Intuitive Eating with Essence Nutrition + Monica Auslander Moreno

Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN is the founder of Essence Nutrition, a group of registered dietitians in Midtown. Her practice serves private clients [both children and adults], corporate clients, and consults for various restaurants, corporations, brands and schools. She provides nutrition services to the Miami Marlins, Del Monte Fresh, and Ocean Reef Resort and Club. Before opening her practice, she was a clinical dietitian at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Monica joined us in May for a Wellness Wednesday to discuss intuitive eating.

If you missed this talk, we learned how to choose foods with both passion and precision to respect your body’s nutritional AND emotional needs to foster sustainable nutrition change with this non-diet approach. Discussing how to banish the ‘food crazy’ that chirps in your ear every time you sit down to eat, choosing foods thoughtfully, not condescendingly, and to explore what you bring to the table as a human, not a set of ‘calorie needs.

Some of the key points to take away from Monica’s talk are:

  1. Nutrition change of ANY kind requires a mental commitment, an attitude shift, knowledge, and intense planning
  2. Every individual’s nutrient needs are completely unique – hence her practice’s name – ESSENCE nutrition. That’s why diets are ludicrous – they don’t honor the unique nutrient needs we all have.
  3. Nutrition does not equate with weight. Weight is a side effect of nutrition and should never be the main focus of nutrition change (although, this is bamboozling to most people)
  4. We are all born intuitive + mindful eaters; our parents  / teachers / friends / the media mar this. It is rare to find someone who maintains this exquisite phenomenon as an adult.
  5. We should strive to maintain a body-neutral, weight-neutral, food-neutral attitude when speaking about / consuming food or speaking about our bodies; ESPECIALLY in front of children.
  6. If we do not, we have failed our children and cultivate an atrocious relationship with food and body image. The culture of disordered eating and body shame we see in practice has sadly become the norm and can take years of therapy both with us and our psychology team to manage.
  7. The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, as outlined by Evelyn Tribole, were discussed.
  8. Using body trust – i.e. trusting your own body to regulate hunger, was discussed.
  9. We did a mindful eating exercise involving a raisin wherein we truly savored and experienced a food. Mindful Eating (and mindfulness in general) can help foster a positive relationship with food AND healthier food intake.
  10. There is a place for every food in life; the art of balance is something that CAN be learned; we’ve all literally lived the transition at our practice.
  11. Essence Nutrition’s philosophy is unique in that it’s a fusion between principles of IE and Nutrition Science completely crafted for our individual (or corporate / school / facility) clients. 

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