On Tuesday morning, after my 4 mile run, I was getting my bike ready for an intense 1 hour and 45 minute interval session (once again, thanks Karel for the killer bike set!) and a story on Good Morning America caught my attention.
Orthorexia - an eating disorder which afflicts those who have an over-the-top obsession with healthy food. In a junk-food obsessed nation, orthorexica are preoccupied with avoiding 'impure' foods and may become emaciated.
Here's the story:
Although this is a recently new (or talked about) term, this condition probably does not affect the majority of our population. Just like other eating disorders (anorexia, binge eating, anorexia athletica, overeating, overexercise, night eating, bulemia and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) the percentage of people who are clinical diagnosed with x-eating disorder is very small. However, there are certainly many people out there who live their life undiagnosed with an eating disorder and just excuse unhealthy behaviors for "being healthy" or "being active".
According to the story/article, this obsessive-compulsive illness occurs in individuals who refuse to consume "impure" foods and lose dangerous amounts of weight.
Here's another article that my friend Jennifer Hutchison, R.D. posted on her blog.
This article really got me thinking.
On one hand, the media tells us over and over that we MUST READ FOOD LABELS in order to know what we are eating, how much we are eating and to limit ourselves from unhealthy food choices. Based on this article, kids are developing an unhealthy relationship with food because their parents are obsessed with making sure they eat only what would be considered uber-healthy.
Consider these statistics:
Source: Flegal, KM, Carroll, MD, Ogden, CL, Curtin, LR. Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among US Adults, 1999–2008. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2010; 235–241.
National Center for Health Statistics. Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Health, United States, 2008. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 2008.
*Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight (BMI 25-29.9) or obese.
All adults: 68 percent
Women: 64.1 percent
Men: 72.3 percent
*Over one-third of U.S. adults are obese(BMI >30)
All adults: 33.8 percent
Women: 35.5 percent
Men: 32.2 percent
*5.7 percent of U.S. adults are extremely obese (BMI >40)
Here's the fascinating one....
*Less than one-third of U.S. adults are at a healthy weight (BMI 18-24)
All adults: 31.6 percent
Women: 36.5 percent
Men: 26.6 percent
I feel our society, active individual or not, DOES have an unhealthy relationship with food. Despite the number of people overweight or obese in our nation, there is an overwhelming amount of information on "how to lose weight" but for some reason, it ISN'T WORKING.
And now, instead of news stations discussing in great detail the concerns of fast food options, restaurant portions, school lunch options and unregulated "diet" supplements, the news is coming out with an article telling people that if you "obsess" over your food you will get an eating disorder.
You know my #1 and #2 philosophy of eating healthy:
1) If you eat well most of the time you don't have to worry 'bout the rest of the time
2) Life is about consistency and balance
When it comes to living a life of activity and healthy eating, it is important to create healthy habits that can be continued no matter how old you are, no matter where you live/travel or what time in the year. Certainly, your life changes, as should your eating. However, by having a healthy relationship with food you are going to get so much more out of life.
Believe me, a healthy relationship with food doesn't happen overnight. Especially if you are an athlete, it can be hard to see food as fuel, alongside trying to maintain/lose weight, prevent disease/illness and feel satisfied throughout the day.
I'd love to hear your thoughts of healthy eating? Do you have a healthy relationship with food or are you working towards a healthier relationship with food?
To get you started with a healthier relationship with food, enjoy my latest creations.
Spinach fruit salad
In a large container:
1-2 tbsp lime juice
*optional - hard boiled egg
Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
1 1/2 cups oats
1 banana (mashed)
1/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/4 cup raisins (chopped)
3 tbsp skim milk
1-4 tbsp water (to help with softening the batter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Mix all ingredients together (I used a fork). Add 1 tbsp of water to help with stirring.
2. On a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (sprayed with a little nonstick spray), spoon 1 tbsp cookie batter onto foil and press to make a flat cookie (I used a little cooking spray on the palm of my hand to press each cookie).
3. Bake for 12-15 min. or until cookie edges are golden brown.
(These are delicious!)