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Episode 89: Finding Direction in Recovery with Taylor Humphrey

Episode description:

Taylor Humphrey joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to recount her eating disorder experience and unpack the lessons she learned in recovery. Taylor’s story begins over a decade ago, when her concerns about maintaining her high level of athleticism drove her to form an obsession with “perfect” eating. Connecting with effective, age-appropriate treatment proved a struggle for Taylor and her family. The program she attended in early adolescence lacked proper eating disorder education, which led Taylor to feel disconnected, unsupported, and reluctant in her recovery.

Taylor turned a corner between the ages of 16 and 18 upon connecting with new clinicians who expanded her perspective and made her feel seen and accepted. Today, confidently equipped with her toolbox of recovery skills, Taylor leverages the “gifts” of her struggles to provide direction to young people and their parents going through the treatment journey.

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Episode 88: Seeking Help for a Child’s Eating Disorder with Aronson Kagiliery

Episode description:

Aronson Kagiliery joins Peace Meal to share her family’s journey of finding the right eating disorder treatment for her teenage daughter with anorexia. After exploring local options, she shares, her family ultimately traveled to pursue care at Veritas Collaborative. Most helpful to Aronson’s experience at Veritas were parent programming and weekend sessions, which affirmed that her daughter’s eating disorder was not her fault. She then offers insight on prioritizing treatment above a child’s other commitments, as well as providing support outside of treatment by refusing to let the eating disorder rule.

Reflecting on her daughter’s treatment and recovery, Aronson reflects on the importance of self-care and attending to her own needs—something she wishes she had done more. She describes what gradual healing looked like for her daughter, including the signs she knew her daughter was getting better. In a particularly touching moment, Aronson recalls her daughter sharing that she has days where she doesn’t think once about her eating disorder, a reality they never imagined was possible. To close, Aronson graciously shares words of wisdom for other parents supporting a child with one of these illnesses.

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Episode 87: The Importance of Individualizing Care with Madison Hanson

**Content warning: This episode includes discussions around suicidal thinking and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Please use your discretion when listening and speak with your support system as needed. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are resources that can help. Contact the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by texting or calling 988.

Episode description:

In Episode 85 of Peace Meal, we heard from Holly Thorssen about her experience parenting her daughter Madison through an eating disorder. Today, we pass the microphone to Madison, who tells us her recovery story in her own words. Madison begins by recounting her life with an eating disorder. As is often the case, her illness was all-consuming, depleting her ability to be fully present, clouding her values and belief system, and offering a sense of false happiness. At age 12, Madison experienced a barrage of depressive symptoms, which she connects to the onset of her disordered eating. In the absence of healthy coping skills, Madison’s eating disorder numbed her inner pain and released the emotional pressure of her depression.

Entering treatment at The Emily Program marked a shift in Madison’s recovery resistance. She emphasizes the impact of a whole-person care model and shares several takeaways from treatment that have been helpful to her healing. Reflecting on the adversities of her mental health journey, Madison explains why she’s fired up about enacting policy change that supports compassionate, individualized, evidence-based care so that no one feels hopeless about their mental health. Says Madison, “There’s always hope.”

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Episode 86: Attachment Styles and Eating Disorders with Kathryn Garland and Vanessa Scaringi

Episode description:

Kathryn Garland and Vanessa Scaringi join Peace Meal to discuss the connection between attachment styles and the development and maintenance of eating disorders. They first provide an overview of attachment theory, exploring how this framework can help us better understand the impact of early attachment experiences on our relationships with food and ourselves. Insecure attachment styles, they explain, are associated with eating disorders and can manifest in disordered behaviors and thoughts. Kathryn and Vanessa share how therapists can help patients address attachment-related issues and nurture secure connections with family and friends that support recovery.  

Kathryn and Vanessa also dive into the impact of the pandemic on our ability to connect with others, which in turn has played a role in exacerbating disordered eating behaviors. In addition, they explain how a relational approach to eating disorder care can complement other treatment modalities, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). They end the episode by stressing the importance of connection to good mental health and encouraging those in recovery to take the time they need to nurture their relationships, both with others and themselves.

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Episode 85: Supporting a Child Through an Eating Disorder with Holly Thorssen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Holly Thorssen recounts her experience of mothering her daughter Madison through an eating disorder. Holly walks us through the course of Madison’s illness, noting the warning signs of Madison’s struggles with food and body, and sharing the family’s efforts to find a suitable treatment provider. Holly acknowledges the importance of building a supportive, judgment-free space when discussing eating concerns with a child – a space where your child can feel safe enough to disclose their emotions and struggles without fear or shame. In a poignant moment of reflection, Holly speaks on how she learned to differentiate Madison’s voice from the voice of the eating disorder, leading to a better understanding of Madison’s conflicting desire to get better while also resisting change. Connecting with The Emily Program’s family-oriented specialty care made all the difference for Holly and Madison, offering much-needed comfort and healing for both mother and daughter.

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Episode 84: Treating Binge Eating Disorder with Stacy Schilter Pisano

Episode description:

Stacy Schilter Pisano joins Peace Meal to shed light on the signs, symptoms, and complexities of binge eating disorder (BED), dispelling the myth that the condition is a mere matter of willpower. She describes the unique challenges facing those with BED, including misunderstandings about the illness, cultural stigma and shame related to overeating, marginalization in healthcare settings, and societal weight bias, particularly for those with BED who live in larger bodies. In light of these challenges, Stacy emphasizes the vital importance of treatment tailored to those affected by binge eating.

Stacy then provides an overview of The Emily Program’s virtual CARE IOP, a standalone treatment program for those BED and OSFED with a pattern of binge eating. Informed by the expertise of eating disorder professionals and the lived experiences of previous patients struggling with binge eating, CARE IOP offers a supportive environment where individuals can connect with others who truly understand their unique intersectional experiences. Unlike mixed-diagnosis treatment settings that may leave those with BED feeling isolated, CARE IOP provides tailored, comprehensive care that promotes safety and healing. 

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Episode 83: Eating Disorders and Menopause with Val Schonberg

Episode description:

Val Schonberg joins Peace Meal to discuss eating disorders during menopause, an often-overlooked period of vulnerability for midlife individuals. She begins by explaining why this life stage carries an increased risk for disordered eating and eating disorders. Our cultural biases toward aging and weight are partially to blame, she says, which can lead providers to misdiagnose or completely miss disordered eating behaviors. To better serve midlife individuals during this vulnerable period, Val urges healthcare providers to re-evaluate their own beliefs about aging, weight, and menopause. She emphasizes that menopause is a natural phase of life and not a “disease” that must be “fixed,” as many problematic cultural messages suggest. Val ends the podcast by expressing her belief that everyone can recover – no matter their age – and that aging is a precious gift. 

Val Schonberg is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Minnesota. She is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Certified Menopause Practitioner with the North American Menopause Society, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Val owns a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specializes in midlife health and menopause, recreational and professional sports nutrition, all types of eating disorders, and helping individuals break free from dieting and disordered eating. 


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Episode 82: No Longer Settling for “Fine” with Rebecca Amis

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Rebecca Amis shares her story of recovery from a decades-long eating disorder. Rebecca first traces her path through illness and healing, disclosing the risk factors that may have contributed to her anorexia, as well as the intense life transitions and medical issues that prolonged the disorder and complicated her recovery. 

Loneliness is a common thread through Rebecca’s years of struggles. She shares that she felt invisible and sorely misunderstood by those around her, resulting in the urge to hole up with nothing but the false sense of comfort that her disorder provided. The prospect of following a meal plan and losing the rules and rituals of her eating disorder terrified Rebecca and initially kept her from pursuing treatment. With the encouragement of her support system, she courageously surrendered to help and experienced a profound “rebirth” of self on the other side of suffering.

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Episode 81: Finding Your Wise Mind with Sarah Rzemieniak

Episode description:

This month’s Peace Meal guest is Sarah Rzemieniak, who brings multiple perspectives to a rich discussion about eating disorders, healing, and recovery coaching. Drawing from her personal experience and professional background in dietetics and coaching, Sarah begins by sharing some of the temperamental and social factors related to the development of her eating disorder. Though she sought help soon after her anorexia was recognized at age 13, Sarah acknowledges that her recovery was not without challenges and setbacks. She shares how meditation played an essential role during a particularly difficult relapse, helping her to get out of her head and ground herself in her body. 

Now an eating disorder recovery coach, Sarah uses her personal experience, education, and training to support clients in implementing the skills and tools learned in treatment into the “here and now” of their lives. Sarah ends the podcast by sharing her wishes for her young son’s relationship with himself and offering advice for people who feel like recovery is out of reach.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Episode 76: Accepting Recovery with Avery Mock

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, guest Avery Mock discusses how a goal to “get healthy” spiraled into an obsession with food and exercise that led to anorexia. He describes how he was a different person at the height of his eating disorder, burning bridges with the closest people around him. Thankfully, Avery was able to get into treatment to start his journey to recovery. Structure and support have been key to protecting his mental and physical health, he says. In recovery he has learned that food doesn’t need to take up so much space in his brain and that clothing size does not define his worth. Now he doesn’t need—or want—to change his body to be happy. Avery ends the episode by giving advice to those struggling with eating disorders, encouraging them to accept recovery. 

Avery is an anorexia survivor and mental health advocate dedicated to helping people recognize the warning signs of eating disorders and help others in recovery.

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Episode 75: Eating Disorders in Running with Rachael Steil

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Rachael Steil shares her past struggles with anorexia and binge eating and her current passion for helping athletes with eating disorders. Rachael loved running from a young age, but the drive she felt to improve in her sport contributed to restrictive eating behaviors. She says she became obsessed with food and started pulling away from her friends and hobbies. Once Rachael started her recovery journey, she received incredible support from her college running coach. Reflecting on this experience, Rachael explains the essential role that coaches can have on their athletes’ lives and the importance of educating coaches on eating disorder warning signs. Rachael ends the podcast with the inspiration for creating her memoir Running in Silence and her nonprofit of the same name and previews the topic of her next book. 

Rachael Steil is an eating disorder recovery advocate and the author of Running in Silence, which details her story as an All-American athlete struggling with anorexia and binge eating. She is also the founder of the Running in Silence nonprofit to break misconceptions and raise awareness for eating disorders in sports, serves on the board of the Michigan Eating Disorder Alliance, and is currently a mentor for the USTFCCCA Female Coaches Mentorship Program. 

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Episode 74: Finding Yourself in Recovery with Eric Pothen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Eric Pothen discusses how well-meaning comments about his body played a part in the development of his eating disorder. Following the body commentary he received after college, he says he started restricting, bingeing, and purging via excessive exercise. Eventually exhausted by the darkness he was living in and the feeling of losing himself, he set out on a path to recovery. He explains how preparing for a marathon helped his recovery because he had to focus on nourishing his body to prepare for the race. He also tells us how affirmations played an integral role in his recovery. Eric ends the podcast by explaining that recovery not only gives you freedom from your eating disorder, but also helps you rediscover and love yourself.  

A middle school choir teacher in Albertville, MN, Eric struggled with an eating disorder for several years. Today, he uses his previous struggles of having an eating disorder as his strength to raise awareness and serve as an advocate for those who struggle with these illnesses, disordered eating, or body image. Eric is the owner and founder of the apparel company Embrace Wear, whose mission is to help others learn how to embrace themselves and discover beauty and self-worth within. He recently launched a podcast of his own, Embracing You, which is now available on Apple Podcasts.  

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Episode 73: Diabetes and Eating Disorders with Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian discuss their study on physicians’ knowledge about disordered eating in patients with diabetes. Through their study, they found that many physicians feel that they do not have the resources to help patients who show signs of disordered eating. They also describe warning signs of disordered eating to look for in patients with diabetes, as well as some serious health complications that may occur in patients with an eating disorder and diabetes. They end the conversation by emphasizing the importance of spreading awareness about the elevated eating disorder risk for those with diabetes, as well as highlighting the fact that weight does not determine health.

Dr. Jaime Taylor is the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Beaumont Children’s and is the Medical Director of the Hough Center for Adolescent Health. She is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of adolescents and is passionate about teaching on that subject as an Assistant Professor at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Nayiri Khatchadourian is currently a third-year medical student at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Her passion for advocating for mental health along with nutrition and wellness stemmed from her personal journey and struggles throughout her adolescent years. 

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Episode 72: The Benefits of Meditation with Kateri Anderson Heymans

Episode description:

Kateri Anderson Heymans is a woman from Minnesota who works remotely and lives her dream of traveling the world. After years of struggling with anorexia and binge eating disorder, she has found freedom from the illnesses that once consumed her life. Since Kateri was 17, she has practiced a type of meditation called the Isha Judd System, taught by the Isha Educating for Peace Foundation. She now teaches this method of meditation and supports others on their journey, taking whatever opportunity she can to share with others the tools and insight that transformed her life.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Kateri discusses her history of anorexia and binge eating disorder, including the isolation and misery these eating disorders caused. She tells us about her journey to finding a meditation practice that positively changed her recovery and life. Through meditation, Kateri was able to gain the self-love and compassion that she so desperately needed, as well as overcome anxiety, depression, and grief from the loss of her mother. Kateri encourages everyone to give themselves the love and grace they deserve and ends the episode with a powerful meditation. 

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Episode 71: Figure Skating and Eating Disorders with Nichole Soltis

Episode description: 

Nichole Soltis recently earned her master’s degree from The University of Akron and is now a licensed therapist in the state of Ohio. A long-time figure skater, she will be competing at her second Adult National Championships this month. She has a passion for eating disorders and their impact on athletes, and she hopes to use her platform to spread awareness, support others, and start the conversation about eating disorders and sports. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Nichole discusses how her passion for figure skating played a role in the development and maintenance of her eating disorder, as well as how she was able to get back on the ice after receiving care at an eating disorder treatment center. Delving first into the complicated relationship between aesthetic sports and eating disorders, she shares how restricting her food did not improve her skating performance in the way her eating disorder promised it would. Instead, it negatively affected not just her sport, but also her physical and mental health. Through recovery, Nichole learned that nourishing her body and working on her technique was the best thing for her skating performance. Now as a therapist passionate about supporting athletes, she encourages all coaches to get their athletes professional help if they notice the warning signs of an eating disorder. Nicole ends the conversation by assuring any athletes struggling with an eating disorder that getting help can mean enjoying life, food, and their sport once again. 

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Episode 70: The Healing Power of Embodiment with Heidi Andersen

Episode description: 

Heidi Andersen is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist Supervisor, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Embodiment Specialist. She has worked with people struggling with eating disorders as a therapist in residential, PHP, IOP, and outpatient levels of care. She currently maintains an outpatient group practice of body-centered psychotherapists specializing in weight-inclusive treatment for the intersection of trauma, attachment wounds, and eating disorders through an anti-oppression lens and somatic approach.

In this episode of Peace Meal, we explore the concept of embodiment and how it relates to eating disorders and recovery. Heidi covers the reasons we can become disembodied, as well as different ways we can work toward reconnecting with our body. Heidi also dives into how important it is for healthcare providers who help others with their embodiment to work on their own. She offers yoga as one tool in increasing embodiment, and it is a practice she finds especially valuable to ground herself on bad body image days. Recognizing that embodiment can often feel unsafe for people who are not in white, straight-sized bodies, Heidi hopes for a future where embodiment is more accessible for all.

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