large pic of clock for chronic illness page

Left Bracket for nutrition quotes on each page” Food is an important part of a balanced diet.” . ” – Fran LebowitzRight bracket for nutrition quotes at top of pages

Chronic Illness

Nutritional Counseling to manage chronic illnesses

Have you ever had this experience? – Your doctor walks into your exam room to deliver your results – “You have [fill in the blank].  You should really change your diet, lose some weight and start exercising.”  The doctor then gives you a pamphlet or handout and leaves the room.  You are left feeling stunned by the diagnosis and confused and at a loss with respect to the “recommendations” you were given.

As a Health at Every Size [HAES] dietitian, my focus is on your wellbeing, not your weight or size.  I am not the food police, I am your partner and advocate in the process of reclaiming your health through examining your relationship with food, your body and their impact on each other.

Whether the diagnosis is diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, a form of chronic inflammation (including rheumatoid arthritis), atherosclerosis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you can begin to alleviate symptoms with practical and achievable nutrition-related changes as an addition to your medical treatment.  There are many simple nutrition strategies that may effectively reduce levels of chronic inflammation and decrease disease risk.  However, people with chronic disease often feel overwhelmed by the “advice” they are given by well-meaning friends and family and the many lifestyle changes they’re told to make by their healthcare provider.

But, learning facts and figures about nutrients is only part of the equation – learning to reclaim your relationship with food, letting go of diets, rules, “forbidden” foods and arbitrary weight goals is just as important to allowing you to feel as though your body and needs are in charge of managing your health.  Imposed restrictions never work – self-efficacy, self-compassion and self-importance do.  It’s your right to feel empowered when it comes to your health and wellbeing.  The first step in the process to empowerment is sound knowledge and factual education.  As a practical matter, we will explore foods known to both positively and negatively impact your symptoms.  You will gain a greater understanding of the synergistic effect of foods eaten together, in addition to the effect of individual foods on your health. You will learn that seemingly small changes can play a major role in improving wellbeing.  Equally important, you will begin to explore more attunement between body and mind when eating, learning to know that you can trust your senses to tell you what it is your body needs and when it has had enough.  This is not an overnight process and you should be patient and compassionate with yourself.  Focusing on personalized goals, setting incremental, achievable objectives and becoming a more intuitive eater are all keys to making lasting changes that enhance your health for years to come.

Resources

The Association for Size Diversity and Health: https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/index.asp

Health at Every Size! (HAES)

“What’s the health-enhancing, stigma-stopping and personally freeing alternative to dieting? Attuned eating and self-compassion. Here’s what we mean: read your body hungers and emotions, learn to eat what your body wants, take your needs seriously, be kind to yourself. Drop the rules of should and shouldn’t and tune in to internal signals. You can trust your body’s natural regulatory processes to guide you to choose foods you’ll feel good for.”

  • Linda Bacon, PhD and Lucy Aphramor, PhD, RD 

Health at Every Size, the book: http://www.lindabacon.org/haesbook/

Intuitive Eating: Enjoy your Food, Respect Your Body  article: http://www.lindabacon.org/pdf/BaconMatz_Diabetes_EnjoyingFood.pdf

Body Respect, the book: http://thebodypolitic.biz/bodyrespect/

Be a part of the HAES community: http://www.haescommunity.org/about.php

Intuitive, Attuned & Mindful Eating 

Nutrition and its impact on chronic disease is a well-recognized phenomenon, and the use of nutrition intervention in the treatment of chronic illness has been promote by the World Health Organization (WHO) since its expert panel on this topic met in Geneva, Switzerland in the winter of 2002 to identify those ailments most improved with nutrition therapy.   Learn more at: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/summary/en/