Orthorexia Nervosa- Fear of Eating Unhealthy

Orthorexia Nervosa- Fear of Eating Unhealthy

It is always good to want to eat healthily. But, it is never good to be obsessed with healthy eating. By knowing the signs of Orthorexia Nervosa, you can prevent this unhealthy addiction and learn to still eat healthy without any negative feelings associated with it.

How Orthorexia Nervosa is Different From Other Eating Disorders

Eating disorders that we know of like anorexia or bulimia is about quantity. Orthorexia Nervosa is about quality. Losing weight is normally not the objective when you develop this particular eating disorder. This is when you have an obsession with eating foods that have the highest “purity” or the most healthy. This eating disorder was made aware when Jordan Younger, a successful blogger, spoke about how her obsession with healthy eating led her to suffer malnutrition. While Orthorexia Nervosa is recognized in the medical community, it still is not associated with the American Psychiatric Association or the DSM-5. 

The Causes of Orthorexia

It may have started where you wanted to go on a diet to improve your health, only to let your healthy eating habits grow out of control. Obsessive-compulsive disorders, as well as former or current eating disorders, can be factors for Orthorexia Nervosa. It can also be if you have a tendency towards perfectionism, high anxiety, or a need for control. You may also feel pressure to be healthy for your career where picking the right foods becomes a necessity. It can be jobs like healthcare workers, musicians, ballet dancers, and athletes. 

The Two Stages of Orthorexia Nervosa

The first stage of Orthorexia Nervosa is your obsessive thoughts of healthy eating. You feel emotional stress in relation to certain food choices. This can mean having compulsive thoughts on dietary choices that you believe will make you the most healthy. You do not want to break any part of your diet or you may experience anxiety, shame, fear of developing a disease, feeling impure, or how you will perceive your physical health. If you keep up with these dietary restrictions, it can lead to leaving out entire food groups as well as cleanses, fasts, or both.

The second stage of Orthorexia Nervosa is when this eating disorder prevents normal functioning. You could experience malnutrition, severe weight loss, and other complications. You could also have trouble functioning socially where your friends are not fond of your obsessive eating habits or academically where you do not have the energy to do your work. You could also feel like the way you see yourself all depends on how well you do on your diet. For example, eating one piece of candy can already make you feel like you are doing a lousy job at feeling healthy instead of thinking of everything in moderation.

Physical Effects

It is important to realize that true health is eating all of the essential food groups. A shortage of essential nutrients can lead to malnutrition, anemia, or a slow heart rate. You could also experience electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, metabolic acidosis, and bad bone health. Do not underestimate any of these health problems and see a doctor for them before your life is threatened by this eating disorder.

Emotional Effects

If a person with Orthorexia Nervosa has their eating habits disrupted, it can lead them to extreme frustration. You could end up feeling guilty and hating yourself if you deviate from the diet. One deviation can lead you to say to yourself you will not eat anything the next day or go on a cleansing. A large amount of your time is spent deciding on which foods are “pure” enough for you. You could be concerned about pesticides in vegetables, dairy with hormones, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Besides eating, you could also be spending your time researching, weighing, or measuring food or planning future meals. 

Social Effects

Orthorexia Nervosa can cause your friends to withdraw from you if you are spending all of your time talking about what foods you plan on eating, searching for the calories and ingredients more than eating, or are thinking out what to put in their food diary. Your friends will feel like you are not focusing on them. You may also feel like you can only eat at certain times and cannot take part in activities that involve food like going out to eat or dinner parties. You will feel like the food there does not fit into your dietary restrictions and choose to miss out on it completely. You could also be isolating yourself from people because you know that what you are doing is not safe and you do not want the judgment.

Treatment For Orthorexia Nervosa

If you do not treat Orthorexia Nervosa soon, you could be suffering from irreversible damage to your body. You first need to identify that you have it. This is the hardest part because people with any eating disorder fail to recognize it under something bad happens to them. Once you realize that you fit into the symptoms of this eating disorder, you should seek help from a doctor, nutritionist, and psychologist. There is also exposure therapy, behavior modification therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. Lastly, it is important to do your own research about necessary food habits everyone should have to be healthy to avoid any false beliefs. Being in control of Orthorexia Nervosa can allow you to enjoy food again as well as your life. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Body Image and Eating Disorders

Superfoods In Early Recovery

While in early recovery the body is enabled a return to a healthy state. Depending on which substance the addict was abusing. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have done a study about the way the brain’s immune system and inflammation should be targeted alongside brain chemicals in early recovery. Microglia in the brain’s immune system that defends against infection of toxic waste. When the microglia is in action, inflammatory signals are released. The pro-inflammatory substances that activate microglia include alcohol and most drug such as alcohol, narcotics, methamphetamines, and cocaine. This response coordinates with addiction and this is why it’s important to take this into consideration in while recovering.

The first step would be to eliminate inflammatory triggers. These come in forms of gluten, most grains, dairy and all foods with added sugar. Instead, the addict can incorporate quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. If there is a need for something sweet, reach for citrus fruits or use stevia. The herb turmeric has also been proven to act like cortisol, in that reduces inflammation and naturally increases anti-inflammatory compounds. Introducing probiotic foods will contain beneficial microbes as well. These microbes work with the immune system, cleansing toxic waste and reducing inflammation. The supplements, Vitality SuperGreen, Super Spirulina Plus, and InnergyBiotic each aid in increasing probiotics. Coconut Water Kefir and homemade cultured vegetables also make the list.  

Protecting the liver is the goal here, people. It is a well-known fact that alcohol, drugs and other bad habits will negatively affect the liver. Substance abuse will do a number of detrimental harms to the processing and the functions of vital body organs, but the liver is where most addicts get into trouble. Another recommended supplement is, Livamend is a formulated blend to aid in this process of eliminating toxic waste. There’s no way of getting around the fact that while abusing substances, the body as a whole becomes weakened in one way or another.  Restoring the body back to health will be a work in progress and there will have to be an acknowledgment of the damage done. Depending on how badly the body had been depleted, it will take to recover. Removing substances, why not attempt to reach the healthiest, brightest light at the end of the tunnel? For an addict in early recovery, there’s no better time.

If you are looking for help with addiction and a new healthy lifestyle, Enlightened Solutions will teach methods of sustaining a grounded, full life ahead. We offer a safe detoxification process, the gives the addict a clear mind to find their transformation. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


Why You Should Consider Eating Organic if You're in Recovery

Why You Should Consider Eating Organic if You're in Recovery

Recovery is a challenging yet beautiful quest to returning to one’s wholeness.  It is a journey of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.  All of these layers of healing are critical to arrive to a state of true recovery.  Yet, in early recovery, it is valuable to bring some extra attention to physical healing as it is the foundation necessary to have the resources for the intense process that is engaged in emotional healing and spiritual discovery.

The recovery process can be intense for many people on the physical plane.  In many cases, the body has been subjected to long-term and often daily ingestion of toxins through the addict’s drug and alcohol use.  When this ingestion stops, the body will undergo a multi-phased process of healing itself.  It has an extraordinary capacity to heal itself, given time and adequate resources, to complete the healing process.  It is critical to understand that the body has a finite amount of resources to both, continue sustaining itself and to heal itself.  It can be helpful to think of this as an energy currency.  

When we make the decision to heal, we can empower the body with more resources for the healing process by choosing what we ingest for our food resources.  Our bodies require a certain amount of currency to run the daily systems to sustain life from one day to the next.  The food choices we make more resources available for the actual healing process.  This is especially true with organic foods.  Organics do not have pesticides and other toxins that non-organics contain.  The absence of chemicals in the food means that there is less work for your liver, kidneys and digestive system to do in making nutrients available for the rest of your bodies functions.  It creates more resources for your body to heal itself.   

Organics are sometimes more expensive than non-organic foods due to the absence of toxicity and what this means to the cost to farmers in the agriculture process.  If cost prohibits one in purchasing organics, consider purchasing organics on foods that do not have a thick outer peel or shell.  For example, lettuce, berries, etc are more exposed to toxins than an avocado or banana.  Organics will support someone in early recovery in feeling better sooner and lay a solid foundation for the life-changing emotional work that lies ahead.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.


intensive outpatient program

Eating For Your Chakras?

The chakras are seven spiritual portals or centers in the body which interact with different emotions and functions. Aligning the chakras in a healthy and balanced way is said to help the body optimize energy flow, bringing someone fully into the present, as well as to enlightenment. Spiritual work, therapeutic work, yoga, meditation and diet, can all help support the chakras.

Root Chakra

Location: Base of spine
Connected to: Security, feeling grounded, feeling safe
Eating for the Root Chakra: Collective Evolution explains that the root chakra’s symbolic color is red. Red foods or foods with a strong red pigment will help recharge and balance your root chakra. Avoid red dyes and artificially colored foods. Instead, opt for whole foods like red fruits (think strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, and cherry) and red vegetables (red bell pepper, beets). Red meat is a powerful protein that can help with healing in this area.

Sacral Chakra

Location: Below the naval
Connected to: Creativity, Passion, Commitment, Lower Back
Eating for the Sacral Chakra: The color for the sacral chakra is orange. Deeply orange fruits like oranges, tangerines, and most citrus as well as mangoes will be good for bringing balance to the sacral chakra. Vegetables like carrot, squashes, yams, and pumpkins will help as well.

Solar Plexus Chakra

Location: Above the naval
Connected to: Self-Esteem
Eating for the Solar Plexus Chakra: The solar plexus embodies your personal power and sense of self. Eating for this chakra helps you feel strong and connected to who you are. Yellow is the color for this chakra. Look for bananas, pineapple, yellow bell peppers, lemons, yellow lentils, and even oats

Heart Chakra

Location: Center of the chest
Connected to: Love, Gratitude, Joy, Compassion
Eating for the Heart Chakra: A balanced heart chakra is the difference between jealousy and contentment, codependency, and healthy boundaries. To balance and heal the heart chakra, opt for green foods, the color of the chakra. All of your leafy greens, green vegetables, and green fruits like apples and kiwis will help.

Throat Chakra

Location: Center of the throat
Connected to: Speaking, Expression, Voice
Eating for the Throat Chakra: Ever get a lump in your throat? When you can’t express yourself or speak your truth, you lose your voice- literally! Supporting the throat chakra with food can help open that channel and help you express yourself. The color for this chakra is light blue. Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant and great food for this chakra. Try the ancient fig as well.

Third Eye Chakra

Location: Between your eyes, above your brow line
Connected to: Critical thinking, Clarity, Seeing the Truth
Eating for the Third Eye Chakra: Being disillusioned by lies can block the third eye. In recovery, you are gaining wisdom each day by learning to discern between what is real and what is not real, what can be controlled or changed and what cannot. To support your third eye chakra, eat darker blue foods that are almost purple like purple versions of normally other color vegetables (broccoli, kale, carrots, green beans), eggplant, plums, and grapes.

Crown Chakra

Location: Top of the head
Connected to: Enlightenment
Eating for the Crown Chakra: Having a balanced crown chakra is a culmination of personal recovery. You are able to recognize your true inner self and view the world in an enlightened way. Collective Evolution suggests light fruits and vegetables that are connected to roots for the crown. To truly nourish your crown chakra, spend time outside, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sunshine.

Enlightened Solutions believes that holistic healing therapies can be a key to success in healing mental health and addiction disorders. Our program combines spiritual healing modalities with clinical therapy and twelve step philosophy to provide total transformation. For more information, call 833-801-5483.