food insecurity

Food Psych #203: Healing from Orthorexia and The Wellness Diet with Katherine Metzelaar

Katherine Metzelaar.jpg

Season 6 finale! Fellow anti-diet dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Katherine Metzelaar joins us to discuss orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, the cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods, mourning the loss of community and connection when you stop dieting, why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with physical discomfort like thigh chafing and waistbands digging into your belly. 

Katherine Metzelaar, MSN, RDN, CD is a Seattle-based Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who is passionate about inclusive healthcare for all bodies. She is the owner and founder of Bravespace Nutrition, a private nutrition practice that helps women, both virtually and in-person, to create peace with food and their body free from rules, dieting, and perfectionism. Through the use of a client-centered, therapeutic, non-diet approach, she helps women and womxn to recover from disordered eating, eating disorders, and body image challenges. In addition to her practice, Katherine is the founder of Body Image Badass: Compassion, Connection, Embodiment, a body-acceptance group that works to create community and a safer space for women to talk about the challenges of what in means to exist in a world that seeks to control and oppress women’s bodies via dieting and body-shaming. When not at work, you can find her checking out the local foodie scene, dancing salsa, and in the pursuit of finding the best latte in town. Find her online at www.bravespacenutrition.com.

We Discuss:

  • How participating in sports can nurture your relationship with food

  • Why Katherine told herself at a very young age that she would never go on a diet and how that changed when she went to college

  • Katherine’s struggle with orthorexia

  • Katherine and Christy’s shared experience of finding connection with other women through dieting

  • How connecting over diets builds a conditional sense of belonging, and how that changes when you stop dieting

  • Mourning the loss of community, connection, and identity when you move away from diets

  • Why growing up with a peaceful relationship with food doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of immunity against diet culture

  • The cultural shift that made it seem cool to eliminate foods

  • The link between perfectionism and idealizing diets

  • Katherine’s formal nutrition education that helped her liberalize her relationship with food

  • Orthorexia within the health-and-wellness field, particularly naturopathic medicine 

  • How The Wellness Diet fails to consider the reality of food insecurity 

  • The importance of making intuitive eating more inclusive to people struggling with food insecurity

  • The surprising ways people responded to Christy’s post about inflammation

  • Taking diet culture out of how we understand “wellness” 

  • The privilege of being able to interpret and critique health and nutrition research

  • The financial burden of training to be a dietitian 

  • Working in a fatphobic environment while practicing as a Health at Every Size® provider

  • Katherine’s new YouTube channel that will further spread the anti-diet message

 

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 do I merge the two desires of having freedom with food and wanting to change my body’s size? How does diet culture affect the way you want to change your body’s size? Can you permanently shrink your body? How can you better tolerate the physical discomfort that may occur with weight changes? How does internalized fatphobia affect the way you want to change your body?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #175: The Truth About Digestion and Gut Health with Marci Evans

Fellow anti-diet dietitian Marci Evans is back! We discuss the intersection of digestive disorders and eating disorders, the risks associated with elimination diets, the role of the gut microbiome in digestion and health, the importance of consistency in self-care and well-being, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about why she as a dietitian doesn’t advise people to shift their food choices to less-processed foods.

Marci is a Food and Body Image Healer™. She has dedicated her career to counseling, supervising, and teaching in the field of eating disorders. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Supervisor, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Certified ACSM personal trainer. In addition to her group private practice, Marci launched an online eating disorders training platform for dietitians in 2015 and co-directs a specialized eating disorders dietetic internship at Simmons College. She volunteers for a number of national eating disorder organizations and has spoken locally and internationally at numerous conferences and media outlets. She loves social media and you can find her on all outlets @MarciRD. Find her online at MarciRD.com.

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We Discuss:

  • What Marci has been up to since she was last on the podcast

  • Christy’s upcoming book

  • How Marci became interested in digestive concerns in her work as an eating disorder dietitian

  • The risks associated with the low-FODMAP diet and other elimination diets

  • Alternative therapies to elimination diets

  • What defines a functional gut disorder

  • The overlap between eating disorders and functional gut disorders

  • The role of mental health in digestion

  • Why we shouldn’t dismiss psychosomatic symptoms

  • Whether eating disorders lead to functional gut disorders, or vice versa

  • The common risk factors between disordered eating and digestive issues

  • The mechanisms that lead to digestive concerns in eating disorders

  • Why symptoms can sometimes persist after recovery

  • How any disordered eating behaviors can contribute to gut symptoms

  • How dieting can lead to digestive concerns

  • The gut microbiome, and its role in digestion, weight, and health

  • Why it’s too early to draw many conclusions from gut microbiome research

  • The consequences of a restrictive diet

  • The limitations of nutrition and weight research

  • Anti-diet dietitians and medical nutrition therapy

  • Pelvic floor disorders, and how their symptoms can be similar to functional gut disorders

  • Why in many cases dietary interventions should be the last resort, not first-line care

  • The importance of consistency in self-care and well-being

  • Christy’s own experiences with digestive symptoms

  • Stress-management techniques, and how they can help calm gut symptoms

  • Body image and its intersection with digestive disorders

 

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 possible to eat intuitively when you are choosing mostly highly-processed foods? Shouldn’t dietitians and health advisors be advising people to move away from fast food? How can you attune to your internal cues when there is so much external messaging associated with fast food and highly-processed foods? What does the science say about how our food environment and how it affects our eating habits? Why do we need to be skeptical of Brian Wansink’s research? What made his research so popular and widely cited? How can listening to our internal cues versus external cues change our eating habits? What is “gentle nutrition” in the context of intuitive eating? Why is gentle nutrition the last principle of intuitive eating? Why doesn’t Christy advise people to shift away from choosing fast food and highly-processed foods? What is the connection between food insecurity and disordered eating?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych® Podcast episode #127, Restrained Eating and Food Cues: Recent Findings and Conclusions, Food Insecurity and Eating Disorder Pathology - TW/CW for the last two resources for specific numbers and fatphobic language )

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Food Psych #173: How Diet Culture Steals Our True Culture with Melissa Carmona

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Health At Every Size® counselor Melissa Carmona joins us to discuss how her Colombian roots shaped her relationship with food and body, the role of discrimination and food insecurity in triggering her disordered eating, how diet culture took her away from her heritage, how to set boundaries with people who are less receptive to the HAES message, how she’s helping her young daughter preserve her natural intuitive eating skills, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle overeating after a period of food insecurity.

Melissa is a bilingual Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her experience as a counselor includes helping people heal from eating disorders, trauma, depression, and anxiety. She works through a HAES® and Intuitive Eating lens, which has allowed her to view other aspects of our identities through that same lens as well.

Being the daughter of immigrants, growing up in Colombia (South America) and having Latinx roots are an essential part of what shaped who she is—including her personal beliefs, the route of her career, and the relationship with her body and food. It was in Colombia that she had her first exposure to mental illness and the stigma that comes with this as well.

The experience that she’s had in both the USA and Colombia is allowing her to reflect on the influence that culture has on the way we see and treat ourselves, and being able to acknowledge her privileges or lack thereof within these have also been a powerful awakening of how much control our cultures can have over any type of healing that needs to happen in our lives. Find her online at ThreeBirdsCounseling.com.

Tomorrow, November 6 is Election Day! This could the most important midterm elections in our lifetime, so make sure you have a plan on when and how you’re going to get out and vote. Visit Vote.org for general election information, including registering to vote, and VoteSaveAmerica.com to find out about events and rallies in your area.

We Discuss:

  • How her family’s Colombian roots influenced her relationship with food

  • Beauty pageants in Colombian culture, and how this affected her relationship with her body

  • The mixed messages that she received about food and body growing up

  • How the desire to fit in contributed to her eating disorder

  • The role of food insecurity in binge eating

  • The problem with restricting the types of food that can be purchased with food stamps

  • How dietitians and nutritionists cause harm when prescribing weight-loss diets

  • The importance of cultural awareness in healthcare

  • How her eating disorder stole her connection to her cultural background

  • Reconnecting with the pleasures of food in eating disorder recovery

  • The discrimination she faced when she moved to the US

  • The influence of oppressive patriarchal systems on diet culture

  • What led Melissa to her work as a counselor and in social justice

  • Helping clients navigate our current political climate

  • How Melissa’s work in Health At Every Size has influenced her own relationship with food

  • The sneaky, shape-shifting nature of diet culture

  • Seeing her young daughter naturally eat intuitively

  • Imagining what the world would be like without diet culture

  • Sharing the HAES message with her family members, and setting boundaries with those who are less receptive

  • Connecting with personal experience instead of science

  • The negative experiences that her family members have had with bariatric surgery

  • The difficult journey through diet culture to HAES

  • Recognizing a person’s worth beyond their size

  • Why we shouldn’t compliment people on weight loss

  • How we start receiving diet culture messaging at a very young age

  • Sharing the anti-diet messages we wish we had heard when we were younger

 

Resources Mentioned

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

  • Audre Lorde’s work

  • Maria Paredes’s work, and her Food Psych® Podcast episode

  • Gabriela Stein’s work

  • Nalgona Positivity Pride, and founder Gloria Lucas’s Food Psych® Podcast episode

  • Melissa on Facebook and Instagram

  • Tomorrow, November 6 is Election Day! This could the most important midterm elections in our lifetime, so make sure you have a plan on when and how you’re going to get out and vote. Visit Vote.org for general election information, including registering to vote, and VoteSaveAmerica.com to find out about events and rallies in your area.

     

Listener Question of the Week

How do I handle overeating after a period of food insecurity? What can the Minnesota Starvation Experiment teach us about the effects of deprivation? (CW/TW if you decide to look up the study.) How do diet culture and diet mentality affect our eating? What are the subtle ways that we might be experiencing deprivation, and how can we overcome that?

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