Orthorexia?

I’m not much of a news person – I find most of it to be depressing and too serious for relaxation time.  This may be why I’m such a fluffy magazine lover.  But I occasionally stumble on “news” when I’m surfing the internet.  Case in point: this article on ParentDish.

This article was posted in my AOL news feed [does anyone else still use AOL?  Anyone?] as I was checking my mail and it immediately caught my attention.  A healthy eating disorder?  Is that even possible?  Is this a joke?

To sum it up, this article talks about a relatively new phenomena called “orthorexia,” a term that literally means “righteous eating” in Greek.  Orthorexics are people who are obsessed with food quality – so much so that it interrupts their daily lives.  From what this article is saying, it gets so bad that they just eat [no pun intended], sleep, and breathe being healthy.  It even sites specific examples, such as a young woman‘s struggle with orthorexia in her college years.

To be honest, I thought this was some sort of bizarre, not-funny joke.  Being conscious of what you put into your body is not being weird – it’s being healthy!  And having a disorder is never a laughing matter.  However, after reading through the entire article and catching some other opinions on the subject from different sites, I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t as far-fetched as it first seems.  I don’t think it’s necessarily the eating healthy part that makes this a problem – it’s bringing the eating healthy to a platform where it consumes the rest of your life.

Thinking on to all the people I know who have struggled with weight or body issues, it seems that orthorexia fits them so well – when they tried to lose weight, they did it in the “healthy” way but it became a huge part of their lives!  For them, it wasn’t about being healthy, it was about working out for hours everyday, eating nothing but the bare minimum of foods – all of which had to pass a strenuous “nutrition” test, and making sure that everything they did was the healthiest, most body worshiping activity that they could do.

Typing that, the description doesn’t sound too bad but thinking about the people I know who went through that makes me sad.  It wasn’t about loving life or your body – in some twisted way, it was as if they hated this body they worked so hard on, wanting nothing more than to hit an idealized “perfect” body or way of living, something that constantly changed with every new thing they learned about.

So when is it too much?  When is obsessing and counting calories and working out for hours everyday pass the “not healthy” zone?  And then there’s the other end of the spectrum.  When does having fun, enjoying food, loving life and not worrying about things like exercise and eating healthy lead to heart disease and obesity?  Where do you draw the line in the sand?  And not just for one but for the other?

What are your thoughts?

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Veggie Soup

For lunch, I stuck with the classic veggie soup [from a can].  It was meh – I’m not sure if that’s the soup’s fault or a side-effect of my non-desire to eat food.  I know it could have used some pepper, maybe a dash of mix herbs.  It didn’t have much of a flavor to it – just chunks of mushy vegetables in a water-downed tomato juice broth.

On the positive side, it did manage to fill me up completely – maybe a little too much because now my body thinks it’s nap time though it most certainly is not.  I should be working now but I took a mini lunch break.

With lunch, I had another juice box, which makes me feel like I’m in elementary school.  Oh, well.

:0]

I also packed a hand-full of mini-rice cakes but I’m not in the mood to eat them right now.  They’ll probably end up as an afternoon snack.

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Breakfast of CHAMPIONS! . . . or a Poor College Kid.

I had a real breakfast today!  No peanut butter sandwich on the run!  True, it was cereal but it was good.

:0]

I started off with a box of this – Total 100% Nutrition Cinnamon Crunch Cereal.  I’ve eaten this before but I picked it up because it’s like a kids cereal but with a lot of added nutrients.  Yummy.

Then I added a splash of my Lactose-free milk.  By the way, this stuff last FOREVER.  I bought it in the middle of February and the expiration date isn’t until the 23rd of March.  Even if you’re not lactose-intolerant, I would recommend buying this milk just for that reason alone, especially if you live by yourself and wont down a whole gallon of milk in a week.

Presto!  Breakfast.

It was good, crunchy, and very cinnamon-y, just how I like it.

In other news, I’m dressed like a boy today.  No joke.  If I didn’t have long hair and a somewhat feminine face, I’m sure I could pass as Alec’s younger brother.  But I’m not changing because it’s comfy.

Also, my apartment is a wreck.  I don’t know if it’s the side effects of having a busy schedule or living with a boy.  I’m thinking it’s the later.  After school, it’s going to become mucho cleaning time since boy will be at school until six thirty or seven and he’ll be out of my hair.

:0]

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A “Scorchin'” Review

I don’t know what’s wrong with me – I’ve had no appetite these past couple of days.  I’ve eaten because I know I need to but I just haven’t had the urge to eat.  It’s really weird.  I hope it goes away soon.

Anyway, I was hoping to get out of my appetite rut by trying something new in the kitchen but I wasn’t in the mood to start totally from scratch.  This seemed like a good time to try a meal kit that I bought at the store a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a Tasty Thai Noodle Meal kit from Spaa Natural foods.  The flavor is what got me – I love sweet and sour products and thought this would be a great meal to try, especially with its three dollar price ticket and all natural label!

;0]

This is what the company’s website says about this product:

Sweet and Sour: Sweet and tangy sauce with herbs

EXPERIENCE: Real Thai meal for two in 7 minutes
TASTE: Closest the restaurant taste
WHOLESOME: Contains chucky vegetables.
SHELF STABLE: (12 months) with no preservatives added.

Impressive stats for a meal kit, especially with no preservatives.  I was a little wary of the sodium – a whopping 38% for only a third of the meal but I figured since it was just one meal, it would be okay.  The best part?  Not only was I able to pronounce all the words in the ingredients list but I even recognized them!  That’s the true test of a meal kit.

:0]

The directions were simple to follow – boil water, add noodles, drain when soft, and then add sauce.  I went a little fancy and did the stove top directions with cut up chicken and a cup and a half of frozen vegetables.

Inside the kit is a package of dried rice noodles and another packet of sauce that is rather large.  As seen in the photo, the sauce packet was the same size as the noodles but a little bit thinner.  I was excited about this – I love dishes with a lot of sauce.

While the water for the noodles were boiling, I cut up the chicken and threw it in a pan with the vegetables and about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Juggling the stir-frying and the noodles was an easy task and I found that they were both ready to go in about seven to eight minutes.

Once the chicken and veggies were thoroughly cooked, I threw them into a medium-sized Tupperware bowl.  As a side note, the veggies were from a Bird Eye’s Asian Stir-fry frozen vegetable blend that has carrots, baby corn, broccoli, water chestnuts, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and onions.  It’s absolutely delicious and a great bag to have on hand for when a dish needs a little more servings of veggies.

Once the noodles were done, I added them and the sauce into the bowl with the vegetables and chicken.  The sauce smelt so good!  Kind of sweet yet a little bit of spice in the mix.  Yum!  My only beef with it?  There’s no “chunky vegetables” like the website proposes.  Thank goodness I cooked my own.

After mixing it for a couple of minutes so that everything was evenly coated, I split everything in half and placed it into two bowls – one for Alec and one for me!

The final product looked and smelled delicious – definitely not something I would have expected to come out of a triangular box.  True, it had a little help from the extras I threw in but I think the smell and the beautiful sight was all the mix’s benefit.  I took a heaping bite of it and . . .

HOLY MOLEY!

This stuff was hot!  And not temperature wise but spice wise!  Now, I’m not a wimpy kind of girl – I like my food to be spicy at times but this stuff was a lot little too spicy for me.  I checked the ingredients and at the very bottom, it mentions “fresh red chilies” but I didn’t think it would have that big of a kick!  The package also indicated that it would be mild but this was far beyond that.

I tried to eat as much as I could but the heat was overbearing and so I just picked out the meat and vegetables and slurped up a few noodles before calling it a day.  Alec didn’t even make it that far!  We both had a huge glass of water to bring down the heat but even a couple of hours later, I can still feel it in my mouth.

Aside from the heat, I could taste a bit of sweet and sour in it – a good sauce with just a little too much heat for me.  The meal was a good proportion for two people.  To complete the meal, all it would need would be a serving of bread or fruit.  The time it took to pull together was excellent – I was able to prepare everything and sit down to eat in less than twenty minutes.  My only problem with the entire thing was the heat.  I would recommend this products to others but only for those who love a highly spicy dish.

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Cupcake Study? Yes, please!

Sometimes, I really love my school.  It’s as if the school gods read my depressing post yesterday and said “give her cupcakes.”

:0]

After my grueling test this morning, I was walking around the bottom of the Family and Consumer Science building when a girl popped out of a room and asked me if I wanted to taste some cupcakes.  Being the sweets-lovin’ girl that I am, I immediately said yes!  She brought me into a room where I filled out a research participant form and then got to taste and tell my opinion on three different yellow cake recipes.  I also got some crackers and carrots to “clean my palate” between tastings.  It was yummy.  No pictures because that wasn’t allowed but I did get some snacks for participating!

Mini-pretzels and an apple, which I was enjoying on a bench inside the building.

Oh, did I mention that it was snowing/sleeting today?

It was snowing/sleeting today.

Of course, class wasn’t canceled until there was no point but I did get out of my last class.  It’s still falling but it must be too cold because it’s not sticking, even though it’s HUGE chunks of snow.  I haven’t done much since coming home, aside for finishing my book and being lazy.

:0]

I guess I should do something, like going to get bread since I ate the last two slices this morning with my peanut butter sandwich breakfast.  More than likely, I’ll sit here and read another book.  Yay!

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Hospital Time

Mondays.  They’re so wonderful.  Especially when you find yourself that night eating chocolate and glowering at your laptop screen in anger.

>:0[

Today has, in short, sucked.  I got a call this morning that my older sister had been admitted into the hospital for chest pains.  Later, they found out that her gallbladder has basically stopped working and something was wrong with her pancreas, though I’m not sure what.  Of course, I skipped all five of my classes today and work to go make sure she was okay.

While I was there, I found out via e-mail that the University System of Georgia has proposed yet another three million dollar budget cut for the 2011 fiscal year.  You know, next year.

:0[

The last time this happened, tuition increased tremendously for incoming students – luckily not for me since I’m on a four-year fixed tuition – and $200 permanent fees that aren’t covered by HOPE, the in-state scholarship that I receive to pay for all my tuition and such.  Technically, it should pay for all of my school fees and give me more for books but I always end up paying three hundred or more in fees that the university keeps adding on.  Even more so, these budget cuts will eliminate many of the programs in the department that I am currently enrolled in.

Yeah.  That blows.

This could mean that either my program would be severely understaffed or I’ll have to stay longer to graduate or I’ll have to transfer in my last year just to finish my program.  Did I mention that there isn’t another program like this in my state?  It’s just peachy keen here.

In even better news, the school that I plan on going for Graduate school is planning on terminating the program in order to comply with the state budget cuts.  That leaves me with three other programs to choose from but two of them are crap and the other only accepts ten-twenty a year in the program, which is going to be even more competitive if the other school’s program closes.

It’s just been a horrible day.

Fortunately, these are just proposed cuts so it may not have to happen but it’s just ridiculous.  Instead of getting rid of the stupid programs that we have here, which wastes millions of dollars on things that have nothing to do with academics, the school is willing to shut down those programs that have actual value.  It sucks even more that it’s the ones I need.

Anyway, on to a bullet form of food:

  • The rest of the trail mix [minus the raisins]
  • Half of the rice/vegetable mixture from Inoko’s that I shared with Alec in the hospital
  • Juice box
  • A house salad and Chicken Enchilada soup with chips and salsa from Chili’s, courtesy of my mom
  • A 16 oz French Vanilla cappuccino from the gas station on the way home.
  • Too many caramel filled Hershey kisses.

Now time to go study for a test that’s tomorrow.  I would love to throw in the towel and say “what’s the point” after today but since this may not happen, might as well not dwell on it.

But it still sucks.

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No Appetite

Do you ever have days where you wake up and you’re just not hungry?  I get like this once in a blue moon and today just happened to be that day.

I woke up around 8:45am this morning and got ready for work – I didn’t even take a shower since my hair still looked good and I didn’t smell.  I know I’m not the only one who does this.  :0]  Work was quick, even though it was cry-central in the nursery.  The kids were not happy today.  Well . . . one kid wasn’t happy but when he cried, it set off a chain of crying spree in everyone else.

Yeesh.

Came home around one and took a shower.  I thought for sure I would be hungry but just wasn’t feeling it.  I did have nearly a handful of tortilla chips that Alec was eating but not too much.  Around four, I decided enough was enough and played in the kitchen.

I bought this acorn squash a while ago and kept meaning to experiment with it for sometime now.  Today just seemed like the perfect day.

I started by cutting it in half – not an easy feat.  The skin of the acorn was very tough and didn’t want to be cut in half but I eventually got it, even though it was far from perfect.  I decided to go with the smaller half since I wasn’t hungry and nuked it in the microwave for three minutes to soften it up.

When it was all warm and mushy, I scrapped out the insides with a fork.

I kept thinking that it looked so much like a pumpkin on the inside that it would taste good with the same seasonings.  Because of this, I added a few shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg plus a little bit of butter.

Stirring with a fork, I mixed everything together until it looked like it was all one consistency.  The verdict?  It was okay.  Next time, I will definitely add brown sugar and a little more butter to give it a sweeter flavor.  Since I was craving for a little sweetness, I had two or three bites of this:

It was good.

Around six, Alec and I both decided it was time to go eat something and not be weird by not eating.  Of course, neither one of was willing to cook so we headed to a Japanese take-out place nearby called Inoko’s Express.  Inoko’s Express is just a fast version of a very popular Japanese steak house/hibachi grill here in Athens called, of course, Inoko’s.  It’s not real Japanese, of course, but it’s still good and cheap.  We decided to dine on the inside though it was a little weird with it’s Sinatra pictures and Big Band music.  Not something I’d expect from a Japanese place but it was still pleasant.

I started with a small cup of Japanese Onion soup, which is free and comes out of this little jug.  To be honest, this stuff isn’t that impressive – tastes like really salty beef stock that’s been watered down.  I added onion crisps to mine and called it a day.  Favorite part?  It was warm and free.

:0]

I ordered teriyaki chicken and steak with vegetables and fried rice.  It was decent – nothing more and nothing less than what I expected considering the price but it was good and worth the trip.  I barely ate half of this and boxed the rest up for lunch tomorrow, giving Alec the rest of the meat and I took his vegetables.

:0]

Now it’s nine-thirty and I’m thinking about going to bed but I’m suddenly feeling a popsicle.  Cold, fruity things just sound so yummy at this time at night.

:0]

Oh, and before I go, I’ve had two small cups of this throughout the day:

Tis the nectar of the gods.  :0]]]

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