Chances are if you are living right now and on social media or have Netflix, you know that there is a shit ton of crap in our foods and we need to only eat perfect foods free of chemicals because we’re all going to die if we don’t.
Maybe you’ve done a cleanse or a detox or a clean eating challenge to help you get rid of the toxins. And maybe… after a few days, weeks, months… the toxic food creeped back uncontrollably into your life so you needed to do a another clean, detox, or clean eating challenge to be perfect again.
Orthorexia. Ever hear of it?
“Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels
An increase in concern about the health of ingredients
Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products)
An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’
Unusual interest in the health of what others are eating
Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events
Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available
Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram
Body image concerns may or may not be present
Although being aware of and concerned with the nutritional quality of the food you eat isn’t a problem in and of itself, people with orthorexia become so fixated on so-called ‘healthy eating’ that they actually damage their own well-being.”
This last part is huge.
YES. It is important to eat nutrient-dense foods. Yes, no one is arguing against that.
But the obsession we’ve created around clean foods... the stress… the fear… the need for perfection…
It does 1 of 2 things:
1. You’re unable to live life and go anywhere to eat because you’re not sure your perfect foods will be there.
People kinda get sick of hearing how your foods are perfect and theirs are less than. So you stay home. And you miss out on life. (Who cares about being healthy if you can’t have a healthy social life?)
2. Eventually you binge on all the things you were avoiding.
This wasn’t supposed to be a crazy diet because you were being healthy and clean and doing kind things for your body. But one day, you eventually miss all the unhealthy things… and you binge. Like crazy. And when the binge is over, you vow to return to your clean eating plan because that’s all you know. Either be perfect or say F it.
There’s this crazy option though. An unexplored territory.
You’re not a perfect clean eater and you’re not a crazy binge eater.
You break up with food perfection and attempt this space in the middle.
Instead of the pendulum swinging from binge to clean from binge to clean… it hovers in the middle.
A lot of people hate that I promote processed foods, but F ‘em.
I spent way too many years stressing about perfect foods, and when we look at where our country is with diets, we gain weight back because we never practice what moderation looks like. We only know PERFECT or F IT and we never practice the middle.
So yes, I had potato chips with my lunch.
But I also had plants. And protein.
When building a plate whether it is a snack or a meal, I always lead with plants first followed by protein second… and a lil bit but not a lotta bit of processed foods to make sure I am practicing behaviors.. practicing moderation ALWAYS… practicing being a #normaleater and not trying to be perfect.
And for the last 3 years, it’s been amazing.
I love not being stressed about food.
p.s. If you struggle with late night eating, I am creating a mini course teaching women how to end it in a kind, kind way for themselves. It would mean a lot to me if you took my free mini course and gave me some feedback before I launched it. Thank you!! End Nighttime Eating