healthy diets

April Showers Bring May Flowers (and Diets / Disordered Eating?)

It’s Spring — time for proms, graduations, and thoughts of warmer weather. For many, this time of the year is also synonymous with insecurities about body size, leading many to start a brand-new diet. The billion-dollar diet industry feeds off our insecurities, and sales of the latest and greatest diet products soar. At the same time, the incidence of eating disorders also rises. Although eating disorders involve complex biological, psychological, social and cultural factors, dieting is a strong risk factor for their development.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, “Cultural pressures that glorify “thinness” or muscularity and place value on obtaining the “perfect body”; narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes; cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths; stress related to racial, ethnic, size/weight-related or other forms of discrimination or prejudice” play a role in the development of eating disorders.

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Recipes for Eating Disorder Recovery, Barbecues!!

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

When I (Ashley) first started my journey towards eating disorder recovery, I recall one simple phrase that I thought to myself over and over again: “What the hell do I eat now?”

Having followed various food rules for so long, I was at a point where my brain felt inundated with contradictory, confusing nutrition information. Not only that, but I was just dipping my toes into intuitive eating, a way of eating characterized by tapping into your inner hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating in a way that works to prevent bingeing and promote wellness; but how was I supposed to eat “intuitively” when starting at the fridge felt like walking into a battlefield? I knew I was supposed to be giving myself unconditional permission to eat all foods, a tenet of the intuitive eating model, but I still held onto so much fear around foods that had felt almost addictive during my eating disorder.

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Weight gain doesn't make you a diet failure

3 Steps to Making Peace With Weight Gain

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

The intuitive eating process brings about a lot of change, some of which can be downright terrifying. Enter: weight gain.

It should be noted that weight gain is a possible side effect of making peace with food, but it isn’t necessarily inevitable. Some people lose weight on their intuitive eating journey, others maintain, and still others gain. Which camp you will eventually fall into is really anyone’s best guess, but making peace with weight gain – or any bodily changes – during this process is a huge part of body acceptance and truly embracing the intuitive eating model. This can be a really difficult process though due to the fatphobic world we live in, and some people avoid intuitive eating altogether just due to the FEAR of weight gain. It’s time to step in and assuage that fear… everyone deserves to seek out food peace, and making peace with weight gain can open that door. Ahead, my top three strategies:

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Avoid the diet culture trap and start intuitive eating today

Intuitive Eating is Not Another Diet! 3 Things to Remember

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

Are you noticing yourself placing diet rules and restrictions on your intuitive eating journey? Leave diets behind once and for all and avoid these 3 diet mentality traps.

For many of us, intuitive eating is something we come to when we finally give in and seek refuge from diet culture. We’ve likely been battered for so long, the rules and restrictions hammered into us for years on end, and we’ve seen it all fail miserably time and time again. Those of us who come to intuitive eating often do so with heads hung low, knowing we’ve finally hit our diet limit, and hoping beyond hope that maybe there’s another way; a way out.

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The gentle diet

Is Intuitive Eating like a “Gentle Diet?”

The “Gentle Diet” 

Recently, a client told me that she looked up the words, “gentle” and “diet.” to learn about Intuitive Eating.  I love that description, because intuitive eating is a gentle approach to improving health as we become the expert over our bodies and its many sensations. This means saying “goodbye” to strict diets as they promote: negative self-judgments, shaming, and “should” around food intake and body size. We must welcome compassionate self-care by:  honoring hunger, registering fullness cues, moving our bodies in a way that feels good, and finding new ways to comfort ourselves without food.

When people come to me with weight or food issues, my philosophy is to help them gently make changes that feel sustainable. Some people come because they have made a decision to change their lives, and they will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Others are sent by a loved one who wants them to lose weight, and they may be resistant to change.

The Gentle Diet

Pain, Suffering and Eating Disorders from Diet Mentality

I reject the whole notion of the strict diet mentality because I have seen the suffering and pain that it can cause – being a slave to the scale, judging oneself as “good” or “bad” depending on what you have eaten, and ultimately, disordered eating. I encourage people to eat in a way that feels good for their bodies and their self-esteem.

My concept is that a person needs to get away from the notion that she is “good” or “bad” based on calories or “forbidden” foods, and that there should be no rules or guilt associated with eating. I am not aware of any sin inherent in eating a donut. Are we more virtuous if we deny ourselves the pleasure of chocolate cake, and instead choose a piece of fruit when our taste buds surely would have preferred the chocolate?

For more information on Intuitive Eating, “The Gentle Diet,” and to download my e-book, “Three Steps to Get off the Diet Roller Coaster for Good:” CLICK THE LINK BELOW

Free Guide: Get off the Diet Roller Coaster for Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recipes for Recovery

Recipes for Eating Disorder Recovery, Spring Edition!

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

When I (Ashley) first started my journey towards eating disorder recovery, I recall one simple phrase that I thought to myself over and over again: “What the hell do I eat now?”

Having followed various food rules for so long, I was at a point where my brain felt inundated with contradictory, confusing nutrition information. Not only that, but I was just dipping my toes into intuitive eating, a way of eating characterized by tapping into your inner hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating in a way that works to prevent bingeing and promote wellness; but how was I supposed to eat “intuitively” when starting at the fridge felt like walking into a battlefield? I knew I was supposed to be giving myself unconditional permission to eat all foods, a tenet of the intuitive eating model, but I still held onto so much fear around foods that had felt almost addictive during my eating disorder.

READ MORE

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