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Seven Tips for Meal Prep for Recovery from Eating Disorders

Seven Tips for Meal Prep for Recovery from Eating Disorders

By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD. How can Meal Prep Help? One of the most difficult parts of recovery from an eating disorder is consistently following a meal plan without doing meal prep. What is meal prep? For people in recovery, I think of meal prep as anything that you can do to help you follow your meal plan (meal structure) so you can spend more time on living your life. You’ll have more energy for recovery. And devote less energy on food stress. Having the tools to stay calm in the grocery store and kitchen will help you be successful. Focusing on organizing your food in a step-wise fashion may even help you look forward to meal prep and possibly even enjoy cooking. Being vague with your eating plan is a slippery slope that may leave room for a slip in terms of your recovery.  Being clear, intention and pro-active will help you be successful.  Set yourself up for positive decisions that promote recovery by fine-tuning your meal prep skills. Whether you are confident in the kitchen or just starting out, setting yourself up for success includes meal prep. Remember, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the kitchen so here are some tips to help make meals easier. At this point, you have probably worked with a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in eating disorders. If you have not, it would be a good time to take the step to include a RD on your team. Be aware of red flags which may indicate a risk of lapsing back into eating disorder behaviors. Red flags for relapse or lapsing...
Lagom and Eating Disorder Recovery

Lagom and Eating Disorder Recovery

By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD I recently read a few posts on a National Eating Disorders forum about Lagom.   Having never heard of Lagom, I quickly googled it, then found a few books at my local library and read up on it.  This Swedish concept means “not too little, not too much, just right”. The comments on the forum were about the challenge of eating enough to avoid a binge but not too much which you might consider a binge. This is a tricky concept because “just right” does not mean perfect.  Just right means learning to pay attention to what your individual body needs and sometimes actually eating a bit more than you need and sometimes a bit less. Ideally eating becomes “just right” as you learn to navigate what works best for your body and under which circumstances. The tricky balance of honoring your body, your nutrition and your recovery is often a long and windy road.   What I liked about these books is the way that they looked at how to balance not only eating, but all of life in a way that best suits you. How can Lagom help find the art of balanced living? Not only balanced eating, but also balanced living.  I found the books to be interesting (although possibly a bit triggering for some) so I thought it might be valuable to outline some of my favorite takeaways from the books on Lagom. 1. Values: If you think having more will alway make you happier, you will probably never feel like you have “enough”. How can you re-examine...
Self Care Inspiration For Eating Disorder Recovery

Self Care Inspiration For Eating Disorder Recovery

By Rebecca Bitzer, RD Self-care often seems like new concept to so many of our clients. What is self-care? At Empowered Eating, we think of self-care as anything that you do to intentionally “nourish” mental, physical and emotional health. This is where personal and professional recommendations meet. What is excellent self-care for one person may be completely different for another person. The key is really trying new and different things and asking yourself, did that activity help restore me or somehow nourish me? Our team of eating disorder dietitians are often inspiring each other to practice new forms of self-care. We look at self-care as a lifelong priority which is sometimes difficult to do when life gets busy so it is helpful to have a variety of self-care tools, concepts, inspiration and systems in place to foster self-care. To start the new year, we thought it would be helpful for each of us to share a quick list of our current inspiration. Here is what our team is doing for self-care this month: Rebecca Bitzer shares: 1) Brene Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone. The part of the book that stood out most for me was her Daring Way team mission “making the world a braver place by doing work we love with people who we care about in a way that is aligned with our values.” I believe we do this with our empowered eating team. 2) My new puppy. This month, we will be bringing home Ziggy, an Australian labradoodle puppy. 3) Participating in our office...
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...
Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Seven Tips: Avoiding Eating Disorder Relapse

Avoiding Relapse from an Eating Disorder Recovery from an eating disorder is 100% possible and you can live a life free of behaviors and symptoms. However recovery can feel different for everyone and can often times be a hard transition. There can be feelings of discomfort, feelings of being stuck, or perhaps confusing thoughts about recovery as it may not have been what you expected. The rest of your life including the people, environment, and potential eating disorder triggers are still present. Here are some things that can help avoid relapse: Accountability– Make sure to have systems in place to keep yourself accountable- continue with your treatment team, engage family and friends, and make time for self-check ins. Identify Red Flags-  Be proactive. Create a list of your specific red flags that have been triggering throughout your recovery process. Being aware and having a plan for each of them can help. If you need a list (or ideas for your list), email us to share our list with you rebecca@empoweredeatingblog.com. Act fast– If you notice a red flag pop up don’t wait until it progresses or another one shows up. Address it right away. Structure- keep up with your meal plan and recovery reading and assignments. Plan ahead for unique situations. Define yourself– Keep defining yourself outside or your eating disorder and make time for the things you love and even trying some new things. Support– continue to go to support groups and appointments.   Create a positive environment– perhaps your childhood room or college dorm is triggering if this was one of the places your eating disorder first reared it’s head. Change-up your space, hang positive quotes and radiate...

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