Blogger in Trouble for Nutrition Advice

Since my breakfast left me hungry I filled up on iced coffee and then had an early snack of apples and string cheese.IMG_0002 (800x600)

 I had an early lunch because I had to work at noon. This is a new-to-me Trader Joe’s find – Mexicali Salad. Loved it! The sharp cheese and sun dried tomatoes really took it to another level. IMG_0004 (600x800)

But, the lettuce was lacking the volume my belly likes so I dumped it in my bowl with 1/2 an avocado.IMG_0006 (800x600)

Then, I headed to the gym to work some floor hours. At my gym we do a few floor hours a week where a personal trainer is scheduled to walk the floor answering questions about the equipment and possibly offering demos.


The gym was dead (hello noon on a Tuesday) so I chatted with a few ladies that didn’t have questions but thought it was nice to talk Smile

After my shift I hit up Marshall’s to return some running shoes I got for Ben. I also hit up TJ’s for some seltzer. But my watermelon craving attacked. (I totally demolished the one I just bought from Costco in 2.5 days.) I told myself I wasn’t going to get another melon until next week. But, I’m weak.IMG_0007 (800x600)

Watermelon weak, but so so happy.IMG_0010 (800x600)

Here is Ask a Monican #36! There are more than 36 of them, I just don’t number all of them in the name.

Ask a Monican #36

1. I need to lose 110 pounds. Can I run or should I just stick to walking for my knees?
2. I train at a 12:30 pace, how fast should I run for my first half marathon?
3. I’ve recently lost 35 pounds and people are saying I’m too thin. What should I say to them?

If you have a question for me please email me at runeatrepeat at gmail dot com

Blogger Busted News! A Blogger in North Carolina will possibly be jailed because of his website. The man used a Paleo diet to help cure his diabetic issues and now promotes that way of eating on his site. But, the state nutrition board says he is practicing nutrition (which is illegal without a license).  You can read the article in the Carolina Journal here.

It’s scary because a lot of bloggers walk this line of sharing their own diet and making it seem like this is the right way or suggesting others follow suit. It is a shame one cannot share how they eat, move, pray, medicate without worrying that someone will accuse them of trying to teach others. There is a line between sharing “this works for me” and “do it this way because I am an expert”, right?

Be careful if you have a blog. Have a disclaimer. Just because eating xyz works for you doesn’t mean it will work for others, nor does it give you a certification to teach.

Be careful if you read blogs. Be a smart adult and don’t just listen to what a stranger on the internet suggests. Make your own, educated decisions on what you eat and how you exercise.

Thoughts on this?!


  1. says

    I don’t like to hear about a blogger getting busted for providing nutrition information; I guess I’m going to have to quit calling myself “Doctor” now…

  2. says

    I’m curious what he would talk about on the phone calls that he charged for. If he’s charging for advice, then it does sound like he’s practicing. If he’s just posting recipes and talking about how great his abs look now, then it’s free speech. But you’re right, he should definitely have a disclaimer.

  3. says

    That’s crazy about that blogger… I kind of feel like as long as he wasn’t selling nutritional advice or pretending that he was licensed, it shouldn’t be an issue? Anyone can put anything on the internet, it is up to other people to be smart about what they believe/follow.

  4. says

    That is scary since he was probably just sharing his story. I guess we should careful about what we post and definitely include the disclaimer. Great advice and thanks for sharing. By the way, I love watermelon too!

  5. Tia says

    I agree with Laura, if he’s charging, he’s offereing a service and if he is offering a service he should absolutely be licensed. Having the right training/information is VERY important if you are charging someone for it, they are paying good money to get the right info, regardless of whether he knew what he was talking about or not, you need to cover your basis.

    Sayin’ that, I think some people take things to far sometimes. Most foodies, or fitness blogs clearly state that they don’t blog everything they eat, that they are not professionals or whatever. I think people need to take more responsibility for themselves and the choices they make instead of blaming others, it’s called common sense. If you want REAL medical advice, maybe see a doctor or a nutrionist that you can talk to FACE to FACE.

  6. sally kate says

    As a current nutrition student, I was really upset with this situation. Honestly I’m upset that I even checked out his blog. It’s one thing to have an opinion and share what worked for you but it’s a totally different thing to be rude and ignorant. He is sharing what is working for him, but he has no education to back anything up. I mean he got in trouble because he was arguing with people at a diabetes conference then passing out cards to his website. I just believe there are better more tactful ways to get your opinion across.

  7. says

    WAIT! So you’re saying I shouldn’t be going to TJ’s, WF’s, and Costco everyday so I can have salads, watermelon, avocados, omelets with ketchup, french toast with PB and naners like you do? I thought all that would make me so so healthy so I can go out and run 150+ miles in 9 days like SR! Poop…guess it’s back to the drawing board!

    One serious question: Any chance you’re gonna do a giveaway of Avocados? They sure do look yummy!

    • says

      Ha! I am busted.

      In all honesty, I thought about an avocado giveaway but fear there is some law regarding shipping agriculture?! I’m too lazy to look into it so…nope.

  8. says

    I understand that there has to be a checks and balances system in society and that things have to be in place to protect the vulnerable/gulliable/niave. But on the other hand, something about this reminds me of the whole “we broke into your house and got hurt and am now going to sue the homeowners” concept. If you’re doing something wrong (like taking advice from someone you didn’t check out) then you need to accept the consequences.

  9. Ida says

    In general, i think states have bigger issues to deal with and there is not going to be some big push to take down bloggers. I think this guy is being singled out b/c he showed up at that seminar and annoyed the Board of Dietetics/Nutrition.
    Disclaimers are a good idea, but I dont think they would really protect a blogger who constantly portrays himself as a expert. Content of posts is way more important than some little blurb at the bottom of a blog.

  10. Katheryn says

    Unless he was selling his services for money, this shouldn’t even be an issue. There is crazy stuff everywhere on the internet. People have a right to write whatever they want. If others are going to be stupid enough to believe it’s what they should do – shame on them. I don’t even think there needs to be disclaimers on blogs. Are we really that dumb?

  11. says

    I’ve seen TV shows that promote natural remedies without a license. How about celebrities that do this very same thing?

  12. says

    that sucks. i mean, obviously if the blogger was claiming to be a nutritionist or dr…thats a no-no….but i think its obvious bloggers are people with opinions no matter what the subject and you shouldnt be penalized for having an opinion. if someone decides to follow in your footsteps whether its diet related or whatever…thats their choice. freedom of speech! ya!! haha

  13. says

    Thanks for the news blurb. I’ve seen some good blogs out there on the Paleo Diet, but after looking at this one, it looks like the guy had it in for the ADA. And like Ida said, to show up at a seminar and be contentious with the board, he was going to be singled out. I agree that the board has more important things to attend to than to police and monitor health and nutrition blogs.

    Unless we don’t go ruffling the state’s feathers, hopefully we can be confidant that we’re sharing what works for us, our thoughtful opinions, exercising our freedom of speech — all for the betterment of our online community.

  14. kendra says

    i’ve tried to watch the last three ask a monican’s but the video freezes after about 20 seconds, i can still hear the audio at least. is this happening to anyone else?

  15. says

    He was wrong for charging people for advice. Isn’t there more important stuff to worry about than this blogger? Makes me wonder though, what the laws are in my state.
    You should have your own talk show!! Love the video.

  16. Cheryl says

    Yay! Thanks for answering my question Monica! You are absolutely right… goal #1 is to cross that finish line with a smile on my face. 12 min pace it is :)

  17. Meg says

    Monica if someone out there starts living on watermelon because they think it’ll make them capable of running 22 miles a day, I got your back. LoL I mean come on there should be some responsibility of the people as well to know better!!!!!

  18. says

    Hmmmmm well that’s good to know! Haha I should be more up on these things, I’m a lawyer haha. I just posted about my thoughts on running and chronic pain (and how I, as a chronic back pain sufferer, think more people with chronic back problems should be running and doctors don’t encourage it enough)…. While I disclaimer the heck out of my blog, I still worry sometimes posting this stuff. I’m not holding myself out to be an expert, I’m sharing what works for me and what I think people should consider… You’re right though, there are a lot of things to think about with posting anything pseudo medical or giving any sort of advice. Sigh!

  19. says

    I’m TERRIFIED about people thinking I’m giving them professional advice on my blog. I only really write about my personal experiences in training for a marathon, but I’m scared that if people knew what I do professionally they’d ask me for advice. Soooo….I don’t write online what my profession is! When I write about my career, I keep it vague. I know that’s a little paranoid, but in my personal life I have people asking me for advice all the time because of my profession…the last thing I need is people in the blogworld doing the same thing!

  20. says

    I read the article and I can see both sides to the story – while freedom of speech should be allowed this blogger is also offering services for a fee to his readers. I make sure on my own blog that if I post anything that is me giving advice, I either find facts to back it up or say I don’t know, but this is my opinion. Treat a blog how you would treat a college paper.

  21. Losing Lindy says

    I haven’t been around, I am in the “homeland” visiting the fam. I am surprised by this. I agree, I need to put up a disclaimer..but most people wouldn’t take my advice, parenting to a cute kid or otherwise 😉

  22. says

    I think each of us, as readers, also have a responsibility – to weigh in a blogger or even a doctor or nutritionist’s “opinion” or in the latter two, advice and if necessary, probe, question further and even seeking a second (or third!) opinion.

  23. Lexi says

    That’s just rediculous. Everyone should act like the adult they are and get over it. You should be smart enough to make your own decisions about your body and life… yes, it’s ok to listen to other peoples advice but, that doesn’t mean you should always follow it.

  24. says

    I love your vlog. It makes my morning!
    Your news post came at a great time- I added a disclaimer to my blog yesterday! I own my own business, so unfortunately, my legal support has always warned me about covering my butt in all circumstances. Once I realized that someone besides my mom and my BFF were reading my blog, I decided that a little disclaimer couldn’t hurt!
    Have a great day.
    P.S. I’m SO jealous of your avocado collection! :)

  25. says

    I missed not having an Ask A Monican last week! Even if I do have to save them for after P goes to work. He always looks at me like I’m crazy and interrupting his TV time, so I’ve told him I’ll save them for when he’s gone from now on. It was a good one this week!

  26. says

    I think the whole thing is insane. People need to make informed decisions for themselves. And unless someone actually claims to be a doctor or a nutritionist, this shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately some people just aren’t smart enough to figure these things out for themselves.

  27. Leah says

    I checked out his blog and he does have a disclaimer which I assume/hope was there before. He admits he has no training, but then he slams others and gets pretty nasty. As long as he has that disclaimer I would hope he would be fine. There is freedom of speech after all. He’s not the first person to feel that the medical community failed him. Look at moms of kids with autism who finally saw improvements with DAN doctors, nutrition, going gluten free and/or supplements. Age of autism ‘s blog/site slams the medical community and I think they have every right to.

    There are a zillion pro-anorexia/thinspiration sites out there with bone thin people who starve, exercise to extremes and/or who throw up. I’ve seen sites where bone thin people say “do this so you can look just like me” and then impressible young girls posting comments worshiping their ematiated idols. So why pick on him? Yes, he’s negative and sarcastic, but there are nazi sites for goodness sakes.

    Stepping off my soapstone now.

  28. says

    Definitely have a disclaimer. Use this one, if nothing at all:

    The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child’s condition.

    And a disclosure. Copy this one too!

    Never leave a blog with out it!

  29. Sara says

    It doesn’t take very long to read the article and take a look at his website to see the reason that the ADA and all nutrition experts have a problem with this guy. Disclaimer or not, he IS advising folks on how he thinks they should eat (providing nutrition counseling w/o license) and, not only that, he’s advising them to ‘fight back’ against the experts (Md.’s and RD’s) because ‘he’ is right and the experts are wrong. This is dangerous. He has no idea what these people’s medical history is, labs, other meds they might be on, which all need to be considered when providing a pt with a multidisciplinary approach to treating DM. You don’t just listen to the doc and take the meds, you have to then speak with the dietitian..and the pharmD..all of it works together. Could you reduce overall caloric intake via severely restricting your diet, specifically carbs, causing wt loss and better control of your blood sugars? Maybe..but not for everyone. Not if there’s a compounding cardiac issue..possibly requiring meds. I could go on, but this isn’t necessarily the place for it. Only reason I commented was that it seems folks are overlooking that this guy isn’t just saying “this is what I ate today. It was yummy”, he’s taking it further, advising people that are sick..with a potentially deadly disease when he knows nothing about their particular situation..not only how to eat, but how to not listen to the experts that are educated on how to help them in the best way possible for that individual. 1 man does not negate actual science, research and education. And passing out cards, etc IS dangerous and he needs to understand the potential danger he is placing on people and, if he’s willing to dish out the info, he should be ready to take the consequences if/when someone gets sick after following his advice. Patients are complicated and often look to other sources for info..quick fixes..easy ways out.. It doesn’t work for everyone and is not best for everyone.. He needed to be warned about that. But from reading his latest ‘work’, he doesn’t seem to learn quickly. I suppose that’s why he’s not an expert in anything but giving his opinion.

  30. says

    This guy definitely pushed the limits and if he is giving one on one counseling then probably crossed the line.

    That said, I have a disclaimer that I am not a doctor, trainer or nutritionist and that you should see one of them for advice on your situation. I also try to make sure my posts on nutrition state I am just a normal person trying to make the best decisions for my family.

  31. Kathy says

    I think the board was doing their job- this guy is clearly selling nutrition counseling and advice while stating he has no formal education in the topic. As a registered and licensed dietitian I’m glad to know that the board in at least one state is guarding my profession. It takes time, energy and money to become an RD. Many professions have boards that are designed to do exactly what the North Carolina board has done in this situation- protect the ones who have passed exams demonstrating their competency and use that competency to make a living.

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