The Doctors: Vegan Woman Developed Orthorexia
The Doctors started the show by talking about 23-year-old Jordan Younger, whose life became all about eating healthy. She explained that she got really passionate about plant-based veganism and developed programs for her blog, The Blonde Vegan. She blogged about food every day to her some 80,000 followers. Jordan’s secret was that she took her obsession with the plant-based diet too far. She started to develop health problems, even Orthorexia, which is defined as an obsession with eating food that one considers healthy.
Once she was diagnosed with Orthorexia, she changed her diet and started reincorporating animal proteins. When she made her eating disorder public, not everyone was supportive. She said she started to hear from animal rights activists and other vegans, who called her disgusting. She even got death threats.
The Drs TV: Is There Such Thing As Too Healthy?
The Doctors explained that there is such thing as being too healthy. For their September 22 show, The Doctors discussed 7 unhealthy sins you could be making, and Jordan’s mistake was number seven.
Jordan was on the show to explain why her healthy diet wasn’t so healthy for her. She said she was vegan for two years and developed an entire lifestyle and career around veganism. She even left grad school to pursue the blog full-time. She said she felt very attached to the vegan label was very afraid to step away from that label.
The Doctors: Dangers Of Veganism
She said she ignored her body’s internal cues. As for what those symptoms were, Jordan shared that she lost her period for six months, which was the first sign that something was wrong. She was tired all the time and being a yoga teacher, that was difficult for her to deal with. She said she just didn’t feel like herself. She made a point to say that she didn’t think veganism caused an eating disorder, just that it triggered the disordered eating within her.
She said that a lot of people who go vegan have that extremism inside of them, so it’s very easy to take it too far. Jordan said if you start limiting yourself more and more, which is what she was doing, it’s very easy to tip the scale into obsessive.
Jordan shared that it wasn’t easy to start incorporating other things back into her diet. She said both emotionally and physically, it took a huge impact. She said she had a lot of anxiety over coming out as a non-vegan after being such a public vegan.
Jordan explained that when she came forward about her diet change, although she had a ton of backlash, she also had a ton of positive responses. She took the positive comments as encouragement to redo her brand. She’s now The Balanced Blonde.
The Doctors: Raising Kids Vegan Or Vegetarian
Dr. Jim Sears said he has a lot of parents in his practice who are vegetarian and they always want to know if it’s safe for their kids. Dr. Sears explained that the fact the kids are growing already puts them at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency as well as omega-3 deficiency. He said hundreds of kids a year suffer brain damage from vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Dr. Travis Stork made a point to say that although he’s not saying one is better than the other, there is a big difference between vegan and vegetarian. A vegetarian eats eggs and is getting the B-12 they need, whereas with vegans, you truly have to be careful to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
Dr. Sears suggested that if you have a growing child, let them be lacto-pesco-vegetarian, which is a vegetarian that also eats fish and dairy products. He said if you want them to be true vegans, make sure they’re taking a B-12 supplement as well as a sea-algae based omega-3 supplement that is not fish based.
The Drs TV: Balanced Diet
Jordan said that as The Balanced Blonde, she is still struggling every day. She said she has to challenge herself every day to try new things.
Dr. Travis Stork said the takeaway is when it comes to what you eat, whatever works for you, make sure it’s a balanced diet. Listen to your body and be careful about taking things to the extreme.