Orthorexia ?

Even healthy eating can become problematic.

Orthorexia is a term coined by American physician Dr. Stephen Bratman in the 1990s. It describes an unhealthy fixation with eating only ‘healthy’ foods. It is not to be confused with anorexia, an eating disorder focused on severe caloric restriction.

‘Orthos’ is the Greek word for right.

The condition begins as individuals focus on improving their diets for the sake of their well-being. This, of course is an excellent goal.

It becomes problematic, however; when people become obsessed with eating only ‘pure’ foods. People will avoid foods suspected of containing pesticides and additives, or other ingredients such as salt, fat, and refined sugar.

Often, people with orthorexia will eliminate certain food groups completely, thinking that they are not ‘pure’ enough.

Orthorexia is linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In some cases, people can develop nutritional deficiencies , weight loss and weakness.

Social isolation can also result, as individuals may avoid dining with others for fear of being exposed to unhealthy foods.

Orthorexia suffers may become judgemental, and look down on people who eat less healthy foods. (Mac ‘n Cheese, anyone? )

God has created an abundance of foods for our enjoyment.

Let us pray for the grace to be prudent about our diets without developing ‘food fear’.

Alphabetical Happiness

Have you ever made a list of things or activities that you enjoy, and placed them in alphabetical order ?

This is fun to do, and it helps you to appreciate your uniqueness, and what brings you happiness.

By sharing your list with your loved ones, they can better understand you, and your relationships can become stronger.

Here are my alphabetical likes:

Perhaps you share some of them.

  • analyzing things
  • bird watching
  • cooking
  • dancing
  • eating
  • flower arranging
  • guitar playing
  • historic homes
  • intellectual stimulation
  • jokes, but not pranks
  • kitchen gadgets
  • laughing
  • menu planning
  • nurturing others
  • orchids
  • praying for others
  • questioning things
  • reading
  • singing
  • travel (YouTube travel these days)
  • understanding others
  • vegetable and flower growing
  • whale watching
  • xylophone sounds
  • yard work
  • lobbying for the abolition of zoos

In the words of a children’s poem:

‘The world is filled so many good things,

I’m sure we should all be as happy as Kings'( or Queens )

Cat’s Ears

Do you ever go on prayer walks?

It is warmer now in our tiny town, and I am able to resume my morning habit of walking around to pray for my neighbours.

I don’t tell them that I am praying for their individual needs, because they would find it strange that I would choose to pray for them when I may not know them very well.

That, however, is the nature of intercessory prayer. It is prayer offered on behalf of others.

I pass a house in the traditional style called : ‘Cat’s Ears’.

Many of our houses are built like this, with twin peaks that resemble cats’ ears.

I know that a young woman is living there with a baby. Her husband is hospitalized. I wish I could drop by with some food, and some supplies for the baby, but then I remember that we are in the time of ‘these days’ and dropping by is not allowed.

And so I pray, and I continue on , past the house where another young woman lives with her parents and her two young children. Her boyfriend left her when her youngest child was born, and her parents offered to have her move home.

Time passes quickly on a prayer walk.

Perhaps you are a prayer intercessor too. We are in good company. We know that Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and intercedes for all of us.

The Face-Off

The photo says it all !

These two churches on our main street are having a face-off !

They are both Christian Churches, but they have doctrinal differences, and thus , they have the need to worship on either side of the street.

I have attended both churches, while church visiting.

The white church is built to hold 1,200 worshippers. I counted 30 parishioners while I was there.

The gray church recently had part of their membership leave and form a new church, as they had some disagreements , which no one fully understood.

The members that left now share a church building with another church.This works out because one group worships on Sundays, while the other group thinks Saturdays are the best days to worship.

With so many divisions, is it any wonder if non- believers are confused about what Christianity actually teaches ?

Christ does not requires uniformity , but he requires agreement about the essentials of the faith, which are : Love God, and love your neighbour as yourself.

May we, in coming days, be blessed with greater unity. The world is watching us.

Better Left Alone ?

The lobster fishermen have arrived in front of our house now.

Every morning they check the lobster traps that they have set in the shallow water. There are bobbing red markers showing where they have been placed.

Lobsters are nocturnal scavengers ; they feed on debris at the bottom of the sea. They can grow up to several feet in length, but most are caught long before they reach that size.

Although I respect everyone’s need to make a living, and everyone’s taste in food, I choose not to eat lobsters.

God gave people specific dietary laws in the Old Testament, (Leviticus 11), and I follow those. God placed restrictions on ‘fish without fins and scales’ such as lobsters.

Internet sources report that members of the British Royal Family are banned from consuming crustaceans while traveling, because of the high rate of foodborne illness.

The pandemic that came out of Wuhan has given us all more of a chance to reflect on what food choices are healthy for humans .

Maybe we will stop thinking of ocean scavengers as luxury food items.

Some Christians, of course, will disagree with me, saying that God’s dietary laws are only applicable to Jewish people. (Acts I0:10)

Nevertheless, Jesus followed the food guidelines set out in the Old Testament, and so I follow them too.

I just wish that lobsters would be left alone, to do the scavenger work that God designed them to do.

Chocolate Desires

There was terror in the woman’s eyes !

Accidently, I had pushed my shopping cart too close to her, and she reacted in fear, thinking that I, a mild-mannered rural housewife, could be someone who infects her with a deadly virus.

She was wearing a pink face mask, and mine was blue.

We were shocked by what we saw when we travelled for two hours to a Wal-Mart store yesterday.

There were directional signs everywhere. Newfoundlanders, normally so laid-back and friendly, scurried about minding their own business, concentrating on getting their purchases quickly. Everyone’s body language and furtive eye movements told the tale of people under severe stress.

Because these changes were new to me, I accidently walked in the wrong direction and scared the unsuspecting shopper !

My husband wanted to shop for some grass seed to repair our tiny area of super nice grass. He also needed a new lawn sprinkler. (water use is free here in rural NL)

My goal was to stock up on Swiss chocolate, and I bought eight bars.

Yes, I know that hoarding is not nice, but we all have different ways of dealing with stress, and I needed to replenish my supply of my favourite comfort food. We do have chocolate in our tiny town, but it is not Swiss. These bars will last me a long time.

Fear never comes from God. Perfect love, scripture tells us, casts out fear.

Yes, of course we all need to be prudent and take proper precautions at this time, but the cultural changes I am witnessing here on our fair island are disturbing.

We need to keep casting our worry on the One who cares for his beloved.

Let us keep trusting, and not be afraid.

Firefighters in the Yard

Would you agree that the pandemic has triggered much strange behaviour ?

Mental health suffers during lockdowns; humans thrive and survive on social contact.

We heard the fire truck whiz past our house yesterday !

Some young people decided that they had had enough of isolating and social distancing.

They came to the beach behind our house, collected a pile of driftwood, and started a fire. A neighbour apparently saw the billowing smoke and called the volunteer fire department.

Firefighters extinguished the flames, and talked to the group of young folks about their risky behavior. Beach fires are prohibited in our community since a previous such fire that got out of control burned down a section of sea fencing two years ago.

With shed parties banned, schools closed, and tourists being told by the police that they cannot come here, our younger residents are becoming more restless and frustrated.

Often young people are less experienced than adults in identifying, tolerating and modifying their emotions. Moreover, adolescents are often reluctant to discuss unpleasant feelings with the adults in their lives. They need our prayers and our compassion.

May God give us the grace to understand that people react differently to stress, and may he increase our empathy and our tolerance for others.