Many Orthorexics often manifest their disorder in very different ways, because ultimately it’s not about an exact way of eating (like vegan or raw foodism for example) that makes you Orthorexic, it’s your attitude towards health and your underlying values which cause you to behave in chronic, obsessive ways.
I went through many different ways of eating during my Orthorexia, and I want to share with you six of the low points I remember as a student with this mental condition. Enjoy and feel free to share your own, whether worse or tame in comparison!
1) Trying to keep myself awake
when I was out with friends, not by drinking alcohol or even coffee, but by eating cacao beans from my pocket because I thought they would be the most naturally stimulating way (theobromine) to keep me “buzzing” all night. (I was home by midnight).
2) Trying to make raw bread
…without a dehydrator. This is done by placing whatever mixture you’re using on baking parchment, top shelf of an oven at 50 degrees, with the door slightly open, all night. I’m then up every few hours, paranoid that it would over dehydrate, or my oven would combust. It didn’t and I remember even by the next morning failing to find anything close to bread or even a cracker.
3) Taking carrier bags of no less than 22 bananas
with me on a coach full of kickboxing club members to a kickboxing competition. The theory being raw food, in particular bananas, is the best way to fuel me for this sporting competition. Looking back now I know this was not ideal. After not winning the competition, there was a lot of excess fiber to deal with.
4) Trying at least 6 different ways
to preserve my own homemade coconut milk (saving money on buying it as frequently as people buy regular milk) in the fridge for more than 2 days without it going all tangy and gross. All 6 failed to work and often tasted gross. (Self heat-treating, salting, acid preservation with lemon, sugar preservation with honey, freezing, and a combination of these).
5) Stealing extra salad ingredients
from my salad bar at uni in order to take them back to my halls and juice them in my morning vegetable juice. Everyday.
6) Breaking a jar of my own homemade almond butter,
which had cost me a lot to source the organic nuts, and several hours to grind and store. I proceeded to pick through the jar to dig out all possible traces of glass in the nut butter, before restoring the tiny amount I could be sure was glass free.