What is Therapeutic Eating? Beyond food that heals...

Updated: Mar 30

Therapeutic Eating is a fusion of intuitive eating and the therapeutic process - much of which, for me, stem from Systems Theory.

No one's story is an easy one to explain - & mine is no different.

I struggled with food - a lot - just as my parents did. However, more so - as the story goes - I struggled with self acceptance, self love and nonjudgmental thinking - just like they did. That's why most issues people face are not issues of the individual, they're issues of the system. Who's job, then, is it to throw the wrench in the hamster wheel of life? That's right - ours.

I embarked on my wayward journey with food and healing starting at a really young age. I was 9 years old when I had fallen ill to anorexia. In hindsight there were no voices or beliefs convincing me not to eat at that time. My fear of nausea overwhelmed my senses every time food was set in front of me. So much it caused me to cry, leave the table or walk outside. Until I was so weak I couldn't go anywhere. I fell into a deep starvation and it wasn't until my father, with tears in his eyes, sat down next to me with the ultimatum of going to the hospital and having a feeding tube thread through my nose or attempting to eat something that my life in that frail moment took a turn.

What was that all about? How could someone's feelings for me transform my fear into courage? Why did I need to know the kind of impact my sickness could make on someone else in order for me to take care of my most basic need for survival?

....Along this wayward journey I picked up pieces of understanding along the way. How we eat affects how we feel. The body & mind are connected. Fitness and movement feel good. Endorphins are "a thing." My parents dieted a lot - one week this diet, next month something new. I knew that there had to be a deeper meaning to why we ate for health and healing aside from the beneficial qualities of the foods that we choose. My biggest question - why the faltering? Why the commitment and then the "falling off."

The deepening of the therapeutic process is facilitated by improved eating - but it I was discovering that it isn't the whole story. It wasn't until I hit puberty that I really saw how this played out in the human body. Our hormones are dictating the majority of our decisions - especially around food. When we try and control the heaviness of our emotions - or the pull of our hormones - we forget to take into account that we need to feed our hormones - not our emotions. All this scared me - a lot and sent me back into the throes of an eating disorder. This time, bulimia.

Many might argue that their intuition is more like a craving - and their intuition tells them to eat unhealthy things. Some may claim an absence of their intuition all together. Deep down, however, is a reservoir of truth and consciousness only we can tap through our own therapeutic process. I only learned this after 10 years of not menstruating and going through several treatment programs to unravel why I struggled, not just with food, but being alive in a human body. Listening to our bodies is excellent - crucial even - but listening to our biology is even better. This is more easily accessed if we,

1. change our thinking

2. eat both intuitively and intelligently

But how?

Science is an excellent way to get facts about what is good//beneficial or detrimental to our health. Even the most uneducated person knows the difference between eating an apple or a bag of chips and which one is "better" for our health.

Yet - at the end of the day - once we know all there is to know about food and it's qualities - We have Ourselves. We and Our Selves need attention, care, kindness and nurturing too. It's really not just about the food or just about the therapy. It's about *both* - and that's what I'm here to help clarify.

Therefore all science aside & not to discredit it, we have to look at the Person we bring to the table. Because no matter how healthy we eat perfecting the eating process is not a measure of self love. Those who know that eating well is important - and do - for the sake of their health, can still suffer greatly. Food is important, but not everything.

Our true nature - our source within (god, Gaia, christ, Buddha etc) - doesn't care if we eat pancakes or a grapefruit for breakfast. It cares that it's being tended to.

To circle back around - to tend to our source within can and will be greatly facilitated if we have sound eating practices. The question then begs - what does our soul beckon in order to feel freed up & fed? This is what changed my life, ultimately, around food, eating, my body, my balance and my sense of peace not just around food but in a world that is highly centralized on diet culture.

Therefore - the process looks a bit like this:

1. we ask

2. we see our resistances, acknowledge our blocks and fears

3. we listen to our critic & judge - we acknowledge that every part of ourselves serves in some way to protect us (even when we continue to repeat the same old patterns)

4. We keep asking and opening ourselves

5. In the process we take what we know - look at it - set it aside - and decipher the difference between what we "should" have and *HOW we want to feel. You'd be AMAZED at how the law of attraction plays a role in your ability to nurture and nourish yourself.

If you're interested in the therapeutic process and how it may facilitate greater self awareness around your relationship to food and your body, please contact me and we'll set up a time to discuss more about Therapeutic Eating and the part it plays in your healing.



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