Most people are familiar with recognizing cardiac conditions, thyroid conditions, cancer, stroke and obesity (recently included) as diseases. Orthorexia Nervosa (Clean Eating) is the latest “disease” making headline news throughout the world. First, diagnosed in 1997, Clean Eating has become identified as a psychological eating disorder capable of destroying lives. Should this “disease” raise any red flags and encourage us to re-evaluate how we view food? As serious as this disorder can become, it is simply another example of radical behavior. I have written many articles on various health topics. Every single one has called for an approach that seeks BALANCE in achieving good health.
I am greatly concerned this recently highly advertised “disease” will fuel the media and giant manufacturers of unhealthy products to convince the consumer that Clean Eating is dangerous. Marketing and advertising are very powerful tools used to manipulate the consumer into believing distortions of so called “truths.” Manufacturers of heavily processed foods containing chemicals that challenge our ability to digest and absorb nutrients essential for healthy living claim that research supports their products as good healthy choices. Research designed to intentionally reach preconceived conclusions is NOT valid research. These companies intentionally create mass confusion to convince the consumer to maintain their current unhealthy lifestyle. The end result keeps an unhealthy consumer “happy” by satisfying their addiction to nutrient poor “foods” while maintaining healthy Big Business Profits and Happy Stock Investors.
WHO ARE THE REAL WINNERS IN THIS SITUATION?
The last thing we need to do is vilify Clean Eating! Instead, we need to provide a better definition that satisfies its intent while providing a REALISTIC approach to accomplishing its goal. It needs to be placed in the same context as REALISTIC exercise. These are two (of several) ESSENTIAL components that EVERYONE needs to participate in to support our physical, mental and spiritual health necessary to achieving BALANCE in life.
Where do we start:
Clean Eating should refer to quality food we consume on a PERCENTAGE BASIS. Each individual can decide for themselves, however, a foundational guideline may recommend 80% clean and 20% comfort or 90% clean and 10% comfort. Clean must also be defined as, “better quality foods generally providing healthier nutrients WITH FEWER TOXIC CONTAMINANTS.” This means foods that contain fewer to none of the following: GMO’s, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and any other synthetic chemical. In addition, they should NOT be heavily processed. Limiting poorer food choices while satisfying the need to include any desirable food (within the 10%-20% allotment), will result in a healthier view of eating and improved physical outcome.
Exercise also NEEDS to be incorporated in a meaningful way without encroaching on an individual’s limited discretionary time. Start with a range between 5-15 minutes (especially if you are a sedentary person that is unaccustomed to exercising.) Limit your exercise to three times per week. This makes the task more achievable. What type of exercise you start with is up to you. It might be: stretching, yoga, walking, bicycling, resistive exercises (with bands or weights), calisthenics or some combination of these. It doesn’t matter what you choose. The important thing is creating the time and habit to exercise. This should be viewed in a POSITIVE light reinforcing a commitment to oneself. Small changes like this lead to incredible changes in attitude that result in greater happiness and better health.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t forget to consult with your licensed health care provider before starting any exercise regimen to make certain your health history doesn’t require specific considerations to be accounted for.
THE “SMELL TEST:”
I am a big believer in this test. If you hear, read or see something that produces “red flags” think twice before following its advice.
REALLY? Why is a respirator mask, protective body suit and protective gloves needed? What protective safeguards do we use when consuming products like this? Do you really believe that rinsing with water removes the toxic chemicals from food? How does the smell test register when seeing pictures of this reality?
Even if the subject reported by the media supports something you would really LIKE to believe, be objective before you “buy into” taking action. Big Business understands the consumers EMOTIONAL response to suggestions. Why not educate the food industry rather than relying on them educating us. We can accomplish this TEACHING GOAL by PURCHASING better food choices. This TEACHES Big Agriculture to grow healthier foods and Big Manufacturers to supply our stores with better products. Why do I believe this can work? Simple. It creates a triple win outcome:
Big Agriculture and Big Food Manufacturers continue to generate healthy profits, but do so from different food sources.
The stock investor continues to grow their portfolio value from the growth in the food industry.
The consumer gets to enjoy a healthier and happier life with fewer episodes of pain and disease while saving more money with less medical expenditure.
NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A HAPPY ENDING!
Let your voice be heard through actions. Look at your grocery list and see if it passes the “smell test” for achieving BALANCE in food selections. This becomes a great starting point. As we begin to follow this approach to food choices, we solve an important health care issue causing so much confusion and controversy.