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Creating a healthy relationship with food

Today’s guest is Jennifer McGurk a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified eating disorder registered dietitian. Her practice is located in Nyack, NY.  Jennifer believes that every client has different nutrition needs and what’s right for one person may not be right for another. She believes in intuitive and mindful eating, and structures her sessions based on lifestyle changes, behavior modifications with food, and creative and realistic meal planning strategies. In this episode she discusses creating a healthier relationship with food.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Jennifer works with adults and teens who have an unhealthy relationship with food or they want to change the relationship they have with food
  • Nutritional food is for fueling the body and decreasing the cravings
  • Gaining awareness of behavioral patterns or thoughts around food

For therapist and dietitians

  • Need to begin to change what we consider normal in the media and change the language
  • Discuss and recognize the negative “fat” talk-example “my cheeks are fat” or “I’m not beautiful”
  • Begin to neutralize it with healthier thoughts, such as “those are my cheeks”
  • Explore “What do I get out of that negative self-talk?”
    • Negative self-talk can decrease confidence and self-esteem
  • The number of sessions depends on what clients need or want from treatment and their level of commitment
  • Dietitian helps with:
    • Creating a food plan with the client
    • Uses science and give specific recommendations of healthy diet
  • Review behavior changes and the “why’s” behind behavior and food decisions
  • Diet equals nourishment and life style change
  • Research shows that those who skip breakfast eat more later in day
    • Body slows downs, using brain energy at school and all this can create binging on foods after school/work
    • Pack an apple and peanut butter, a smoothy or half a sandwich to eat for breakfast

For parents

  • Talk about concerns or eating issues with your teenage daughter
  • You may think “it will make it worse”, but if you have open conversations it can help
  • Jennifer recommends F.E.A.S.T or http://www.feast-ed.org/
  • Schedule an appointment just for yourself to begin the process and explore ways in communicating concerns about your teen
  • Some prevention tips
    • Not talking about food as good or bad
    • Judging your own weight and making comments about it in front of your daughter
    • Don’t force your child to eat everything on their plate
  • Today’s world we are emotional eaters, we use food as comfort
  • Begin to use Hunger Scale
    • Rate your hunger from 1 to 10
    • One being extremely hungry
    • Five being neutral
    • Ten being you are Thanksgiving sick
  • Can use app called “Rise Up” which is geared toward eating disorders, but can rate your hunger


If you liked this episode I invite you to subscribe on iTunes to receive the weekly updates. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio. Website is www.LaunchingYourDaughter.com

Jennifer’s Information:

Website: http://eatwithknowledge.com/

For therapist: http://www.pursuingprivatepractice.com/ for book