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Intuitive Eating
Dietitians Are Key to Unlocking the Potential of Food… Though Not Always in the Ways that You Think

Dietitians Are Key to Unlocking the Potential of Food… Though Not Always in the Ways that You Think

Recently I had a client share with me that she “struggled to understand” my approach to nutrition counselling. At first I thought it’s because I don’t do weight loss (which I think is probably still a part of it) but when I probed further, she said that it’s because she had expected a formula that she’s seen with other nutrition professionals (dietitian or not):

  1. Client brings in food journal
  2. Provider critiques food journal
  3. Provider gives suggestions, recipes, and/or meal plan
  4. Rinse and repeat
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6 “Conscious Uncouplings” to Make for a Better Relationship with Food & Body

6 “Conscious Uncouplings” to Make for a Better Relationship with Food & Body

I’m skeptical of Gwyneth Paltrow as much as the next evidence-based practitioner, and I can’t help but feel my eyes roll as I type the phrase “conscious uncoupling” (it’s actually not a goop original, but a phrase coined by author and family therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas. (Amazon Associates link)) So, I’ll fully admit here that I’m riding the coattails of Gwyneth’s popularity and February being about Valentine’s and love as a way to explore the idea of breaking up with and unlearning old, unhelpful (and possibly harmful) ideas in order to make way for new ones.

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Mindful Eating & Intuitive Eating: What’s the Difference?

Mindful Eating & Intuitive Eating: What’s the Difference?

Mindful eating and intuitive eating are both approaches used by non-diet and Health At Every Size® dietitians and clinicians, so it isn’t surprising that many think that they’re one and the same. Although the two complement each other and have significant overlap, there are some important differences.

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How to Navigate Triggering Conversations During the Holiday Season

How to Navigate Triggering Conversations During the Holiday Season

Recently I attended the Break the Freeze workshop put on by fellow ATB X cohort #5 member Empowerment Inc. While the purpose of the workshop was teaching communication and self-defense skills, I immediately saw that a lot of the skills could be applied to navigating triggering topics, like diet and body talk, during the holidays (or any time of year, for that matter.)

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If I Can’t Lose Weight, Then How Can I Be Healthy?

If I Can’t Lose Weight, Then How Can I Be Healthy?

Perhaps you’ve read the research on how diets don’t work. Perhaps you’ve dieted your whole life and can’t bear to put yourself through another round of the diet-binge cycle, or the weight rollercoaster. Maybe you feel mad or frustrated that you’ve been lied to this whole time; that you’ve been given tools that not only don’t work, but actually do the opposite of what they claim to do.

No matter what brought you here, you feel stuck. If dieting doesn’t work, then what does? If you can’t lose weight, how can you be healthy?

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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

This is the last in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police
Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food
Principle #8: Respect Your Body

Principles #9 and #10 are about incorporating movement and nutrition, respectively. Though the 10 Intuitive Eating principles aren’t meant to be addressed in order, it’s often recommended to leave the last two on the back burner while you’re working on the others.

Taking the focus away from movement and nutrition probably seems counterintuitive coming from a dietitian, and even more so when you have a chronic condition, as it’s probably the exact opposite of what you’ve been told since your diagnosis.

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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #8: Respect Your Body

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #8: Respect Your Body

This is the seventh in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police
Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food
Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

With companies like Weight Wat—excuse me, WW—getting into the wellness business, it’s no wonder that so many of us seem to have our wires crossed in terms of what’s health promoting, and what’s actually dieting.

Still, I’m hopeful that not only is it possible to focus on health (if that’s what you want) without focusing on weight, I’m also hopeful that we will realize that we all have this knowledge within us. One of my most poignant memories of seeing intuitive eating in action was when I asked, “What does it look like to respect your body?” as part of an Intro to Intuitive Eating workshop. Though they’d never heard of intuitive eating before, the group effortlessly shared a variety of ideas, from gentle movement and sleep to unfollowing “fitspo” social media accounts and reframing negative self-talk. 

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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food

This is the sixth in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police
Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Principle #8: Respect Your Body
Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

I’ve written before about how this is probably my least favourite intuitive eating principle, as it implies that you should never eat in response to your emotions. If it weren’t for diet culture, emotional eating probably wouldn’t be seen as such a negative thing.

Diet culture teaches us that if we only eat the “right” amounts and types of food, we will be able to meet societal ideals of health and beauty. In reality, our weight and health are about so much more than what and how much we eat. When we’re able to consider emotional eating from this lens, it becomes easier to see why we shouldn’t feel bad about turning to food in response to difficult emotions.

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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor

This is the fifth in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police
Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings without Food
Principle #8: Respect Your Body
Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

This might seem like just another principle, but Intuitive Eating co-authors Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole consider satisfaction the “hub” of intuitive eating, in that every principle is really about helping people get the most satisfaction from food and eating.

For some, the idea that food should be satisfying and pleasurable is a, “Well, duh.” kind of statement, but for others, it can actually be pretty revolutionary and controversial—perhaps even more so when you have a chronic condition.

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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police

This is the fourth in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food
Principle #8: Respect Your Body
Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

🚓🚨WEE-OO WEE-OO 🚨🚓

Most of us have had a run-in with the Food Police at least once in our life. You might not have seen them before, but its message rings loud and clear in our society: There are foods that we “should” and “shouldn’t” eat, and if we eat something that’s considered the latter, it’s “bad”, “cheating”, “unclean”, and “wrong”. According to the Food Police, we’re killing ourselves with what we eat, and we better be feeling guilty about it.

Of course, the Food Police know that no one would take them seriously if they just said, “Food is bad for you” outright, so they spread their message in more subtle, insidious ways.

It’s the relative who eyes your plate and says, “You’re eating all of that?!”

The friend who looks at your muffin and says, “Oh, I could never eat that.”

It’s the documentary on how GMOs, carbs, sugar, fat, salt, or whatever food baddie du jour is hurting you and the planet.

Shaming you about food and eating is one thing, but the ultimate goal of the food police is for you to internalize the message, so that you become one of them.

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To Heal Your Relationship with Food and Your Body, Start with Mindfulness

Gain a little peace, calm and space by cultivating your personal mindfulness practice with this *FREE* 7-day mini-course, featuring guided meditations and practical strategies from The Mindful Eating Workbook.

Download Your First Meditation

Looking for a few more steps?

Download a free copy of my eBook, Stop the Food Fight, Start Making Food Peace, where I walk you through my 7 Steps to Start Healing Your Relationship with Food & Your Body.

Download Your Free Copy

Give Yourself Space to Heal Your Relationship with Food & Your Body

Learn how to use mindfulness to cultivate peace, presence and awareness with this *FREE* 7-day Intro to Meditation & Mindful Eating mini-course, featuring guided meditations and exercises from The Mindful Eating Workbook.

Aside from the course content, you will also receive regular email updates on mindful eating and intuitive eating. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)
Download Your First Meditation
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