(If you haven't heard of Ashy Bines, then you've managed to avoid her plague of social media advertising. Essentially, she offers eating and exercise "guidelines" in a PDF for about $76 and uses weight loss transformation photos as her bait. I'd also like to note that I'm sure she's a nice girl who isn't out to just make a buck off vulnerable [predominantly] women. I just haven't got any evidence of that, soooo....)
I keep a blog called The Sprout that's all about health, happiness, nutrition and fitness. Like Ashy, I'm not a qualified nutritionist. Unlike Ashy, I'm completing my studies in nutrition so I can authoritatively advise all sorts of people about what nutrition will benefit them.
So I got Ashy Bines' Bikini Body Challenge guidelines. Sorry Ashy, I didn't pay for them. At more than $70 a pop, I thought I'd take her advice and "just Google", and I found a bunch of websites and people offering her guideline PDF documents for free because they didn't think anyone should have to pay for such a shambled collection of guidelines. ("Just Google" 'Ashy Bines and scam'...).
As a self-confessed grammar nazi and writer, the typos were what initially turned me off. Look, Ashy does offer some sound advice and advocates good, clean food. It's not a meal plan, per se, but decent advice to eat whole foods (...though not so much explanation as to why you should eat them, and much of it allegedly plagiarised). If it didn't mean walking on thin legal ice, I'd share the plan here. But y'all know how to get your paws on things, right? ;)
It's the fact that she isn't qualified that I find alarming. She supposedly offers 24/7 support on a private Facebook page you are given access to upon purchasing the plan, yet I found more than enough evidence to suggest that her support is often referring her customers to Google, deleting complaining customers or not replying at all.
Here are some tabloidy current affairs program segments to back me up (haha, questionable journalism, but you catch my drift):
So this isn't just a post for Ashy Bashing. I just get so frustrated when people who, really, are not qualified at all to be giving advice position themselves as the authority because they've lost weight doing one regime or another. If you want a fitness and diet plan, your very best bet is to visit a nutritionist or dietician face-to-face where you can discuss what you want to achieve and end up with a meal and fitness plan that is tailored to you. At the very, very least, any plans for clean eating you buy online should be written by qualified health coaches/nutritionists/dieticians. Would you jump out of a plane with someone who has done a number of jumps but isn't qualified to take someone with them? See where I'm going with this?
Look, same goes for any products that are part of detox programs and whatnot. Do I agree with every bit of advice a dietician might give me? No, but I'd rather a professional opinion than paying the same money for the opinion of someone who has no scientific knowledge of biochemistry and nutrition.
Save your money, spend some time researching clean, whole living and if you are overwhelmed, go and see a nutrition pro for a bespoke plan to set you up for success. Check these out if you're looking for a local: