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Recovery Resources: Some of Our Favorite Books

Recovery Resources: Some of Our Favorite Books

By Alex Raymond, RD, LD and Caroline Best, Intern. We love reading books! Especially  about eating disorders and eating disorder recovery. We do this to stay up to date on new information and new research. One of my fave books that most recently came out is Sick Enough by Dr. Gaudiani (PS she was also recently on an episode of Food Psych!) Read on to find out more about some of our new fave books and their summaries! Click on the book titles for their Amazon Link!    1. Sick Enough by Dr. Jennifer L. Gaudiani Sick Enough is such a wonderful resource. Written by Dr. Gaudiani, a doctor who specializes in eating disorder recovery.  This book focuses on when someone with an eating disorder may not think they are “sick enough” to ask for help or work with a treatment team.  She does a good job of explaining the medical risks of delaying treatment. And she does this  in a non-judgemental and easy to understand manner. She focuses on overcoming perceived barriers to treatments and advocates for increasing perceived benefits of treatment and for how much it helps with recovery. 2.The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher PhD and Michael Maslar Psy/D. This is a bulimia recovery workbook meant for use by therapists or dietitians.  We think this  is a particularly helpful resource. Written by two psychologists, the book first addresses what bulimia is and delves into the emotions and possible triggers associated with it. There are also several worksheets and activities...
From Disordered Eating to Finding Peace: My Story

From Disordered Eating to Finding Peace: My Story

By student intern and Alex Raymond, RD,LD. Please note: This is a story of someone’s eating disorder/recovery journey. There may be information triggering to you. So please feel free to stop reading if you find the information to be triggering and also be mindful that someone is speaking of their own personal experience and everyone is different. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2. Not to be dramatic or anything, but this bible verse kind of changed my life. No matter your religious beliefs, I believe that this statement is something that a lot of people need to hear to finally be at peace with both their minds and bodies. It’s almost impossible getting through the day without being bombarded by the things society has to say about standards. I can’t even tell you how many article titles or ads I’ve read along the lines of: “Keep the weight off with THIS 30-day exercise program and see the results!” “Try out our new juice cleanse to detoxify your body and lose weight fast.” “Throw out your junk food [and mental peace] to finally be a better YOU!” And I’m sick of it.   The social media realm works as a constant distraction. It reveals new ideas that sweep our brains from the present moment and takes us into a mind of its own, causing us to be vulnerable to succumbing to the latest fads and norms of materialistic living. Instagram and Snapchat especially make us feel the need to one-up each other on our...
Dietitian Advice for Eating Disorder Recovery

Dietitian Advice for Eating Disorder Recovery

By Dana Magee, RD and Caroline Best, student intern. Recovery is a difficult, on-going, process. However, with a treatment team and a treatment plan in place, it is absolutely possible.  Our goal at Empowered Eating is to help those suffering from an eating disorder recover and develop an enjoyable,sustainable, and empowered relationship with food. Our team of dietitians: Bobbi, Alex, Klara, Dana,and Rebecca have a combined several decades of eating disorder treatment experience. Here are the pieces of recovery advice they have found to resonate the most with clients and offer the most support during the complicated process of recovery. Eating Disorder Dietitian Advice for Recovery  Food is your medicine for healing from an eating disorder. You may not feel like eating, and you still need to take your medicine. Throw away the scale – recovery is not about weight, it’s about regaining health and your life. You can’t compare your plate to others around you. Your body image distortion will likely be the last thing to get better, and you still need to eat. Stop reading nutrition fact labels and online articles about nutrition. If you have questions about nutrition, talk to your dietitian. Download the app, Recovery Record, which will let you keep a food diary on your phone. No numbers, no calories, no grams of fat or carbs.  Get rid of any calorie counting apps, fitbits, etc. Use this app if you find it to be helpful. ED will lie. And give you a bunch of food rules about eating. And you need to fight those lies and food rules to beat ED. Focus on your...
Tips for Starting School in Eating Disorder Recovery

Tips for Starting School in Eating Disorder Recovery

By Alex Raymond, RD,LD. The time has come. In Maryland, this is the first week of school for many high/middle school students, while colleges have had their doors open for a few weeks. Many of my clients are actually pretty excited about heading back to school and getting into a different routine. Let’s remember, returning to school is a transition, which may cause a shift in your recovery. School is filled with various pressures and amounts of stress that may be nonexistent during the summer. Stress can trigger ED thoughts and behaviors, so creating a plan for yourself or your loved one can help you be prepared for this transition. Here are some ideas of what you may be able to discuss with your treatment team:   1. Scheduling appointments. Make sure to discuss with your treatment team how often you are going to meet. Chances are you’ll want to keep up the consistency of appointments even during the school year, if not increase regularity. Yes, other commitments come up, like sports and school activities, and it’s also so important to make sure that recovery is the number one priority. It might be a good idea to have appointments on the books before school begins, especially if you are heading to college and transitioning teams. If you don’t yet have appointments scheduled, I would encourage you to reach out to your team *wink.* You may also want to ask your providers if they provide virtual counseling.   2. Meal times. I recommend to take a look at your school schedule (or your loved ones schedule) to figure out when...
Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Avoiding Binge Eating During the Holidays

Don’t let weight or food concerns prevent you from enjoying life and attending fun events. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, cookies, wine, cider…. the list goes on and on. We can pretty much predict the exact foods that will be gracing our Thanksgiving Day table, however, just because we know what to expect doesn’t mean that there aren’t other stressors to deal with. If your eating preferences, stress, or guilt about food make the holidays rough, you are not alone. Not only are there the food stressors, but family dynamics, travel, and financial burdens that increase our overall stress level- or what I like to call the metaphorical plate, around the holidays. The goal is to find enjoyment again as you take part in traditional and social food situations! Here are some tips to help you navigate holiday eating and avoid overeating or binge eating. Don’t skip meals in order to save up for the main event, rather, fuel yourself with small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day. Potluck or holiday buffet? Survey the foods and pick your favorites. Do you only get your mom’s homemade stuffing once a year? Definitely go for your favorites and think twice about more generic sides like frozen corn or boxed mashed potatoes that are around all year long. Aim for 1-2 starches, a serving of protein, and 1-2 vegetables. Choose your favorite off the dessert table and savor the taste! Make sure to stop periodically during the day to check in with yourself. Ask the questions, “How am I feeling? Am...
Food Free End of the Year Rewards!

Food Free End of the Year Rewards!

Finding Ways to Reward Yourself Without Food It seems that in the society we live in today we tend to either not reward ourselves or reward ourselves and our children with “things”.  Many of the “things” we use include food or special treats. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating with food, it can become a problem when it replaces building relationships or spending time with others.  Food is meant to be enjoyed and to fuel our bodies, and it does a great job of doing that.  We are then taught that these rewards should be very rich foods we start to associate these foods with being good, being taken care of, or succeeding. So this year when your child brings home their report card with straight A’s, or perhaps a B or a C in a class they particularly struggled with and worked hard to earn; or are on their best behavior running errands during the day; or complete their chores for the week reward them with TIME, affection, love, activities with the individual child without siblings. Give them the verbal validation of “I’m so proud of you!  I see how hard you have worked and how much time you have spent studying and it has really paid off.  Mommy and daddy are so proud of you and we love you so much.” Build up these relationships to reward hard work and good behavior, or just because! Remember you deserve rewards as well! Here is a list of some creative things to try to reward good behavior (yours or a family members) that don’t only revolve around food.  Think about...

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