Are you looking for a registered dietitian nutritionist who treats eating disorders and disordered eating in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area?
Is your mind occupied with increasing thoughts about food, weight and body image? Have you been on every trendy diet and you do not know what else to do? Perhaps you are going through a difficult time in your life and you are finding that you are using food to cope with your struggles.
Perhaps you are noticing changes in your adolescent’s eating patterns. Is your teen cutting out foods and obsessing over what they “can” and “cannot” have?
Are you looking for a space that is free of judgment on the path of healing the relationship with food and body? Eating disorders are deeply rooted and have biological and environmental components. They do not distinguish between age, gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
You are not alone. An estimated 30 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
Food is of abundance in the United States, amongst other areas of the world, and it is everywhere we turn. Think about the last occasion you attended. Was there food? If so, you may have felt anxiety, fear or other emotions that cause pain and these emotions may have taken away from the social aspect of the event. You may have unknowingly developed food rules that you have to abide by in order to feel less guilt over food.
We eat for many different reasons – to survive, to sustain, to celebrate, to gather, to socialize, to taste, to participate – the list goes on!
There is a lot of misinformation that we are exposed to on a daily basis via social media, the news, magazines, and word of mouth. We are here to help you decipher these mixed messages and learn evidence based nutrition education while simultaneously learning how to truly honor your body for an everlasting healthy relationship with food.
Where do I turn for help?
Eating disorders are complicated illnesses that require a multidisciplinary treatment approach. Recovery encompasses both mental health aspects as well as medical and nutritional aspects. The foundational team members include a psychotherapist, registered dietitian, medical doctor, and of course, the client. A psychopharmacologist is part of the team for medication management when necessary. It is important that all of these professionals are well versed in the treatment of eating disorders, as these are complex illnesses. The client’s support system, such as family, spouses and partners, are a part of the team as well.
Why a Registered Dietitian?
There are physiological, emotional and behavioral components to treating an eating disorder. The registered dietitian works with the client on the physiological aspect of treatment. Classically, registered dietitians serve on numerous health care teams including metabolic support teams, diabetic care teams, renal treatment teams etc. Dietitians hold a level of expertise in nutrition science and food science. They are trained through education and field experience to understand the complex relationship of food intake to overall physiological health.
Since eating disorders are not just about food and eating, it is important that the registered dietitian is an eating disorder specialist who understands the complexities of an eating disorder. The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) provides a credential for registered dietitians who have learned about the psychological aspect of eating disorders and how food choices are made.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has created nutritional care guidelines for the treatment of eating disorders. This includes an individual nutrition assessment, continued individual nutrition therapy, an appropriate meal plan, proper physical activity parameters, group nutrition education and meal exposure and response.
Eating disorder treatment has progressed and is no longer treated solely based on weight, as we understand that anyonecan suffer from an eating disorder. The registered dietitian is a crucial treatment team member to evoke behavioral change with the food.
I am an IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals) approved eating disorder specialist with years of experience. I collaborate frequently with therapists for best treatment practice and care for my clients. Through psychotherapy and nutrition therapy, the behavioral aspect of eating disorder therapy is addressed.
I utilize principles of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size (HAES). This means I work with a foundation of mindfulness, and specifically mindful eating. I additionally work on bridging the gap, which the eating disorder has created, between the mind and body and strengthening that bridge along the way. Ultimately, I want my clients to be free of judgment of food and body to move towards mastering self-regulated eating connected to the body’s internal cues of hunger and satiety. Guidance on this process through nutrition therapy and exposure outings is coveted in conjunction with alternative therapeutic coping skills learned in psychotherapy.
It is important to understand that recovery is not a straight line. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back and that is completely normal and expected. Those are the pivotal moments where we learn more about where we need to increase mindfulness and set specific challenges. It is part of the process and how we, the team, learn to keep moving forward and working on attainable goals along the way.
Common Concerns About Nutrition Therapy
“I’m already seeing a therapist. Why do I need to see a Registered Dietitian?”
Eating disorders are multi-faceted and require a multidisciplinary team for the most successful treatment outcomes. In the world of eating disorder treatment, we often say that “it is about the food and it’s not about the food”. The registered dietitian is there to help you with any underlying medical nutrition concerns, address the way nutrition affects cognition and help change habitual tendencies that eating disorders or disordered eating has created.
“It is expensive to see a therapist and a dietitian.”
Therapy and nutrition therapy are financial and emotional investments for you to live your best life. Working with a team will enable you to prevent future medical bills that you could possibly incur with continued eating disorder symptom use. It will also enable your treatment team to ethically practice within their scope of practice.
“I’ve seen a dietitian in the past and it didn’t help.”
It is extremely important for a dietitian treating eating disorders to be an eating disorders specialist. As mentioned above, eating disorders have a psychological component to them and the dietitian must have a foundation of knowledge on the psychological implications of treating eating disorders.