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:
Nutrition counseling for eating disorders involves:
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!
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:
Anna Jensen, RD LD
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
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.
This series will be led by Registered Dietitian Anna Jensen, RD, LD and will cover the following topics:
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!
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.
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.
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!
Here are some ideas to incorporate more vegetables from a place of abundance, not restriction:
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:
Have you ever gone to the bathroom before heading out on a road trip, even though you didn’t really have to go? You preemptively use the bathroom just in case there isn’t one available when you need it, which would leave you feeling very dire and uncomfortable.
Most people will answer yes to this question – because this is a practical thing to do.
Guess what? The same thing applies to hunger! It is OK to eat when you aren’t feeling physical hunger signals (i.e. stomach growling, low energy, etc) if you anticipate you won’t be able to eat for a longer than normal period of time.
This is called practicing practical hunger and it prevents us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry, thus creating a dire and uncomfortable situation – just like having to use the bathroom and not having one available.
Intrigued? Keep reading.
It is incredibly valuable and important to learn our hunger and fullness cues, but we often see diet culture creep in when it comes to eating outside of these cues.Sometimes, listening to our body means eating when we are not physically hungry.
We take a deeper dive into practical hunger below.
I am sure you can think back to a time when you had gone too long without eating and found yourself overly hungry, uncomfortable and irritated (aka “hangry”). While some might be in this situation because they intentionally decided not to eat, we find that many clients find themselves here unintentionally because the day just got busy!
Here are some examples of how practical hunger might come into play:
Diet culture likes to twist intuitive eating to mean eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full- this is FALSE and just another rule! The goal is not to live our lives revolving around food. Wecan’t always stop what we are doing when we begin to feel physical hunger. Practicing practical hunger will prevent us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry and do not have access to food. This not only affects our mood, energy and concentration, it can lead to feeling out of control or binge eating once we are able to eat.
For those that need to follow a specific meal plan for medical conditions or those that require extra energy, only listening to physical hunger might do more harm than good. For example, those with an eating disorder likely have altered hunger and fullness cues and being on a schedule can help begin to regulate those cues. Or in diabetes management, going all day without eating because you are not physically hungry will cause your blood sugar to drop and peak when you do eat.
In these situations, we are typically looking for something functional that will keep you full, balance your blood sugar, and keep you concentrated.
If you anticipate it will be 1-3 hours before you will have access to food, it is a good idea to have a snack containing a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Such as:
If you anticipate it being 3+ hours before eating, depending on when you had your last meal, it is probably a good idea to have a meal. Again, we are looking for something that has carbohydrates, protein and fat but in a larger quantity.
Lastly, meal planning is incredibly helpful in determining times that practical hunger might be used. When we talk through meal planning with clients, the first step is “What events or things do we have going on this week that might affect our meals or snacks?”. An “event” can look like a long lab, a specific lunch break pre-determined, or simply knowing that Mondays are insane! Our goal is for you to learn your hunger and fullness cues and use them as a guideline, but realize they are not a rule and sometimes we need to eat when we are not hungry!
It can be hard to understand what is considered a healthy relationship with food and body when we’re living in a culture that celebrates diets. It becomes so engrained in us, and sometimes we don’t realize that our relationship has become an unhealthy one.
That’s why the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group came up with this quiz! It by no means should be used as a diagnostic tool – it is simply a quick 2 minute check in that you can do yourself.
If you answer “yes” to 5 out of the 15 questions or more – it might be time to explore your relationship with food/body in a little bit more.
We are SO excited to introduce you to our newest dietitian, Anna Jensen, RD, LD!
Anna has been working with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group clients in our nutrition counseling and eating disorder/disordered eating programs since August 2021, and our clients have really enjoyed working with her! She is a joy to work with, and we are so grateful to have her on our team.
Q: You were an intern for Brittany in the past, what made you want to be a part of the team?
A: Nothing else felt quite right. When I interned with the team, I got to see the Brittany, Allison, and Christie build relationships with the clients, really listen to them, and create an individualized plan. I decided that is what felt right – helping individuals find food and body freedom in a world of diet culture. – rather than the traditional weight centric approach.
Q: Where did you get your Bachelors in Nutrition and complete your dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian?
A: I went to Clemson University and I would not change a thing! I completed my dietetic internship through Be Well Solutions Distance program. I LOVED doing a distance program, because I got to choose my own schedule – that’s how I was able to choose my “emphasis” rotation with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group!
Q: You have a clinical background in dietetics – how does that help you with your clients?
A: This has shown to be helpful in helping both nutrition counseling and eating disorder clients. In my time in the clinical setting, I learned about chronic diseases, interpreting labs, consequences of malnutrition, and the importance of preventing of malnutrition. I also learned how to work on an interdisciplinary team/communicate with other medical providers, and how to teach individuals to advocate for themselves.
Q: What kind of clients do you enjoy working with?
A: I love working with those ready to ditch dieting and take a full dive into intuitive eating! I also love when clients trust me to be completely transparent, open and honest with their past and current struggles. I use motivation interviewing in our sessions, and meet clients where they are at.
Q: What are you most excited about in this new position with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group?
A: Of course I am excited to take on more clients, but I think I am most excited to be on a team that is so supportive and personally invested in your success!
Q: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
A: I grew up making Christmas cookies with my grandma and it brings back so many memories. Even if I do not get the chance to bake with her, I try to make the same cookies. Food is so much more than fuel- it can bring back special memories and create future ones.
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I moved to Greenville, SC! I moved here for a job with a start up company after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina Dietetic Internship, and never looked back.
A LOT has changed in the last decade. I met my person and married him, traveled a ton, had a baby, bought a house, and held several jobs before finally starting and growing my own business!
I was honored to be asked by the TD Saturday Market to participate in their Kitchen Series as it has always been one of my favorite activities in our city!
SC peaches are my absolute favorite, and I had so much fun combining them with ripe tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, meat, cheese, and of course delicious sourdough bread! My recipe features produce from Beachwood Farms, Hyders Farm, and Great Harvest Bread.
Check out my full TD Saturday Market experience and the recipe below!
I’m excited to share another EASY weeknight meal for you to try! This recipe has only 4 main ingredients and makes for great leftovers. Be sure to share your photos on social media and tag @brittanyjonesRD and @greenvilledietitians!
Note: this recipe is gluten free and dairy free
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