From skwigg's journal:
On eating perfectly:
Sometimes I'll read something that causes my orthorexia to flare. I'll catch myself worrying about fructose or PUFAs or something stupid, just for a bit. It helps me to remember that the poison is in the dose. It's not all or nothing, even with the unhealthiest of foods. The dose matters. You don't eat a Twinkie and sprout a giant cancerous growth and need to go to the emergency room that night. It's all about the big picture of your lifestyle over time. A diet based entirely around high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil is probably not very healthy, but there is zero need to freak out about putting honey (fructose!) in my Greek yogurt, or eating natural peanut butter (PUFAs!) on an apple, or putting honey and peanut butter together on BREAD for that matter.
The guilt, stress and paralyzing anxiety associated with eating "perfectly" healthy is far more hazardous to your health than pasta or sweets. Ironic, right?
On Gillian Riley's (or anyone's) kooky nutrition advice:
Dang, I wish Gillian would quit reading and promoting fad diet books. This one is sneaky paleo. "Calorie counting is a myth. Just cut out all grains, beans, dairy, sugar, and starch (uh, reduce your food intake?) and fat loss will be effortless!"
The important thing to note is that it's not an either/or between sugar puffs and kale, or between eating food you enjoy and achieving fat loss. How do you feel when you eat a bowl of sugar puffs versus when you eat a more balanced and nutritious meal? Are you energized? Clear-headed? Satisfied? Able to get on with your day? Or do you crash and want more sugar? Sometimes the sugar puffs are worth it, sometimes they're not. And you don't have to eat them alone. What if you mix them with a higher fiber cereal and some berries and you have greek yogurt on the side? Or a protein shake? Or nuts? Or eggs? Or you have them as a bedtime snack?
I don't think it's about an addicted mindset, or even fat loss. It's about how you want to feel. If you eat to feel good (before, during, and especially after the meal), you're going to find a nice balance. It's far easier to add and enjoy more whole foods, if you're not being called an addict and having your sugar puffs taken away right off the bat.
It's so true! Some of the books that really helped me when I was first trying to quit dieting are still dripping with diet mentality. I didn't notice it at all at the time, being all diet-brained myself, but now I can hardly read some of them.
Thanks for all these helpful old posts, Skwigg. It’s great to go back and re-read. It’s funny, when I read this one about Gillian Riley promoting kooky nutrition advice, I thought, What? I didn’t remember any of that. I still clearly recall her books being some of the first and most influential to letting go of dieting and changing my way of thinking about food. So I just now went and looked through the Eating Less book on the food chapter, and what do you know? I suppose back when I first read it years ago I never even registered those pieces of nutritional advice as anything to question. It still seemed common sense that some foods were objectively worse than others. Reading now it seems an odd sequence, to go from saying “no good foods or bad foods” to “BUT some of these foods do bad things to your body, so look out!!” I’m all about picking and choosing the parts I like from books and ignoring the rest, so I still appreciate what those books have done for me with the saner parts. It’s amusing to go back for another look after time has passed though. I remember feeling the same about a lot of eating books, as my own mindset changed.