Breaking Vegan: One Woman's Journey from Veganism, Extreme Dieting, and Orthorexia to a More Balanced Life

Breaking Vegan: One Woman's Journey from Veganism, Extreme Dieting, and Orthorexia to a More Balanced Life


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Finding balance in life is a goal many of us strive to achieve. Whether it's through a healthy diet, exercise regimen, state of mind, relationship, or other activity (or all of the above), we spend our days trying to be, and become, our best selves.

But what happens when all that focus starts to dominate our lives? When our desire for "perfect health" trumps everything else, perhaps without us even realizing it? What happens when our solution starts becoming the problem?

These are questions that author and popular blogger Jordan Younger faced when she decided that her extreme, plant-based lifestyle just wasn't working in favor of her health anymore—and questions that you may be facing too.

In Breaking Vegan, Jordan reveals how obsessive "healthy" dieting eventually led her to a diagnosis of orthorexia, or a focus on healthy food that involves other emotional factors and ultimately becomes dysfunctional, even dangerous. In candid detail, Jordan shares what it was like to leave veganism, the downfall of her desire to achieve nutritional perfection, and how she ultimately found her way to recovery. In addition to this, Jordan outlines an "anti-diet," whole-foods-based eating plan featuring more than 25 recipes to help inspire others to find similar balance in their own lives.

Breaking Vegan is about tolerance and forgiveness. And ultimately, forging one's own path toward happiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592337002
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jordan Younger runs the blog The Balanced Blonde (formerly The Blonde Vegan, or TBV) and is a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where she is studying to become a health coach. Jordan began her blog in June 2013 to share her healthy vegan recipes and colorful food photos. The blog quickly became popular, but a year later, Jordan found herself struggling with health issues due to her diet and decided to quit veganism. Her blog post "Why I'm Transitioning Away from Veganism..." immediately went viral and landed her a feature on, among others. Today, her blog focuses on balanced eating and living through whole-foods based recipes that celebrate healthy satisfaction over sacrifice.

Jordan has been featured in Teen Vogue, Women's Health Magazine, NY Mag, The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, Harper's Bazaar Australia, Cosmopolitan Australia,, Elite Daily,, Vogue Turkey, Well + Good NYC, WorldLifestyle, Racked, Fitness Magazine, and more. She has also been featured on ABC News' Good Morning America, Nightline, CBS' The Doctors, Pivot's Take Part Live, HER Radio, Radio MD, Toronto's CBC Radio, NPR.

Dr. Steven Bratman began his career as an organic farmer in upstate New York in the late 1970s. After attending medical school, he practiced alternative medicine, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy. In the late 1990s, he directed a research project evaluating and summarizing all published scientific evidence on alternative medicine methods. He coined the term orthorexia in an article in Yoga Journal in 1997. Dr. Bratman is the author and editor of numerous articles and books, including the Natural Health Bible and Health Food Junkies. Currently, he practices preventive/occupational medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Breaking Vegan: One Woman's Journey from Veganism, Extreme Dieting, and Orthorexia to a More Balanced Life 2.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not actually about being Vegan, more about an eating disorder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I followed Jordan's blog for a long time as a new vegan and I really admired and respected her voice and heart. I thought she seemed like a very genuine person and it's always nice to hear about fellow vegans' lives. Her writing was great, her posts were fun and kept me interested, and I loved following her journey. When she wrote her blog post about transitioning away from veganism and gave her reasons, I was really shocked. The reasons she gave did not seem legitimate, and it made me feel lied to. She was not a vegan or living a vegan lifestyle at all - she was following a plant based diet. None of her reasons for going vegan seemed to be about the ethics at all, but as a quick way to lose weight. I borrowed this book from a friend because I didn't want to support the terrible title and media run she chose and was more disappointed than I could put into words. It's not genuine, it does not have the same voice of her blog posts, and it's incredibly naive and just plain wrong on a lot of points. It is one hundred percent clear that she wrote this to make money, banking on the fact that a lot of people are not well informed about a healthy vegan lifestyle. By definition, veganism is way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose. This is not what Jordan Younger was doing at all, she was using the word "vegan" as an excuse so no one would question her massive eating disorder. As someone who is both a vegan and in recovery from an eating disorder, I wish she would have used this opportunity to raise awareness of orthorexia and its dangers rather than bash a lifestyle she wasn't even a part of. This could have been a good platform for her to use to speak out on the damaging causes and effects of eating disorders and let young girls that may be in her position know that they are not alone. Instead she chose to blame her eating disorder on something that had absolutely nothing to do with it, and now may very well be turning people away from a lifestyle that is wholly rewarding, fulfilling, and extremely healthy when done correctly. I'm extremely saddened that she went through this because feeling like your worth is measured in calories is something no one should ever have to feel. I wish she had used her recovery and her very fortunate platform to help instead of harm. Please do not buy this book and support something that is just not true at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll admit that I'm a bit of a sucker for anything with the word "vegan" in the title. This book, however, looked a bit more interesting: "Breaking Vegan?" "One woman's journey from veganism, extreme dieting, and orthorexia?" "A more balanced life?" Surely a book with such attention-grabbing words and carefully balanced conflict on the cover would offer a compelling argument about something, right? Sadly, no. I guess this can be considered a "memoir" about an individual's experience with eating disorders, but it is written from a position of absolutely zero authority past personal experience. The reality of the situation is that the author attempted to adopt and maintain a wholly unrealistic and obviously unsustainable diet without any apparent consideration for the negative affects of health. "But that's pretty much the definition of eating disorder," you might be thinking. Yes. That's true. I'm not going to argue this. The problem is that the book doesn't stop there. The book makes sweeping speculations about what caused her original problems and then oddly specific statements about what led to recovery. I thought initially that the weird vilification of veganism in this book would be what I took the most issue with, but instead I find the biggest problem to be the wholly uninformed nutritional information given with a false sense of authority by somebody who appears to just be guessing their way through this. I mean, I do admittedly bristle a bit at the repeated implication that veganism took part in the author's problems (even though she seems to want to both aggressively make this implication and claim that this isn't really her point) and I sort of get upset that all of this was written by somebody who claimed veganism for brand power when they really just cared about fad dieting instead of animal welfare, but in the end, I'm mostly just gobsmacked by the way that personal speculation seems to be passed off as nutritional guidance. I mean, it's pretty obvious that the real problem here is that the author simply wasn't eating food. She was missing basic nutrition. Not "animal fats" not "organic, farm fresh eggs" and certainly not the warm fuzzy (and completely intangible) concept of "balance." She was just missing basic nutrition, and this seems to be completely lost on the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It wasnt veganism that made her sick, it was her eating disorder. If you only had 800 calories a day on any diet you would have the same problems.
CharlieHealthyFactory More than 1 year ago
Breaking Vegan is a fantastic read for anyone and everyone- if you read one book this year, please make it this one! I don't believe that this book bashes veganism at all. If you actually take time to read the book (which you totally should!), you'll find that Jordan does not blame veganism, she instead shares what happens when you place too much importance on what you eat and it becomes an unhealthy obsession (as this is what veganism became to her eventually). I think in this day in age when eating disorders are becoming more and more prevalent, her journey is so relevant. Personally, I resonated with so much of Jordan's story having struggled with aspects of orthorexia and having an obsessive personality. Her advice and story gave me the motivation to move forward and find balance living a life label-free. My favourite part was when Jordan talked about drinking all juice for almost thirty days because it worked for someone else- as she said, I think so many of us try and base our health decisions on what works for other people, I know I definitely did for a long time. Jordan offers straight-forward tips and delicious recipes to get you on your way too. I couldn't speak more highly of this book xx
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author misrepresents true veganism
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shameful. Veganism, which seeks to avoid cruelty to sentient beings, does not cause eating disorders and is nothing to "break free" from. Sensationalist, wrongheaded, and not worthy of lining a litter box with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title is terribly misleading. She was never a vegan, and her problems had nothing to do with being a vegan. Not what I expected. Waste of money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally misleading book, all about this girl's eating disorder. It doesn't teach anyone anything. Don't waste your money on this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was truly an inspirational book. Most women struggle with some sort of body issue. I admire the courage Jordan had to recognize she had taken things too far and needed help. This book takes you on a journey through the highs and lows of an eating disorder. It shows you just how powerful our mind can be and how we tend to punish ourselves when we don't see what we want in the mirror, or hear the compliments from other people. Jordan has had to endure harsh criticism from the Vegan world and whereas most people would shy away, she never wavered from her ultimate goal, which is to be BALANCED in every aspect of her life. This is something we all should strive to be. The end of the book has great recipes, which is an added bonus to a truly amazing book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge fan of Jordan since discovering her Instagram account and then becoming a devout reader of her blog, The Balanced Blonde. I have been so excited to finally get my hands on this book and now that I finally have, it has completely exceeded my expectations, which were already very high. Not only is this book aesthetically gorgeous, but it is also extremely well written and so honest. While I personally do not suffer from an eating disorder, I find Jordan’s story to be so inspiring and relatable, as all of us struggle with balance in our lives one way or another. In addition to the amazing recipes, my favorite part of this book is The Balanced Lifestyle Guide because it offers tips that I think are so helpful and will really lead to living a happier, more positive life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely recommend it to all of my friends! The Gooey Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks are delicious and everyone needs to make these immediately!