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My vegan diet almost killed me, Jordan Younger says

Jordan Younger, founder of popular vegan blog “The Blonde Vegan,” says she became so obsessed with eating healthy that she actually became unhealthy: Her hair was thinning and her skin was turning yellow when she finally decided to ease her self-imposed dietary restrictions. Doctors say the vegan diet can be healthy, but when multiple food groups are eliminated from the diet, meeting daily nutrient requirements can be hard.

When her high school boyfriend tried to kill himself a devastated Jordan felt her life spiralling out of control.

My hair was thinning and on more than one occasion large clumps fell out while I was in the shower

Jordan Younger

“I turned to food – and the avoidance of it – for comfort. When I starved myself I felt as if I was in control,” she says.“I stopped eating red meat, went gluten-free and scaled back my portion sizes. I lost weight and enjoyed being able to control any challenges that came my way by restricting my food intake.”

Throughout her early 20s Jordan experimented with more extreme deprivation and cleanses.

In January 2013, after trying out a five-day plant-based cleanse, she decided to cut out all animal products and go fully vegan.

The effects of her new diet were instant and spurred her on to continue.

“I felt incredible, fuelling my body with fruits and vegetables. My parents noticed the change and encouraged me to keep it up.”

dubbed orthorexia nervosa.

“I really thought I could engineer my health. All I had to do was do enough research and I would find the perfect human diet,” she said.

“But the more research I did, the more contradictions I found. So instead of picking a direction, I just cut out everything that was in question.”

American doctor Steven Bratman coined the term ‘orthorexia nervosa’ in 1997, after he developed an obsession with eating healthy food. The term uses the Greek word “orthos,” which means “straight,” “right,” or “correct,” and is a modification of the disorder anorexia nervosa. The US National Eating Disorders Association calls it a “fixation on righteous eating.”

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