Nutritional Therapy & Education
Rosewood aims to change the way you think about nutrition by learning more about how your body functions and operates. One of our first priorities when you arrive at Rosewood for treatment is to have you meet with one of our Registered Dietitians (RD) one-on-one. Your meeting with the RD helps us customize a nutrition program specifically for you. We’ll seek to:
- Evaluate your nutritional needs
- Assess your unique history and relationship with food
- Understand the progression of your eating disorder behaviors
- Learn about any medical complications, dietary allergies and intolerances we need to know about to personalize your meal plan
With this information, the RD will design a customized meal plan for and with you—one you’ll enjoy while you’re with us at Rosewood and long after you complete your treatment. At mealtime, our Executive Chef and Culinary Staff prepare delicious meals, using locally grown ingredients whenever possible and presented with the artistic flair you might expect in a gourmet restaurant. While the menu may be the same, each patient’s plate is customized for their eating preferences and needs.
An Integrative and Comprehensive Approach to Food
Our dietary philosophy is to assess and address all your nourishment needs—and there are several. We’ll account for any medical needs, which can be especially important if you’re severely malnourished when first admitted. We’ll also tailor your nutrition program to align with your therapeutic and emotional needs. Our overarching goal is to help you normalize your relationship with food. We’ll seek to help you achieve freedom with food, so you won’t feel imprisoned by rigid guidelines and rules about your diet.
Mealtimes at Rosewood
We believe mealtimes themselves are therapeutic. They should be enjoyable on many levels, not just as time to feed the body. We offer three nutritionally balanced meals and three energizing snacks daily. They give you an opportunity to reconnect with your body and others in the program. We use an exchange system that’s based on guidelines from the American Diabetic Association. This gives you more flexibility in your eating choices and reinforces a non-threatening, pleasurable and nourishing relationship with food.
Teaching the Science of Nutrition
As your treatment moves forward, you’ll get a thorough education in the science of nutrition. You’ll address complex and varied eating issues while meeting individually with our dietitian. You’ll participate in meal planning classes, attend educational presentations, and engage in individual experiential activities. You’ll also learn about the body’s natural processes for metabolizing and gaining nourishment from food; the importance of meal planning and portion sizes; techniques to be mindful of your body; and practical skills you can use to continue your recovery after returning home.
Our Unique Nutrition Program Nourishes You in Numerous Ways
The program is designed to accomplish several important goals as part of your treatment—including:
- Identify food rituals or “self-imposed rules and beliefs” that limit your ability to be flexible and enjoy a variety of foods. Examples of these beliefs may include: eating fat makes you fat, the less you weigh the healthier you are, touching food lets calories sink in through the skin.
- Construct a comfortable, safe, and positive association with food.
- Change the way you think about nutrition by learning more about how your body functions and operates (including metabolism, digestion, the importance of calories).
- Dispel food and body myths, and cultivate new thoughts and ideas for meeting nutrition needs.
- Help you recognize the connection between appetite cues and overwhelming feelings/emotions, and how to use these tools to uncover the “true” sense of hunger and fullness.
- Teach you to plan and prepare meals and snacks – at home or while dining out.
- Provide education on understanding and managing a variety of medical complications associated with eating disorders, including constipation, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, electrolyte imbalances, anemia, reflux, heartburn, cardiac abnormalities, amenorrhea, dental sensitivities, osteoporosis, hypoglycemia, and ketosis.
- Address any personal issues and challenges related to physical activity.
- Review family patterns and create a relaxed, comfortable mealtime atmosphere that stems from improved communication skills. This empowers you to implement and maintain these mealtime techniques at home.
- Construct an individualized plan for continued professional support and abundant living after treatment.
- Provide specific support to binge eating issues and post-bariatric challenges associated with eating disorders such as nutrient malabsorption, dumping syndrome, texture tolerances and quantity tolerance.
- Manage diabulimia and other medical issues related to dietary intake, such as Celiac’s disease, Genetic disorders, food allergies and food intolerance.
- Help you overcome issues related to body image, which might surface during your treatment process.
Meal Plans for Eating Disorders
One of the goals of eating disorder treatment at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders is helping patients develop a healthy relationship with eating and food. A healthy relationship with food involves:
- Making nutritionally sound choices, yet not being overly restrictive and missing out on the enjoyment of eating.
- Eating a wide variety of foods.
- Letting go of fears about particular foods or food groups.
- Learning to respond to natural cues for hunger, fullness and satiety.
- Giving some thought to eating and food choices, but not having food become a preoccupation that crowds out other thoughts or activities.
For someone in recovery from an eating disorder, developing these healthy attitudes toward eating takes time and practice. One of the ways we build the foundation for ‘normal’ eating is through the use of individualized meal plans that meet each person’s nutritional needs, while offering variety, balance and appeal.