I am wanting to start off the new year with a warm welcome to Kaitlyn Thorp-Levitt. The newest member of the Peacefully Nourished team! I (Atheana) am entering into the final weeks of pregnancy with my third baby. So I am leaning on some support from Kaitlyn to help provide continual care and a fresh new perspective for clients. I am very excited to share her experience, love of tackling diet culture and compassionate approach she takes.
So here is a little more about her as a food loving human and a Registered Dietitian.
1. Why did you become an RD?
Initially I became a dietitian because I love food and cooking (like many other dietitians) and I thought I wanted to help people eat “healthier” so they could lead a fulfilling life. The more I have learned about the many factors that impact health (that are often out of our control), the more I have been able to see the nuances in nutrition and health. I have worked in eating disorder care since completing my education which has highlighted the complex factors that impact our feelings toward food. Now my passion is to help people have healthier relationships to food, recognizing the many roles food can play in our lives.
2. What are your go to self-care practices you enjoy?
To me, self-care comes in different forms. There are certain practices I can engage in that I know will help keep my cup full so I am able to support clients as well as be a more kind, balanced human being. These practices are things like getting enough sleep, drinking enough fluids, and *trying* to not be on my phone so much. Then there are the “fun” self-care activities I love to hear about; for me this could be going for a walk-in nature, taking a hot bath, lighting a candle, reading a good book, or cooking a slow meal.
3. What is the approach you like to take when working with clients?
I practice from a weight-inclusive, non-diet approach which means that I believe weight is not synonymous to health, or lack of health, and that restrictive diets are not sustainable (or ethical) means of achieving “health.” I love getting to know clients and trying to understand the many factors that have influenced their relationship to food. I want to get to know what the client values and what their goals are, while identifying potential barriers to improving their relationship to food.
4. What are your most enjoyed foods?
I am a big fan of simple food done really well. Some of my favourites are homemade pasta, sourdough bread with salted butter, old cheddar cheese, and greek roasted potatoes with tzatziki. I also really enjoy good coffee and French pastries.
5. What does food freedom mean to you?
To me, food freedom is the ability to move through life and make food choices unburdened by the need to find yourself worthy through your diet (diet meaning the food choices you habitually make, not a restrictive eating pattern). I believe food freedom is being flexible with food choices and having confidence that you are not going to make or break your health with short term food choices (unless you have a food allergy!). I think it means being able to choose food you enjoy, while making choices that support balance and variety over the long term.
6. What is your favourite food memory?
I have made cinnamon rolls for my family on Christmas morning ever since I learned how to bake. I find the ritual of making the dough, letting it rise, rolling it out, slathering it with butter, cinnamon and sugar then smelling the spicy sweet aroma as they bake to be very comforting. Being able to share this delicious food with those I love fills me with joy. Christmas morning is now synonymous with cinnamon rolls and I love that food can be so tied to some of my favourite memories.
If you are looking to start working with a dietitian taking a non-diet and body-inclusive approach please book a discovery call. We can review your goals and the work we do.
Here is to new beginnings, babies, and a whole lot of healing. Happy New Years everyone!