor reflection of my values and the quality of my life. That’s a poor thing to care about, it’s not controllable, it’s not immediate, it has no immediate effect on the people around me or the people I care about. The highest priorities in our life should be something that’s grounded in being constructive toward the people around us, and something that’s immediate and we have control over.

“So if someone says they want to be a famous singer on TV, for example, it’s a poor value, because there’s so many factors that could influence that. The thing that will bring greater quality to life is something more controllable, more like, ‘I want to the best singer that I possibly can’.” Read more