Special occasions or holidays often involve family rituals and traditions with food as an integral part of the gathering. With the hectic schedules that many people have today, these may be one of the few times that a family comes together to eat. However, holidays pose unique challenges for people with eating disorders that often disrupt the joyful part of the holiday celebration. In this three part series we'll cover everything from planning to enjoying some non-food experiences.
Today let's discuss planning. Planning ahead may be the key to the challenges of holiday meals and helping you be able to enjoy the conversation and good times with friends and family at your holiday celebrations. Following are some tips to help you prepare…
Articles tagged with: Nutrition
This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Dallas Rising, a former The Emily Program client and woman in recovery
What does vegan mean to you? This is a question I ask people all the time, as it's my job to educate others about veganism. In the nineteen years I've been vegan, the word has gone from completely foreign to a household term and as the word has increased in use, perceptions about what it means are all over the map.
When I ask people what vegan means to them, most immediately launch into listing off all of the things that vegans don't eat. "Vegans don't eat meat, dairy, or eggs, right?" Right. But that's not the end or the beginning of the story.
The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, can be a stressful time for both clients and family members. Clients in eating disorder treatment often worry about what foods will be served for the Thanksgiving meal, potential comments made by family members, holiday-sized portions of food, following their meal plans, and avoiding behaviors. Their loved ones may also have concerns about feeling like they have to walk on eggshells around the client for fear of saying the “wrong” thing. This can make for a tense environment during a time reserved for appreciating family and being together. Therefore, with help from the clients in our day treatment program, we have compiled a list of dos and don’ts on what to say (and what not to say) to loved ones in eating disorder treatment during the holidays.
Please note that these suggestions are not based in research, but rather the experience of our clients. These suggestions may not be appropriate for everyone and every family.
By Jillian Lampert, PhD, MPH, RD, LD, FAED, Senior Director at The Emily Program
As a licensed registered dietitian and eating disorders practitioner, I often find myself in conversations around food. It’s a topic that everyone has questions, comments, and opinions about – after all, food is a necessity to live and included in so many parts of our lives.
Our bodies require a combination of nutrients for optimal health and wellness. Sometimes it's helpful to refresh our knowledge base with some basic nutritional facts. Since everyone's needs can vary, you can work with your registered dietitian to determine your unique needs.
By: Sina Teskey, R.D., L.D., The Emily Program
Having a medical condition such as diabetes can be complicated with an eating disorder. Due to the complexity of this type of situation, The Emily Program dietitians help clients navigate and plan to mitigate problems.
There are two factors that can overwhelm people who struggle with diabetes and eating disorders. For one, it can become compensatory to overdose insulin as a means of “purging.” In addition, it can hard to manage the diabetic diet itself because it has many guidelines that may feel like food rules to someone working on neutralizing food judgments.
By Sina Teskey, R.D., L.D., The Emily Program
Eating disorders can make holidays a stressful time. They are often an uninvited guest that wants to join in family and social gatherings. Thoughts about eating, weight, festive parties and memories of past holidays can bring up anxiety and urges. Instead of isolating, try using these tips and ideas that have helped other people in recovery navigate the holidays.
Fast, Simple, and Nutritious Snacks and Meals to Fuel Your Body This School Year
By: Sina Teskey, RD, LD, CSO
School is officially back in session. Whether you live on campus or off campus it is still important to think about how you can prepare for the school year in regard to nutrition. With schedules varying each day and lots of studying you will want to be prepped with snacks and easy meal ideas to make packing for class simple and quick. Here are some snack ideas to toss in your bag before you head out.
By Dr. Mark Warren
Anyone with an eating disorder has been asked at some point or another "Why don't you just eat?" Most likely if you have an eating disorder you have asked yourself the same question. You might wonder "Why is eating so hard for me when it seems to be so easy for everyone else?" On one level the answer to this is incredibly simple, and on another level incredibly complicated. The simple level is biology. Having an eating disorder means having neurological or neuroanatomical organization of your brain that creates enormous barriers to eating normally. These barriers include visual and sensory distortions, impacts on reward centers and executive organization of the brain, distortions of senses of fullness and hunger, and over evaluation of body size and shape, in addition to other issues that may be present. The combination of all of these things makes eating incredibly hard to do. The complex answer comes from the interaction of all the issues above in addition to the fact that eating itself is an activity that is way more complicated than people give it credit for. Eating is not just about seeing food, grabbing food and putting it in our mouths. Eating is about being aware of what's happening inside our bodies, understanding and appreciating our sensations, knowing what gives us pleasure and how to eat in a balanced way. Add social eating and societal influence and its clear that eating is a complex activity on many levels. So the answer to why can't I just eat is that you have an eating disorder and that in fact is what the disorder is. It's what makes it such a scary, painful, and life threatening disease. Having an eating disorder is confronting the question "Why can't I just do something that ultimately may save my life?" It's also what makes recovery from an eating disorder so rich, full, and rewarding. Because when you are able to "just eat", you are able to embrace life in a way that had never felt possible before.