Meet Maxine

Welcome! My name is Maxine and I’m a London-based journalist, writer, and linguist.

Here, I write about the language, health and food, and occasionally get very pedantic about labels whilst working my way through peanut butter by the jar.

About the blog

Created in 2014 as a diary of my clumsy navigation through the ever-glamourous and trendy London health and fitness scene as a starry-eyed first year undergraduate, I soon discovered a flair for creating ‘delicious and nutritious’ recipes and, like many others during the wellness blogger boom, I took to documenting them in my own personal quarters online (my bowls of porridge still get more likes than my face). However, whilst studying my undergraduate degree in Linguistics at King’s College London, I grew more conscious of and concerned by the largely negative and moralistic language tied to our eating habits, particularly in the health and wellness industry. ‘Guilty pleasures,’ ‘cheat meals,’ ‘clean, pure and free from nasties.’ I saw how the hideous connotations tied to these words might foster a deeply disordered relationship with food – no wonder that 2/3 of women are on a diet most of the time when fuelling our daily existence is considered such a sin! And so began my quest to reconnect health with indulgence and help others understand that doing the things that bring you joy, that nourish your body and feed your soul without stress or anxiety is what truly allows you to live well.

Since completing my first degree in 2016, I have written and contributed to various publications and online platforms such as Women’s Health UK, BBC Good Food, Hip and Healthy and The Nourishment Network, and was Digital Editor, lead content writer, programme manager and speaker at Balance Festival 2017. Additionally, I work with several health and food brands to drive awareness and spark real, experience-led discussions about innovations in health and wellness. From September 2017, I will be undertaking an MSc degree in Medical Humanities at King’s College London, in order to help create more balanced, inclusive and accessible conversations about health.

Why Language?

It’s true, health and wellness is at the height of popularity and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, whether it’s through gaining a nutrition degree (accredited or otherwise), releasing a recipe book or becoming a personal trainer slash social media sensation. Indeed, my love of food and fitness caused me to contemplate all of these options at one point but, let’s be honest, the market is saturated and no one needs another book on avocados and courgetti…

What I did notice, however, was an absence in the discussion of language. Sure, people were arguing over the definitions of ‘clean eating’ and the categorisation of ‘processed food,’ but no one was exploring language as a whole and considering how every single utterance we use around health is intertwined in wider cultural values and identities. Words dictate how we perceive the world, how we perceive food, fitness and how we perceive ourselves, and I saw an opportunity to delve deep into this discourse and become a catalyst for change through my passion for writing and words.

My interests aren’t limited to the wellness industry, however. I have a background in narrative research of disability and illness, food and health politics and health promotion. Though perhaps not as glamourous as where to find the best smoothie bowl in London, these topics and conversations are absolutely paramount for giving everyone an equal opportunity to live healthily and happily. And so yes, you may find a fair amount of food here, maybe even the odd workout or gym mention, but my overarching goal is to transform what healthy means to you.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re an editor, brand or you just want to say hi!