Monthly Archives: November 2016

Your Thanksgiving Questions. My Thanksgiving Answers!

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You asked. I have answers. The always fun Thanksgiving Question and Answer blog post.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to take a moment to let you know that I am infusing some humor into this special post because, quite frankly, this is the most difficult holiday for folks with eating disorders and their families. Humor is a special kind balm in every sticky and uncomfortable situation that gives us perspective.

Here we go!

Thanksgiving stands firm as my favorite holiday – cooking/baking, Macy’s parade, family, time off work and of course, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! But, each year poses another struggle to overcome in this journey called recovery. I am 12 years going strong (on December 18th) in recovery to an eating disorder. The path has not been smooth travel; but, every hardship created strength within. This year, God presented before me the one struggle I cannot release. . .eating in front of others. I have always been criticized, critiqued and condemned for what’s on my plate. When knee deep in eating disorder behavior, it was condemnation over lack of food and combinations created to fill my cravings with least calories possible. Travelling through recovery, I continue to get criticized and critiqued over foods chosen (now much healthier portions and recipes made from scratch). I hear comments like, “Well, we know you wouldn’t eat that,” “You eat so healthy (in a condemning voice),” “What are you eating? (in a disapproving connotation)” There are other comments made about my lifestyle, which is now very healthy emotionally and physically. It gets old hearing others comment about my looks or eating habits when I know I continue each day to choose what is best for my health. Others do not realize that staying healthy and choosing recovery every day is not easy. Their comments do not help. It makes me fill with anxiety when eating with others and so I often avoid it. I am presented with the challenge to kindly stick up for myself and become a bit more transparent. With God’s help, I will enjoy every part of this Thanksgiving and respond to any comment accordingly.  

Everyone with an eating disorder struggles with these issues as you so eloquently describe them. Sometimes people are genuinely trying to say and do the right thing and it comes out wrong. And sometimes they are just being intrusive. In any case your responsibility starts and ends with being kind while taking care of yourself. You said it, stick up for yourself graciously. What does this look like?

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Don’t be petty.

Kidding! That’s what you say INSIDE. Outside you smile and say, “Yes, it’s just so delicious,” or “I’m truly enjoying this moment.” And then you transition to something else. “Did you see the Bengals game last Sunday?” (I’ll talk about transitions a little later.)

Most importantly, enjoy the parts of this Thanksgiving that have the most meaning for you. It might not be the food.  THAT IS TOTALLY OKAY. If you need someone to give you permission to acknowledge that your favorite part of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with food or eating in front of people- I grant you permission. Sometimes just releasing yourself from that expectation is helpful.

Thank you so much for addressing Thanksgiving for those of us who cannot get happy about it due to our eating disorders and food allergies. Some of my issues concern becoming like amnesia when asked to bring “a dish” to a dinner.   I mentally freak out and can’t think of anything I can make to bring. Then there is the comparison issue going on at the event – who made the best dish and so on. I can’t do that anymore. There is the issue of timing of the meal. My son and daughter in law eat around 7 pm. That is too late for me to eat that much food and I’m starving – not a good thing. Also food allergies – mine are gluten, dairy, turkey, soy. After many mistakes and problem issues I now prepare my gf dressing, sugar free cranberries, roasted chicken and gf pumpkin pie. They can eat the cranberries I bring and I take a regular pumpkin pie for them and whip cream.

Want to mention that one of the best Thanksgivings I ever had was with my former partner we were in Nassau and had the most wonderful, fresh caught that day seafood with a French cream sauce and capers and Caesar Salad. Unforgettable!

So this letter went on a little longer, and I cut it short so that parts that might identify this person were omitted. But let me say this. This is all very common. Food allergies, the comparing of the dishes, the time of the meal-  so many people share these frustrations. Here’s what I think. Or rather, what I’d bring. You say, you had this amazing Thanksgiving in Nassau. I would bring Caesar salad. Because a) it’s something you love. b) who doesn’t love caesar salad? c) it’s easy.

To address the other issues that were in this question (both public and omitted), I say this: Come when you can. Leave when you have to. It is what it is. You can’t control people, places, things. No is a complete sentence.

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Do I approach the subject of food to my daughter or just avoid the topic?

I am assuming that she has an eating disorder. DO NOT APPROACH IT. SAY NOTHING! That being said, here is what you should say: “We’re so glad you are here!” Talk about anything but anything related to food.

How do I protect my child’s privacy and still appropriately answer questions from relatives about a) Why is she not at Thanksgiving (if she chooses not to attend) or b) How is she? or c) Comments about what she is eating or how she is looking.

Make sure you are within kicking distance of the people asking the above questions. A good kick to the shins under the table should solve the problem. Kidding! In all seriousness, you can’t really warn them ahead of time, that actually makes it worse, but you need to practice and master the art of transitions. What are transitions? I’ll give you a few examples.

Well meaning family member (let’s give them the benefit of the doubt):  Where is your daughter? Why isn’t she at Thanksgiving? 

You: She wanted to do something else this year. What are your children doing for thanksgiving? or She wanted to do something else this year. Can you help me get people drinks? Can you go ask Aunt Shirley what she’d like to drink? or She wanted to do something else this year. Boy, Judy sure looks busy in the kitchen, I’m going to ask her what I can do to help. 

Well meaning family member: How is she? (concerned furrowed eyebrows)

You: She’s good. How are you? or She’s good. Did you see this new recipe I’m trying? or She’s good. Did you see I made grandma’s green beans? or She’s good. Did I tell you i just started watching this new television series on Netflix that I love? Do you have Netflix? It’s so much better than cable. 

Well meaning family member: God, she looks so thin. 

You: (Saying nothing.) Did I tell you I’m going full out black friday shopping tomorrow? I’m literally lining up at 6am to buy a television for $5. (or whatever). or (Say nothing and ignore the comment) Hey I’m thinking about going to see Second City’s Holidazed and Confused at Playhouse in the Park for the holidays. I saw them on TV and it looks so funny.  When you directly ignore the comment it sends a very strong message.

In all these examples, you are appropriately answering their questions, while also protecting her privacy. Anyone looking to get into a deep conversation on Thanksgiving about how your daughter is doing needs to examine their own reasons for essentially starting an inappropriate conversation at an inappropriate time.

What is the best way to convey how loved and wanted she is at these family events?

Just say it, lots.

Guys, just remember, stay away from the politics. Stay away from the food talk. Express your sincere gratitude at having loved ones with you. And if you don’t have it, you don’t have to say anything. And make sure you have a good thanksgiving soundtrack, it helps with the lulls at the table.

Just remember:

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Happy Thanksgiving!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

Thanksgiving! Final Call for Questions!

Last Call! It is the last day to send in your questions/concerns related to Thanksgiving.

Every year I receive questions and concerns that so many of us can relate to.  I’d love to hear from you.

Maybe your concerns relate to an eating disorder. Maybe the family dynamics make Thanksgiving a dreaded holiday. Maybe you have a politically divided table (a problem a lot of families are facing this year.)

My goal is provide some tools to manage the holiday. I’ll include my answers in my blog and newsletter on Tuesday November 22nd.

So, please tweet me your questions @drrenae, send me an email at drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com with the subject Turkey Time, or message me on Facebook. All questions and concerns will remain anonymous.

I promise, with a little courage from you asking the questions, and me giving you the tools, this Thanksgiving will be different. Because you’ll be prepared. Let’s face the fear before we sit down at the table.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia,  and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Thanksgiving. You Have Questions. I Have Answers.

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Thanksgiving is a really hard holiday for a lot of people.

For people who are newly recovering from an eating disorder it can be tough. For obese patients, the thought of having to face all that food is enough to make them want to skip the holiday altogether. For binge eaters, who are in an already stressful situation, they just want to hide out in the kitchen eating. For a patient with an eating disorder who is not in treatment, it can be an incredibly uncomfortable situation. For parents of a child with an eating disorder, the thought of having all that food on the table and the person not eating can make them livid. I could go on and on. But I won’t.

Instead, I want to hear from you. What is your concern about Thanksgiving? Do you have a specific question? I’d love to hear from you. I’m compiling questions to answer in a blog post right before Thanksgiving. My goal is provide some tools to manage the holiday. I’ll also include my answers in my newsletter on Tuesday November 22nd.

So, please tweet me your questions @drrenae, send me an email at drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com with the subject Turkey Time, or message me on Facebook. All questions will remain anonymous.

I promise, with a little courage from you asking the questions, and me giving you the tools, this Thanksgiving will be different. Because you’ll be prepared. Let’s face the fear before we sit down at the table.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

Post Election Depression and Anxiety? Here’s What to Do.

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Listless? Sad? Anxious?

Many Americans are feeling depressed and anxious as a result of the election outcome. This has been an incredibly stressful election cycle. Approximately half of the country is walking around in shock.

This is one of those moments, when self care is so important. I’ve talked about it before, and I usually talk about it during the holidays, but for many, this is really a good time to practice self care.

Here’s what to do:

Feel free to cry and be upset. It won’t help to push those feelings away, you need to accept them. This is when it can be very helpful to get together with others who are feeling the same way and spend some time talking about it. This election was very triggering for many people, across a broad range of issues, which brings me to my next point.

Be with other people. Don’t isolate yourself. If you spent all day yesterday in bed under a blanket, it’s time to get up and get dressed and get together with someone. And when I say get together with someone, I mean spend time face to face with someone.

Stay off social media and turn off the tv. The 24 hour news cycle dominates Facebook, twitter and television. It can be very hard to escape the constant barrage of coverage. There is a time to be tuned in, but right now I recomennd tuning out.

Find comfort in your daily routine. This can be difficult but it is worth it. Making your coffee, packing lunches, eating regular meals, all these daily routines and rituals can be very comforting during a time like this.

Distract yourself with something fun and/or something inspiring. Read something inspiring. Watch a movie that inspires you. Go see a play. Inspiration has healing power.

Laughter is important. Laughter releases endorphins and it’s contagious. So if you are in a group, make a commitment to keep it light once you get past the heavy stuff.

Finally, give yourself time. If you are experiencing anxiety and depression as a result of the election, you need to give yourself time. Yes, officials have to come out the day after the election and tell everyone to get along. But that doesn’t mean that you are supposed to be over your feelings. Grief doesn’t have a time table.
However, if you are unable to put any of the above recommendations into action and you find yourself unable to get out of bed or continue to isolate despite your desire to be with others, it’s time to reach out to a professional who can help you.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

 

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

 

Recipe: Meatloaf

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So this past week I posted a photo of my latest greatest quick dinner recipe on Facebook and I received so many requests for the recipe, I decided to post it. It’s super simple, and you are going to love it. I served this meatloaf with mashed carrots with sour cream and some homemade kale chips (unbelievably delicious and crunchy!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb beef (grassfed, organic)

1 egg

1 cup mashed carrot

1 cup diced onion

1 cup bread crumbs made from dried out sourdough garlic toast

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1 tsp real salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp italian herbs

1 tsp bourbon smoked paprika

2-3 tbsp bbq sauce

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil.  Fork together the beef, eggs, carrots, onion, bread crumbs, crushed tomatoes, and herbs.  Make sure everything is mixed well.  Put into baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, then top with bbq sauce and bake for five minutes more.

Remove, slice and enjoy!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

 

 

#TestimonialTuesday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit © 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. http://www.eatingdisorderpro.com/