Most people eat vegetables to improve their health, but there is a rare condition called orthorexia that forces a person to eat only healthy foods.
This is what happened to this 28-year-old woman from Oklahoma named Christie Johnson.
Healthy Eating Turned into an Eating Disorder
Christie was obsessed with eating clean and healthy because of her condition. There was even a time when she almost missed seeing her grandfather when he was about to go through a very important surgical procedure because she was worried about missing a workout session. Orthorexia is not just about eating, but also having a healthy lifestyle. Because of this, she used to go to the gym three times a day and forced herself to eat only vegetables for one year.
Vegetable-Only Diet for One Year
This woman ditched all meals that she viewed as unhealthy. She only ate vegetables for fear that something bad would happen to her or her body if she ate meat, processed food, and any other food that is not a vegetable.
She started the vegetable-only diet when she was 24 years old. She thought it was better than eating processed and other foods since vegetables are considered healthy anyway. She did not realize it was an eating disorder. While she ate greens and other vegetables for one year, she also did cardio training twice every day and would also lift heavy weights during most days of the week.
Can You Stay Healthy with Just Vegetables?
While vegetables have nutrients and are definitely healthier than processed foods, there are other nutrients that veggies can’t give you or at least don’t have enough no matter how much you eat. These nutrients include:
- Protein: Animal products contain the most amount of protein, which is required by the body to create new cells.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: While veggies do contain omega-3s, they are not in significant amounts. Eat more fish, along with nuts and seeds to get these healthy fats.
- Vitamin B12: This vitamin is only present in animal products. B12 is required by the body for the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Christie Johnson started to realize she had an eating disorder with the help of her therapist. For four years with orthorexia, she lost 44kg through eating veggies only and excessive exercising. Today, the expecting mom has gained and maintained a healthy weight and has recovered from the disorder.