THE LATEST DISEASE IN MEDIA REPORTING: CLEAN EATING (Orthorexia Nervosa)

Media-thanks-corporate-media-for-helping-control-the-people-e1391623042325Most 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.

title-slidecroplife-talkfeb-2013I 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?

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Cartoon-Businessman-with-Failure-concept487390935The 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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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.

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“THESE FOODS ARE PERFECTLY SAFE AND HEALTHY TO EAT!”

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:

  1. Big Agriculture and Big Food Manufacturers continue to generate healthy profits, but do so from different food sources.

  2. The stock investor continues to grow their portfolio value from the growth in the food industry.

  3. 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!

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The willingness to uncover our eyes and speak up respectfully in order to improve our Nation’s direction is a responsibility we all must be willing to accept. This is the basis for positive change.

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.

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28 comments

  1. Balance really is the target we should aim for, isn’t it? That becomes clearer and clearer to me with each passing day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I believe that BALANCE it is a wonderful place to find and exist in. It creates greater happiness and better health than those seeking PERFECTION. It is a place that accepts mistakes as long as we learn from them. It’s the place where I choose to live my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mistakes are inevitable, I think, so might as well embrace them as a part of life, instead of being defeated by them. They are how we learn, so they are good!

        Like

        1. For some, mistakes are further examples of failure. This mindset needs rethinking. As you state, the object is to LEARN from mistakes in order to grow and develop as an individual. As a person gains better self esteem it becomes easier to see life in this manner. Failure (as a negative outcome) only truly happens when we completely give up in life.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Balance is the key to everything in life. The section highlighted in red resonated with me. I was just saying something similar to a friend. “willingness to uncover our eyes and speak up respectfully in order to improve our Nation’s direction.” I agree 100%. Nice post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As Henry Higgins said to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, ” By George, I think he’s got it!” (Had to masculinize it for you. πŸ™‚ ) I hope people understand my writing seeks to expose new perspectives. The aim is to provide options to improve our lives rather than simply pointing fingers and finding organizations to blame. If we all realize we’re situated in the same boat, it would be much easier to go places if we all rowed in the same direction (together.)

      Have a wonderful weekend. Hope the eye is healing well for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL I don’t know why people can’t adopt that attitude of we’re on the same boat. Eye is healing. Still have some blur. More concerned with the healing of C1-C6. Thanks. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    I worked for a company closely tied to the produce industry for almost 10 years and I can tell you honestly that there is definitely a fair amount of public manipulation going on. But knowing what I know, I am a bit baffled as to why they even need this campaign to begin with. I witnessed multiple buyouts with major food producers taking over the little guys. Then I watched lobbyists go to work on changing the definitions and terms regarding how our food is grown. In my personal opinion there is no such thing as “organic” unless you grow it yourself. The term “all natural” is a fallacy also. I stopped buying “organic” a decade ago because I know people that have visited these farms both in this country and around the world. In other words, the food manufacturers already control the market so why even bother discrediting clean eating? No one is eating clean anyway.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As an insider, you probably know a lot more than me about the quality of organic food. I continue to recommend it, because I do not know a realistic alternative that provides quality nutrition. When I use the term “Clean Eating” I am referring to the better (supposed) choices. I have always believed that everything we do in life in moderation yields the best long term outcome.

      Your “insider” information is troubling, yet not surprising. Until the public wakes up to this reality, the Big Companies will continue to monopolize the industry and reduce the quality of food we choose from. It’s a very sad commentary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

        In case you feel like digging a little further into the term “organic” check out http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you. This will give me a little homework to do. I am always open to any good information someone offers that supports my positions OR opposes it.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

        This is an old link, but it will get you off to a good start. For example, Earthbound Farms was against GMOs but they were purchased by WhiteWave, a company that supports GMO use.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    I apologize if my personal opinion may have been a bit long winded! I do have a fever as I write this! Lol! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nurse that fever over the weekend and feel better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware and follow the money trail to uncover the truth! Notice first Latin word Cav-eat…Paleo guys would love that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly part of the equation.

      Like

  6. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is something that I have just heard about recently. Important to read this for your health.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve just discovered Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who wrote Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which urges a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. I’m currently reading the book and finding out about some fascinating studies regarding the heart’s ability to combat disease through diet and exercise. My family has a rich history of heart disease. My only complaint is that I can easily give up red meat, chicken and eggs, but I’m not so sure about fish. I love vegetables, so this isn’t an issue.

    Please let me know what you think of Esselstyn’s approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, I must quantify my response by saying my answer is based on long term benefits and results.
      I am not a fan of any diet that excludes “healthy choices.” I put healthy choices in quotes because one diet’s healthy choice is another diet’s unhealthy choice. I believe in variety. This provides various sources of macro nutrients as well as a variety of eating options (to prevent boredom.) I am more concerned with the quality of choice. I prefer my poultry and beef to be organic; fish wild caught rather than farmed. I support legumes in the diet as well as quinoa and other quality grain products. I like the unprocessed cold pressed oils (avocado and olive as unsaturated sources and coconut oil for saturated along with ghee butter.) I like sweet potatoes as well as quality organic multigrain breads (in limited quantity.) Good varieties of organic vegetables are an absolute must. These are all quality choices of foods. Reducing the processed foods and reducing GMO products will also improve digestive function. For most people, these types of foods as staples will improve the quality of health they experience.

      The variety listed will keep an individual from growing bored while maintaining delicious flavor. I have found this approach (for the long term) more effective than any restrictive meal plan (plant based or paleo.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate all the valuable info you’ve given me and will definitely take it to heart πŸ™‚ I also enjoyed your post! It should make everyone who reads your fine work skeptical about the big corporations that control a lot of our food source.

        I’ve copied and pasted your response and will add it to my other research. It’s wonderful having someone as proactive and responsive as you are. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I thought you were kidding, Jonathan! I was reading this post and thinking it was going to be one of your satire ones and then I realized that it isn’t. I actually Googled “Orthorexia Nervosa” and unless the rest of the internet is playing a joke on me too (and I’m skeptical that even you could arrange that), then you’re actually serious!

    Wow. It’s no wonder that people are so confused about what they should and shouldn’t be eating. Until the people who are supposed to safeguard our health get out of bed with the people who seem hell bent on destroying it, I’m not sure that this obesity epidemic is ever going away. Discouraging healthy habits by calling people who respect their bodies “obsessed” is really pushing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is a real condition and dangerous if the behavior spirals out of control preventing the individual from meeting the food requirements necessary for survival. However,it affects a fractional amount of people when comparing it to obesity and the population at large. It needs to be reported more intelligently by explaining the problem is a psychological disorder and that the potential for damage is the result of a brain imbalance and NOT the concept of CLEAN EATING. The reporting of these types of stories by the media make the health care community cringe as it competes with our efforts to help correct the obesity epidemic.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The ancient (ca 700 BC) wisdom about balance/moderation is forever relevant and forever in need of updated restatements (such at this timely post) as it applies to contemporary concerns.

    {{ELIZABETH KNOWLES. “moderation in all things.” The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 2006. Retrieved January 11, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O214-moderationinallthings.html}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great, just when I thought I was the originator of the term balance/moderation, you go and burst my bubble by informing me that a few years back (ca 700 BC) some Greek poet named Hesiod might have mentioned this concept first. Apparently, I just went from great intellectual to plagiarist. πŸ˜€

      I always look forward to your comments. You are a very bright man that challenges the reader’s mind with your wording and your perspective. Your writing and comments help me attain further growth and development. I appreciate your skills.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Are U sure U want to use “clean eating” as a Greek-free synonym for “orthorexia nervosa”? Bratman’s original phrase “unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food” is only slightly longer and is much less likely to be misinterpreted. In explaining his Greek phrase, Bratman is quite explicit about NOT wanting to suggest that healthy eating itself is pathological. The extremely short phrase “clean eating” is vulnerable to being spun by the junk food purveyors.

    {{http://www.orthorexia.com/what-is-orthorexia/}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. I included this potential “spin” in this post. The problem is “unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food” may provide a better clinical explanation, but is not commonly understood as a real condition or expressed by the media as such. I believe that using “clean eating” will effectively create a greater sense of disbelief (as a disease) among those attempting to improve their dietary lifestyles. Your point, however, is valid and well taken.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

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