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5 Ways to Eat Clean (Just Kidding)

5 Ways to Eat Clean (Just Kidding)

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD In my personal opinion clean eating is a socially acceptable form of disordered eating. Clean eating is not a lifestyle change. It’s a diet. I’ve been meaning to write this blog for awhile, but I was struggling with trying to find the words. I think that’s because, quite honestly, whenever I think about clean eating, I find myself getting frustrated.   Clean eating First of all. Clean eating is not a real thing.  I’m not entirely sure how this movement started. I can take an educated guess and say it has something to do with our culture’s obsession with health. Being “healthy” is put on this moral pedestal. It’s something that is so highly valued in our society. If you’re healthy (aka fit a certain body type), you are a good person. Probably smart and successful too. (I know this not to be true, however it is subliminally ingrained in our society). What we sometimes forget, is that many areas of health are out of our control. So many health factors are genetic. Take high blood pressure for example. I have a friend who is “normal” weight, fairly active, AND is a dietitian. She has high blood pressure. Almost every member in her family also has high blood pressure. She can limit all the salt she wants to and avoid eating out (as those foods do tend to be higher in sodium), but it might not make too much of a difference. As long a she has variety and balance in her diet, why should she force herself to never eat out if that’s...
The Importance of Fats

The Importance of Fats

By Alex Raymond, RD LD If you’re one of my clients, you have probably heard me go on what I like to call a “fat rant” at least once. And, if you’re not one of my clients, by reading this blog, you’re about the get a glimpse into this “rant.”  In my personal opinion (and many other dietitian’s opinions), dietary fats have been villainized for way too long in our society.  I have heard so many people, including family, friends and clients, tell me they buy the “fat free” products because they know it’s better for your health. Well, I’m here to tell you that “fat free” doesn’t mean “healthier.” But, I can’t blame people for thinking that. For years, food companies have been using language like “low fat” or “fat free” on labels to promote their products. It seems that phrases like that are used to indicate that their product is somehow “healthier” and therefore you should buy it. (Food companies are tricky like that with all their subliminal, yet not-so-subliminal, messaging).    You may be thinking, “but Alex, the fats in certain foods are the “unhealthy” saturated fats, so we should probably avoid those foods, right?” I wouldn’t say that saturated fat is a “bad” fat. Yes, it is recommended to consume more unsaturated fats than saturated ones. BUT! That does NOT mean you can’t eat foods that have saturated fats in them.Even the American Heart Association says it’s okay to have some saturated fat in the diet. Also, foods that may have a higher content of saturated fats have many other health benefits. Let;’s take red...
Making Your Commute Part of Your Recovery

Making Your Commute Part of Your Recovery

By Dana Magee, RD How to make your commute part of your self care, healthy lifestyle, and eating disorder recovery.  Here are 5 tips on making the most of your commute! 1. Where have podcasts been my whole life?  I have been driving 45 minutes to an hour to and from work for years without podcasts and now I don’t  know how I did it! Mine’s nothing compared to the commute some people have, sometimes 2 hours one way!  I am loving using podcasts to help my mindset driving through the DMV traffic. Podcasts help me learn new tools to help my clients, and am able to share them with fellow commuters. I am absolutely loving the Love, Food podcast by host Julie Duffy Dillon, a Registered Dietitian. She shares in our REBEL against dieting mindset and dieting culture philosophy.  Her voice is so compassionate and her approach is totally in line with us at Empowered Eating.  I can confidently encourage my clients to peruse her podcasts knowing that they will be in good hands.  She also features other big names in the eating disorder recovery world to give even more tips and insights.  I learn multiple things every podcast. At 20-25 minutes they are never boring and really easy to listen too.  You’re bombarded by dieting society constantly so having  20 minutes of your day focused on body positivity is so valuable! I also love the ED Matters podcast which also features big names in the eating disorder recovery world spark helpful conversation about eating disorders.  I was honored to be a part of ED Matters last month....
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...
Self Care Toolbox: 4 Easy Ideas You Can Do

Self Care Toolbox: 4 Easy Ideas You Can Do

Self Care: Making it a Priority  Do you find yourself turning to eating disorder behaviors during times of high stress instead of forms of self care? I have found myself having this conversation with many clients over the last few weeks. The eating disorder can provide comfort and familiarity when times are stressful. However, this comfort is short term and can lead down a lonely, dangerous path. I’ve really been working with clients the last few weeks to help build what I like to call a “self-care toolbox.”   Building Your “Self-Care Tool Box” No matter how much we try to balance our days and regular meals and snacks, stress or upsetting situations can get the best of us and trigger ED thoughts and behaviors. So, I have been challenging my clients to build a “self-care toolbox.” What does this mean? Well, self care is doing something that is enjoyable to you. It is taking time each day to do something small that makes you feel good about yourself, brings you joy, and can help relieve stress. Now, think about a “toolbox.” There is never just one tool in a toolbox. You have to reach for different tools depending on what type of task your completing. So, having a self-care tool box means that you have different techniques to make yourself feel better. The eating disorder is technically a tool, however, it’s the type of tool that never really works. You keep having to tighten the screw over and over because it continues to come loose. Instead, you probably want to use a more reliable tool. And that’s what...
5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

5 Things I Want You to Know About HAES

HAES: Health At Every Size By Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT Health At Every Size (HAES) is a movement that is based on HEALTH as opposed to WEIGHT.  I see the truth in this movement EVERYDAY when I see my clients making healthy lifestyle changes that include feeding themselves well, cooking for themselves, moving their body in ways they enjoy, prioritizing sleep and practicing stress management tools.   Unfortunately, HAES is met with a lot of pushback from those that do not understand it. My goal in this blog is to explain HAES to those that are open to a new mindset for what being healthy means.    1. Why do I believe in HAES? In our dieting culture the message “thinner is better” is played on repeat. I would argue that the message can also take the form “thinner is healthier”. Even more concerning, the dieting culture proclaims that achieving thinness is desirable by any means necessary.   This is dangerous and irresponsible.  The restriction and unhealthy behaviors around dieting can actually put the person at greater health risk.  Health at Every Size is a movement that separates the fusion between size and health.  HAES reorganizes our priorities and puts health at the top of the list (where it should be) and takes the focus on weight loss out of the picture.   What is health? Health is determined by the quality of the food you eat, regular and pleasurable movement, stress management and sleep hygiene.  When those ducks are in a row that is when we see improvement in chronic disease states, regardless as to whether weight has...

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