Orthorexia or Veganism

 

Where is that line between health conscious and orthorexic? Where does that line become crossed?

Yes, I am a huge animal advocate, I believe in not being cruel to animals. The way they are treated, mishandled, neglected and abused is awful. The hormones that are not only in the food, but that are also given to the animals (such as cows).

I also know I suffer from an Eating Disorder and have many fear foods, some of which are cheese meat. I have an issue with knowing what is in my food and the ingredients in it. When I was eating meat, I would lean on the side of caution, and was cautious of what went into the products. I was finally beginning to eat some certain cheeses, until I read “Whitewash”. It made me think, as well as a new perspective on dairy products and the dairy industry.

It really made me think what the intention behind this decision is. Am I doing this out of a disordered mindset, or for health conscious reasons? So I began to explore the internet for articles. One of them is called Mindfully Bliss, and she says, “Even some healthy foods frighten you and it takes up most of your time thinking and stressing about it.” Which is so true, then she says, “I know I am fine because I can eat raw vegan one day, then have vegan cupcakes and cookies the next.” (http://mindfullybliss.com/veganism-or-orthorexia/).

Then, my favorite, which I have probably read four times already, it is on neontommy.com. Titled, “Orthorexia is more than vegans gone overboard.” Find it here and see for yourself! http://www.neontommy.com/news/2014/11/orthorexia-more-vegans-gone-overboard

“Orthorexics may even eliminate foods from their diet that aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but are blamed for weight gain, such as fats or carbohydrates.” It states,

Sorry, but this entire paragraph is just too good to not use:

However, there are many major differences between the two eating styles that people fail to note. One, is that there are many products that are vegan that are not necessarily “clean.” Companies have created vegan chocolate bars, vegan ice cream and many vegan baked goods. In addition to this, numerous “junk” foods were made vegan unintentionally, such as Cracker Jacks, 7-Eleven snack pies, Fritos, Lay’s potato chips, Swedish fish and even Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili flavored chips. Vegans who choose their diets for ethical reasons will have no problem indulging in guilty pleasures, as long as they weren’t made at the cost of animal wellbeing. A person suffering from orthorexia would not touch many of the foods that are fair game for vegans. Likewise, there are some things that an orthorexic person may deem okay, like nonfat milk, cheese and low sodium meat that a vegan would decline.

I hate to admit this, but this entire paragraph didn’t just speak volumes to me, it screamed, yelled, sent off smoke signals and even fire alarms. I definitely understand the ethical reasons and making sure that they weren’t made from animals, because of the way they are treated. At the same time though, I also have an enormous fear of “Cracker Jacks, snack pies, Fritos, Lay’s potato chips, Swedish fish…” you get the idea. “A person suffering from orthorexia would not touch many of the foods that are fair game for vegans.”

This is what I ultimately aim for, “It was bad, but it wasn’t until I discovered veganism that all these negative thoughts and obsessions went away and my mind could finally be at peace.” I can eat, be mindful and enjoy what I eat, without all of the stress associated to meat and animal products. Does this mean though that I am just using this as an excuse for my orthorexic tendencies? Or am I merely a vegan who is recovering from an eating disorder?

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