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How Eating Disorders Affect Your Brain

How Eating Disorders Affect Your Brain

The Effects of Eating Disorders What is the effect of starvation on the brain and how it functions?  Many times I find myself explaining to families and friends that if their loved one could “just eat” they would.  It is not the loved one these families are up against but rather the malnourished brain.  But what exactly is a “malnourished brain”? A brain that is malnourished and starved is not functioning properly and is unable to reason in the way it once could.  This is where we begin to reinforce that “food is medicine”, in order to give the client the “reins” in their recovery from malnutrition. Food is medicine Malnutrition is often created in the wake of an eating disorder but can have other origins as well, just as extreme picky eating or a lack of understanding of how much food or energy a person needs. By re-energizing and re-nourishing your body, you give your brain power to understand the bigger picture, find motivation, understand yourself again and do the work needed to get back to a nourished state. Vicious Cycle of Malnutrition The more malnourished someone becomes the harder it is to “eat normally” because of the way the brain responds when it is malnourished.  Especially in adolescents it is important to fuel the brain in order to reverse the damage from malnutrition as soon as possible. The impact of malnutrition on the brain includes limited ability to think, manage emotions, process information from the environment. This will in turn exaggerate some personality traits.  Understanding this piece of the puzzle can help families understand that it is...
Making Your Commute Part of Your Recovery

Making Your Commute Part of Your Recovery

How to make your commute part of your self care, healthy lifestyle, and eating disorder recovery.  Here are 5 tips on making the most of your commute! 1. Where have podcasts been my whole life?  I have been driving 45 minutes to an hour to and from work for years without podcasts and now I don’t  know how I did it! Mine’s nothing compared to the commute some people have, sometimes 2 hours one way!  I am loving using podcasts to help my mindset driving through the DMV traffic. Podcasts help me learn new tools to help my clients, and am able to share them with fellow commuters. I am absolutely loving the Love, Food podcast by host Julie Duffy Dillon, a Registered Dietitian. She shares in our REBEL against dieting mindset and dieting culture philosophy.  Her voice is so compassionate and her approach is totally in line with us at Empowered Eating.  I can confidently encourage my clients to peruse her podcasts knowing that they will be in good hands.  She also features other big names in the eating disorder recovery world to give even more tips and insights.  I learn multiple things every podcast. At 20-25 minutes they are never boring and really easy to listen too.  You’re bombarded by dieting society constantly so having  20 minutes of your day focused on body positivity is so valuable! I also love the ED Matters podcast which also features big names in the eating disorder recovery world spark helpful conversation about eating disorders.  I was honored to be a part of ED Matters last month.  You can check out...
How to Support Loved Ones with an Eating Disorder

How to Support Loved Ones with an Eating Disorder

How to Support a Loved One with an Eating Disorder Research shows that eating disorder sufferers are particularly prone to relapse during times of transition or change. It is important as family members and friends to recognize that for most sufferers, their eating disorder is their stability. When there is change or when things fall apart, this is one thing they can count on. The eating disorder is often referred to as their lifeline or life preserver. Change can cause our loved ones to hold on even tighter to their life preserver. What types of transitions or change may our loved ones be experiencing? Change in their meal plan Going off to college for the first time Returning to school, either college or middle/high, after being off for the summer or winter break Stepping down to a lower level of care in treatment Changing treatment team members for various reasons Friendship changes or losses Starting a new job Weather changes which bring about clothing changes Loss of a loved one Divorce or separation of parents Friends leaving for college while they are not What can we do to help support our loved ones during times of change or transition? Recognize and validate the changes your loved one is experiencing and how challenging this must be for them. Remind them of what remains consistent in their lives during this time. It may be that they are returning to school after being off for the summer. Reminding them that they are going back to the same school, with their same group of supportive friends, and that they will have their same...
5 Things You Should Know about Diabulimia

5 Things You Should Know about Diabulimia

What is Diabulimia? By Alex Raymond, RD, LD Thinking about the day in the life of a Type 1 Diabetic may not cross your mind too frequently, unless you have diabetes or a close friend or family member of yours has it. What you might not know, is that a Type 1 Diabetic has to think about food pretty regularly throughout the day. Since a Type 1 diabetic is completely dependent on the hormone insulin (which regulates blood sugars), every time he or she eats, they have to think about the amount of carbohydrates were in the meal and then decide how much insulin is appropriate. If they give too little insulin, they run the risk of their blood sugars getting to high. If they give too much insulin, they run the risk of their blood sugars going too low. Both of these have serious consequences. Combine type 1 diabetes, thoughts about food and insulin, pressure to look a certain way, pressure to eat a certain way, fear of gaining weight from insulin, and genetics. You have a set-up for development of a potential eating disorder. Diabulimia means intentionally manipulating insulin levels to manage/lose weight. These individuals will give themselves far less insulin than what is recommended when consuming carbs, causing sugars to sky rocket. This causes consequences like diabetic ketoacidosis, which means there are unsafe levels of ketones in the blood and requires hospitalization to manage. If you or a loved one is struggling with diabulimia, you came to the right place. This blog will inform you on the things that you should know and also where to...
Eating after oral surgery: wisdom teeth, tonsillectomy during eating disorder recovery

Eating after oral surgery: wisdom teeth, tonsillectomy during eating disorder recovery

Oral Surgery Nutrition Tips from a Registered Dietitian Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD Oral surgery, such as having your wisdom teeth removed, can be an uncomfortable, and often painful, experience. After surgery, it is extremely important to continue eating and drinking to allow for proper healing and weight maintenance. Though the surgery site may be painful or tender, there are a variety of soft or liquid foods that can provide adequate nutrition (and that taste good too!). Below, you can find tips to remember during recovery, a list of easy-to-eat foods, and several delicious, nutrient-dense recipes to try! Recovery Tips: Guidelines after surgery can vary depending on your procedure as well as your specific surgeon. However, here are a few post-surgery recommendations from the Mayo Clinic: Drink lots of water Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, carbonated and hot beverages in the first 24 hours Don’t drink with a straw for at least a week, as it can dislodge the blood clot from the socket Eat only soft foods for the first 24 hours Add semi-soft foods as tolerated Avoid hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck or cause irritation Easy-to-Eat Foods Following Oral Surgery: Soups (cream of vegetable, lentil, minestrone, split pea, chicken noodle) Juices (cranberry, apple, grape) Yogurt (soft or frozen), cottage cheese, soft cheeses (mozzarella, brie) Pudding/custard Soft fruits (banana, papaya, berries, canned peaches or pears, apple sauce) Ice cream and milkshakes Fresh cooked vegetables Fruit smoothies/protein shakes Oatmeal/cream of wheat Eggs (scrambled, soft boiled, egg salad) Mashed potatoes or cauliflower Rice, risotto, polenta Tofu Pasta (plain or with sauce) Fish (soft white fish, sole,...

We're Moving!

Beginning on July 1st, 2019 we'll be in our new office space*

5457 Twin Knolls Road, Suite 303
Columbia, MD 21045

*We're still seeing Empowered Eating clients in our Greenbelt Office as well

 

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