But after A LOT of education (cue blood, sweat, and tears!) I finally figured out what I was missing all along:
A belief and trust that my own body can guide me in making health decisions.
And if you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Well, here’s another nutritionist telling me if I just ‘listen to my body,’ all my food issues will disappear,” - wait a second and let me explain.
This doesn’t mean I don’t use nutrition science or nerd out all the cool research studies that are being published daily. But it does mean I no longer listen to diet culture telling me what I can eat, when I can eat, and how much I can eat.
Instead, I use a holistic and mindful approach to nutrition that pairs science with intuition.
Unhealthy Relationship with Food
Afraid of Sugar, Processed Foods, and Binged
I was in college in NC to become a teacher. During this time, I developed intense anxiety and digestive issues. I became obsessed with what I was eating as a means of controlling (or attempting to control) my symptoms.
I became afraid of sugar, processed foods… basically all “fun” foods, thinking they would make me sick and gain weight. I made the rules work for me until they didn’t anymore - I restricted foods I deemed “bad” like gluten and fatty foods but binged red wine and dark chocolate in bed.
being afraid to eat sugar
Let’s look back on my story and how I went from
eating intuitively and everything in balance
During my senior year of college, I took a nutrition class out of curiosity, thinking I could learn more about how to heal myself with food. Little did I know this interest would temporarily backfire and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food for many years.
I lived in New York, completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my career (I knew being a teacher wasn’t for me at this point)! My digestive issues and anxiety were still at a high. I continued to restrict “bad” foods while drinking heavily with friends.
I did a lot of nutrition research while in an office job and even started my own blog (now deleted because it promoted disordered eating behaviors). I was deep in toxic Wellness Culture at this point, promoting restricted ways of eating disguised as “healthy eating.” I felt completely obsessed with food.
I decided to go back to school for nutrition to make it my career and began my Master’s in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Luckily, it was during this time that I began to realize how restricted my diet and views of nutrition had become.
Through therapy and my own education, I began to heal this part of myself. I worked hard to redefine what “healthy” meant to me and learned about intuitive eating, and while doing this, my anxiety and digestion also improved drastically.
Pursued Master’s Degree and Began Eating Intuitively
Got Trapped in Toxic Diet Culture
Became a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist
I completed an Integrative Health Coaching program at Duke Integrative Medicine to learn how to help my clients achieve REAL, sustainable change.
I graduated with my Master’s and began to take nutrition clients while I completed my licensure requirements. At this time, I focused mainly on gut health and hormonal health, working with women who struggled with their digestion like I once did.
I realized that like myself years before, many of my clients had negative relationships with food and their bodies. Over time, I began to focus on intuitive eating and anti-diet work with clients.
Owner of Joyfully Fed Nutrition Teaching Intuitive Eating Principles
Fast forward to the present day! I now own Joyfully Fed Nutrition and specialize in intuitive eating, body image support, and helping my clients repair their relationships with food and quit dieting forever.
I built my F*ck Your Diet program from the ground up to help women move through the process with the support, education, and community that I wish I had had years ago.
Duke Integrative Health Coaching Program
Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist / Intuitive Eating Coach
I’m a crafter (crochet, weaving, journaling, pottery)
Key lime pie
Board Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) by the American Nutrition Association
Institute of Functional Medicine Advanced Practice Modules: Immune Advanced Practice Module (February 2021), Gastrointestinal Disorders Advanced Practice Module (December 2020)
Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach through The National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching
M.S. Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine; University of Western States, 2021
Integrative Health Coach; Trained at Duke Integrative Medicine
B.A. English; North Carolina State University, 2015
Immune Advanced Practice Module (February 2021), Gastrointestinal Disorders Advanced Practice Module (December 2020)
Institute of Functional Medicine Advanced Practice Modules:
She takes a practical & holistic approach to nutrition and on top of being insightful, is very validating in her ability to listen to the individual's story. This experience was well worth it to know what I can add to my own life to improve its quality, refine how I look at what "healthy" means to me, and validate good habits."
When it was recommended by my primary care doctor, I reached out hesitantly to a few of the nutritionists they recommended. After about two minutes of chatting with Ellen, I knew that she was going to be someone I can trust, talk to, and learn from. Working with Ellen has been a joy and I honestly cannot wait to see how continuing to meet with her changes my life."