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Announcing Joyful Eating, Nourished Life

When I first became a dietitian in 2013, I knew I wanted to start a private practice, but I wasn’t sure how to approach my work with clients. I wanted to teach people to eat whole, real food that made them feel good. And I wanted to help people to enjoy – not dread exercise. I also knew I didn’t want to use a calorie based approach, because that wasn’t sustainable, and I was not going to teach something I didn’t believe in just because that’s what most everyone else was doing. Plus – in addition to sucking the joy out of food, research was showing that diets don’t work, anyway – and in fact are indicators of long term weight gain. I was also finding that they seemed to set people up for a lot of binging and all or nothing mentality.

So I started helping my clients to make small, gradual changes in their daily lives. We set actionable goals at the end of each session, let those goals become habits, and then any eventual weight loss was the side effect of that behavior change. But I wanted to do more – while those goals and small habit changes made a difference, and I still use them in my client sessions, something was missing – the emotional component. How could I help people move away from the diet approach and embrace a kinder, more natural form of eating that didn’t involve guilt and restriction (and subsequent binging as a result of that restriction)? How could I help people to approach food in a way that was joyful, not fearful – but still help them to eat in a way that made them feel healthier and happier?

joyful eating

The answer was intuitive eating. When I found out about intuitive eating, I had this “ah-ha” moment like “Wow! This is how I eat – I didn’t realize there was a term for it!” I started by reading the Intuitive Eating book written by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and shortly after moved on to taking a virtual Intuitive Eating training course led by Evelyn Tribole that taught fellow dietitians how to counsel clients using the Intuitive Eating framework. Everything clicked into place, and I really felt like I had found my calling. Helping clients to find the joy in food and exercise and seeing them get healthier and happier without stress or deprivation was amazing and so rewarding.

I love working with clients one-on-one through my AnneTheRD private practice and will continue to do so, but about a year ago I started thinking that I would love to create a group program for intuitive eating – something that would allow me to reach more people at once, and that would allow the participants to engage with and continue to support each other, too.

Around the same time as I was considering trying to launch a group program (but completely overwhelmed at the thought of doing it alone), I started finding other dietitians who had the same philosophy. Two of those dietitians are Rachael Hartley and Alex Caspero, who I first met at Blog Brulee.

I connected with Rachael and Alex again at FNCE (the big annual dietitian conference) last year, and at one point Rachael mentioned offhand that she and Alex were in the beginning phases of creating a group intuitive and mindful eating program. I said that sounded amazing and was something I’d thought about doing too, and then we arrived at whatever event we were walking to and moved on to other conversations, but I kept thinking about it. Finally, a few weeks later, I went out on a ledge and emailed Rachael. The gist of the email was: “I know you said you and Alex were creating this program, and if you are already too far along in the process or for any other reason not into the idea, that’s totally cool, but: can I join to help you create and launch it?”

The rest is history. Lucky for me (and lucky that I didn’t wait any longer to email about it), they were just about to have their first call regarding the project and more than happy to have me on board. We got to work quickly, having twice a month video calls which then turned into once a week video calls to talk about the program and our progress. In between those calls, we assigned each other tasks to tackle and communicated constantly via email. It has been a phenomenal amount of work but having two smart and like-minded dietitians writing and working on it with me made all the difference. And now, many months later, our program is just about ready and we could not be more thrilled to share it with you.

Introducing: Joyful Eating, Nourished Life.

intuitive eating program

If you are:

  • Overwhelmed by conflicting diet advice
  • Feeling extreme guilt when eating certain foods
  • Struggling with lack of energy despite trying to eat healthy and exercise
  • Experiencing periods of uncontrolled or binge eating
  • Feeling uncomfortable in your own body
  • Turning to food in times of stress or sadness
  • Out of touch with your body’s hunger and fullness cues
  • Sick and tired of calorie counting and following rigid diets that leave you feeling exhausted, depleted and like a failure because they just don’t work!

This is the program for you.

More information to come – but if you are at all interested in the program, please take a look at our Joyful Eating, Nourished Life website and sign up for the email list you’ll find there. Our first 6 week session will tentatively start on June 20, and if you’re on our email list, you’ll be the first to know when you can sign up.

Here’s to joyful eating and nourished lives, my friends! Please share this around if you know anyone you think would benefit from this program – and thank you in advance for your support!

What food makes you happiest? For me, it totally depends on the day! Sometimes it’s a burger and fries and sometimes it’s a huge salad. But a drippy ice cream cone on a hot summer day while out having an adventure – that pretty much always takes the prize. <3

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Comments

  1. 1

    Congrats on your new program! It is always exciting to see people doing well and enjoying making change. I just finished school (Naturopathic) and am beginning to embark on the journeyed setting up my own practice. It is great see people succeeding, it makes it a little less scary!

  2. 3

    Congratulations! I love the book! I took a class on intuitive eating at my local HMO and it was amazing. I feel like I am still not 100% there though.

  3. 4

    This is great and much needed. I’ve signed up!

  4. 6

    Love this, Anne! This program looks like it’s going to be great!

  5. 8

    Congrats! What a great program to start, definitely going to look into it! My biggest problem is the major fatigue. I eat clean and exercise, but I am obviously missing something in the food department…

    • 9

      Sounds like you might benefit from the program — check out the website and sign up for the email list if it sounds like a good fit for you!

  6. 10

    Congrats Anne!!! This program looks so amazing and I am so happy for all 3 of you. What awesome RD’s :) :)

  7. 12

    Congratulations!

  8. 14

    This is exciting. Heading over to the website to check it out now.

  9. 16

    Congrats, Anne! I love that three RDs who I totally look up to in this mindful eating realm took on this program. Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. And yes, ice cream is also my jam!

  10. 18

    Congrats on the new program! As a RD to be, I always get so excited when I hear stories about so many successful dietitians. I have read Intuitive Eating a few times and am reading it now to gear up for my new role as a dietitian when I graduate. I LOVE this book!

  11. 20

    Congratulations! I’m excited to hear more about this!

  12. 22

    Looks like a great program, and one that I can benefit from. Only sorry that it doesn’t start until June!

  13. 24

    Congrats!! Will be signing up for the newsletter/details..

  14. 26
    Candace Young says

    This is so cool how you are starting this new project with two of the ladies that I have been following for years! I have always followed this lifestyle, just never put a name to it so that is awesome that you have this program for others to follow. Hopefully this will become a norm in our society instead of diets!

    By the way, after I stumbled upon your blog article about becoming an RD, it has truly inspired me to become one so I will be starting school this summer! Like you, I came from an unrelated undergrad field so not looking forward to all those science courses I had dodged past when I was in undergrad! haha But I know now based on your testimony that if you made it through I know I can as well so thank you thank you!

    • 27

      I’m honored to hear I’ve inspired! Best of luck to you on your journey to becoming an RD – good for you for following your dreams! :)

  15. 28

    This came at exactly the right time. I’m at a point where I am fed-up with diets that have left me fatter than ever but not sure where to turn as I am a bit overweight and need to lose. I just don’t know how!

  16. 30

    Great idea, Anne. This sounds like a great program! Do I recognize Maple View farms in that photo?! :)

  17. 32

    Congratulations! I have not heard of intuitive eating but it just makes sense. Our bodies tell us what they need and how much they need. Looks like a wonderful much needed program.

  18. 34

    YAY to YOU for emailing! I can’t imagine this program with you and I really feel like the three of us were destined to come together and create this. So many little things that added up to the creation of Joyful Eating! Reading your reflection and the comments below also makes me realize how grateful I am that more and more RD’s are interested in this concept and teaching that diets don’t have to be the answer. Can’t wait until June!

    • 35

      I really think so, too! I remember chatting with you briefly at Blog Brulee about collaborating and hoping we’d really make something happen at some point – little did I know it would be sooner than later! :) So lucky to have met both you and Rachael – and cheers to continuing to collaborate for years to come! xo

  19. 36
    Roadrunner says

    Very impressive, Anne. Congrats! Sounds like a great program and very sensible.

  20. 37

    i’m so SO happy you’re launching this! i really like the group aspect- it is motivational and i like being able to bounce ideas and thoughts off of each other! thanks to all 3 of you!

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