On this episode of the podcast, we meet Kristen Bunich, a Registered Dietician and owner of “The Intuitive Dietician.”
Intuitive eating was created by two dieticians in the 90s and by now has over 200 research studies on it. The adoption rate increased in the last 10 years. It’s based on 10 principles and fosters a positive relationship with food as we move away from restrictive diets. The principles work on hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and movement and is a more holistic approach looking at what other factors are influencing our bodies. The original researchers were frustrated that diets weren’t sustainable for people. For example, some research followed contestants from “The Biggest Loser” competition show. They found that the contestants lost weight and subsequently muscle mass, then their metabolism slowed down and then they gained more weight.
“We ignore hunger, we ignore fullness, we stay on that schedule, we eat at 12, we eat at 5. If you feel any pangs of hunger, we ignore it. A lot of people have broken hunger meters.”
Kristen’s work before starting her private practice was spending 16 years in a hospital setting working with those in critical care. The work she did there was more problem-oriented. less flexible, and the relationships were short term. She moved into private practice where she enjoys having a much more personal relationship and can introduce those she works with to approaches like intuitive eating. She can still work with specific medical conditions with the intuitive eating approach. She fell in love with this approach and quickly became credentialed.
Sessions with Kristen start off with a discovery call to see if the relationship is a good fit. Appointments can be in her office or virtual, and start off weekly.
“We usually start off with the framework of timing and then more of the nutrients and then we talk more about movement and stresses, and our sleep.”
Kristen will also help with meal planning and prepping and all of her patients have access to meal software that includes recipes and meal prepping ideas.
“Planning ahead with your food is a form of self-care. You are really taking care of yourself and taking a minute for yourself.”
Kristen enjoys working with women in a similar stage of life including those who are raising children, having gastrointestinal issues, have dipped into disordered eating, and are perimenopausal/menopausal.
“If there is anything I can do in nutrition counseling that changes how people feel about their bodies and about themselves. If there is anything I can do when I post things on my social that ripples out and improves how people feel or if there is anything I can do that helps my clients live happier lives and that ripples out to the people they live with, that’s the kind of work I want to do.”