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How Influencers Ruined Sandwiches..

Posted on | Last updated 02-07-2022
Let’s face it, the sandwich is a British tradition. You only have to look at the reaction to the calls in March for meal deals to be made illegal to realise that you can’t be messing with our sarnies!
That’s why we at BTN have a bone to pick with fitness influencers and what they’ve DONE to the humble sandwich. To be clear, we don't mean that influencers have ensured that sandwiches have gotten worse or anything (Don’t be silly), instead we simply mean this: people seem to have forgotten that a sandwich is a great lunch option.
Jump on Instagram & search any influencers page and we’ll guarantee you’ll find a ton of lunch ideas, from chicken-and-rice concoctions to more inventive things like rice bows, burrito bowls, Bolognese, all kinds of salads, and a ton more – all usually tagged with something to do with food prep.
Which is important, because pulling stuff like this together IS a lot of prep.  
It's like people have come to the idea that healthy lunches have to be something complicated. The idea doesn't even occur that a sarnie could be an option, and we don't think that's just appeared from nowhere. 

There are three things that we think have contributed to the largest extent:

1- The Low Carb movement. While most people have at least heard in passing that the idea that carbs=bad isn't true in the slightest, a lot of people still have some hang ups around this, especially those with a history of dieting, you can probably work out why. This means that salads and other low-carb options tend to feature in lists of lunch ideas.
2- Paleo, and paleo-esque conversations that demonised gluten specifically and grains more broadly. Again, while most people haven't even heard of the paleo diet outside of nutrition circles, a lot of people have taken in the ''bread is bad'' message somewhere along the way. Whilst specific issues related to gluten are obviously a thing, in no way is it something that should 100% be avoided for the vast majority. Our ancestors did alright for thousands of years, so chances are you’ll be alright too…but you wouldn’t know that if you asked for lunch recipes in most health and fitness circles.

3- Instagram and food blogs. People Loooooove posting and looking at food porn, and unfortunately sandwiches just don't look as good as acai smoothie bowls or elaborate avocado-based salads do. The unfortunate part of this is, many health and nutrition influencers, when they post pictures of what they eat, only eat exotic foods, 'superfoods', or things that they have the privilege to cook and eat at home at the time of cooking. This then leads many who don't have unlimited resources and who need to eat their lunch from a box taken to work and stored in the fridge to think - even subconsciously - that this is what healthy food looks like.
Put together this trifecta and “healthy” food choices look like big salads and bowls of superfoods. It's no wonder that many who don't even eat like this just forget that sandwiches exist. Prepping food for work is GREAT. Curries, chillies, Bolognese, soups, rice bowls, there are all sorts of things you can go for. But it's really useful to remind people that there's nothing wrong with a well-made sandwich for lunch, along with some extras needed as per requirements (some fruit, a protein bar, bag of crisps, smoothie, etc)
And more broadly, it's useful to sometimes take things back to first principles and work to understand the misunderstandings your clients may have about nutrition (or indeed that you do). Pay attention and notice small things, little habits that indicate some reservations that may be fine, but may also be indicative of hearing some less-than-useful messaging one too many times...
So, pass us the tiger loaf, we’re creating a beauty this lunchtime.

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