When you have a healthy relationship with food then…
How would you finish this sentence? Kaleigh, from HugStronger asked me this question and given the culture of eating in the U.S. it’s a really important one. We live in a society that conflates health with morality, size with success, and appearance with identity. This takes a toll on our feelings of self-worth and ability (or lack thereof) to measure up. Our food landscape is over-processed and over-abundant while the sub-text speaks to the virtue of self-denial. How utterly confusing. The line between clinical eating disorders and culturally accepted dieting and body hating continues to blur. Many people feel as if they are living in a food and body prison with no way out. In short, I will never be out of a job.
So this brings us back to what a healthy relationship with food looks like. Here’s my top 10:
1. Eating is often enjoyable- full of flavors and textures you truly love.
3. Eating requires some forethought and planning but food does not pre-occupy the majority of your thoughts.4. Eating is flexible in terms of timing and variety.
5. Eating does not result in feelings of guilt or shame.
6. Eating is motivated by internal cues of hunger and fullness most of the time.
7. When eating or thinking about eating you can feel relaxed and at ease.
8. Sometimes you eat food solely for the pleasure of eating, regardless of nutritional content.
9. Balanced, nutritious eating comes naturally because of your connection to how certain foods make you feel physically and the emotional tug of war is not present.10. Eating is viewed as a way to take good care of yourself.
These are my top 10. What would you add to the list?
Interested in reading more on this topic? Check out Ellyn Satter’s definition of “normal eating.”
We have a very exciting Twitter chat coming your way this month! We are honored to have Sharon Peterson, the director of Eating Disorder Network of Maryland (EDN Maryland) talk with us about the genetic component of eating disorders as well as how clients and therapists can learn to manage personality traits that may be hindering recovery.
If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to www.tweetchat.com and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @EDNMaryland
We hope you can join us on July 25th th at 8:30 EST. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook as well!
Thank you to all the participants for our Twitter Chat last night! We helped to ring in a body positive summer by participating with Dr Deah-Expressive Arts Therapist and Health at Every Size Expert .
Missed the chat? We saved a recap here for you!
Q1. What does the term expressive therapy mean? What are some examples?
@dr_deah It’s a form of treatment using a multi-modal approach to facilitate healing, insight, behavioral changes.
@jekjess It's using various approaches - especially creative ones - to achieve therapeutic goals in ways that talk sometimes can't
@dr_deah Modalities used include art, drama, music, movement, imagery, storytelling,writing.
@MarciRD Is based on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.
Q2.1 What are some of the benefits to incorporating expressive therapy into eating disorder treatment?
@jekjess Client can express what they can't put words to/are too ashamed to say, client can discover talents
@MarciRD My clients are the most creative people I've ever met. ED stifles creativity, so important to bring that creative self out!
@dr_deah: Many of our associations & patterns w/food & nurturing occur @ a preverbal level
@MarshaHudnallWe find that expressive therapy helps people access feelings they often can't otherwise
- 2.2 Why are the Ex. Arts Therapies helpful for this population?
@jekjess Client can express what they cant put words to/are too ashamed to say, client can discover talents
@dr_deah body image issues are visually stimulated because messages are delivered via the media. Using art, theater & dance we “fight fire w/ fire” by using the medium that delivers the message
@MarciRD Creativity can be a means to externalize and separate from the eating disorder.
@rosiemolinary I love that the creative arts allow for a partnership between body, mind, + soul, a partnership that may have been alienated w/ED -
@bigpictureRD significant to use creative process & energy for positive reasons, motivation
@ScritchfieldRD: one good belly laugh is as effective as 10 minutes of meditation (which is also good) may be better than meds
3. Often people feel vulnerable creating art, music, dance or other means of self-expression. What might help break through the intimidation?
@dr_deah It’s about material generated not how it looks, which of course is the point of body image therapy in the first place
@rosiemolinary empower them to realize that they are doing it for themselves, not to worry about perfect but process and revelation
@dr_deah: A competent E.A. Therapist sets up sessions w/the premise that there’s no right or wrong in how one expresses
@dr_deah Improv activities are spontaneous not enough time to get self conscious
- 4. In what ways can a RD use Ex. Arts Therapy Activities to achieve their treatment goals?
@MarciRD I like them to draw out what hunger/fullness means to them.
@ScritchfieldRD: I have done vision boards in session. We cut out words from magazines - put together a me board
@MarciRD I encourage my clients to use color and pictures for expressing emotions for before, during, after a meal
@rosiemolinary Fill basket w/random things (rock, rubber duck, etc) +have client pick something out of basket + tell story w/ relevant connection
@jekjess I think I would have LOVED to do an art "food journal" regarding feelings after eating etc, visualize
@dr_deah I have also worked with clients to identify what the real "monster is" in their lives that they are attributing to the food
@MarciRD A4 I have a client who recently asked me to record a mindful meditation track on her phone to listen to while I'm away.
@ MyDietitian I use mountain image, help them to identify the "peak" of having a positive eating experience, what that means for them/their body
@dr_deah I use future fortune telling symbolism sometimes too, eg a crystal ball as an image to play with
@MarciRD A4 This book has been really inspiring, easily adapted to nutrition work: http://t.co/6K9x0z4W #endED -
@dr_deah For more art therapy ideas I post at http://t.co/RD4CO2Ka
5. What is HAES?
@dr_deah: HAES is a health based paradigm that starts with accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes
dr_deah It also promotes individually appropriate & enjoyable life enhancing physical activity As opposed to exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss
@MarciRD: HAES is positive approach to taking care of ourselves. Does away w/ comparison & shame & truly supports well-being
@ElizabethEats: I feel like i say this everyday but: you can tell NOTHING about a person from how they look. why we NEED #HAES
@dr_deah: Many people start dieting because their natural body size and shape is not what society deems as beautiful.
@MarciRD: Q5 Stands for Health At Every Size- check out their website http://t.co/hYkFWpnR #endED
@HAEScoach: What is #HAES? #endED” nutrition + activity + self + fun + curiousity + discovery = healthy mind AND body lifelong #endED -
5.2 What are common misperceptions about a HAES approach?
@MarciRD People think it gives the green light to binge eat and not exercise. They forget the key word- HEALTH at every size
@bigpictureRD So many misconceptions! That it's not health focused, & gives permission to be out of control
@dr_deah We know Weight cycling often results in weight gain and increased eating disordered behaviors
@ScritchfieldRD misconception about #HAES people are lazy, don't want to take care of themselves, that they "could" be thinner, thinness=health
6. Why is it important to emphasize HAES as a society and as a therapist?
@MarciRD We need to work on changing the paradigm of health = thinness. We have the power to affect our personal circles too!
@MyDietitian A6 to prevent doing any harm. Help combat negative self-talk. create a reality of feeling good at any size
6.1 How can we stay HAES focused this summer?
@dr_deah Try 2 avoid engaging in comparing bodies and using negative body talk
@dr_deah Pay attention to your cues of hunger appetite and satiety Move your body for pleasure and health not weight loss
@MarciRD Encourage clients, friends, family to embrace life/fun NOW...not in 10 lbs...
@ dr_deah I have great resources and links on my website http://t.co/blb4ciag
@MarciRD There are so many fun ways to be active in the summer- volleyball, kayaking, frisbee, walks, hikes. Have fun and get outside!
@dr_deah So Try starting from a place of love& self-acceptance it makes it easier 2 take better care of ourselves#ended
Thank you for everyone that joined us! You can see more tweets if you search #endED
You can learn more about Dr. Deah by visiting her website or her Facebook page. Mark your calenders for our next chat; July 25th where we will be talking with @ednmaryland !
Help us ring in a body positive summer by participating in our #EndED twitter chat on Wednesday, June 27th 2012. I'm honored that Dr. Deah will be joining us to talk about body image, self/size acceptance and Expressive Arts Therapies.
Dr. Deah Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience using therapeutic expressive arts in psychiatric hospitals, residential and day treatment programs with clients struggling with Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction. Deah was also a professor at San Francisco State University for ten years and coordinated the Therapeutic Recreation Degree program.She is the author of the size acceptance syndicated blog, “Tasty Morsels”, co-author of Leftovers, DVD/Workbook Set, a multimodality resource for therapists and educators, and has a private practice.In all aspects of Dr. Deah’s work, she strives to provide assistance in preventing and treating eating disorders by switching from a weight based to health based paradigm, defining one’s own standard of beauty, challenging the discrimination that exists towards anyone that doesn't fit the media's expectation of perfection, and finding ways to make peace with one’s body. You can learn more about Dr. Deah by visiting her website or her Facebook page
These are the questions we'll be discussing:
1. What does the term expressive therapy mean? What are some examples?
2.1 What are some of the benefits to incorporating expressive therapy into eating disorder treatment?
2.2 Why are the Ex. Arts Therapies helpful for this population?
3. Often people feel vulnereable creating art, music, dance or other means of self-expression. What might help break through the intimidation?
4. In what ways can a RD use Ex. Arts Therapy Activities to achieve their treatment goals?
5. What is HAES?
5.2 What are common misperceptions about a HAES approach?
6. Why is it important to emphasize HAES as a society and as a therapist?
6.1 How can we stay HAES focused this summer?
If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to www.tweetchat.com and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @Dr_Deah
We hope you can join us on the 27th at 8:30 EST. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook as well!
I recently traveled abroad to Europe. And as with all of my travels, the culinary and food world influenced my itinerary. Discovering the traditions and palate of the region is always one of the highlights of my explorations. But while I was traveling this time, I couldn’t help but take a look at their version of the food label. In case you haven't noticed, their food labels don't contain the word "calories." Instead, they use the word "energy." Every time I see that it brings a smile to face.
In my opinion, the word calorie seems to possess a laundry list of negative associations.
- Count your calories
- Cut your calories
- Burn your calories
- Choose your calories wisely
To me, it’s a really good example of how American culture has turned the joy of eating into something that feels wrong, undeserving of pleasure, and requiring repentance. To me, the word “energy” conveys a much more positive message; fuel to keep you energized! So the next time you find yourself glancing at a food label, try swapping the word “calorie” for “energy.” And you can try asking yourself the following questions:
- How much energy do I need right now?
- Will this be enough energy to carry me?
- Will this type of energy leave me feeling energized and satisfied?
So, if you had the chance to change the word calorie to something else, what word would you choose?
Save the date! On Saturday, October 2nd Boston will be celebrating local food. Check out the festival's website for details.
"The Boston Local Food Festival, presented by Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN), is a delicious outdoor celebration of the many benefits of local food. Located on the historic Boston waterfront, along Fort Point Channel, the festival showcases affordable and scrumptious food grown and produced in the Boston area, Massachusetts, and New England. Festival-goers can engage with farmers, chefs and entrepreneurs, learn from exhibits and demonstrations, and enjoy activities and local music. Boston Local Food Festival is an entertaining, fun way to purchase healthy local food and support local businesses and organizations, learn about healthier, more sustainable choices and embrace cultural variety of food, music and art. Join us on October 2, 2010, and enjoy luscious local food and support our farmers and food entrepreneurs. This exciting event is easily accessible via the MBTA Silver Line, Court House Station, and a short walk from South Station off the Red Line."
Hope to see you there!
After a long winter, welcoming summer and the accompanying abundant produce selection can be truly thrilling. I was walking the aisles of my grocery store, excited to add cherries and nectarines to my cart (two of my summer time favorites). So I thought you'd appreciate a couple of resources for the selecting and storing of produce.
Sean Murphy developed the Harvest App for the I-phone. For $2.99 you have a guide to the proper selecting and storing of over 125 fruits and vegetables. Curious if your peach is ripe or whether you should wash blueberries before storing them? Just check out the app!
In the June 2009 issue of Cooking Light, they provided a simple guide to storing your produce. Here's a quick re-cap.
Refrigerator: keep these items in perforated plastic bags in the produce drawers
Artichokes, Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Berries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cherries, Corn, Cucumbers, Figs, Grapes, Green Onions, Leafy Greens, Leeks, Peas, Radishes, Summer Squashes
Countertop: choose a spot away from direct sunlight and a container that allows for air circulations (like a vented bowl or perforated bag)
* Refrigerate after opening
** Refrigerate after 7 days
Apples**, Apricots, Avocados*, Bananas, Citrus fruits, Eggplant, Kiwi*, Mangoes, Nectarines*, Papayas, Peaches*, Pears*, Peppers, Pineapple, Plums*, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Winter Squashes
Pantry: store items away from light in a well-ventilated pantry or cupboard
Garlic, Onions, Potatoes
According to the USDA, 63% of fruits & 57% of vegetables are cheapest when purchased fresh.
For other budget saving tips, check out this article.
I'm not like a lot of dietitians. I work predominantly with people who struggle with disordered, compulsive, or emotional eating. So my job is to help my clients feel less obsessed and connected to food on an emotional level, so they can get to living a healthy full life that isn't centered around food 24/7. And part of that work is helping my clients be at peace with any and all foods.
So I was entertained by an article written by Jenna Bell-Wilson PhD, RD. She asked thousands of dietitians which foods they indulge in. A lot of people assume that because dietitians know a lot about nutrition and because our professional lives center around healthy living- we eat super healthy, all the time. I can assure you, this is simply not so! (Just ask any of my friends and/or family members.)
Jenna took these responses and crafted a clever article about what kinds of "cheat foods" dietitians love to eat, even though they don't offer much in terms of nutritional value. And she also discusses the importance of incorporating these foods into your diet (in moderation of course!) just for the sake of their yumminess!
This got me thinking about my own favorite indulgences and I had a hard time narrowing the list. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order: cupcakes, Mint Oreos, Hot Tamales. Here's to celebrating a diet that is full of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and a consistent sprinkling of the not-so-healthy indulgences as well. Now that is a diet I can live with!
The purpose of the "Product No Case" blog postings are to share with you foods disguised as "healthy" but might not be. And the highly marketed Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt is another great example.
I know what you're thinking, it's fat-free yogurt, it must be healthy! Well, I'm not saying that it's devoid of any nutritional benefits. It contains 15% of your daily calcium and vitamin D needs which isn't bad for bone health.
The problem is that this is a marketing ploy for weight loss. But if you are snacking on Light & Fit Yogurt, with the hopes of looking like Heidi Klum, you may find yourself more frustrated than physically satisfied. Let me explain.
The yogurt contains 80 calories, with the majority of those calories coming from carbohydrate. That means you'll likely be satisfied for about 30 minutes since simple carbohydrates are metabolized very quickly. I've met with many people who are trying to lose weight but feel hungry constantly! When I ask about their snacking habits, they list things like fat-free yogurt and fruit (both simple carbs that do not have the satiating power of protein and fat).
A nutritious snack that keeps you satisifed for longer needs to contain more than just carbohydrates. So balancing out that yogurt with a handful of nuts is a great way to add healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Also, low calorie yogurts often contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. While the FDA has declared them as safe, they can actually cause a fair amount of stomach upset (think gas and gurgling). Additionally, artificial sweeteners tend to exacerbate sweet cravings because they are so much sweeter than real sugar. So my recommendation is to avoid them.
DISCLAIMER: I am not opposed to eating things that are non-nutritious but tasty. I would be the last to turn down a homemade chocolate chip cookie! My purpose is to help you see through the marketing ploy of food companies and understand how to feed your body based on sound nutrition. The goal is to fill our diets with nutritious foods and enjoy the yummy but not particularly healthy foods in moderation. My hope is to give you a little clarity with these "No Case" postings.
Are you in a breakfast food rut? A lot of my clients that I meet with for nutritional counseling feel bored about their food choices but also want easy meals that are quick and healthy. One of my breakfast favorites is an Amy's Breakfast Burrito. In a couple of minutes you have a warm breakfast option that is both nutritious and oh so satisfying. She makes her burritos with a whole grain tortilla and fills it with tofu, potatoes, beans, and veggies. Pair that with some fresh fruit or orange juice and you have a balanced breakfast that is a nice alternative to cereal or toast. Plus it's a bit higher in protein and fat to help you stay satisfied longer.
Check out her website for other quick meal ideas.
Do you have any other breakfast favorites? Please share!
Interested in nutrition counseling? I'm located in Harvard Square. Give me a call! 617-834-7336.