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Image description: Mindful Food & Motion logo (green and orange layers around a center oval.)

Image description: Mindful Food & Motion logo (green and orange layers around a center oval.)

Community Nutrition Practicum site: Mindful Food & Motion

Preceptor: Nicole Eikenberry, MS, RD, LN

From Nicole: “I help people of all shapes and sizes achieve a better relationship with food and their body so they can lead a life with more freedom, ease, empowerment, connection, and well-being.” Mindful Food & Motion uses Health at Every Size®, Intuitive Eating®, Body Trust®, mindfulness, and social justice principles and approaches to individual counseling sessions and group classes.

Goals

  • Improve counseling skills from a Health at Every Size® and fat liberation perspective.

  • Plan, deliver, and evaluate an Intuitive Eating® class

  • Partner with organizations to accomplish shared goals (promotion of Health at Every Size® services)

Expectations

An opportunity to:

  • observe and practice HAES-informed counseling,

  • experience outpatient approaches for disordered eating and body image concerns,

  • and put ethical and evidence-based frameworks (HAES, mindfulness, social justice, intuitive eating) into practice.

Image description: Ani on left, Nicole on right, both smiling in an image capture of a promotional video from social media.

Image description: Ani on left, Nicole on right, both smiling in an image capture of a promotional video from social media.

Activities & Competencies

Nutrition counseling from a HAES, intuitive eating, mindfulness, and social justice lens

This activity made up the majority of my time with Mindful Food & Motion. Through observation of one-on-one sessions, I worked to develop my own resources for use in client sessions, and eventually led sessions with select clients. The focus of our work was both healing disordered eating and body image, especially at the point where those two issues intersect. Sometimes, additional health concerns were being dealt with and needed to be addressed as well, such as diabetes.

My main resources for nutrition counseling:

Image description: book cover for The Body is Not an Apology (Black woman surrounded by flowers)

Image description: book cover for The Body is Not an Apology (Black woman surrounded by flowers)

Image description: book cover for Body Respect (beige cover with book title and small drawing a person with their arms raised)

Image description: book cover for Body Respect (beige cover with book title and small drawing a person with their arms raised)

Image description: book cover for Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes (white cover with book title and two chocolates)

Image description: book cover for Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes (white cover with book title and two chocolates)

Competencies met:

  • Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice. (CRDN 2.10)

  • Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings. (CRDN 2.3)

  • Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (CRDN 3.7)

  • Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice (CRDN 1.6)

  • Show cultural competence/sensitivity in interactions with clients, colleagues and staff. (CRDN 2.11)

  • Demonstrate effective communications skills for clinical and customer services in a variety of formats and settings. (CRDN 3.3)

  • Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (CRDN 3.7)

  • Apply current nutrition informatics to develop, store, retrieve and disseminate information and data. (CRDN 4.4)

Reflection

Through observing and practicing nutrition counseling, I began the process of finding my own voice in counseling and got invaluable experience leading counseling sessions. These sessions were unique from other experiences because they were outpatient, usually one hour in length, and really focused on the process of healing versus education. Both in private practice and nonprofit work I plan to do, these experiences will serve as the base for how I counsel and lead group sessions, and design public health programs.

Intuitive Eating 8-week class

Image description: Screen capture of IE 8-week course syllabus. Click to view document.

Image description: Screen capture of IE 8-week course syllabus. Click to view document.

This class was one of my other major activities at Mindful Food & Motion. The class is a repeating program that Nicole had already designed. I became familiar with the content, discussed and made minor changes to the curriculum, and then I led two groups through the class. The classes are designed to be small, with no more than 8 people in each class, to better facilitate group discussion.

Competencies met:

  • Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice. (CRDN 2.10)

  • Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications. (CRDN 2.2)

  • Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (CRDN 3.7)

  • Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice (CRDN 1.6)

  • Show cultural competence/sensitivity in interactions with clients, colleagues and staff. (CRDN 2.11)

  • Demonstrate effective communications skills for clinical and customer services in a variety of formats and settings. (CRDN 3.3)

  • Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (CRDN 3.7)

Reflection

Running group classes was my favorite part of the rotation. I really enjoy how the participants support each other and get so much out of hearing each other’s journeys. I learned a lot about how to structure lessons and content to facilitate the development of improved body image and improved relationship with food. These skills are invaluable, because they are very distinct from education. The purpose was to change how the participants saw themselves and transform their relationship with food and their body. This will be very valuable as a public health professional working to reduce internalized weight stigma.

Weighing Request sheet

Image description: screen capture of the weighing request sheet, click for PDF.

Image description: screen capture of the weighing request sheet, click for PDF.

Based on experiences of Mindful Food & Motion clients, I developed a guide for requesting to not be weighed or not see the results of being weighed at the doctor. Working with input from clients and doctors, I created a sheet that patients can use to hand to their health care providers, making the request easier and creating documentation of the request.

Competencies met:

  • Function as a member of interprofessional teams (CRDN 2.4)

  • Demonstrate effective communications skills for clinical and customer services in a variety of formats and settings. (CRDN 3.3)

  • Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice (CRDN 1.6)

  • Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management. (CRDN 3.7)

  • Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications. (CRDN 2.2)

Reflection

This was an excellent challenge to bridge the divide between HAES-informed practitioners and the health care systems and providers who are in general not HAES-informed. Incorporating feedback to ensure the request would be as well-received as possible was great experience for future partnerships with organizations and health professionals who do not know about or embrace HAES principles.