Katie Davis, a registered dietician and nutritionist, is looking forward to providing the clients at The Awakening Center with the best well-rounded treatment. She believes that the combination of a therapist and a dietitian working together is ideal because the client will be receiving complete care all in one place when both their emotional and physical struggles are being addressed.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the staff and the clientele,” she says, “But mostly, I just want to be able to better adjust the clients’ relationship with food.”
Having received her undergraduate and graduate studies from Michigan State University, Katie took some time to work with collegiate athletes, where she began to notice there was an abundance of incorrect information circulating about nutrition. In working with her clients she found that it was not about telling them what to eat, but more about figuring out their relationship with food and what was keeping them from having the relationship they wanted.
She says, “I have a really strong passion for helping clients come to the point where they can eat normally. This means that they can eat what they want when they want to, but also feel like they can stop at any point and still really enjoy the food. I don’t think enough dietitians address that.”
Katie does not encourage diet plans because she does not believe they are effective long-term or realistic for a client that needs to address a deeper emotional struggle.
“Instead of doing diet plans and menus I like to get my clients back to appetite awareness. I want them to recognize when they are full and hungry and really pay attention to how it makes their body feel when they eat one food versus another,” she says, “Giving somebody a diet might be effective for a few weeks but at some point everybody gets sick of being told what to eat. In the end they typically gain the weight back because the problem is not the food, it is something deeper.”
Katie believes people have become very good at ignoring body signals so her efforts aim to get to the client to listen to his or her body in order to eat a well rounded diet. It is about being a “mindful” eater, and helping her clients pay attention to how their bodies really feel while eating a meal. This process encourages people to break down their barriers and figure out what their true struggles are.
“The thing I like the most and the thing I like the least about this field is the same," she says, "Nutrition is a very tangible topic; everybody thinks they know something about nutrition. But unfortunately there is a lot erroneous information out which is causing confusion and harm. Nutrition is a part of everybody’s life, and everybody deserves to have a truthful and comfortable relationship with food. That's where I come in.”