If you love healthy food and you’re a blogger, chances are you’ve already stumbled across McKel Hill.
You’ll probably know Mckel best from the food blog Nutrition Stripped, her online home where she shares recipe ideas, nutritional advice and her favourite superfoods, such as “turmeric, although not new, it’s been used about 10,000 times in recipe on the NS blog”. Despite being an avocado lover (definitely something appreciated by the HBC team) Mckel’s favourite bulk buys are “nutritional yeast or hemp seeds”.
Aside from her culinary skills, McKel is also a seasoned blogger who has built a community around her blog over the last four years.
Although Mckel calls herself “relatively new to the blogging scene” she has already seen a difference in the way blogging has affected the online world: “I think blogging is a great platform when used with good intention — there’s a lot of us out there so I appreciate fellow bloggers who keep it real, are authentic with their communities and have fun with it. You can taste their passion through their writing! That’s the shift I’ve seen: more bloggers, less heart.”
Even as keen bloggers, there are some days we just cannot face the bright blank screen. Naturally, despite blogging being a part of her business, McKel is no stranger to that feeling. However, passion and community are what keeps her going: “what motivates me, and yes we all have days where we don’t want to write, is the passion and drive to go back to bare basics, something we need as a community with all the confusion out there. That’s exactly why I started Nutrition Stripped and it hasn’t changed since! Also, reading comments and emails, and interacting with my clients, keeps me on my toes in practising gratitude. Gratitude is fuel.”
McKel is a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist and a keen researcher when it comes to everything health and nutrition: how does she feel about this flux of bloggers sharing their own methods, sometimes without any training or adequate research? “Everyone has the right to share what they believe and what works for them, the only cross I have is when I hear readers email me about person X telling them they have to eat XYZ to feel or look a certain way or anyone who gives out cookie cutter nutrition plans, I’m just not a fan of that.
“We’re so much more than energy in and energy out with food and exercise; we’re living breathing beings with so many layers and we need to give love to each layer to bring about true change. Otherwise, it’s all up to the reader to be their own health advocate and create filters for what goes into their mind affecting their wellbeing.”
Can we then say there is a substantial lack of knowledge and awareness about health across the blogging world?
“The world of wellness is ever-changing. I think the community should reflect that, but more so, I’d love to see more professionals speak about wellness and health on a level more people could understand, apply, and implement. There’s always room for more knowledge and that’s the beauty of healthy living and wellness, we’re all still “arguing” it out with new studies, new experiences, etc. That’s what keeps me going!”
“I’d love to see more professionals speak about wellness and health on a level more people could understand”
No wonder we are spotting terms like ‘orthorexia’ and ‘clean eating’ in mainstream media. These terms are creating debates in wider audiences, and with this comes misconception and extremes. Being fully informed about these topics before making a decision can benefit any reader.
Orthorexia is something McKel also experiences with some clients, and has learnt about reading stories from readers from around the world: “truly, there’s so much to say on this topic that it wouldn’t be in my best taste to simply put a blanket phrase about this here like ‘oh, exercise balance and moderation, live a little, etc.’ these are common phrases I hear people say to those challenged with disordered eating habits; and that’s something I take very seriously.”
Another common phrase that has recently gained a huge backlash is ‘clean eating’.
Mckel explains, “it isn’t a phrase I typically use because of the demographic I coach and work with — it immediately sets the tone for comparison and making them feel like there are “good” and “bad” foods. In their minds, they’re already on the battlefield fighting against bad/good, why deepen the struggle? Instead, I simply refer to whole foods with room for flexibility, always.”
Her philosophy and standpoint are also clearly represented in “the Inspired Interview series” on NS. This feature is a “behind the scenes” interview revealing the lifestyle of fellow bloggers and professionals: “[I wanted to] showcase what actually goes on and not just talk about ‘sunshine and rainbows’, but shine the light on some of the challenging and stressful bits no one seems to want to talk about!” Since 2016, the Inspired series has happened once a month with health professionals and other experts in the world of wellness, all who have an ethos that is in line with Nutrition Stripped.
Similarly, Mckel chooses to works with fellow brands in health and wellness industry that align with her ethos. She says this is always a very natural process: “I love discovering new products, brands, and companies making a true difference for the health and wellbeing of others. I’m grateful I get to be a taste tester most days!”
If you’ve been following Nutrition Stripped on Instagram, you will be no stranger to McKel’s photography and unique style. Her brand reflects the advice she was given a while back: “Have fun with styling and use your creativity.”
The NS trademark became a real institution among food bloggers, so much so that that McKel secured a book deal, and the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook launched in autumn 2016: “I have over 100 exclusive new recipes that I just knew people were going to flip out about- all super simple, nourishing, and really, really fun.”
In 2016 McKel launched her latest project, the Nutrition Stripped Society: “it launched with exclusive seasonal meal plans all year round, fitness and cooking videos, support, reset guides, ebooks, and so much more only offered to members!” The NS Society is designed to help you build a foundation for healthy eating and meal prep skills that will last you a lifetime
To read more about the NS Society head to the Nutrition Stripped website.