Gurrrghhhh – I have just returned from the most exhausting brunch with an acquaintance; I shall call her Bea for the sake of this blog. Bea has to be the most self-obsessed individual I know, the type of person who asks you a question then answers it herself.
Anyhooo I say the brunch was exhausting, because it was! I came away with far less composure then when I went in, cue a picture of a stumbling gal with birds nest hair and panda eyes weaving her way around the tables. What I hoped to be a leisurely, relaxing brunch actually felt like I had been sat with the board of directors reviewing the latest downward trend in the sales figures! WHY??? Well, despite the fact I couldn’t get a word in, it took us a whole hour to dissect the menu; what was ‘good’ food and what was ‘bad’ food, followed by another hour to pick, in bird like fashion, at the steaming delights that arrived.
Having watched Bea push to the side of her plate the foods she “simply cannot eat”, my lovely, scrummy bacon and mushroom butty sat looking up at me. “Eat me, now, quick, quick”, it spoke to me with Barry White tones, but I simply couldn’t tuck in and seemingly enjoy it without the thought of being frowned upon.
What is it with this growing obsession of demonising certain foods? I don’t want to discredit the very industry that I work in and by no means am I saying a balanced diet isn’t important to our health, far from it, but why oh why is the list of what is healthy in people’s minds becoming smaller and more restrictive? Worryingly, experts are starting to see an increase in ‘Orthorexia’, an eating disorder which is characterised by people, like Bea, excessively avoiding foods they consider ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy’ to a point that their diet becomes so restrictive it has a detrimental impact on their health.
There are plenty of new generation ‘healthy eating’ diets and gurus promoting a ‘glowing’ lifestyle. The majority of them do encourage a high intake of veggies and in my nutritional world, that gets a big tick, but then they either apply so many more limitations on the ‘bad’ foods that should be removed from your diet that it makes them extremely difficult to follow in the long term, or they require an amazing amount of ridiculously named and highly expensive ingredients that, unless you live at a trendy address, you’re just not going to find in the corner shop or supermarket.
There also seems to be an underlying competitive edge that creeps in to being healthy. The lovely Bea, during our brunch, talked at length about how long she could plank for and also about the varied range of organic coconut oil’s she has in her cupboard. I have also noticed that healthy eating forums are becoming quite heated as tribes argue amongst themselves whether a no carb or low fat diet is better. Oh come on peeps, get a grip and get a balance.
Being healthy shouldn’t be seen as a mountain to climb, it certainly shouldn’t be a fashion or an obsession especially when so many in the world as less fortunate then us. It is about having a balanced life, a balance in what we do and a balance in what we eat and applying a degree of common sense.