Yes. That's what I said. I want to punch it in the face.
I'm not talking about healthy eating. I'm talking about food-a-phobic eating.
If certain foods are labeled as "clean," does that make everything else dirty?
There is an elusive food bible somewhere out there with an ever-growing list of "dirty" foods, and an ever-shrinking list of acceptable foods. There are many contradictory versions, mind you, so hopefully you pick the right food religion.
I recently had a 28-year-old woman in my office weeping about how afraid she is to eat. This growing fear around eating is creating an emotional food purgatory that creates food restrictions to the point of malnutrition. There is no salvation at the end of this religion, I promise you. This disorder (yes, it's now a bonafide disorder) is being diagnosed as Orthorexia.
Orthorexia, as defined by The National Eating Disorder Association (NADA), literally means "fixation on righteous eating." It is an obsession with eating foods that one considers safe and healthy, and a great fear of foods that are "bad" - such as bread. The bread apocalypse is coming, by the way. Leave it to civilization to take things to the extreme. (That's never happened before.)
Here's what I have to say:
Trust your body. Focus on balance, and not on perfection. Extremism never pays off. Enjoy food in great variety. Take time to taste the food you are eating. Be grateful for it. Listen to your body. Don't over-eat. Don't under-eat. Get outside. And most importantly, remember that eating chocolate cake won't make you dirty. Unless you are a two year old.