Updated: Sep 5, 2022
How mainstream gurus are contributing to the silent epidemic of eating disorders and anxiety.
If you are conscious about your health and mindful of what you put in your body you may have heard health gurus warning you about the negative effects of NO FOODS, a.k.a. foods that can trigger inflammation, promote leaky gut, feed pathogens.
What you may be not aware of is the silent repercussions that these crusades against gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, animal proteins, fats, sugar (depending on who you are following) are creating in the mind of sensitive people who are struggling with chronic illnesses.
Orthorexia is perhaps best summarized as an obsession with healthy eating with associated restrictive behaviors. However, the attempt to attain optimum health through attention to diet may lead to malnourishment, loss of relationships, and poor quality of life.
“Let's be clear if you are experiencing chronic illnesses and all sort of unbalances your choices up to now have played a critical role. Mostly due to the fact that the modern culture (of excess), deeply thwart our concept of Balance. ”
Bio-Individuality Is Everything
This extreme emphasis on eliminating entire food categories is leading people to a dark rabbit hole, where they feel damned if they do (avoid them) and damned if they don't.
We are what we eat, this is a fact, however as I often stress in my practice, food is not only what we see on the plate, the food we ingest is also the invisible one: our relationships, our jobs, our emotions and traumas.
It is impossible to reduce health simply to what is or is not on one's plate.
We do know that some foods are more inflammatory than others, and yet the same food does not react the same way in every person. Why?
Why are Italians (read more) and French eating cheese and gluten (and wine of course) and enjoying a better health baseline than the average American, for instance?
Is gluten bad or not?
The answer is: It Depends.
It depends on many factors, and each unique bio-individuality, and one single food can't be taken in isolation, nor generalized.
When mainstream gurus refer to "NO FOODS" they are not just ostracizing entire food categories , they are shaping people's perception of what is inherently good and bad. There isn't one single truth, the proof is in the many different "philosophies", often opposites, each one claiming to have found the ultimate solution to health and longevity.
Nobody is mentioning or teaching Balance, and once again, in the culture of the excess (extreme restriction) we find answers, but are they really?
In the past 10 years in my practice I have seen an alarming increase of eating disorders, namely from people who have been trying all sort of diets, fads, cleanses, and resets. It seems that the more people try to get healthy and find their "magic bullet", the more they are missing the point: The culture of excess brought us here and all these diets and dietary restrictions are not helping us understand (and practice) balance.
Anxiety around food is becoming a silent epidemic that is robbing people's quality of life. The fear, that mainstream gurus are contributing to spread, is more dangerous than the food itself.
I always ask my clients this question: Why do you want to do this (reset, cleanse, fast, diet)? If you do it because you are afraid of what will happen if you don't then we know we have a problem.
Fear switches the body to a sympathetic state (a.k.a. Fight, Flight, or Freeze mode) that changes the chemistry of our body, our immune system, our lymphatic systems, disrupt our hormonal balances, affects our sleep, and change our posture. Most importantly the sympathetic state turns down the digestive system and our detox systems, so that it becomes hard if not impossible reverse the unbalances. This is the reason for instance, behind so many people getting stuck, worse or gaining weight despite eating salads.
In order to reverse chronic illnesses is essential to gain (or regain) a healthy relationship with food, stop outsourcing our healing, following mindlessly gurus or practitioners, and start to look at our life in a wholistic way, not a compartmentalized one.