Health & Beauty | 5 August 2015Health & Restriction: Eating Somewhere in the Middle Share article facebook twitter google pinterest In her book Breaking Vegan – part memoir, part healthy eating manifesto – Jordan Younger describes the tortured relationship with food she experienced for many years in her life. Though she may have been eating whole, healthful foods, she became obsessed with it. She became unhealthy in her quest to control her life through her food. Thankfully, on the other side of her addiction, Younger helps readers learn how to have wholesome, productive relationships with their diets. Here’s one of her tips for breaking vegan: Find the Balance Between Health and Restriction After living a super-strict plant-based vegan lifestyle for two years and restricting in various other ways before that, I felt like making healthy choices was a sin and emphasizing my health in any way would prevent me from recovering. It’s okay to be healthy. In fact, it’s absolutely wonderful to be healthy. Focusing on nourishing your body with good, whole, organic foods from the earth is one way to rediscover a passion for feeling good and being kind to yourself. Obsessing over it like it’s the only thing on this earth that has ever mattered, however, is not. Knowledge is power. Research, learn, and understand the health benefits of fruits, veggies, and nutrient-dense foods. If you’re eating food because it is nutrient-dense and because it will fuel you through your day and your workouts, you are much more likely to stay on track than if you’re eating it to become a size 0. Similarly, eating to fuel your body versus eating to just “make the hunger go away” will strengthen your mind-body awareness and help hold you accountable for getting not only enough nutrients, but the right nutrients. The difference is that finally, for once, I was not bound in chains to the kale salad. I could eat it because I wanted to eat it, which goes back to being in control of my own life and my decisions. It goes back to trusting myself. Similarly, I could totally eat the burger if I wanted to eat the burger. The extreme vacillation between the two and the panic and the obsession over making the choice are all the eating disorder. The eating and the decision making itself are the parts that should be enjoyable! Before you indulge, check in with yourself. Listen to your body. It knows the way, and you can be trusted to treat yourself without going overboard. I promise! If I can, you can. There is certainly a delicate balance between health and restriction, and we are more than allowed to be interested in health and make healthy choices because we enjoy them. That is not an eating disorder, it’s a personal preference. And a healthy one at that! Available for preorder now! Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: Finding balance in life is a goal many of us strive to achieve. Whether it’s through a healthy diet, exercise regimen, state of mind, relationship, or other activity (or all of the above), we spend our days trying to be, and become, our best selves. But what happens when all that focus starts to dominate our lives? When our desire for “perfect health” trumps everything else, perhaps without us even realizing it? What happens when our solution starts becoming the problem? These are questions that author and popular blogger Jordan Younger faced when she decided that her extreme, plant-based, vegan lifestyle just wasn’t working in favor of her health anymore–and questions that you may be facing too. In Breaking Vegan, Jordan reveals how veganism and obsessive “healthy” dieting eventually led her to a diagnosis of orthorexia, or a focus on healthy food that involves other emotional factors and ultimately becomes dysfunctional, even dangerous. In candid detail, Jordan shares what it was like to leave veganism (and experience a vicious backlash from the vegan community that once embraced her) and how she ultimately found her way to recovery. In addition to this, Jordan outlines an “anti-diet,” whole-foods-based eating plan featuring more than 25 recipes to help inspire others to find similar balance in their own lives. Breaking Vegan is about tolerance and forgiveness. And ultimately, forging one’s own path toward happiness. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.