I completely missed this story last month, but then again… I don’t follow any of the late-breaking news in the vegan blogging community. Apparently, there was a popular food/lifestyle blogger who went by the name “The Blonde Vegan.” Her real name is Jordan Younger. And last month, she wrote a post on her blog about how her veganism became an eating disorder called orthorexia, which is defined as “a fixation on righteous eating.” Younger’s description of her disorder details how she “was spending the entire day obsessing about eating only vegetables, green juices, fruits and occasionally nuts and grains.” You can read her “coming out” essay here. Some coverage, via People:
Younger says: “I restricted myself from certain foods – even some that fell under the vegan umbrella – because they were not 100 percent clean or 100 percent raw. I was following thousands of rules in my head that were making me sick.”
Adhering to a strict plant-based vegan diet that included juice cleanses for up to 10 days at a time, Younger dropped nearly 15 lbs. from her 5’4″ frame.
At her most restrictive, she weighed 105 lbs. and had low energy, bad skin and an injury that wouldn’t heal. She even stopped getting her period. After talking to a close friend who was in recovery from an eating disorder, Younger says, “I realized that a lot of my health problems could be attributed to veganism.”
Soon after, she went to one of her favorite macrobiotic restaurants and forced herself to order wild salmon – her first piece of fish in 18 months. “I brought it home and ate it all alone, so no one could see me,” she says. Two days later, her period returned. That was all the convincing she needed. She started seeing a nutritionist who said she was deficient in vitamins and protein. “My hormones were out of whack because I has damaged my biochemistry,” says Younger, adding that she realized she had to eat fish and eggs to become healthy again.
“When I made that decision I knew I was going to share it on the blog. I knew I would alienate tons of my followers, but there was no way I could live a lie.”
When she posted her story on her blog, her website crashed, she lost a thousand social media followers and she received DEATH THREATS from “hardcore vegans” and animal-rights people. Hello Giggles did a story about what happened to Younger and how important it is for young women to not mask their eating disorders under the guise of “healthy eating.” Now Younger is transitioning her branding away from veganism to “The Balanced Blonde.”
Personally, I think this is probably WAY more common than people believe. I think there are so many women in real life and women in the celebrity world who mask disordered eating with (what I see as) extreme “healthy lifestyle” diets. CoughGwynethPaltrowcough.
Photos courtesy of Instagram, The Blonde Vegan blog.