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My Unhealthy Obsession With Health Food

August 26th, 2014 | 5 comments


It was Winter time, 2010 in the gorgeous little surfing coastal town called Margaret River, on Australia’s South West coast.  I was right in the midst of experimenting with everything to do with health…raw food, vegetarianism, wholefoods, cleansing, detoxing and basically anything that involved a super healthy lifestyle!


I was a woman on a mission to heal my body.



Every day I immersed myself in it, researching, studying, experimenting with new and exciting foods, making strange looking smoothies, growing wheat grass, making sprouts……


And then this happened…


It was a Saturday night, and some of my girlfriends were going out to a local restaurant for dinner and a few wines.  I desperately wanted to go, but knew that if I went there I wouldn’t be able to control myself.  I would eat the wrong foods, drink alcohol and undo all of this goodness that I’ve been doing.  I didn’t want to ruin it.


So off the girls went, and I stayed at home by myself.  I sat down with a cuppa and started doing a bit of internet scrolling.  And it just so happens that I stumbled across this article titled…


‘Orthorexia Nervosa’


In the article, the writer explains what this word means, and it was something along the lines of…


“An unhealthy obsession with healthy food” 


You might be thinking…”how can an addiction to healthy food be unhealthy?!!”  Well, in just in the same way someone might be unhealthy obsessed with exercise or work…obsession with health food may reach a point where it begins to hurt you (ie avoiding social situations because of fear of unhealthy foods).


In this article, the writer proposed a great question…


“Is it healthier to stay at home by yourself on a Saturday night and eat sprouts, or is it healthier to go to the pub with your best friends for a beer and a slice of pizza”


And there it was….another slap on the face from the Universe.


There I was sitting all by myself at home on a Saturday night, while my friends are out having a good time together.  It made me think about how much good company, friends, family and a big belly laugh really impact our health?!  Much more than the nutrition from a handful of sprouts.


I learn’t a big lesson that night.


Health isn’t all about having strict rules and routines, and denying yourself pleasure.  Health is certainly not just all about healthy food and exercise.  Health is about EVERYTHING in your life that feeds you…..your community, your relationships, your work, your family, your physical activity, your spiritual practice….not just the food on your plate.


Sometimes it takes going to the extremes, to the edges, to those uncomfortable places, to then be able to step back and find your happy medium.


I am now a big believer in the 80/20 guidelines….80% of the time I eat healthy wholesome foods, and drinks; and 20% I have whatever I want!!!  And that feels so damn good to me.


No denial.  No discipline. 


Freedom 🙂



5 people have commented
  1. Jo Clark says:

    well written Ngaire

  2. Hayley says:

    Such an important message Ngaire. I think there are so many young women out there stressing and obsessing (which until recently included me too). The stress of losing control can be more damaging than just letting go and enjoying your food – unless of course you’re allergic or intolerant…. in which case, as you were!
    x x x

    • ngaire stephenson says:

      Thanks Hayley 🙂 Food should be about nourishment and enjoyment, not denial and discipline! Glad you enjoyed the read hun 🙂

  3. Larelle Brown says:

    A great article Ngaire….its shows we are all human also and its ok to let go some of the time…. xo

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Hi! My name is Ngaire, owner of Whole Lot a Health. I'm a Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, and Clinical Pilates teacher, with a passion to empower woman to living a ripe & fertile life; rich with energy, abundance & opportunity.  Health is wealth!

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