Eating Disorders, Perfection & Raw Vegan Diet

I often get emails from readers asking me about my diet, raw food, design, vitamixes, juicers, dehydrators and sometimes I get fairly personal and serious stories, as I've shared with you all in the past. 
I found this particular email a great one for me {after getting permission, of course} to share because as much as we'd like to pretend it isn't, eating disorders are very common among girls {and guys} of all ages. 
But eating disorders or not, I wrote this with all women in mind. It's a great reminder for anybody following a diet, a routine, or obsessive about anything {fashion, fitness, etc.}! 
Dear Anonymous,

First of all, THANK YOU for the lovely email. 

I'm so happy you find my blog helpful. 

OK, so, people coping with eating disorders are often drawn to the raw vegan diet for many reasons. It can be low calorie, diet type of food, but also healty and nutrient dense, etc. 

Raw Vegan diets can often be extremely helpful because each bite/snack/meal is nutrient DENSE. So, if you aren't eating a lot, at least you're getting some vital nutrients.

It's common for those battling anorexia or bulemia to fear every bite of food that goes into their mouths. In fact, it's also very common for those suffering to eat bread or low fat, fake sugar laden foods as well. 

Eating just bread all day, as you can imagine, can be depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to thrive. On the flip, if you aren't eating a lot but it's raw vegan food, you at least are getting some CRUCIAL vitamins, minerals and enzymes. 

The downside for people coping with eating disorders and following a raw vegan lifestyle is that they are often type A, guilt prone perfectionists. The raw vegan community can often be very very critical and make such a person VERY bad for not strictly following the diet. This can result in yet another unnecessary "guilt" and JUDGEMENT -- the exact things you're already trying to heal from and avoid. 

I often find myself, who is well aware of this, getting caught up in veganism, raw foodism, etc. and have to catch myself before it turns very obsessive.

It can also cause further isoation by damaging to your social life an extreme level. This can be hard for those battling an already alienating disease. {people with eating disorders because they already have trouble in social situations that involve food}! 

That being said, some people eat MORE than normal on a raw food diet. Which for somebody like me, who is not good at making herself eat every meal, is a GREAT thing. This can be a great thing for you as well, for this same reason; to gain wait in a very healthy way.

I encourage you to be sure that each calorie you are taking in is HIGH nutrient dense because you probably aren't getting many calories as you rebuild your life and your habits. 

As far as the fat goes, FAT is a beauty food. It's necessary for everything in your body - including neurological function {very important for you or those with depression}, supple soft skin, and fat doesn't make you fat. Fat is higher in calories than carbohydrates but carbs are actually what help you gain weight. 

Coming from experience, I'd like to say this: our self image is highly distorted. I wrote a post about laughter recently and how we need to laugh at ourselves and not be so critical. Vanity and self-absorption can take away from your ability to life life to the fullest.

Focus on yourself, being less obsessive and not fearing judgement. Focus less on not what others are doing or thinking. Let this journey be your own. 

Self-image is a very important subject to me. I have two boys but if I had girls I would probably be more into this movement. But since I'm on the OPPOSITE side of the issue, I care alot about teaching young boys about girls feelings and the media. ;) It's very important to share these types of stories, so, Thank YOU!

Thanks and best of luck to you! 

{I high recommend that anybody that might think they have an eating disorder seek professional help, like a therapist and a/or naturpath.}