A few weeks ago, Kelsey Peterson spoke at our SNO meeting. Not only is she is an incredibly accomplished and knowledgeable registered dietitian with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from CSU Long Beach, but she is very personable and open to answering our questions about the field ahead of us. Her presentation peaked my interest particularly because she has a private practice in addition to being a registered dietitian/nutrition therapist at Nutrition Instincts in Sorrento Valley, and she focuses all of her work around the principle of “Intuitive Eating”.
Eating intuitively in a sense is being at peace with food, and a big part of this is that you reject the “diet mentality” (the idea that you should restrict yourself to limited types of food, or ignore your hunger in order to lose weight quickly). Eating intuitively plays a huge role in rehabilitation from eating disorders, which is why it is so intertwined with Kelsey’s work. On the whole, girls statistically are more likely to develop eating disorders, though it is only known that “a growing consensus suggests that a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors come together to spark an eating disorder” (nationaleatingdisorders.org), and some people forget that it is in fact a mental illness and should be treated as such. Not to compare myself to people suffering from severe eating disorders or victimize myself, but I know I struggled with my weight and constantly compared myself to others growing up which led me to develop many forms of disordered eating throughout my life. I definitely learned that food and mental health absolutely go hand-in-hand.
It’s taken me from as long as I can remember until now to get to a comfortable place with food so I for one know you can’t just flip a switch and be able to eat intuitively. One of the best things to do, first of all, is know that you are not alone. There’s literally always someone who is either going through the same thing, or who you can talk to even if they’re not. I love my parents, but when I was younger I often felt like they didn’t understand what I was going through at all, so I found friends who had similar experiences and we started trying to work it out together.
Kelsey also mentioned a book that she said changed her life, entitled Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. I did some research on the philosophy of intuitive eating and I realized that those practices were heavily correlated with a lot of things I struggled with, and it was something I hadn't known about before she came to our meeting! I know a lot of people obsessively avoid carbs, or limit their calories to dangerous levels, without understanding the damage that a lack of certain foods will cause. Carbs power everything in our bodies and regulate blood glucose levels, and we need enough calories to get through the day, not to mention any extra exercise we may be doing. A diet lacking in essential nutrients like natural sugars or fats is one that could cause low thyroid function, low serotonin levels, stunted growth, etc. This is only the tip of the iceberg of eating disorders. There is a spectrum and every disorder is valid. This is why eating intuitively is so important and so intriguing to me. I’ve linked a page that outlines 10 steps of intuitive eating. I highly recommend giving them a read.
Buy the book:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/intuitive-eating-evelyn-tribole/1125544905?ean=9781250004048&pcta=n&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Textbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP245&k_clickid=3x245
Steps of Intuitive Eating:http://www.intuitive eating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
Get the down-low on Kelsey!: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelsey-peterson-ms-rd-10695254
Junior. Foods and Nutrition major at SDSU.
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