Recovering from an eating disorder requires intentional effort, and people often look for guidance on how to prioritize goals that support a positive recovery. One of the main priorities shown in research to enhance recovery is improving the body’s nutritional state. When an individual is engaged in eating disordered behaviors, they become poorly nourished. An inadequate nutritional state perpetuates these behaviors, which make treatment and recovery more difficult. Therapy and medication are also less effective in a malnourished state further highlighting the importance of targeting proper nutrition for a more positive outcome.
Developing skills that support consistent, adequate food intake greatly enhances the recovery process. Researchers have identified food selection skills associated with managing eating disorders at lower levels of care. In other words, developing certain eating skills are affiliated with staying out of intensive levels of eating disorders treatment such as inpatient or residential care. One of those key skills is the ability to use condiments with meals that contain fat, such as salad dressing, butter, or a sauce. Developing more comfort with adequate fat intake in general is also associated with the ability to remain out of higher levels of care. This makes sense when you consider that the energy needs of individuals recovering from eating disorders are often significantly higher than those of family or their peers.
Having the ability to consume more energy-dense foods allows the recoverer to meet nutritional needs while eating smaller quantities at meals and snacks. This can often be more comfortable socially, psychologically, and physically. Using condiments that enhance the energy content of the meal are a helpful way to work on this skill, and guacamole is a great example. By incorporating guacamole in a meal, recoverers can work on managing anxiety related to consuming a more energy-dense food and decrease the volume of food required to meet nutrition needs. Guacamole can be used as a dip, sauce, or sandwich spread. Check out our recipe. Enjoy!
Senior Director of Nutrition Services, Veritas Collaborative
Cut the avocados in half and remove the seed. Cut the top and bottom off the onion, cut it in half, and peel off the top layers. Add half of the onion to the food processor. Cut the top off the jalapeno then cut it in half the long way. Remove the seeds and add half to the food processor. Add the cilantro and garlic to the food processor and pulse until chopped finely. Add the lime juice, salt, cumin, and pulse one or two times. Add the avocados to the food processor and pulse until chunky. Cut the top off the tomato and squeeze out the seeds. Chop finely and add to the food processor. Pulse one or two times to mix well. Enjoy!
Tip: If not eating immediately, cover the top of guacamole directly with plastic wrap to prevent discoloration. Also, store pits with the guacamole to reduce browning.