Nutrition therapy is a process that encourages and embraces change while compassionately and respectfully acknowledging the complexity of our relationships with food.

Transforming the way you perceive food and eating is one of the most empowering gifts you can provide for yourself. The vigilance and worry about food, weight, and eating can cost a great deal of emotional and psychic energy. How much of your time and energy is spent thinking about what you should or shouldn't be eating, how your eating will affect your weight, berating yourself for not doing what you think you 'should' be doing, wondering how many calories you need to burn, and on and on? Learning to trust the wisdom that you already possess is possible. You don't have to live in a cycle of disconnection and frustration.

Is nutrition therapy for you?

    Do you feel guilty or shameful after eating?
    Are you tired of constantly thinking about food?
    Do you distrust, suppress, or ignore hunger signals?
    Do you worry that once you start eating you won't stop?
    Do you know what to eat, but still aren't satisfied with your body shape?
    Amidst all of your food rules, do you wonder if "normal" eating truly exists?
    Are you frustrated with repeated failed attempts to lose weight or gain weight?
    Do you find it difficult or almost impossible to eat the amount of food you require?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, nutrition therapy is a means for reconnecting with the joy and pleasure of eating.

Nutrition therapy will support you through the process of ...

    Letting Go Of...     Embracing...
    denial & deprivation     healthy coping skills
    out-of-control eating     mindful, intuitive eating
    food & weight preoccupation     your natural, healthy weight
    unreasonable dieting regimens     hunger & satisfaction signals
    meal plans, fat phobia, food rules     the pleasure & delight of food & eating

Nutrition therapy is not for everyone. It is important for you to know that you will not be weighed or provided with a list of foods that you should and should not eat. Chances are you have tried that before and it didn't work or it only worked temporarily. Ironically, using a meal plan and weighing yourself may lead to what I call "diet-induced weight gain." Imagine, following all the rules and achieving the result you least desire. Certainly, discussing what a meal plan represents is a crucial component of nutrition therapy, but in my experience, the bathroom scale and the structured eating plan are least helpful when you finally make the commitment to heal your relationship with food.

For those experiencing restrictive eating and wishing to gain weight, a meal plan is often used as a transition to natural eating patterns. It is still very important to understand the function of the meal plan as a substitute for inner cues of hunger and fullness. The meal plan is not a lifelong approach to eating, merely a step along the way. I view the meal plan as a tool to help heal the relationship with food, along with many other tools that I may draw on during nutrition therapy. Often much emphasis is placed on the meal plan, each kilogram of weight that is gained or lost, or each minute of exercise. Again, this is only one piece of the entire picture of recovery. It is important to see your recovery as more than just numbers (scale numbers, calories, amount of nutrients, etc). You are much more than just numbers.

Clearly, this process of rebuilding your relationship with food is challenging and your commitment requires thoughtful consideration. There may be times during the nutrition therapy process when you connect with your vulnerability or sadness. Nutrition therapy is about providing the support necessary to acknowledge those feelings (and many others). There are several options available for you if you are concerned about your weight and your eating. Take the time to decide what is the right option for you. Talk to others and ask lots of questions. It is also helpful to trust your intuition to guide you in making this decision. If you have questions about whether you are ready to begin nutrition therapy or whether nutrition therapy is right for you, please contact me.

In a client's words:

I was transformed from a woman obsessed with food and weight to a woman who loves, honours and respects herself and her body. I can finally focus on my physical, spiritual and emotional selves and enjoy life.

If you decide that you would like to try nutrition therapy, there are other more practical aspects of the process that you may be interested in hearing about. Sessions are available for Ryerson students only and these sessions are 50 minutes in length. Referral can be made by visiting Health or Counselling Services or by simply referring yourself by contacting me directly. Appointments are available on Thursday afternoons only. Each client decides how often and how long s/he wants to continue nutrition therapy sessions. Remember, this process is client-centred and as the client, you are the most reliable source of information concerning yourself and your needs.

I have shared my views on aspects of my nutrition therapy practice with Debbie Maclellan, a researcher from the University of PEI. Some of you may find this transcript helpful when deciding whether to pursue nutrition therapy for yourself. I've attached a revised and condensed version of that interview here for you to read. If you require any clarification about the interview or about my philosophy to nutrition therapy, please send me an email.

"What is Client-Centred Nutrition Counselling?"

Additional Resources