Northwood Nutrition BLOG
Hi! My name is Korrin and I'm a Dietitian and self proclaimed foodie.
I love to cook all kinds of food. I love to work with all kinds of people.
On my blog, I strive to share positive, inspiring stories & nutrition information. In addition to some real life events mixed in. Welcome!
As promised in my post yesterday, I am back today to share my thoughts in regards to cultural foods and the eating disorder field and to share a recipe with you for sourdough pancakes. You may be wondering how in the world the two are related? Read on, my friend. :)
New evidence is emerging as to the cause of eating disorders. Many researchers have documented the link between societal pressure to be thin and the rise of eating disorders as well as a clear genetic predisposition. It is also thought that eating disorders are more prevalent particularly in women of Westernized societies because the pressure to be thin is so pervasive. However, more studies are emerging that show that eating disorders are becoming more common in non-industrialized nations and the gender gap is closing. Perhaps this is due to greater awareness or better diagnostic techniques, but who really knows.
What I find fascinating and have always been curious about is the correlation between large factory farming and the rise in eating disorders. Our culture as a whole has moved away from small family farms to adopt large monoculture productions where people are almost entirely disconnected from their food supply. Granted, so many problems have been on the rise as the global food network has shifted to this model and we know correlation doesn't support causation. Having that said, a part of me just can't shake the idea that if people were exposed to growing, harvesting and preparing food then perhaps it would be easier to have a solid foundation to develop a positive relationship with food.
Take a moment to think about the food culture 50 or even 100 years ago. Ask your parents or grandparents what meals were like in their home growing up. Perhaps they ate together as a family at the dinner table most nights during the week. Maybe they harvested corn at the end of the growing season and the entire family spent time shucking, boiling and processing together. Did you grandmother have a garden or particular seed variety that she loved that grew the most perfect tomatoes? These are all aspects of our past food culture that have mostly been lost. I wonder what the prevalence of eating disorders was in that time? (For more facts if you're curious, you can visit this website.)
When I was growing up, I believe I was exposed to a greater food culture than the average person my age, which may be why I am a dietitian. My mother was, and still is, a great cook. I enjoyed food when I was a kid simply because family dishes were delicious. My parents had curious taste buds and my best friend was Malaysian therefore I was exposed to different kinds of foods that I loved. In my family now, I do my best to pass on these traits to my kids as we build our own food culture. Which brings me to sourdough.
When I met my husband, one of the first things I remember was my mother-in-law talking about her sour dough starter. If I was going to 'stick around' then she was going to give me a jar. Admittedly, I didn't do a very good job of keeping it around the first few years my husband and I were married (sorry!). But now, I get it. This starter was used to make sour dough pancakes every Sunday in her family and has survived for a long, long time. Now I carry on this tradition in our family and I use it to make pancakes and bread.
Truthfully, I have been meaning to write this post all week and I have finally been able to complete and publish it today. With such a heavy topic and so much to say, I found it hard to focus my thoughts. *deep breath* Here it goes...
Being a dietitian in a world of eating disorders is tough. Most clients dread meeting with a dietitian for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, the dietitian is responsible for tracking the clients weight (yippee!) and encouraging the client to venture outside their comfort zone in regards to trigger foods (hooray!). Those exclamations are entirely sarcastic, just to be clear. These treatment strategies directly confront the eating disorder and create intense fear, anxiety and discomfort in the clients that I work with. Having an eating disorder is incredibly paralyzing and destructive. It not only impacts the life of the client, but also their loved ones.
It took me awhile to learn that I can't take the actions of the eating disorder personally. In residential care, clients are under supervision 24/7, all of their meals are structured and they have intensive therapy throughout the day with multiple different practitioners. The facility that I worked in treated adolescents. Imagine the average teenager going through hormonal changes, trying to find themselves and just figure out life before they enter the world as an adult. Add an eating disorder to that mix. Fun, right? Honestly, there were really challenging moments, but it was also some of the most rewarding work I have ever done, which is why I continue to work in the field now.
Now that I am working with clients in my practice, I find one of the most important tools is support from the community. I knew that after working with adolescents and seeing the destruction first hand, I absolutely had to educate the community about early diagnosis and prevention. Everything becomes more challenging when the acuity of the disease becomes more severe thus early detection is essential.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has a confidential and free screening tool that anyone can use. This is such a great resource to increase awareness and take the first step for yourself or someone you may know. www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/screening-tool
In my next post in regards to Eating Disorder Awareness week, I will discuss more ways that I contribute to prevention as well as eating disorders in relation to cultural foods and a recipe! I expect it will be more uplifting as well. ;)
Until next time, eat well!
Have you ever known someone with an eating disorder?
How did you support them/did you feel confident in your ability to reach out?
What were some eating behaviors that really impacted their life?
Welcome to my little space on the web where I share my thoughts! I am 30 years old and I live north of Spokane with my husband and my two children. My goal for this blog is to share short stories, articles, or videos that peak my interest and hopefully generate thought and conversation among my readers. I am constantly thinking about how I can live a balanced, happy, more eco-conscious life and set an example for my kids.
Given that I am a Dietitian, many of the ways in which I think about things involves the food that we eat, how it is prepared and where it comes from. I also consider myself to be a nutrition nerd and I'm intrigued by research on food or eating behaviors especially as it relates to families and children. My passions and areas of interest include local food networks, cultural foods/dishes, budget friendly meals, farmers markets, amazing restaurants, gardening, cooking and creating in the kitchen, seed saving, and local/sustainably raised meats.
To start, I thought I would share an amazing dish that I recently discovered, Mejadra. This dish delivers incredible texture and flavor, utilizes simple and inexpensive ingredients and is fairly easy to prepare. All of the qualities that I look for in a favorite family meal. This recipe is very adaptable to what you may have on hand and is also vegetarian and vegan. There are numerous recipes online that you can try. Some very simple and others more complicated. I love the video below that goes into the specifics of cooking the onions and preparing the dish. If you think it looks good, put it on your meal plan and give it a try! You won't be sorry.
For comments: What do you think about the flavors in the dish? How do you think your family would like it? What are some interesting ingredients or herbs/spices you might add to bring out your own personality in the dish? (I was thinking some tangy, cold Raita on the side would complete the meal nicely).
Until next time, eat well!