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Food Psych #168: Gentle Nutrition vs. Diet-Culture Nutrition with Heidi Schauster

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Health At Every Size® dietitian, eating-disorders specialist, and author Heidi Schauster returns to discuss her new book, unlearning diet-culture messaging, connecting with our body’s inner wisdom, gentle nutrition as an act of self-care, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about what to do when it seems like your disordered eating behaviors have more to do with individual mental-health issues than with diet culture.

Heidi Schauster, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S is a nutrition therapist with over 20 years of experience in the field of eating disorders and emotional eating issues. She is a writer, consultant, and certified eating disorders registered dietitian, based in the Greater Boston area. Heidi is the founder of Nourishing Words Nutrition Therapy, facilitates the No Diet Book Clubs, and supervises other nutrition therapists in the field of eating disorders. She is the author of the new book Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self. Heidi lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with her partner David and twin daughters, Ava and Kyla. Heidi and her family enjoy hiking, swimming, herb gardening, tea-making, storytelling, and professional stilt performing. Heidi enjoys most food that is lovingly and consciously prepared, especially if it’s followed by a dishwashing dance party. Find her online at ANourishingWord.com.

We Discuss:

  • Heidi’s new book, Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self, and what inspired her to write it

  • Why I created my Intuitive Eating Fundamentals course

  • The different chapters within the book, which are based on how Heidi works with her clients

  • Becoming aware of our eating habits in a non-judgmental way

  • Creating a resource that presents nutrition in a non-triggering way

  • How she defines “nourishment,” and the concept of “nutrition common sense”

  • Why intuitive eating requires some planning

  • The role of intention in our relationship with food

  • The contrast between abundance and scarcity, and how they affect eating disorder recovery

  • How small changes in our eating habits can sometimes make a big difference in how we feel

  • Joyful movement and gentle nutrition as acts of self-care

  • Overcoming fears around food and carbohydrates

  • Unlearning the patterns of restriction from diet culture

  • What guides her work in nutrition counselling

  • Why gentle nutrition is often considered “advanced” intuitive eating

  • Connecting with our body’s wisdom through mindfulness practice

  • The benefits of recovering from diet culture, and what motivates our work in helping others in this process

  • Anger as part of the recovery journey

  • Arriving at a positive relationship with food

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

Is it just easier to take aim at diet culture rather than focus on individual mental health? What if a person’s disordered eating behaviors have more to do with individual mental-health concerns as opposed to diet culture? Can recovery at the individual level happen without addressing diet culture and fatphobia? How can cultural factors affect individual mental-health concerns? Does binge eating always happen in response to restriction? What are some subtle ways that diet mentality might be showing up for me?

(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating Fundamentals online course, Judith Matz’s Food Psych Podcast episode)

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Food Psych #166: How to Resist Diet Culture & Build Community with Lilia Graue

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Eating-disorders specialist and Certified Body Trust® Provider Dr. Lilia Graue joins us to discuss letting go of perfectionism, the importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame, diet culture as a form of trauma, why working toward societal change is just as important as individual recovery, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how the Health At Every Size® framework addresses the notion of an “obesity epidemic.” 

Lilia Graue, MD, LMFT, is an eating disorders specialist and clinical supervisor; mindfulness, compassion and mindful eating instructor; and Certified Body Trust® Provider. With 18 years of clinical experience, she is intimately familiar with bodies and minds and our healing processes, and how we relate to, nourish and take care of ourselves and our bodies in ways that bring us closer to wholeness, radical presence, fierce embodiment and joy.

Lilia practices at the intersection of different healing modalities, centering lived experience and the body as a source of knowing. Her own life experiences with developmental and complex trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and a healing journey through psychotherapy and mind-body practices, have shaped her approach. Her practice is trauma informed, and rooted in intersectional feminism. She is Mexican and provides services in both English and Spanish.

Lilia loves working with providers navigating the challenges of advocating bravely for body liberation, embodiment and freedom from performative health who wish to cultivate and honor boundaries that allow for their self-care and replenishing empathy and compassion. 
Lilia is an avid amateur cook, baker, and foodie. She and her partner share their home with their beloved cats, Thomas and Ziggy. Find her online at fiercelyembodied.com.

This episode is brought to you by Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting casper.com/foodpsych and using the code FOODPSYCH at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by TomboyX. Go to tomboyx.com/foodpsych and check out their special bundles and pack pricing. Food Psych listeners will also get an extra 15% off with the code FOODPSYCH!

You can also get my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course in Spanish thanks to today’s guest, Lilia Graue! Just go to christyharrison.com/spanish to learn more and sign up.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lilia’s complex relationship with food as a child

  • Growing up with, and eating around, family members that had mental health concerns

  • How being a competitive swimmer while going through puberty affected her relationship with food and with her body

  • The interrelationship between depression and disordered eating

  • Fatphobia and healthism in the medical field

  • How performative health can actually push people into a disordered relationship with food and body

  • The role of privilege in intuitive eating and recovery

  • Being more connected to food through eating and cooking with our hands

  • Sensory issues, and how they can affect a person’s eating preferences and relationship with food

  • Incorporating gentle nutrition without falling back into the diet mentality

  • Yoga, meditation, and mindful eating

  • Attuning to our body’s own needs instead of trying to be “normal”

  • Learning from our mistakes in our intuitive eating practice

  • The role of trauma in our relationship with food

  • Diet culture as a form of trauma

  • Why intuitive eating and mindful eating are about more than our relationship with food

  • How our societal ideals are causing harm to non-conforming bodies

  • The importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame

  • White supremacy and the mythic norm

  • Why it’s typical for people with a history of trauma to become caretakers

  • Connection through embodiment and vulnerability

  • Moving past black-and-white terms in eating disorder recovery

  • Living with and resisting diet culture at the same time

  • Finding community in your recovery journey

  • The difficulty of translating concepts across cultures, and the need for local communities within different cultures

  • How diet culture has co-opted mindful eating

  • Why we need to work toward societal change along with individual recovery

  • Lilia’s current projects as a medical provider and mindful eating teacher

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How does Health At Every Size® fit in with research that shows that we are becoming heavier as a population? Is HAES® concerned with “obesity” prevention? If HAES views that there is nothing wrong with being in a larger body, and that there is no effective way to lose weight, does it matter what causes some bodies to be larger than others? How can “obesity” prevention potentially be harmful? What other changes have happened at the same time as our population increasing in weight? What are some resources where I can continue to learn about HAES?

(Resources Mentioned: Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005-2012, Perceived Weight Discrimination and 10-Year Risk of Allostatic Load Among US Adults, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift, What’s Wrong with Fat? by Abigail Saguy, Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer)

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