It’s preposterous, isn’t it?
To say that eating too well can be unhealthy?
A Colorado-licensed physician and a national-level expert on alternative medicine, Steven Bratman, M.D., determined that some of his patients were so obsessed with healthy diets that he thought they had eating disorders. So, in 1997, he coined the term orthorexia nervosa, meaning “righteous eating.” Isn’t that term laughable? Maybe Big Food swayed him to mock, discredit, and obscure health-conscious people just like you. Maybe it was a marketing ploy from Big Pharma to create another disorder and sell another drug to the market or get you locked up in a loony bin, all because you have practices and beliefs associated with healing or attaining optimal health through foods.
It’s like you’re being accused, persecuted, and punished by society, like witches. Similarly to Mel Gibson’s character in the movie Conspiracy Theory (who was made to appear insane for suspecting fraudulent government activity everywhere), you are made to appear insane for suspecting toxic substances in most prepared foods—toxic substances such as high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and MSG—or for refusing to eat a Big Mac.
Nonetheless, if you read the different “symptoms” of the “mental disorder,” you’ll find some cause for concern. People can take their food purity obsessions to such an extreme that they become phobic, antisocial, manic, and excessively controlling. What starts off as a concern for healthy eating can turn into obsessive-compulsive behaviors if you’re not careful.
Thankfully, you can be a health nut without taking things that far. So, let’s name a few behaviors that level-headed health nuts just don’t do:
1. They don’t make food their main topic with everyone
Level-headed health nuts know that not everything revolves around food, and they can talk endlessly about any other topic because they’re versatile.
2. They don’t shout that only their diet can save the world
They feel that healthy foods can improve the lives of people, but not to the extent that it can solve all the aches and pains in the world.
3. They don’t obsess over being pure
Level-headed health nuts don’t become anxious if they swallow a small quantity of something that wasn’t grown directly from the earth. They don’t believe they have to remove every single toxin in their body. If a loved one prepared food for them made with love, they don’t try to control what is served because they know food brings people together and creates many memorable moments. Instead, they’re empathetic and share the meals of their loved ones, knowing they’ll be happy. They focus on the quality food they ingest the majority of the time, are satisfied with that, and trust their bodies to remove waste effectively.
4. They don’t severely restrict themselves to their diet
They don’t have a compulsive focus on calories or a self-destructive preoccupation with eating the “right” foods. They know that sometimes they have to make choices that are outside their optimal diet out of convenience and they can live with that.
5. They won’t go on a 6-month coconut water fast to “purify” their bodies
Level-headed health nuts understand the concept of water fasting and agree with it, but they know it’s only a therapeutic thing that shouldn’t last more than one month.
6. They don’t spend crazy amounts of time preparing food strictly from whole foods
They know that home meals are better and they take pleasure in preparing everything from scratch, but if they don’t feel like making homemade mustard or ketchup (for instance), they’re not ashamed of going to the grocery store to buy the highest quality products available.
7. They don’t compromise love, joy, and creativity over following the perfect diet
Level-headed health nuts are not preoccupied with worrying about food to miss out on other activities and interests in order to follow some ideal guidelines.
8. They don’t feel guilt or self-loathing when they stray from their diets or think of eating comforting foods
They don’t punish themselves when they slip up. They understand that they’re human, they make mistakes, and they can try again.
9. They don’t determine their self-worth based on how much they control their diets
Yes, level-headed health nuts feel proud when they adhere to their health goals, but they don’t demean or belittle themselves if they lose control or fail at times.
10. They don’t feel superior, condescend others, and despise people who don’t make the same lifestyle choices as them
They don’t act as if they’re enlightened or on a pedestal for their dietary mastery. Instead, they understand that people have their own struggles and their own path to choose.
11. They don’t judge others who aren’t searching for spirituality through food
Level-headed health nuts understand the energy they get from fresh and whole foods, but they don’t scrutinize others who don’t aspire to attain illumination, nirvana, or a higher consciousness from it.
12. They don’t spend most of their lives thinking about what they should be eating
They don’t plan their menus day in and day out in order to feel reassured. They don’t live in fear of uncertainty. Instead, they plan their weekly or daily menus in order to be more organized and spend less time in the kitchen so they can think about it once a week or once a day, move on, and better enjoy the rest of the time.
13. They don’t starve to death for righteous eating
If there’s nothing up to their liking, level-headed health nuts will still eat something that is close to what is preferable because they know eating is a basic need.
14. They don’t feel like their diets are not good enough
They know there’s always room for improvement, but they don’t stress over and over about chasing perfection because they know it’s pointless.
15. They don’t follow their diets like a religion
Level-headed health nuts don’t blindly follow the draconian rules of a leader or a belief system like fanatics. They don’t adhere to a closed group that shuns other people, either. Instead, they take what works for them and leave what doesn’t.
16. They don’t isolate themselves socially just because they feel the outside world won’t meet their eating needs
They don’t experience anxiety if they are in a situation where their dietary needs can’t be met, spending most of their time eating at home. Instead, they know that they can’t control external events, so they focus on the control they can exercise at home and learn to add water to their wine once they’re outside.
17. They don’t lose weight to the point where it’s dangerous.
Level-headed health nuts monitor themselves regularly to make sure they don’t reach an unhealthy weight. They can evaluate themselves, know where to draw the line between thin and too thin, and know when it’s time to switch to something else.
18. They don’t spend excessive time, money, and energy to make sure they get every medicinal food existing on the market.
Of course, they believe that food is their medicine, but they don’t go all out stocking their pantries with tons of superfoods or herbs. Instead, they make decisions based on the reality of their finances and life conditions and believe that regular, simple foods are also powerful despite the array of superfoods in the world. They’ll get a few superfoods and vitamins only to complement their diets if needed.
19. They don’t live their lives constantly worrying about physical ailments or imagining them.
Level-headed health nuts are not hypochondriacs. Instead, they live in the moment and trust in the strength of their bodies.
How to Be a Healthy Health Nut
Healthy eating isn’t a crazy thing. Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems. Healthy eating is about making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life. No matter what the reason: to give you energy, to shed excessive pounds, or to prolong your life – and of course, there’s nothing wrong with being committed to it. But it’s all about balance.
So, yes, make healthy choices in what you eat all the time. Yes, avoid harmful ingredients. Yes, make it a better way of life – but don’t let your way of life kill you. Don’t be consumed by it. Don’t go nuts.
If so, you won’t even enjoy a happy life and reap the benefits of it. That would be a shame, don’t you think?