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Why it’s Okay to Not Love Your Body

Why it’s Okay to Not Love Your Body

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD Body image struggles are extremely prevalent in our society today. When you are in recovery from your eating disorder, taking steps to feel more comfortable in your body can be enormously difficult. Because it is frustrating when you are trying to make changes to nourish yourself and these negative thoughts continually pop into your head. Amazingly enough, you are strong enough to overcome them. I am so impressed with the work I see our clients doing day after day to fight this battle. These days, the body positivity movement is continually growing. I actually want to write about why it’s okay to NOT be body positive nor “love your body.” I’m sure you’re confused… but hear me out. It’s okay to not be completely in love with every part of your body. It seems like “Love your body” messages are plastered everywhere and targeted mainly toward women. This movement  preaches to fully embrace your body and love every aspect. Don’t get me wrong… I am in love with this idea, Seeing body positive images over my Instagram and Facebook truly makes me happy. So then, where’s the problem? As much as I am in love with the idea of “love your body,” I also think for many, especially those struggling with an eating disorder, it can be very difficult to go from absolutely hating your body to loving your body. There are many baby steps in between. Sometimes people who struggle with the idea of loving their bodies feel left out from this movement. Maybe they think there is something wrong with them if...
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...
Stepping into Mindful Eating

Stepping into Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating: How to Begin I remember a time that I was the slowest eater at the table.  The person that everyone had to wait to finish eating at restaurants and asking for my ice cream in a bowl since it melted faster than I could finish it.  I would also wrap up my dinners to go (no matter if it was ¾ of the meal or a few last bites of a steak.) Looking back, I was a pro at listening to my hunger and fullness without intending to. But the world taught me to speed up and in turn weakened this skill.  The first time I can remember that how I ate started to change was in high school. One year lunch would be at 10:30 and other years it could be 1:30.  It really got tricky the year it switched every other day between the two.  This didn’t exactly fall within the times I would be hungry and was a challenge when factoring in after school activities. Next in college I was subject to the timing of the classes I needed to take, that three hour lab right at noon, or finding myself on the opposite side of campus from the dining halls when I was the hungriest.  Being a nutrition major who worked in the dining hall and also enjoyed cooking- getting in meals was not the issue.  But looking back on it the mindfulness certainly fell by the wayside.  Eating in classes while taking notes, eating dinner while typing up a paper, rushing to get lunch between a class that ended at 11:50 and...
5 Tips To Make Eating Lunch at School Easier

5 Tips To Make Eating Lunch at School Easier

5 Tips To Make Eating Lunch at School Easier By Klara Knezevic RD, LD If you are struggling with an eating disorder, the start of the school year can definitely be a challenging time! With the added stress of homework, studying, a busier schedule, socializing with friends and of course there is also the stress of eating in school. Perhaps this summer you have been able to eat lunch with your dietitian or in your home environment. Eating lunch can be very challenging in a new setting with new people. Some find It can be an overwhelming experience, seeing what other people are eating and in turn, having other people see you, plus not having the family support you do at home, and making sure you can get in all your exchanges in the allotted lunch time. If you are in a place in your recovery where you are able to eat at school, here are some things that can help you during lunch: 1. Make a plan Talk to your treatment team about every detail of eating in school: What time is lunch? Who will you sit with? What will you bring to eat? How will you store it? 2. Do a Practice Run If possible, practice eating at home. Eat the same lunch you are planning to bring to school around the same time for the same allotted lunch time. This can help take away some fear because you know you can finish your meal  feel comfortable with what you are eating. 3. Have compact meals Delicious Sandwich with Many Exchanges Caloric Smoothie Grain bowl with Protein Veggies and Carbohydrates Delicious Granola with nuts and fruit! Compact meals...
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...

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