How healthy food bloggers fed my eating disorder
During National Eating Disorders AwarenessWeek, Eve Simmons writes about her very personal battle with anorexia:
'I've always loved porridge.
Honey drenched, creamy and sprinkled with berries.
But as anorexia encroached, my delicious, dense bowl of nz pandora oats gradually decreased in size, until eventually, all that remained was a measly handful of blueberries.
A few weeks later it was just a skinny Americano. The following month? Nothing.
The bizarre thing about anorexia is that it doesn't mean you hate food. In fact, I can clear out a hotel breakfast buffet like a champion and sometimes I order a dry martini just for the olives.
It's estimated that 20 per cent of these sufferers will die prematurely. Just last year, NHS England launched their first stage of a new campaign to improve treatment for eating disorders, distributing 30m into services across the country.
The internet has played a significant role in turning eating disorders from something suffered in silence to something shared with forums of hungry men and women sharing tips and spurring each other on to ever greater thinness.
But what's less talked about is the impact of food bloggers on those vulnerable to disordered eating.
While these foodies might not intend their recipes to appeal to anorexics, their lean approach resonates with sufferers.
During a particularly intense chocolate brownie craving episode, I began foraging for eating disorder friendly dessert recipes. To my delight, I was faced with an endless supply of "guilt free" options courtesy of this new school of super healthy bloggers.
Pandora's Box had burst open and I was practically salivating over the reduced calorie contents.
According to Deliciously Ella, I could use buckwheat grouts in exchange for porridge oats (gluten was the devil); homemade almond milk (aka nutty water) instead of evil, fatty cow produce and a handful of raw cacao nibs to satisfy chocolate cravings. Made of cauliflower, obviously.
Despite the purely honourable intentions of encouraging our society to make healthier choices, these online health 'gurus' unknowingly instructed my survival during my pre hospital stage of anorexia.
In a matter of months, I was dedicated to a strict diet of gluten free; pandora charms official dairy free homemade bars, soups and, of course, vegetables all the while cutting out everything that my increasingly emaciated body desperately needed.
The aforementioned eatclean bloggers might have been nothing short of a godsend for the thousands who are plagued by gluten or lactose intolerance (although only 1 per cent of the population is clinically allergic to gluten). But their advice is also buy pandora bracelet enabling the vulnerable.
What's particularly worrying is the lack of credentials many of these 'cooks' lay claim to.
One particularly popular American blogger, "teaches people to make the right purchasing decisions", according to her website. What she fails to mention is the fact that she has no nutritional qualifications.
A particular favorite of mine was "wellness expert", Calgary Avansino, who encouraged me to try 'bread' made out of only broccoli and taught me of the shockingly high glycemic index of a banana. I didn't know what glycemic meant, but I sure didn't like the sound of it. Just like that, bananas were out.
According to their websites, all advocate nothing but the "healthiest you". Some professionals, however, tend to disagree.
In one appointment, I walked mydietitianthrough my daily intake of nuts, grains and unrefined,unprocessed pulp and complained about my constant constipation.
"IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT EATING PROPER FOOD," she shouted.
With more than 20 years experience pandora bracelets sale charms of treating women with eating disorders, Registered Dietician and ex Chairman of the British DieteticAssociation, Luci Daniels, has seen her fair share of disordered eating and she's certain that the ever increasing army of wellness warriors are introducing new ways to eat abnormally.
"I am very concerned about the number ofpeople who hone in on scientifically unproven food trends in the beliefthat such dietary changes will improve their health," she says.
"I see youngwomen who avoid all dairy, wheat and other carbohydrates choosing instead'seeds', nuts, green smoothies, and massive amounts of fruit and vegetables.
And after several months of bone scans, meal plans and vitamin supplements, I now realise that my dietitian was right.
When I finally gave my body carbs, it thanked me by way of regular bowel movements. I treated it to some semi skimmed cow's milk and suddenly my joints stopped clicking. My hair forgave me and started to grow.
My brain relished an influx of sugar; it even let me finish reading an entire novel for the first time in over a year.
Then there was fat. What was once my arch nemesis was now a comforting shield, protecting me from freezing temperatures and letting me sit on stools without bruising my buttocks.
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