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When Food Sensitivities are Eating Disorders in Disguise

When Food Sensitivities are Eating Disorders in Disguise

By Dana Magee, RD This week I had the privilege of joining Kathy Cortese on the ED Matters podcast titled, “When Food Sensitivities are Eating Disorders in Disguise”.  This topic that is near and dear to my heart. My passion is helping others rebuild a healthy relationship with food. I find that rebuilding process is essential with both my eating disorder and food sensitivity clients.  Below are the questions that Kathy and I explore together on the podcast.   Q:    Can you please give us a definition of food sensitivity or food intolerance? A:  This is a question I answer daily, it is so important so I always like to start by straightening out these definitions.   Food sensitivities trigger an immune response in your body that can cause symptoms of digestive problems, headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, skin issues, and/or fatigue. The tricky thing with food sensitivities is that they are dose dependent. This means that you may experience no symptoms with a small portion of the food. Say a few carrots in a soup.  Or even a full portion of the food like ½ cup of cooked broccoli.  But at a certain amount, let’s say broccoli three days in a row for dinner, you may experience symptoms .   Another aspect unique to food sensitivities is that they can be delayed response.  They can occur 45 minutes to 3 days after you have the food and that before you develop symptoms.  This makes the process of discovering a food sensitivity very challenging without the help of a Registered Dietitian experienced in food sensitivities. Check out our food...
What Health Professionals Should Know about Eating Disorders

What Health Professionals Should Know about Eating Disorders

What Health Professionals Should Know about Eating Disorders By Alex Raymond, RD, LD Bringing knowledge and awareness to the health field about eating disorders is something that I am particularly passionate about. Probably due to my own experiences of working with those in recovery! I firmly believe that doctors, therapists, dietitians and other health professionals should be well equipped to screen for ALL eating disorders. Early detection and intervention is key for treating the disease. If we are able to get those struggling into proper treatment early on, it allows for the eating disorder voice to be challenged and quieted sooner. Unfortunately, in the health field there is TONS of stigmas surrounding eating disorders. I think the media and even what we learn in school perpetuate these stigmas. I recall in my dietetics classes, we barely touched the subject of eating disorders. When we did, I remember learning just the basics and reading a case study about a woman who was severely struggling with anorexia.  If you don’t get the proper education surrounding eating disorders, so much information about the truth of the disease can be missed. I love busting myths. After all, it’s part of my job as an eating disorder dietitian 😉 I hope this blog will shed some light to the health field on the truth of eating disorders. And most importantly, what you should be keeping in the back of your mind to screen your patients for an eating disorder.   1)   Eating disorders don’t discriminate. I can’t emphasize this enough! You can probably find information about this everywhere on our blog. It’s so important...
The Log: An Analogy by Anita Johntson

The Log: An Analogy by Anita Johntson

The Log: An Analogy by Anita Johntson By Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT What is The Log? If you have ever suffered with an eating disorder or work with those struggling with disordered eating you may have found them difficult to explain or understand.  We have to accept the fact that eating disorders do not make logical sense.   No one chooses to have an eating disorder.   Eating disorders are mental illnesses that have a genetic component. They are often triggered by a life event or experience for those with high risk factors.  These mental illnesses come with severe physical health consequences.  Since eating disorders can not be easily explained sometimes the best way explain them to my patients, their family and friends, and as a reminder to myself I use the analogy of “The Log”. This Youtube video by Anita Johnston, “The Log”, is one of the most important videos I watch with my clients.   This video is under 5 minutes yet it is so incredibly powerful.  I almost always play it for all my clients during our work together.  Timing is key. The video is relatable in different ways depending on what stage of phase of recovery they are in.  We often rewatch the video together at different points in recovery where it takes on new meaning and provides new insight.  The video itself moves me. It increases my understanding of the client I am with as I watch it through the filter their recovery, their struggles, and their successes.   First without any explanation I encourage you to watch the video at least one time through....
Interview with Heather Caplan: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Heather Caplan: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Heather Caplan, Lady Health Activist By Alex Raymond, RD, LD, contributions from Caroline Best, Student Intern Heather Caplan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in the DMV area. I am so glad that we are able to feature her on the blog! She specializes in supporting women runners who may struggle with disordered eating. Heather hopes to empower those women to have a more positive relationship with themselves and food. Watch Heather’s interview below to learn more about her and the Lane 9 Project! Key Points from Heather Caplan Heather works with active women, including those in recovery or currently struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder. She works with people who want to learn how to fuel their bodies for their sport. Along with 2 other DC runners, Heather founded the Lane 9 project. It’s a nonprofit that works to raise awareness about the female athlete triad. The project offers resources for lady athletes at medium.com/lane9project.  She wants people to know how common the female athlete triad is. Physicians, parents, and athletes need to be more aware of the symptoms. The triad is defined by loss of menses, loss of bone density, and low energy availability. The female athlete triad can have lasting health effects. Fertility issues can occur. Major bone injury risk increases. Treatment plays a huge role in preventing these health problems. You don’t have to be an athlete to be at risk for the female athlete triad. You have to have an eating disorder to struggle with triad symptoms. It can impact all women at all levels of activity. If you or someone you know...
Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick: Eating Disorder Dietitian

Interview with Jessica Setnick, a Rockstar Dietitian By Alex Raymond, RD, LD with contributions from Caroline Best, Empowered Eating Intern I am so excited to feature another rockstar dietitian, Jessica Setnick. Jessica’s mission is: empowering health professionals to confidently and competently treat eating disorders. Jessica does amazing work to complete this mission! She developed the Eating Disorder Boot Camp for dietitians as well as created the Eating Disorder Clinical Pocket Guide. The RD community is so lucky to have her wealth of knowledge! Here are some questions we asked Jessica:  What do you want the world to know about eating disorders? What is the most important thing in prevention of eating disorders? Why do you love working in the eating disorder field? What is a fun fact about you :)? Key Points From Jessica Jessica wants the world to know that everyone eats and everyone has feelings. Sometimes those things get mixed up and we should be aware and sensitive concerning that. She  wants to stress that there’s no specific type or of person who has an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect anyone. Jessica talks about ways to prevent the development of eating disorders. A huge part of this is not assigning morality to food or body sizes. Additionally, she really loves her work. Jessica loves feeling like she’s doing her part to “help repair the world”. We think this is so awesome! Jessica runs two workshops and is the author of two books on eating disorders. The resources she provides are informative and definitely something to check out....
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...

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