Shifting the Focus from Weight to Health

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group is a weight inclusive practice – but what does that mean?

Simply put it means that we believe that health is not defined by your weight.

A person in a small body is not always healthier than a person in a larger body – and a larger person is not always unhealthier than a person in a smaller body. In fact evidence shows that taking a weight-focused approach in which someone puts a focus on weight loss and dieting can be harmful to ones health, often times resulting in disordered eating and/or eating disorders among other health conditions.

We appreciate that bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. We work with our clients to improve their health by focusing on behaviors regardless of their weight. We provide respectful and compassionate care of people in all body type, shapes, sizes, and weights.

Our approach to a healthy lifestyle takes the focus away from weight and instead focuses on health promoting behaviors to improve health including:

  • A healthy relationship with food without restriction
  • Eating a variety of foods that provide nutrition + enjoyment
  • Being mindful and flexible while managing your chronic disease through food
  • Trusting your body to tell you when you are hungry and satisfied
  • Giving yourself permission to eat all foods
  • Eating regular meals and snacks
  • Feeling safe around all foods (i.e. being able to keep all foods in the house without a binge)
  • Moving your body in a way to celebrate it rather than punish for something you ate or control your size
  • Learning to accept your body and take good care of it – knowing that all people are of value regardless of size, shape, or weight

We believe that the weight you are when practicing these behaviors is the healthiest weight for you.

Our body size is often influenced by many factors outside of our control including genetics, income, education, social support, where you live, work, and play. NOTE this weight cannot be told to you by a health care provider or a BMI scale.

Still not sure about this approach? Below we de-bunk some common weight focused myths:

MYTH #1 Weight is the best measure of health. “Overweight” or “obese” mean unhealthy and “normal weight” means healthy.

FACT: BMI does not tell us about individual health and it doesn’t recognize that healthy bodies come in many shapes, sizes, and weights. Health can exist in diverse bodies and BMI was created to be used in groups of white males in a research setting. You are not that.

Your risk for disease depends more on your lifestyle than your body weight. Factors like genetics, income, and stress can influence disease. For example, heart disease and diabetes affect people of ALL weights. People of all sizes benefit from activities that support their health such as eating a variety of food to support disease, moving in a joyful way, and managing stress.

MYTH #2 The best way to improve health is by losing weight

FACT: Studies (and our dietitians 35+ years of cumulative experience in this field) show that restrictive diet and exercise programs poorly affect mental and physical health. Research also shows the more you diet the more you weigh.

Dieting has been associated with:

  • An increase in weight
  • Muscle loss
  • Bone loss
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increased risk of eating disorders
  • Body image issues/body dysmorphia

MYTH #3: “If I’m not actively trying to control my weight, I’ll gain a lot of weight and worsen my health”

FACT: People can improve their health and manage chronic disease without a focus on weight loss. In fact, people who do not focus on weight loss tend to have better mental health, lower stress, a better body image, and a better quality of life while managing their health. When we focus on health promoting behaviors our body settles at it’s healthy weight – sometimes that’s less than you are now, sometimes it’s more, and sometimes it’s the same. We need to give our body the opportunity to figure out what is healthy for you without trying to manage it through dieting and non-joyful exercise.

MYTH #4 I’ll just diet to lose the weight quick and then focus on maintaining.

FACT: More than 95% of weight loss attempts do not lead to long-term weight loss or health improvements. In fact, most people who lose weight on a diet will gain it back +5% more within two years. Because of this trend, dieting is actually a better predictor of weight gain than weight loss.

Are you:

  • Sick of losing the weight and gaining it back?
  • Sick of hearing about weight loss drugs and surgeries?
  • Do you just want to be healthy and not focus as much on the scale?

Our Registered Dietitians can help! CLICK HERE to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call and learn more about what it would look like to work together.

20+ Dinner Recipes done in 20 minutes or less!

We totally get it – some nights you just *need* a quick and easy week night dinner recipe.

Often times a healthy and balanced recipe that incorporates your protein/carb/veggie all in one recipe in just 20 minutes or less can be very hard to find!

That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite recipes from the Real Life Nutrition Membership that can be made in 20 minutes or less. Click the links below and save these recipes to your recipe box!

Not a member? Sign up here for only $29/month!

Some quick meal staple items: salad kits, frozen cooked grains like brown rice and quinoa, pre-cooked frozen chicken/shrimp/burgers, cooked chicken sausage and meatballs, and organic canned low sodium beans.

Clothing Rental Services We Love

When you’re working on improving your relationship with food, body, and movement it’s important to wear clothes that you are comfortable in and fit your body now.

This enables you to focus on behaviors like fueling your body regularly, meal planning, moving in a joyful way etc and stop obsessing about the scale or losing weight. Remember – it’s the behaviors that impact your health not the number on the scale.

We recommend making a “capsule” in your closet to make the morning getting dressed process easier. Simply put the clothes that fit your body now in the front of your closet and move your other clothes to the back. This will make getting dressed less stressful and more of a positive experience! No need to throw anything out (unless you want to) just move it to the back of the closet so you’re not sifting through things that you do not feel good in right now.

If you want to expand your wardrobe with clothes that fit your body during this process – but don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of new pieces we *highly* recommend trying a clothing rental service!

Here are some of our favorites below:

Armoire

  • How it works: Rent 4 – 7 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Boden, Lily Pulitizer, and BB Dakota. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $69/month+
  • Size ranges: 0 – 3X + Maternity option
  • https://www.armoire.style/ (referral link for 50% off your first month)

Gwynnie Bee

  • How it works: Rent 3 at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Asos Curve, Jessica Simpson, and Torrid. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $49 – $199/month
  • Size ranges: 00-32
  • https://closet.gwynniebee.com/

NY & Company Closet

  • How it works: Rent 3 items at a time for 1 month all clothes are NY & Company brand. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $49/month
  • Size ranges: 0-20
  • https://www.nyandcompanycloset.com/

FTF Closet

nuuly

  • How it works: Rent 6 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Levi’s. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $88/month
  • Size ranges: 00-5X
  • https://www.nuuly.com/rent

LeTote

  • How it works: Rent 4 items at a time for 1 month. Choose from brands like BCBG and French Connection. Option to buy at a discounted rate.
  • Cost: $59/month
  • Size ranges: 00-18 + Maternity option
  • https://www.letote.com/

Want to learn more about improving your relationship with food and body? Click here to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call with one of our Registered Dietitians.

Heart Healthy Halloween with Your Carolina WSPA

Brittany teamed up with The American Heart Association to share some Heart Healthy Halloween treats with Jack and Megan on Your Carolina this morning.

They talked about the importance of mindfully enjoying Halloween candy tonight with your kids, and incorporating candy into their regular meals and snacks.

We shared recipes for:

  • Orange and Black Fruit Skewers 
  • Heart Healthy Halloween Cheese Board
  • Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites (get the full recipe here)

We had a blast with the Your Carolina team this morning, including little “Toto” who can be seen in the shot as well 🤣 Happy Halloween!

Heart Healthy Halloween Cheese Board

Meet our nutrition intern, Jordyn!

Jordyn Anderson, Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Intern

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group often offers internship opportunities for students completing their Bachelors or Master’s degree in dietetics, and we are excited to welcome Jordyn Anderson to our team this fall!

Jordyn’s primary project is helping with the inputting of our hundreds of recipes in the Real Life Nutrition Membership. You also may see her in our office shadowing nutrition counseling sessions as well.

Get to know Jordyn

Q: Where do you go to school and what is your major? Are you involved in any activities?
A: I am a Nutrition major at Clemson University. I am the current President of the Nutrition Club and am involved in the on campus food pantry as well as a mentoring program for Nutrition students.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to work as a Dietitian in a clinical setting with Mother/ Baby or Pediatric Nutrition.


Q: Why did you choose the dietetics field?

A: I chose the dietetics field because I have always loved food and wanted to be in the healthcare field so I combined those two into my Nutrition major. I also shadowed a dietitian in high school and loved every minute of it- even watching her chart!


Q: What is your favorite dish?

A: My favorite dish is white chicken chili, specifically the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Q: What is your role as an intern with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group?

A: My role as an intern includes entering all of the recipes for the Real Life Nutrition Membership, and to shadow outpatient nutrition counseling + charting and learn more about dietetics.

Q: What are you most excited about this fall working as the Brittany Jones Nutrition intern?

A: I am most excited about getting hands-on experience and working with the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group to build my skills as an RD to be!

Jordyn will be with us through December 2022, welcome Jordyn!

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5 Reasons Why You Need A Registered Dietitian On Your Eating Disorder Recovery Team

Eating disorders are complex diseases that require a multidisciplinary approach to overcome. Research shows that including physical, nutritional, psychological and psychiatric interventions, provides the best chance at a full recovery (1). A dietitian is an important part of this team and provides benefits that other disciples cannot. 

Here are 5 benefits that our clients in our eating disorder and disordered eating program get from working with a Registered Dietitian:

  1. Improved confidence in meeting your individual nutrition needs. We are here to help determine how much you should be eating and provide meal ideas so you aren’t constantly thinking about food and questioning yourself!
  2. Improved relationship with food: We help to debunk common nutrition myths and food rules and aid you in challenging these thoughts when they arrive.
  3. Medical Stability: We help to monitor your food intake, weight, vitals, and labs as well as coordinate care with your physician and therapist to ensure your safety.
  4. Support: We are there to help you through hard times and encourage you through challenges that arise with your food or body image.
  5. Prevention: We help to catch disordered eating before it turns into anything more serious and can help prevent needing higher levels of care.

What does eating disorder nutrition counseling look like?

Nutrition counseling for eating disorders involves:

  • Education on nutrients and how our body uses them
  • Your individual overall nutrition needs
  • Exercise recommendations
  • Supplement recommendations
  • Education on the harmful effects of dieting.
  • Personalized meal plans geared towards your individual needs in order to help those with eating disorders weight restore and/or heal their relationship with food

Dietitians help those with eating disorders navigate nutrition information – helping clients to learn what is true and what is false based on research. They help client’s to reframe their thoughts around food using therapeutic techniques and food exposures. They will monitor your weight and vitals throughout the process to ensure your safety. 

Our dietitians also help with accountability and support through healthie photo + feeling food logging. Clients can log their meals and feelings by taking a picture of their meal and dietitians will respond back weekly (no calorie/macro counting). This allows our dietitians to assess overall food intake, make adjustments to meal plans, and provide support in between sessions.

Lastly, dietitians stay in close contact with your treatment team and support system in order to make sure everyone is on the same page and give you the best chance at recovery. Our dietitians communicate with therapist, psychiatrists, doctors, and caregivers regularly. We even offer joint therapy/nutrition sessions and parent/caregiver sessions!

Want to learn more about how our dietitians have helped clients? Read our testimonials here

Still aren’t sure if working with a dietitian is right for you? We offer FREE 15 minute discovery calls to discuss your goals and how we can help. Sign up for a call here!

What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorders?

Education!! Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Our licensed dietitians Allison Pritchett, RD, LD and Anna Jensen, RD, LD have done extensive training in the field of dietetics and eating disorders. Their training is listed below:

Allison Pritchett, RD LD

  • Registered Dietitian with 5+ years of experience working with eating disorders, including higher levels of care
  • Licensed Dietitian in SC, NC, FL, LA, and OH
  • Clemson University – B.S. Food Science with Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration and Minor in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude – Clemson University
  • Augusta University – ACEND accredited 1500 hour+ dietetic internship
  • Anticipated Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) 2022-2023
  • Additional trainings:
    • Food and Body Image Healers training by Marci Evans
    • Motivational Interviewing
    • Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)
  • Leadership and Awards:
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Continuing Education Scholarship, 2022
    • Eating Recovery Center Conference Presenter, September 2022
    • Augusta District Dietetic Association Scholarship, May 2017
  • Read more about Allison here!

Anna Jensen, RD LD

  • Registered Dietitian with 2+ years of experience in clinical and eating disorder dietetics with monthly supervision
  • Clemson University – B.S. Food Science with Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration and Minor in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude
  • BeWell Solutions – ACEND accredited 1500 hour+ dietetic internship
  • Licensed Dietitian in SC
  • Additional trainings:
    • Food and Body Image Healers training by Marci Evans
    • Motivational Interviewing
  • Leadership and Awards:
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Young Dietitian of the Year, 2022
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association President, 2021 – 2022
    • Piedmont Dietetic Association Scholarship Recipient, 2021
  • Read more about Anna here!

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732696/#wps20687-bib-0005

Supporting Our Local Artists 🎨 Screen Doors Body Image Exhibit

Allison and Anna were super excited to support Traci Martin, local artist and one Allison’s clients, at the opening night of her newest art series “Screen Doors”. The theme of this series is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“The primary focus in all of my artwork is representation. I want others to feel seen and to relate to the content in my paintings and drawings” said Martin.

In the series, “Screen Doors”, the theme is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“Like so many people in our culture, I have struggled deeply with body image and acceptance. I am making work in this series that highlights the journey many of us share in order to provide a point of connection. It is my hope that every viewer will feel a sense of encouragement through this exhibit and perhaps the confidence to take another step forward on their own road to self-love.”

– Traci Martin

Traci’s studio is at The Bank Building Studios in The Village of West Greenville and her exhibit goes through June 3, 2022. You can see more on her website https://www.tracimartinstudios.com/about

Giving Back to Our Community: Volunteering at Jasmine Road

Jasmine Road is South Carolina’s first two-year residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

Their mission is to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of our Greenville community.

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group is thrilled to be donating our time and expertise through a 4 week series on “Gentle Nutrition” for the residents at Jasmine Road beginning in April 2022.

This series will be led by Registered Dietitian Anna Jensen, RD, LD and will cover the following topics:

  • A weight neutral approach to nutrition care
  • Rejecting the all-or-nothing mindset
  • Nutrition myth busting
  • Meal planning

As a volunteer, Anna will work alongside the Jasmine Road Staff to support the residents on their unique journey of healing, and to further their growth, and development. Our goal is to work with the residents as they move out of the cycles of addiction and sexual exploitation and to empower them to fuel, move, and accept their bodies along their journey.

We are very excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization and to give back to our Greenville community that we love so much!

Learn more about Jasmine Road and their social enterprise lunch café Jasmine Kitchen.

How To Eat Vegetables Without Feeling Like You’re On A Diet

What do you think of when you think of vegetables?

Does “eating diet food” come to mind, or is it one of your favorite foods?

Does it sound like something you “have to” or “should” eat, or just another part of your meals?

There is nothing inherently diet-y about vegetables, but diet culture has really taken advantage of them! 

It might feel a bit simple to write a whole blog post about vegetables, but we have found many clients associate them so closely to diets that their relationship with them can be disordered – so we thought it was worth talking about a little further.

You can enjoy vegetables how YOU like them, not how diet culture says you are supposed to eat them (i.e. with dressing on the side, or raw without dipping in ranch)!

Keep reading to see how your view of vegetables might be altered due to your dieting history, and how you can eat more vegetables without dieting. 

Dieting and Diet Culture Can Distort Your View of Certain Foods

Diet culture has created us to believe that some foods are “good” while others are “bad” – pitting the two against each other. Brittany Jones Nutrition Group dietitians teach food freedom, which allows unconditional permission to eat all foods, and can help us be more attuned with our body. 

Remember that “Force-feeding” yourself vegetables will move you in the opposite direction of trusting your body. 

As we learn to trust our body and its choices, we begin to strike a balance between functional and fun foods and it becomes a much more natural process. 

We have also seen how all-or-nothing thinking with vegetables can sneak in. If you have heard in a past diet that you can only have steamed, bland vegetables, low fat/low sugar dressing (or even worse- no dressing!), it is understandable how that would not satisfy you! If you have used vegetables to cover up a craving because they have little “points” (etc), you probably have realized this does not work and will only make your craving more intense. These experiences are common, and know that vegetables don’t have to be consumed in this way.

It is important to also note that your view toward vegetables might be altered from your experiences as a child. If you were forced to eat certain vegetables or if you were rarely exposed to them, this will also have an impact. Have compassion on yourself if it feels like you are “picky” when it comes to vegetables. It is never too late to just start trying and experimenting. 

Shift To An Abundance Mindset

Another reason people might avoid eating vegetables is that it is often used as a replacement for things when dieting. You can eat a lot of vegetables without having to make it a replacement for something else in the meal! By all means if you like cauliflower rice – go for it – but we would still love to see you add some carbs to your meal such as corn/peas/beans or some bread/crackers. If you love rice, eat the rice and have some vegetables on your plate as well.

It can be helpful to think how we can ADD to a meal or snack, not replace it. As you begin to try to incorporate vegetables in new ways, know that there might be some vegetables that you like and some you don’t, and that is okay! 

How To Make Vegetables Tasty 

Here are some ideas to incorporate more vegetables from a place of abundance, not restriction: 

  1. Start with a list. Think of the vegetables you like and the ones you have not tried or want to try making differently. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of something you have had before at a restaurant (like those crispy brussels sprouts or interesting salads) and want to try to recreate it! 
  2. Branch out in the kitchen. If you like steaming, go for it! But sautéing, roasting, and grilling can bring out amazing textures and flavors. If you have an air fryer (or convection oven), this can make vegetables really crisp. 
  3. Experiment with seasonings and marinades. Just like you marinate your meat for the grill, try marinating your vegetables! Think beyond salt and pepper- we love all the spice blends at Trader Joes! For those that find vegetables bitter, try using maple syrup or honey in a marinade or when roasting to cut the bitterness. 
  4. Don’t be afraid of oil. Not only does the oil help with satiety and in enhancing taste, it helps you absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables. Also, you will thank yourself when cleaning the pan!
  5. Think beyond a side. Sides are great, but you can also enhance whatever you’re making by throwing some extra vegetables in the mix. Making a breakfast casserole or omelet? Maybe add some peppers and onions. Your favorite pasta dish or soup? Think about some throwing in frozen spinach or fresh mushrooms.
  6. Sauce it up. There are so many different things you can do in this area. Maybe it looks like a balsamic glaze, hummus, chimichurri drizzle, or some other dipping sauce. 
  7. You don’t have to order salad dressing on the side! You would be surprised how much more satisfying a salad is when it’s tossed nicely WITH the dressing. 

Check Out Some of Our Favorite Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Vegetable Recipes

We hope this gets you started on how you can be adding vegetables to your diet coming from a place of abundance. If you would like some ideas to get you started, check out some of ours below: