If you’re not familiar with the term, “almond moms” are the type of moms who are overly concerned with health and wellness, often to the point of obsession. They’re the moms who serve their families gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and everything-else-free meals, and who always have an endless supply of almond milk in the fridge.
Now, I want to be clear that there’s nothing inherently wrong with trying to lead a healthy lifestyle or wanting to feed your family nutritious meals. But when that pursuit of health becomes an obsession, it can be harmful not just to the individual, but to the family as a whole.
When Does it Cross the Line?
The term almond mom was literally coined by a real housewife (Yolanda Hadid) telling her daughter to eat a couple of almonds “very slowly” to curb her hunger pains.
Recently, the Hadid family came under fire for their “almond mom” habits. For those who aren’t familiar, the Hadids are a famous family in the fashion industry. Supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid are both extremely successful in their own right, and their mother, Yolanda, has made a name for herself as a wellness guru.
Yolanda is known for her strict diet, which includes no gluten, dairy, or sugar. She’s even written a cookbook called “Cleanse” that focuses on nutrient-dense, low-calorie meals. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach to eating, it’s the way in which Yolanda promotes her lifestyle that has caused backlash.
Many critics have accused Yolanda of promoting a dangerous and restrictive diet. And with that, encouraging disordered eating habits in her daughters. Some have even suggested that her obsession with health and wellness may have contributed to her daughters’ struggles with body image and eating disorders.
But the Hadids aren’t the only ones facing backlash for their “almond mom” habits. Actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow has also come under fire for various statements she’s made. A TikTok went viral after she spoke of “bone broth lunches,” fasting and long workouts. Paltrow has been accused of promoting a lifestyle that is unattainable and elitist. (I’m not saying I agree, I’m simply reporting what’s trending lately).
I am Guilty Too
Now, I want to be clear that I don’t believe that either the Hadids or Paltrow are intentionally trying to harm anyone. But the fact remains that their promotion of an extreme approach to health and wellness can be damaging, particularly for impressionable young people.
As someone who lived for many years as a fitness influencer, I admit the lengths I went to to ensure my body was camera-ready were extreme. I worked out three to four hours a day and lived on diet coke and protein shakes, all in the name of “health.”
And guess what?
My daughter was watching. Even though I didn’t talk about my weight, she noticed what I was doing. It contributed to her orthorexia as a teenager.
I thought I was “doing things right” by focusing on the health aspects and not the body. I was careful not to shame people, or myself.
But, actions speak louder than words. Thankfully, with some therapy, and removing myself from the fitness industry, my daughter and I are both so much healthier.
So, What’s the Solution?
Well, I believe that the key to a healthy lifestyle is balance. It’s important to prioritize nutritious meals and regular exercise, but it’s also important to allow for indulgences and to not demonize any particular food group. And it’s important to remember that health is about more than just what we eat and how we exercise – it’s also about mental health, relationships, and overall well-being.
As parents, it’s important to model a healthy approach to lifestyle, and to encourage our children to make their own informed decisions about what they eat and how they exercise. It’s okay to prioritize health and wellness, but it’s also important to not let that pursuit consume our lives or become a source of anxiety or stress.
Look, “almond moms” may mean well, but their obsessive pursuit of health and wellness can be damaging both to themselves and to their families. We need to focus on balance and encourage a healthy approach to lifestyle that prioritizes overall well-being, not just what we eat and how hard and long we exercise. Let’s use the examples of the Hadids and Paltrow as cautionary tales and strive to create a healthy and sustainable approach to life that works for us and our families.
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