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How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

How to Follow Your Meal Plan When You are Busy

Seven Tips for Meal Planning in Eating Disorder Recovery Fail to plan is a plan to fail especially in terms of a meal plan. I have been talking to many clients this week about how following your meal plan is so much easier when you plan ahead. Of course, mentally it can be hard to fight your eating disorder and meet all of your exchanges, but logistically planning out your meals for the week can help you get one step closer to making it a reality. Particularly on weeks when you are busy, having a plan in place will help you prioritize your recovery. I want to note that your recovery is your top priority and should not be set aside for anything, however we do want to see you living your life and doing what you love whether a parent, working full time, a college student living outside the home, or a high school student with various after school commitments here are some tips for following your meal plan when you are busy. Talk to your loved ones. It can help to be on the same page with others in your household so you can plan accordingly to meet your meal plan and not be thrown for any surprises. Perhaps mom/dad or your loved one would be willing to plan out some meals together and therefore you can fill in the gaps to help you meet all your exchanges (dairy, fat, etc) if the meal prepared for you does not include it. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help or suggest ideas as well depending on your recovery plan with the treatment team. Rely on one pot/one pan meals. These...
Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Avoiding Relapse from an Eating Disorder Recovery from an eating disorder is 100% possible and you can live a life free of behaviors and symptoms. However recovery can feel different for everyone and can often times be a hard transition. There can be feelings of discomfort, feelings of being stuck, or perhaps confusing thoughts about recovery as it may not have been what you expected. The rest of your life including the people, environment, and potential eating disorder triggers are still present. Here are some things that can help avoid relapse: Accountability– Make sure to have systems in place to keep yourself accountable- continue with your treatment team, engage family and friends, and make time for self-check ins. Identify Red Flags-  Be proactive. Create a list of your specific red flags that have been triggering throughout your recovery process. Being aware and having a plan for each of them can help. If you need a list (or ideas for your list), email us to share our list with you rebecca@empoweredeatingblog.com. Act fast– If you notice a red flag pop up don’t wait until it progresses or another one shows up. Address it right away. Structure- keep up with your meal plan and recovery reading and assignments. Plan ahead for unique situations. Define yourself– Keep defining yourself outside or your eating disorder and make time for the things you love and even trying some new things. Support– continue to go to support groups and appointments.   Create a positive environment– perhaps your childhood room or college dorm is triggering if this was one of the places your eating disorder first reared it’s head. Change-up your space, hang positive quotes and radiate...
How to Prepare for Going to College in Recovery from an Eating Disorder

How to Prepare for Going to College in Recovery from an Eating Disorder

Preparing for College while in Recovery I have to start this blog by saying that depending on where you are in your eating disorder journey, taking a semester or year off can help tremendously with stabilizing your recovery long term. In the moment it can be so hard and upsetting to do this but the long-term benefits cannot be matched. Please talk to your treatment team to make sure that going/returning to school is right for you at this time and if it is not, know that a small break will not change things in the long run. A student with anorexia nervosa should have been eating properly and independently for at least six months prior to going away to college. August: Oh August- so many feelings and memories associated with this month as I write this blog and remember the first time I left for University of Maryland. Being away from home, living on your own, taking the next step in furthering both personal and professional values and of course having so much fun. While leaving for college can be an emotional and perhaps challenging experience for anyone, leaving for college with an eating disorder can make things even more difficult. New Routine: Anytime you are out of your natural environment and routine, it gives the eating disorder a chance to rear its ugly head yet again and stir up those restrictive or obsessive thoughts-tempting you to give into this voice in situations you have never been in before. Not to mention all the stress that comes with school, finding activities that you enjoy and finding “your people”, your support away from home. Dining Hall: And of course, the actual act of eating in...
Five Strategies to LOVE Food Again

Five Strategies to LOVE Food Again

Love Your Food EVERY Day Learning to love food again takes time. For one who is in recovery from an eating disorder, food can often be seen as the enemy. When the eating disorder takes over food becomes scary.  The eating disorder thoughts can remove all of the joy and pleasure surrounding food. This includes food choices and eating environments. Every food is over-analyzed by the eating disorder (ED) brain. So eating at restaurants can be overwhelming. And joy and spontaneity with eating is lost. So what can be your hope and goal in recovery? One of my hopes when working with a client in recovery from an eating disorder is to bring the joy back to food. “count memories not calories” My personal mantra with food is to “count memories not calories”.  Also, I love working with people to embrace food rather than fear it. I think the concern I see with clients is fear.  It is the fear that loving food will cause them to overeat or mindlessly eat. However, I find it’s the complete opposite. When food holds a proper, loving place in our lives, we can learn to enjoy a variety of foods in a satisfying way. Here are some strategies to help you LOVE food again. Try New Recipes Try new recipes. If you’re stuck in a food rut, dust off the old cookbooks.  And bookmark some recipes that look enjoyable.  Then try something new. Consider Meal Delivery Consider meal delivery. If planning and shopping for meals is overwhelming, consider a meal delivery service. These include  Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. They can help...
Eating Disorder Treatment Centers: The Emily Program

Eating Disorder Treatment Centers: The Emily Program

The Emily Program On-site Professional Visit By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, CEDRD As you probably know, as eating disorder Registered Dietitians, it is essential for us to have a solid, first hand experience with treatment centers available to help our clients struggling with eating disorders. We often work with clients on an outpatient basis after being discharged from a treatment facility and also provide recommendations for a higher level of care when needed. In terms of choosing a treatment center, I liken it to choosing a college. There are many wonderful colleges and at the same time is is good to find a college that is the best fit for you.  Just like colleges, treatment centers at not all alike, so we like to find out as much as we can about treatment centers so we can make the best recommendations for our clients.  Visiting treatment centers also gives us a chance to work with the professionals at the treatment center to best collaborate and help make transitions as seamlessly as possible.  Here is an overview of our most recent visit to The Emily Program in Minnesota. Our event started with a dinner with the founder and the board of directors of The Emily Program.  It is always so inspirational to meet the people and feel the passion of the treatment center.  Being on a professional visit also allows us the opportunity to meet other professionals who work in the field of eating disorders. The next day was filled with comprehensive presentations from the treatment team and a tour of the facilities.  It is nice to see how the...

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