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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...
Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Tips

Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Tips

By Rebecca Bitzer, RD  You are not alone. Binge Eating Disorder widely impacts individuals of all ages. Additionally, it is estimated that up to 40% of people joining weight loss programs meet the criteria of binge eating disorder. Unfortunately, dieting can often make things worse. Yes, that is correct. In fact, the worst thing you can do for yourself or a loved one is to encourage a weight loss program or diet to someone struggling with binge eating disorder. So what can you do?  1. Educate yourself and/or your loved one on binge eating disorder. What is the Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Cycle? Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Taste the Sweet Rebellion 2. Look for experts trained in binge eating disorder recovery. First, find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who has been trained in the non-dieting approach or intuitive eating.  Secondly, another credential to look for is CEDRD. It stands for Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and his credential takes years to complete. In addition to the RDN credential which takes at least 5 years to complete.  So, if your RDN does not yet have the CEDRD credential completed, simply ask if your RDN is working towards it. 3. Become aware of resources that help you recover. First, find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who believes in the Health at EVERY Size (HAES) approach. So what is HAES? “Health at Every Size® principles help us advance social justice, create an inclusive and respectful community, and support people of all sizes in finding compassionate ways to take care of themselves.” HAES includes: RESPECT CRITICAL AWARENESS COMPASSIONATE SELF-CARE 4. Join a support group...
Meal Support for Loved Ones

Meal Support for Loved Ones

By Dana Magee, RD For those suffering from an eating disorder remember: “You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.” What is meal support?  Meal support is not taking on the role of the food police, or the enforcer.  It is the modeling of healthy food behaviors, being there with your loved one, the calmness and compassion at meal times  that has the true value. See below for some amazing tips from the New Maudsley Approach: Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder book.  If someone in your life is affected by an eating disorder (ED) I highly recommend reading this book.  It is an invaluable resource! Loved ones: Remember this is not easy.   Have compassion for yourself, learn, ask for help, forgive yourself if you wish you reacted differently.   To illustrate the roles family members may take I will use the model from the Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder animal analogies.  As stated in the book it is natural, typical and instinctive to a concerned and frightened family member or friend to take on one of the following roles:   Kangaroo Dolphin Rhino You see your loved one struggling, it hurts your heart to see them in pain and you try to protect them from that pain and keep them safe as if you have them in your pouch. The challenge with protecting your loved one from any stress or discomfort is that they do not learn to do this for themselves. It traps them in the infant role, and can exhaust you in the...
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...

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