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Veritas Blog

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Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@veritascollaborative.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

February 9, 2023

Quiz: How Do I Know If I Have an Eating Disorder?

Eating makes you anxious. So anxious, in fact, that you try to avoid “bad” and “unhealthy” foods—at least until you find yourself bingeing on them later. 

Your new exercise routine has you hooked; you’ve even canceled some plans to fit it in. 

You think about your body constantly, with frequent mirror checks and harsh self-scrutiny becoming a daily routine. 

It’s common to question whether certain attitudes and behaviors related to food may point to an eating disorder. However, it can be hard to determine what is considered “normal” in our culture that celebrates restrictive eating and thinness. 

You may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. We’re here to help. Read on to learn about key eating disorder diagnoses, the signs and symptoms to watch for, and some self-assessment questions. By gaining knowledge about eating disorders, you’ll have a better understanding of what you or a loved one may be experiencing. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone. We’re here to support you from the very start. 

February 6, 2023

Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown

Episode description:

Stacey Brown, RN, joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on the role of nursing in eating disorder care. She begins by acknowledging the lack of eating disorder education and training in nursing programs; it wasn’t until she began interacting with patients that she fully understood the impact of these illnesses on every body system. Stacey’s experiences have set her on a mission to speak to nurses at all levels about best practices when caring for patients with eating disorders, including developing strong emotional intelligence. She highlights the importance of every care team member and multidisciplinary collaboration to meet a patient’s full range of needs. The episode concludes with Stacey’s words of wisdom for the next generation of eating disorder nurses.

February 2, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Laura Brown

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Laura Brown, MBA, MS, RDN, LD, and I am currently the Manager of Nutrition Services at Veritas Collaborative’s Atlanta, Georgia eating disorder treatment center. I have been with Veritas for almost two years. 

Describe the career path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.

My path is far from linear, but I am definitely at home with Veritas. I received my Bachelor of Science in Recording Arts: Music Business and my MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. I worked at Fortune 500 companies in marketing/management, but I longed to find a career where I really felt like I could help people. Through my own nutrition/eating disorder journey, I decided to return to school to become a Registered Dietitian and give back to the eating disorder community. I received my Master of Science in Nutrition Health Sciences from Georgia State University, which has been the best decision I have ever made. Before coming to Veritas as a Registered Dietitian, I worked for another treatment facility as a diet tech.  

January 9, 2023

5 Podcast Episodes to Support Your 2023 Intentions

We are currently bombarded with messages suggesting that we should change our bodies in this new year. It’s a particularly noisy time for diet culture, but there are plenty of 2023 intentions that have absolutely nothing to do with a new diet fad or trendy exercise routine. These recovery-aligned goals can protect both your physical and mental well-being, as well as improve your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.

You may want to start meditating, treat yourself with more compassion, or find movement practices that bring you joy. On our podcast Peace Meal, host Dr. Jillian Lampert speaks with experts in the eating disorder field and people in recovery on a range of topics, including practical tips to support these types of recovery-related goals. Read on for five episodes that can help you achieve the intentions you may be pursuing in 2023.

January 5, 2023

Practicing Self-Care in the New Year

Happy New Year! As we settle into the month of January, reflection on the year before and dreams of the year ahead are the focus for many. Discussion of “be better” and “do more” goals, resolutions, tasks, and dreams are floating around in the minds of many. 

What if we instead focused on goals that center on ways we can better engage in a self-care practice? What if we tried taking care of ourselves, exactly as we are, and made sure that we managed the things that are present in our everyday lives, today, in the moment?

In all the self-care conversations, research, and TED Talks, we find ideas for successful self-care, as well as what self-care is and is not. Surveys seem to indicate that most people agree that self-care is both important and valuable. However, at the same time, many people report that they don’t have time for it or that they struggle to put themselves before the many other tasks at hand.

January 5, 2023

Virtual Eating Disorder Treatment at Veritas Collaborative

Veritas Collaborative’s virtual intensive treatment brings our individualized, evidence-based eating disorder services directly to you. We offer the same quality care online as we do in person, ensuring you have the structure and support you need for lasting recovery.

What is Virtual Care?

In our virtual treatment programs, you will connect with your professional multidisciplinary care team and peers in a secure online environment. You will typically spend a minimum of 30 hours per week in virtual PHP and a minimum of 12 hours in virtual IOP, as in traditional in-person programming. Your program schedule will include components such as individual, group, and family therapy, therapeutic meal support, nutritional counseling, psychiatry sessions, and medical appointments, as appropriate. (A sample schedule is available here.) 

January 3, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Rachel Burke

Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Rachel Burke, and I am the Therapeutic Assistant (TA) Manager at our Adult Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. I originally started with our amazing Child and Adolescent Hospital in Durham as a Therapeutic Assistant in 2016. Since then, I have held a variety of roles, such as a Therapeutic Assistant Supervisor and Site Trainer for the Adult Hospital before landing in the TA Manager position. I am also a Crisis Prevention and Intervention Instructor specializing in verbal de-escalation.  

December 28, 2022

Rethinking Resolutions: Setting Goals That Support Eating Disorder Recovery

It happens every January, almost without fail: the hyper-focus on losing weight and getting in shape can make the early months of the year difficult for anyone to navigate. This social pressure to engage in weight-related New Year’s resolutions can make the start of the year a particularly complicated time for those in eating disorder recovery and their loved ones. Taylor Rae Homesley, LPC, CPCS, CEDS-S, Clinical Director at our Child, Adolescent & Adult Hospital in Atlanta, encourages us to proactively rethink the way we approach long-term goal setting, reject diet culture, and reclaim the start of the year as a time for renewal and recovery.

December 5, 2022

Episode 79: Pregnancy and Postpartum Eating Disorders with Katie Gantt

Episode description:

Katie Gantt, MHS, RD, LDN, RYT, is a registered dietitian who has been working in the field of eating disorders and disordered eating for over five years. Katie is passionate about helping moms have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period by finding health without dieting and challenging disordered eating patterns. She is the owner of Kathryn Gantt Nutrition where she uses her clinical expertise and yoga training to help moms reconnect with their bodies and their relationship to food in a positive, trauma-informed style. Katie focuses on mindful and intuitive eating, Health At Every Size (HAES), and non-diet approaches when counseling clients and helping parents raise intuitive eaters.

December 1, 2022

Staff Spotlight, Venice Bibbs

Tell us about yourself!

Hello, my name is Venice Bibbs, and I am a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the Adult Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. I started at Veritas Collaborative in August 2020.

November 29, 2022

The Link between Diabetes and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are incredibly complex, in part because they often occur with other physical and mental conditions. One such condition is diabetes, a chronic disease that requires medical intervention and lifelong maintenance. This maintenance often includes close attention to diet and exercise, which are areas of particular concern for those susceptible to developing, experiencing, or recovering from eating disorders. 

Read on to learn about how diabetes intersects with eating disorders and the potential health consequences for those experiencing both conditions. 

November 23, 2022

Navigating the Thanksgiving Table: A Letter for Those in Eating Disorder Recovery

A note upfront: you will get through Thanksgiving this year.

You will get through this day supercharged with expectations of gratitude, joy, and togetherness. This day when seemingly everyone is eager to take to the kitchen and prepare their assigned dish, presenting it to a table of revelers ready to express their thankfulness over an abundant feast.

You will get through this day that marks the first in a series of seasonal holiday gatherings in which family dynamics and food compete for the center stage–for better or for worse.

Thanksgiving can push the limits of eating disorder recovery in so many ways. It is fraught with the potential for triggers, whether you are well-established in your healing journey or are in the throes of an eating disorder.

Know the lessons from this day will be abundant. Moments that challenge your recovery may be abundant. Ultimately, your growth will be the most abundant. You can and will get through this.

November 9, 2022

How to Help Children Build a Healthy Relationship with Food

Diet culture is so ingrained in our society that we sometimes can’t even see it. It’s in media messages that tell us that being thin will make us attractive, popular, and successful. It’s on grocery store labels that say foods are “guilt-free” or “sinful.” It’s in conversations about the latest diet or the food someone is “being so bad” for eating. 

In a culture that regards some bodies and foods as good––and others “bad”––it’s no surprise that children might start to develop unhealthy relationships with both. Unfortunately, a negative relationship with food and one’s body can play a part in the development of an eating disorder. Although a child’s environment alone cannot cause a biopsychosocial illness like an eating disorder, it is the factor we can work together to change. Parents have the opportunity to create a healthy environment around food and body image in their home, which can have an incredibly positive impact on their child’s development. 

In this blog, we will delve into how parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with food and body image.

October 31, 2022

Episode 78: Occupational Therapy and Eating Disorders with Maddie Duzyk

Episode description:

We begin this episode of Peace Meal with guest Maddie Duzyk describing her lived experience with anorexia as it compares to her life in recovery. Reflecting on the everyday impact of her eating disorder, she explains how the illness made it difficult to distinguish between her own values and those of her disorder. Fortunately, treatment and recovery have allowed her to find herself again and reconnect with her interests and roles separate from the illness she once mistook for herself. 

As an occupational therapist, Maddie now helps patients on their own recovery journey, including during the often difficult transition from higher levels of care to outpatient life. She shares with us her recent doctoral capstone, which explored the perceptions of social eating behaviors among adolescents with eating disorders, and provides suggestions for those supporting a person with an eating disorder during mealtimes. She ends the podcast by expressing her hope that one day patients and providers alike will recognize and employ occupational therapy as an additional resource in eating disorder recovery. 

October 27, 2022

Celebrating Halloween in Eating Disorder Recovery

Halloween can be scary in more ways than one for people with eating disorders. Being surrounded by candy, wearing a costume, and attending social events are some of the potential triggers this holiday can bring. Despite these challenges, it is possible to celebrate in a recovery-friendly way. 

Read on for helpful tips on how to enjoy Halloween while also prioritizing your eating disorder recovery.

October 26, 2022

Staff Spotlight, Jonathan Levy

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Jonathan Levy, Medical Director and Director of Psychiatric Services for Veritas Collaborative’s Atlanta Hospital for Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. I am a physician specializing in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I am also a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a CEDS-S (Certified Eating Disorder Specialist – Supervisor). In addition, I serve as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry for Emory University School of Medicine and for Morehouse School of Medicine in its Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Prior to joining Veritas Collaborative, I worked in various clinical settings, including at a PHP eating disorder program, the Atlanta VA Medical Center, Georgia Regional State Hospital, and in private practice.

October 3, 2022

Episode 77: A Collaborative Approach to Treatment with Beth Harrell

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, guest Beth Harrell, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD-S, discusses her experience in the eating disorder field, and reflects on how much eating disorder education and training has evolved since she got her start in the early 1990s. The bedrock of Beth’s career success is collaboration. She emphasizes the value of learning from clients’ lived experiences, as well as from the wisdom and vulnerability of fellow professionals. As a certified eating disorder supervisor, Beth debunks the notion that supervision is just case consultation. She guides from a place of mentorship and trauma-informed nutrition care, largely inspired by the perspective-broadening experiences she had with her own supervisors.

Beth is a collaborative and weight-inclusive nutrition professional who has worked with eating disorders, disordered eating, and chronic dieting for the past 30 years. Her work spans all levels of care, treating a full spectrum of diagnoses and ages. Beth’s passions are anything that includes learning and teaching. She has an educational podcast for eating disorder professionals (The SeasonED RD) and carries this knowledge into professional supervision, as well as a graduate elective course for dietitians each fall semester.

September 29, 2022

Eating Disorders, Suicidal Ideation, and Nonsuicidal Self-Injurious Behavior

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that commonly co-occur with other mental disorders. Research has shown that 55–97% of people diagnosed with these illnesses are also diagnosed with at least one more psychiatric disorder. In addition, individuals with eating disorders are at a higher risk of dying by suicide in comparison to the general population (NEDC). This information highlights the importance of understanding the signs of suicidal thoughts and methods of preventing suicide in those experiencing eating disorders.

Alyssa Kalata, PhD, Clinical Training Manager for Veritas Collaborative and The Emily Program, joins us in this blog to discuss five actions you can take to reduce suicide risk when working with eating disorder patients.

September 29, 2022

Staff Spotlight, Noi Ceballos

Tell us about yourself!

Hello, my name is Noi Ceballos and I am the Talent Acquisition Manager with Accanto Health, the parent company of Veritas Collaborative and The Emily Program. I started out on the Veritas Collaborative brand in August of 2019 when we only had a team of two recruiters! I joined Accanto after the merger and our team has grown to eight recruiters supporting Accanto Health, The Emily Program, and Veritas Collaborative’s eating disorder treatment centers.

Describe the career path that led you to Accanto Health.

My entry into the eating disorder field was relatively unplanned. Prior to joining Veritas, I worked in pediatrics, leading a recruitment team that staffed 35 facilities across the state of Florida. I had been there for 12 years and felt the need for change. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew that I needed a new challenge. I came across an Indeed posting for Veritas, became intrigued by the company’s name, and decided to visit the website. From there it was “love at first sight.” I felt admiration and appreciation for the work and just knew I needed to be part of it. 

September 29, 2022

Food Insecurity and Eating Disorders

Life is unpredictable. Unexpected expenses like layoffs, medical emergencies, or home repairs can force families to choose between buying food or paying their bills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 10.2% of American households experienced food insecurity in 2021. The percentage translates to more than 34 million people, including 9 million children. These millions of Americans are at risk of experiencing the serious physical and psychological consequences of food insecurity, including eating disorders

In this blog, we will examine the topic of food insecurity and its connection to eating disorders, as well as what we can do to help those affected. 

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity describes a lack of consistent access to enough food for every member of a household. The issue disproportionally affects marginalized communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income households. In addition, low-income neighborhoods tend to have fewer supermarkets and grocery stores, which can leave them with lower-quality food options.