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Taylor Chan, MS, RD, CPT


🙋🏻‍♀️ dietitian & personal trainer who: • doodles, travels, naps • practices IE & HAES • loves food of all kinds - 💌 Print Shop:

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Saw some cute post-it notes on a bathroom mirror the other day. Things along the lines of: - “You’re beautiful” “Hey there gorgeous” “Looking good!!” - While these little notes def gave me the warm & fuzzies, couldn’t help but notice they were mostly appearance-focused (the downfall of having a HAES-lens 🙈) - Here are a few compliments that could supplement (or maybe even replace) appearance-based ones. We are valued & appreciated for more than our looks, and our language should reflect this! - What might you add to this list?! #foodandfearless
“Eat this and live forever!!!” “Do this to cure all of your ailments!!!” “Easy, fast results guaranteed!!!” - These claims are bold, attention-grabbing, & appeal to our desire for that ~one~ answer, so it can be suuuper tempting to want to invest our time & money in them...but unfortunately: - • there is no food that guarantees immortality or a disease-free life. • while foods can have therapeutic effects & beneficial nutrients, they don’t take the place of medicine. • there is no guarantee on how fast/easily changes will happen (or that changes will even occur) bc everyone’s body is different & will react differently. - When in doubt: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! #foodandfearless
FAQ: is a registered dietitian the same thing as a nutritionist? 🤔 - Short answer: No. All RDs are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are RDs. - Long answer: (refer to above) - **Update due to some feedback in the comments: • To clarify, this is post is in regards to credentialing in the US. The terms may be used differently in other countries. • Yes, nutritionists can have education & experience in nutrition. In a perfect world, both “dietitian” and “nutritionist” would be legally-regulated terms worldwide. • Yes, the financial barriers required to become an RD (& tbh, just receive an education in general) are very real & unfortunately, resulting in a terribly sad lack of diversity in the field. This is a real problem in the profession - one that I hope will receive more support as the profession continues to grow. ~~thank you to everyone who has commented & brought these discussion points up. Always learning over here. Keep the conversation going!! 💕 #foodandfearless
The reason I don’t believe in declaring weekend meals “cheat meals” (inspired by @thewellful’s #whyiatewednesday) - The foods we consume on the weekend usually supplement social gatherings and/or fun activities that are reserved for specifically for weekends. - Referring to these foods as a “cheat” is essentially saying that we are morally wrong for doing things we love & spending quality time with others. - And the idea that the weekdays must be spent “making up” for the weekend is essentially saying that we should punish ourselves for living our lives. - In the end, we get cheated out of the potential to fully embrace all that the weekend brings. - Shifting the focus from *what* we eat to *why* we eat gives us freedom to better enjoy the food, festivities, and friends ~ aka what makes weekends so magical ☀️ #foodandfearless
Resting is one of those forms of self care that is so accessible, yet consistently pushed to the bottom of my list. - “I can rest...but not until all the boxes are checked.” - But I’m starting to realize that the things on my list suffer/become far less enjoyable whenever I’m cranky & tired & stressed. - In order to do all of the awesome things that we do, recharging our mind & body needs to happen *first*. - Some things that I’d like to bring to the top of my checklist to help incorporate more rest (not all at once, of course!): • a few deep breaths • permission to skip a workout • going to bed on time • stretching • time to mindlessly watch Youtube vids • index card + sharpie vs a full-blown doodle • saying “no” • long, hot showers • breaks from social media/my phone in general • sitting & doing absolutely nothing - What restful practices might be in your toolbox?! #foodandfearless
Quantitative thinking about food has (unfortunately) become the norm. (How many calories? Does it fit my macros? Do I have enough points left?) - Tbh, bringing a calculator to the table really sucks the enjoyment out of eating. Bc the more we focus on the numbers, the less we notice the taste/texture/flavors/smells/sounds...all of the things that make food, well, food. - Eating is a sensory experience. By actively engaging our senses through a qualitative approach, we not only enjoy food more, but we also gain: - • a different (more fun!) perspective of food, perhaps leading to a greater appreciation for it. • a better understanding of our own food preferences, which primes us to become more intuitive eaters. • some freedom from diet culture rigidity, and ultimately, more autonomy (& satisfaction!!) in our food decisions. - For all things fun & descriptive, highly recommend checking out @heymrroe, aka the grand master of food-related adjectives!! #foodandfearless
Yes, the nutrient density of food is relevant & important, BUT without a positive relationship with food, we’ll never feel fully nourished by it. - Some steps we can take to help strengthen our relationship with food: • approach food with a sense of curiosity. What textures, flavors, smells, sounds, colors, temps do we notice? • bring awareness to the language we use when thinking & talking about food • bring awareness to how food makes us feel, both physically & emotionally • fill our social media feeds with Intuitive Eating/HAES accounts (a few of my faves tagged above!!) • give ourselves endless amounts of empathy & compassion throughout this tough (but rewarding!) process 🤘🏼 #foodandfearless
Some thoughts behind this dood: - 1) While nutrition and fitness certainly play a role in our health, they are just one piece. They are also some of the only factors that we actually have some control over, which is why it's so tempting to micromanage them... ...but in doing so, we can negatively impact other factors (ie, mental health, stress mgmt) - it’s all connected!! - 2) It's common to assess & make recs based on physical health. This is the stuff that is easy to identify, quantify, and compare (ht, wt, BP, lipid panels, etc). But the stuff that is more abstract and tougher to understand, is equally (if not more) important to consider because it helps tell more of the ~whole~ story. - 3) Health is a privilege. To be in good health, all of these things (or the majority of them) have to align in the right way. That being said, the "it's easy for me, so it should be easy for everyone else" narrative usually comes from people who already have most of the boxes checked off - and although this is often the loudest voice, it does not represent the majority. - All of this to say: health is not black & white. It is suuuper complex & complicated, and nuance is often pushed aside bc it’s uncomfortable. - BUT, the more we talk about it, the more comprehensive healthcare becomes AND the more accessible ~health~ becomes for everyone!! 🤞🏼#foodandfearless
Thinness does not guarantee: • a long, healthy, illness-free life • self-confidence & -fulfillment • a positive relationship with food, fitness, ourselves, and our bodies - Thinness is not a magical, cure-all solution. And ironically, reinforcing this narrative actually drives us further away from happiness & health. - Here's to a shift in culture where we begin prioritizing care for the person living within the body, rather than placing so much emphasis on the shape/size of the body itself. #foodandfearless
👆🏼 My go-to response whenever someone wants to share allll about that new diet/miracle thing they’ve been doing. - Telling someone str8 up that diets don’t work is almost always met with a lot of resistance. - Instead, we should use this as an opportunity to: • validate that person’s experience & help them feel heard • gently plant a seed, letting them know that there are other options & routes available • if comfortable, be open to educating if the seed piques their interest. if not, that’s okay too - maybe another time - Ultimately, everyone has a right to make their own decisions & do what they want. We have to respect that. - ...This also means that we do not have to engage in these conversations if we don’t want to! We get to choose where we want to spend our time & energy. And personally, I’d prefer to spend it on something other than diet talk 🙃 #foodandfearless
Sweet & simple bc brain is too mushy to form complete thoughts right now 😜🦄 #foodandfearless
Learning to love our body is so dang HARD. And even when we’re trying our absolute best, there will still always be that ~one~ thing that we’re self-conscious about/wish could be different. - BUT just bc we don’t fully love it doesn’t mean that we can’t treat it (& the person in it) with love. - So this is a gentle reminder that it’ll never feel 100% perfect, but we are so deserving of compassion & kindness no matter what. 💗 #foodandfearless
Really nothing surprising here 🤷🏻‍♀️ - Direct, demanding advice that fits the popular narrative will always win over gentler, non-traditional advice...especially in a society that values instant gratification & black/white thinking. - I am met with a lot of skepticism in my messaging. Which is totally fine - and in fact, 100% encouraged!! Everyone should think with a critical mind and question ALL messages, including mine. It's how we can most effectively reflect, learn, and progress. - For example: • It takes a lot of energy and effort to get to know ourselves & our bodies a little better. • It also takes a lot of energy and effort (and money) to continuously hop from one nutrition trend to another. ...Yet, we are way more likely to participate in the latter without second thought. - At the end of the day, we know our bodies best & get to decide what we want to do with it. But just want to advocate for the importance of thinking critically & asking questions whenever consuming ANY & ALL nutrition information. - Some questions to start off with: • Does it seem too good to be true? • Who's saying it? • How will it fit into my lifestyle? • What might I have to sacrifice in order to successfully implement? • How does this advice align with my values, if at all? • Is this something that can be sustained long term? #foodandfearless
Wow, this weekend was one for the books. Feeling so refreshed & inspired from #windworkshop2019, where I got to connect with some really awesome HAES RDs! 🎉 - My mind is still spinning (in the best of ways) from the tough, but thoughtful discussions on social justice, privilege, ethics, diversity, & inclusivity in the health and wellness space. - Not only was I challenged to reflect on ways to become a better healthcare professional, but was also reminded to continuously learn & seek action to become a better, more open-minded person. - Shared in this doodle are some action items mentioned that really sparked some reflection for myself & I hope that they spark some for you too! - A BIG thank you to @rdrealtalk @alissarumseyrd for hosting an *amazing* event. And for @goodnessgraciousliving and @jennifermcgurkrdn for sharing your wonderful insights! 🙌🏼 - ps. this scribble was made during my bumpy bus ride home - just needed to get these thoughts out on paper! (also forgot to pack headphones on this trip & needed something to pass the time 🙈). pps. backdrop courtesy of retro megabus seats 😜#foodandfearless
Weight/size bias is a challenging topic to talk about; not only because it's a fairly new concept to myself, but also because it is so well hidden by all of the messages we are constantly bombarded with (ie, "big is bad. smaller is better.") - Weight/size is just a *small* piece, among many, many other pieces, that make up who we are. However, this *small* piece has become largely emphasized & has taken priority over alllll of the other pieces. - In other words, when we make assumptions based on someone's weight/size, it makes it harder to see the person as a whole, and this manifests in the way we perceive & treat them (think: reading a book by its cover📚). - It's weird. This is one of those things that I feel strongly about, yet am still actively working to wrap my mind around bc there's A LOT of nuance to unpack here... - ...which is why I'm SUPER excited to be attending the 1st annual Weight Inclusive Nutrition & Dietetics (WIND) Workshop! This weekend will be filled with untangling some thoughts and collaborating with awesome RDs to bring more diversity & inclusivity into healthcare (& the whole rest of the world too🤘🏼). - Yay for always learning! Can't wait to pass some info along to you - so stay tuned! #foodandfearless #windworkshop2019
(this list is by no means exhaustive) - Foods should only be avoided if: 1) we are allergic to them 2) we don’t enjoy them* *but we should still be open to trying them again every once in a while bc preferences can change, providing opportunity for more variety! #foodandfearless
"You look great! Have you lost weight?" "You need some more meat on you." "You look like you could use a burger." "If you just lost some weight, you'd be perfect" "They look like they've put on a few pounds." "You’re a completely new person!” - When we make these comments (even if it's coming from a good place), - • We're making the assumption that recent changes are intentional/desired, and may unknowingly be congratulating/reprimanding someone for something beyond their control (sickness, EDs, medications, life changes, resources, etc). • We send the message that "you could be better if you looked different" or "you used to be better when you looked different," which ultimately boils down to "you're not good enough as you are right now." • We reinforce ridiculous beauty standards and the idea that our bodies are the most interesting thing about us. - Just bc we see something on someone else's body does not warrant the need to point it out to. Everyone, I repeat, EVERYONE, has their insecurities about their bodies. Making comments about someone's body will either strengthen an existing insecurity, or add another one to the list. Uncool either way. - We've all made these comments before (myself included) - it's just something that has become so normalized. However, moving forward, we CAN make the decision to break from the norm and transition to more inclusive language and more interesting conversations. #foodandfearless
Long story short: • Black & white thinking simultaneously oversimplifies nutrition while complicating our relationship with food. • There are no good foods or bad foods. • Food has no moral value. • What we eat does not determine our value or worth. • We are so much more than what we eat. #foodandfearless