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Being obsessed with healthy food is more common than people realize. And it is actually contributing to stress and chronic health issues. And it has a name….orthorexia. Have you crossed the line?
The snowball effect
So, you’re trying to eat healthily and so you begin to make changes. The first things to go are all packaged and processed foods. They have no nutritional value and so many chemicals and additives. And get rid of the fast food too!
Then you look at grains and you change to whole wheat from regular white wheat. And you switch to turbinado sugar from white sugar because it’s healthier. You also begin eating more fresh fruits and vegetables because they are healthy too. Then you start learning about healthy fats and start to consume those.
Then you read the information that says that wheat is bad to eat unless it’s either sprouted or soaked. So you begin soaking and sprouting. Until you read the information that gluten is bad for your health. So you go gluten-free. Until you read that all grains are bad for your health and will cause cancer and obesity, in desperation, you give up all grains completely!
Pesticides and GMOs
Then you find out that regular, store-bought produce contains too many pesticides, so it’s best to buy organic. But be careful with GMOs. Oh, and avoid cruciferous vegetables because they can affect the thyroid. Oh, and nightshade veggies are out too because they can cause inflammation!
Then there are the fats. First, it was all about Extra virgin olive oil. That was EVERYTHING! But then you find out that it doesn’t contain enough omega 3s. And of course, we really need much more fat…..but fat like butter….and lard! And don’t forget Virgin Coconut oil!
Nuts are out unless you soak and dry them first….but even then, nuts can cause problems. There are nut allergies to worry about. And skip the peanuts altogether because they contain aflatoxins.
And now you need to think about your meat. You can’t buy store-bought because those animals are kept in horrible living conditions, fed both GMO soy and corn and given steroids and antibiotics. And there might be some kind of pink slime….at least in the ground beef. Eeeewwwww! So you absolutely MUST find pasture-raised, grass-fed meat and eggs. And they can’t have been fed any GMO soy or corn….ever.
You know you absolutely have to avoid all seafood because farm-raised is bad and wild-caught fish are full of mercury and toxins.
What about meat?
So you decide that meat is the way to go. But then again, you discover that killing animals is just plain wrong and maybe due to your conscious you should consider becoming a vegetarian because it’s okay to eat eggs….as long as they are pasture raised. And you can drink milk and eat dairy products….organic of course.
Except that it is just wrong to drink milk and eat dairy. Only baby cows do that! You hear that drinking milk and eating dairy is going to make you sick! Then you discover that experts say that the good fats you’ve been eating are really bad. They will cause heart disease and kill you. And eggs will lead to high cholesterol which will cause you to have heart disease as well. So now those are out!
Then you discover that you shouldn’t really eat any sweeteners. Even fruit is bad because any kind of sugar is just downright dangerous and can lead to obesity and diabetes.
But there are so many vegetables that you can’t eat because they contain phytotoxins or might be irradiated unless you have grown them yourself in your own backyard.
So you can’t eat grains, meat, eggs, dairy, sweeteners, fruit, nuts, fats, and a whole lot of vegetables. Let’s not even talk about seasonings or salt!
AArrrrrrggggghhhh! Now you are positively obsessed with every meal and every bite! And frustrated at what to eat, because according to some expert somewhere, it’s bad for your health and going to cause you to have more than one chronic illness!
If you are feeling overwhelmed about food choices and obsessed over what you eat, then you may be suffering from an addiction to the healthiest food possible. This obsession is unhealthy. Luckily, many people avoid getting to this point, but those who do get this far do struggle with health issues. This is due to the fact that they become so preoccupied with food and so afraid of eating the wrong things that they experience extreme stress. Many also suffer from nutritional deficiencies due to diets that lack a rounded variety of nutrient-rich foods.
So if you find yourself stressing a little too much over the foods you are eating, then take a deep breath! It isn’t healthy to be obsessed with healthy food. That stress can undermine any efforts you are making to eat well.
When trying to eat healthier, remember these things
Limit processed foods
It is best to limit packaged, processed, and fast food to no more than 20% of your diet. They have had most of the nutrient content processed out, and so if you consume a large percentage of your diet as these kinds of foods, then you will end up malnourished. But you can still eat a little! They don’t call it “junk” food for nothing! Just think of every fast food restaurant and convenience store as a junkyard!
Whole foods rule!
If it works for your body, then sprouted or soaked grains (which remove the chemicals that prevent nutrient absorption), nuts, seeds, meat, dairy, fruits, healthy fats, vegetables, and natural sweeteners should comprise most of your diet (80%)
Stop trying to be perfect!
There was only one perfect human being, and He died on a cross a very long time ago. So the more “perfect” you try to be, the more you will stress yourself out….and that WILL affect your health!
Eat how grandma used to eat
Model what you eat after the way your grandparents and great-grandparents ate! It really is about doing more cooking from scratch and not relying on the hamburger helper and fast food! We have tons of great, easy, and quick recipes here that can help to make cooking much less stressful! And there are lots of other fabulous real food bloggers out there cooking up a storm and sharing their recipes as well!
Listen to your body!
If you do not tolerate a specific food, then avoid it! Yes, even if it is bacon….or chocolate! Suspect that you are intolerant of a food? Remove it from your diet for two weeks. See if your symptoms subside. Then add it back in. If your symptoms return, then it’s a pretty good bet that you and that food just don’t get along! Kick it to the curb!