Monarch Cove’s Philosophy and Approach to NutritionAn eating disorder is never, most basically, about food. It usually has biological roots, as well as develops out of co-occurring mood disorders or a past experience with trauma. With that said, the way in which an eating disorder manifests typically does involve food choices and eating rituals, and as such, it is imperative for Castlewood at Monarch Cove to address food-related issues with our clients. That is why we have taken a rigorous approach to developing a comprehensive nutritional philosophy, something that can be a guide to our practitioners and clients alike. Our aim is to use this nutritional philosophy to help clients develop healthy associations with food and with the act of eating, even as we seek to address and treat the underlying conditions of eating disorders.
About Our Nutritional PhilosophyCastlewood at Monarch Cove takes a nutritional approach that is founded on evidence-based treatment and cutting-edge clinical practice. Licensed dietitians are integral members of our clinical team, at the front lines of client care. Dietitians provide our clients with education, resources, and support at every step of the recovery process. They tailor their approach to each client’s need; rather than having a one-size-fits-all meal plan, we work to develop individualized nutritional plans that address a client’s specific issues and concerns.
All Food FitsOur nutritional approach is defined, first and foremost, by balance. We do not emphasize certain foods or exclude others; instead, our dietitians seek to lead clients toward a “normalized” approach to eating—replacing fearful or anxious eating with true confidence, removing food-related judgment and shame. “All foods fit” is something we tell our clients—so while the process may begin with a limited palette of foods, we ultimately move to incorporate more foods into a client’s diet as time passes. We strive to help clients develop eating patterns that combine nourishment and pleasure, and encompass a wide variety of foods and flavors. Each client receives a set of individual meal guidelines, which the client helps to create in collaboration with the dietitian. The meal plan is essentially developed to meet that client’s specific metabolic requirements, and as such may not include the same kinds of foods or the same quantities as the next client’s meal plan; the recovery process is different from one individual to the next, something we are sensitive to here at Monarch Cove.
Leading Clients To Balanced NutritionDuring the recovery process, our clinicians will work to challenge our clients—providing them with new exposures that gradually break down their unhealthy attitudes toward food while providing them with a better sense of balance. These exposures might come in different forms for different clients. Some of them might include the following:
- Eating with peers here at Monarch Cove
- Eating independently
- Going out to a restaurant with a group
- Going to the grocery store
- Cooking sessions
- Binge exposures
- Meal planning
- Practice with eating full plates
- Practice leaving food behind
Nutritional GoalsThrough our emphasis on balance and our incorporation of individualized exposures, we seek to help clients embrace normal eating—plain and simple. At Castlewood, normal eating is characterized by the following:
- Eating without fear
- Eating with flexibility
- Eating without gratuitous food “rules”
- Eating without judgment or shame
- Balancing nourishment with real pleasure