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Top 3 Tips for Improving Body Image

What is Body Image?
Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It encompasses:

  • What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).
  • How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
  • How you sense and control your body as you move.  How you feel in your body, not just about your body.

Negative Body Image

  • A distorted perception of your shape–you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are.
  • You are convinced that only other people are attractive and that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure.
  • You feel ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about your body.
  • You feel uncomfortable and awkward in your body.

Positive Body Image

  • A clear, true perception of your shape–you see the various parts of your body as they really are.
  • You celebrate and appreciate your natural body shape and you understand that a person’s physical appearance says very little about their character and value as a person.
  • You feel proud and accepting of your unique body and refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.
  • You feel comfortable and confident in your body.

(Taken from NEDA: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/what-body-image)

Top 3 Tips to Improve Body Image

1. Focus on Body Neutrality First
It’s impossible to go from hating a body to loving a body right away.  Practice the thought of body neutrality, meaning that you can see your body for what it is (a body!!).

2. Respect Your Body
Appreciate what your body can do for you: walk, stand, sit, stretch! Treat your body with respect by giving it fuel, movement, sleep, and relaxation time.

3. Practice Body Self-Care
Wear clothes that fit you well and make you feel comfortable.  Do something everyday that makes you feel good.

Favorite body image resources: 

1. NEDA’s 10 Steps to a Positive Body Image:  http://bit.ly/1hDqGjC
2. The book “Body Respect” by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, On Amazon here: http://amzn.to/29iCjRQ
3. The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash, on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/29fQuXg
4. CSAB Body Image webinar by Marissa Sappho: http://icpnyc.org/csab/2015-2016-webinar-series/ (#13 for the recording)

5.  Rebecca Scritchfield’s Body Kindness Podcast: http://www.rebeccascritchfield.com/podcast/

Sharing My Recovery Story

Sharing My Recovery Story

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness week! This week always holds a very special place in my heart because I feel like our community comes together in a big way to support eating disorder treatment. This year is extra special for me because I’m sharing my own recovery story on Christy Harrison’s Food Psych podcast, Episode #91!

Spearheaded by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAwareness) Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. This year’s theme is It’s Time to Talk About It and we’re encouraging everyone to get screened. Take a 3 minute screening here offered by NEDA.

In honor of #NEDAawareness week, I want to highlight eating disorder treatment and recovery. Recovery is possible and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without seeing the stories of hope, love, survival, and resilience. I am so proud of all my “recovery warriors” and so honored to be a part of your journey.

Sharing My Recovery Story

Help is available and you are not alone. Here are some ideas to reach out for support.

1. Talk to a parent, friend, family member, or healthcare professional.  Reaching out for help and being honest with another person about what’s going on is extremely hard to do. But this is often the start of finding treatment and can be the most important step in getting help.

2. Seek online resources. The NEDA helpline is often the first stop for many people who want to get treatment. Call, email, click to chat, or even text!! to get help that you need. NEDA also provides guides and toolkits for parents, coaches, educators, and medical professionals.

3. Find an Eating Disorders Dietitian. The International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD) community is filled with ED-savvy dietitians who are ready to help heal your relationship with food. Find one by zip code here.

4. Talk to a therapist. Eating disorders are about food and feelings. A therapist can help you navigate the difficult emotions that arise when talking about disordered eating. The best directory for finding a therapist is Psychology Today.

5. If you are local, please reach out to me if you need help finding a professional. Not all healthcare professionals are ED-trained but I know a lot of them in Rockland and surrounding areas!! Please know that I keep all information private and confidential and will honor that to anyone needing help or support.

Hearing stories about eating disorder recovery can be uplifting and positive for anyone going through treatment or in recovery. Here are my favorites!

NEDA Faces of Recovery

Recovery Warriors

Project Heal on Recovery

I was honored to be a guest on Christy Harrison’s podcast Food Psych #91 talking about my own journey and how I ended up as an anti-diet dietitian. I’ve been thinking that I should share my recovery story for so long and it was finally the right time. Back when I first started my private practice Eat With Knowledge, clinicians being so open about themselves wasn’t really a “thing”. But so many people have since “come out” and I think it’s made a huge impact on our profession, the awareness and education of eating disorders, and have impacted clients in such a positive way. So here is my story!!! All the way back to high school, through college and the ups and downs of my recovery, into intuitive eating and then in pregnancy and postpartum. Spoiler alert: I am pregnant again (!!) and talk about how I’m feeling now. In the spirit of being vulnerable I was open and honest about everything. Listen in itunes, your podcast app, or on Christy’s website.

10 Easy Self-Care Practices for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

This holiday is usually all about celebrating those that you love, but what if we flipped it and made this holiday all about you? The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Self-love and self-care are concepts I find myself talking about all the time with my clients, especially as they relate to food!

So what can you do today to take care of yourself? Show yourself love and kindness this Valentine’s Day.

1. Learn something new! One way to boost self-worth is to gain a new skill set. Been wanting to learn how to woodwork, crochet, or bake the best Valentine’s Day cake? Take a local class or even an e-course.

2. Start a journaling practice. Taking even 5 minutes out of your day to reflect, jot down ideas, or even vent by writing in a journal has been shown to have tremendous benefits for mental health.

3.Disconnect from the internet for 2 hours. In our digital world, this is a tough one. We have become increasingly dependent on our computers and phones. However, this can often feel like we are forced to constantly check in. Taking a 2 hour break from all technology daily and instead taking a walk, an exercise class, or reading can do wonders for your self-care. 

4. Act like a kid – or play with a kid. Get a coloring book, a puzzle, or do some crafts. If you have kids or nieces and nephews, take some time to just play pretend with them. Let your mind travel to far away places, like Narnia or Oz. This gives your “adult brain” a much needed rest.

5. Join a book club. Not only will this force you to take time out of your day to disconnect and read a book for fun, but you will have a built-in social activity to look forward to at least once a month. You will also start to built new friendships who share common interests.

6. Be a tourist in your own town. Plan a whole day of activities in your very own town, as if you were visiting. Or, just head out for the day and let yourself wander. Who knows what you’ll stumble across – it could be your new favorite restaurant or spa spot.

7. Declutter! Decluttering your home is a powerful way to practice self care. We meet a lot of our needs at home: sleep, relaxation, nourishment, support, solitude and reflection. By cleaning up and decluttering, you make your space a place of sanctuary instead a place of chaos and stress.

8. Treat yourself to a spa day. This is something we rarely think to do for ourselves because it seems like too much of a luxury. But it’s important to treat yourself to luxurious things too. Book a spa day for yourself, or just get a manicure or a massage. It doesn’t have to be for a special occasion – it can be just because it’s part of your self care practice.

9. Edit your social media feeds. It’s sometimes helpful to go through your social media profiles and unfollow people who routinely make you angry, anxious, or upset. This can be a friend or even a celebrity who you have been following. If you realize that someone’s posts regularly make you annoyed, you can simply unfollow them. This “mutes” them even if you don’t want to un-friend the person.

10. Move around or stay still. Sometimes it’s incredibly healing to put on some music and dance in your living room for 15 minutes straight. Other days, it’s rejuvenating to lay down on your yoga mat in complete stillness and silence for 15 minutes. Ask yourself which one of these your body and spirit is craving regularly and let yourself do either – or BOTH!

© Copyright - Eat With Knowledge 2017        MADE WITH ♥ BY BREEZIE CASTELL