Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthy is the new unhealthy?

I was reading tonight about orthorexia...some call this a new eating disorder others say it's not. OK, maybe it is, maybe it's not, that's not the point of this post. Orthorexia is defined simply as an unhealthy obsession with eating, or as righteous eating. It starts when someone has a general desire to eat healthy, so she cuts out red meat. Eventually, this evolves in to some obsession where she can only eat food that she deems is healthy or 'right'. Notice that I said 'she deems is healthy or right'. This is because practitioners of orthorexia may come up with some eating rules that sound pretty out there to some of the rest of us.

I guess the point is that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing (kind of like with soy!). Anytime that we embark upon a new food plan, it's important to remember that a balanced diet is important and that all or nothing rules are probably not a good thing. This also speaks to the elusive Vitamin X...that whatever that's in food that scientists can't put their finger on. When we restrict our diets too much, we are probably losing out on vitamins and minerals that are essential to our total health.

I'm not a doctor and certainly not a nutrition expert, but anything that's all or nothing doesn't seem normal to me. I know that when I go completely without sugar, going back on it is like snapping the rubber band. I yo-yo between extremes and don't have a middle ground. I'm not a person who would be comfortable cutting out carbs or meat or fat or dairy or anything completely. I am a person who desires a well-rounded diet with a goal of general health. I do subscribe to Michael Pollan's food manifesto of Eat Food, Not too Much, Mostly Plants. That doesn't mean that I'll never go to McDonald's again though. (By the way, I have not eaten McDonalds in almost 5 years...except for one egg mcmuffin when there was no other dining choice.)

Standard regular breakfast...Uncle Sam cereal (10 grams of fiber!), berries, hard-boiled egg and skim milk.

Salad!! Lettuce, tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumbers, celery, carrots, red cabbage and some chicken.

I had an apple for a snack on my way home...

And for dinner, thin sliced chicken breast cooked with olive oil, steamed broccoli and basmati rice with a little bit of butter.

I also ate 3 slices of pepperoni....and popcorn.

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