Monday, April 18, 2011

Interview with The Intuitive Dietitian

I reached out to Alice Covey- THE Intuitive Dietitian because I found her career path very interesting-as a future intuitive eating dietitian. I hope you enjoy the interview I conducted with her:
What is your professional career? I am a nutrition therapist. I use counseling as a way to help individuals to improve their relationship with food and their bodies. The philosophies of intuitive eating and mindful eating are what I use to help people in their journey.
How did you decide that you wanted to focus on intuitive/mindful eating? When I did my dietetic internship, one of my rotations was at an eating disorder treatment facility, Center for Change in Orem, Utah. They introduced me to intuitive eating by having me read the book, Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole, when I started as an intern there. When I read the book, I felt like that I found the missing piece in my nutrition education. In school, I was not taught the importance of tuning into the body, mostly I was taught very science-based information that was full of holes and controversies. The information in Intuitive Eating rang true to my own personal life and experiences as well; it just made sense and clicked with me.
What sort of training did you have to go through to become an expert in this field? I first received a bachelor of science in dietetics at Montana State University, taking various science classes. I remember saying to my mom after my first year of college, "I am majoring in science." It hadn't occurred to me that when I studied about food I was mainly going to learn about science. Of courses, I had other course like psychology, anthropology, statistics, business, on and on. But mainly I was getting lessons in science. I felt something was missing in my schooling, and I think I was right... I wanted to learn about psychology and food, anthropology and food, not just receive a weak overview. To officially become a registered dietitian, the next steps were do an internship, which I did through Utah State University, and then pass an exam. am a certified intuitive eating counselor and have completed a workshop for professionals with Elyse Resch, coauthor of Intuitive Eating. I also use Elyse as a mentor, working with her under group supervision. But really the most training I received was working intensely in an eating disorder treatment facility. I worked with people who were taking the opposite approach to intuitive eating and to the very extreme. I learned a lot more about psychology and how to tie it into into healing individuals' relationship with food.
What is your top tip that you give clients on how to eat intuitively? Go inward. We have more knowledge about our individual body than science can tell us. Strive for a peaceful, balanced, and harmonious relationship with food. Don't miss out on the wonder and pleasure of food. The body needs to also be respected, cared for, and communicated with. People often forget that. It's like in our puritan need to pursue perfection and health we forget the basics. Return to the knowledge you are born with. Reconnecting with the innate is a path you can pursue.
Why is eating intuitively so important? From my perspective and for the work I do, it is a very important tool to heal troublesome relationships with food and body. It can also serve to shift an apathetic or rebellious attitudes about food and body. We seem to live in a society that is bombarded with messages, many of them mixed, telling us how to eat, and we are abound with messages about what the "perfect" body is from health to appearance. A lot of people get lost in the external messages and forget to just respect and work with their own blueprint. Reconnecting with our inner knowledge regrading eating and respecting the body we are inhabiting is transformational.
How do you suggest that we end feelings of guilt towards our body and food? Guilt serves no purpose in propelling us forward or in our growth. If we want to improve our relationship to food and our body, we need to practice acceptance and forgiveness. We also need to recognize the destructive thoughts we have regarding food and our body. Those thoughts need to be let go of. We can even shift those thoughts and replace them by connecting to our intuitive voice

Thank you Alice for speaking to us about Guilt and Food! Check out her website and private practice.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more on the notion that intuitive eating is the missing puzzle piece in current nutrition therapy schooling/practice. I plan to incorporate it on a large scale into my counseling career as an RD. Thanks for sharing!