This one thing goes in every school lunch.

Right about when my kids start “sleeping in” until 8, it is time to send them back to school. I already miss the lazy days of summer!

This may surprise you: I too dread packing school lunches. 

Just ask my partner, Kevin, because he hears my complaints every night around 10 pm. I am tired and can’t fathom making another decision as I pack them each night. I could say I pack them with love (it is still there) yet it doesn’t look like that while I am packing them!

I am raising my kids to know no good or bad food yet school has quickly taught them the rules. We are managing somewhat to navigate this disordered eating world with open communication yet I still like to stay one step ahead.

My youngest started pre-k this year with a new-to-us teacher. Since I didn’t know her or her assistants yet, I decided to pack this note in his lunch box:


I appreciate child care providers have so much love in their hearts and only want our kids to be safe and healthy. Unfortunately, our fat phobic world and normalized disordered eating lead us to this common preschool lunch talk:

  • “Eat your growing foods first.”
  • “Make it a happy plate.”
  • “You didn’t eat your lunch so no dessert.”

I want to avoid teaching diets with every cell of my being. 

I know I can’t fully avoid them yet will face them as they come. I hope this lunch box note, from The Feeding Doctor Katja Rowell’s work found here, prevents some of the diet talk directed toward my youngest child. I have used this card before and have found them helpful.

Have you tried to include these cards? What has been the reaction?

So far my wishes have been respected. And, I am poised to intervene when not.

This week’s Love Food Podcast episode features a letter from someone struggling with the urge to binge. I invited Isabel Foxen Duke to help me answer the letter and we discussed how much dieting and fat phobia contribute to binge eating behavior.

Those very common preschool lunch directions come from internalized fat phobia. I hope the notecard fights back.

Have you listened to this week’s episode? It is a great one! Catch up here.

As you transition to fall schedules and events, I hope it is energizing and engaging for you.

Have a great week friend.



p.s. I am SOOOOO stinking excited to share what I have been working on for the last 6 months. I will be finally spilling the beans in the next month and I am about to BURST. Details soon…..

Help me make peace with food while losing weight.

Are you trying to make peace with food, but still trying to lose weight? Do you want to know if there is a way to pursue weight loss AND heal your relationship with food? Are you struggling with what you see as an addiction to food? Listen now to hear my insights on this complicated food peace issue.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • The pursuit of weight loss CANNOT be combined with making peace with food… so now what??
  • Thinking about food addiction leads to issues with food preoccupation. We NEED food to survive and thrive! We shouldn’t pathologize the desire for food.
  • There isn’t ONE diet that, for most people, can help maintain weight loss for more than two years. In fact, most dieters regain all their lost weight, plus more, within five years. Dieting predicts weight gain!!
  • Ancel Keys’ Minnesota Starvation Experiment: strong and fit men were fed half of the amount of nutrition they needed. Eventually these men became depressed and food preoccupied, and experienced a decrease in libido and in interest in extracurricular activities.
  • Weight loss pursuits promote restriction, and restriction leads to food preoccupation… so we can’t pursue weight loss without it resulting in food preoccupation.
  • Remember, even if you decide to leave dieting and intentional weight loss behind, it will still take TIME to end your struggles with food preoccupation. Make sure you have a team behind you to support your healing!
  • We live in such a fatphobic world! It’s important that we break down our own internal biases related to fatness, and face our own fat discrimination.
  • What is really behind the fear of fat? Explore that to figure out what’s really behind the obsession with weight loss, and to discover what’s keeping you stuck in disordered eating patterns.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

What is PCOS really?


This article was written by my previous Nutrition Grad Student, Kimmie Singh. She is a fat woman of color who experiences PCOS. You can find out more information about her work now as a dietitian here.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders in those assigned female at birth, creating a hormonal imbalance that leads to a variety of symptoms. People with PCOS tend to have high levels of insulin and androgens (like testosterone), causing symptoms that affect their overall health, fertility, appearance, and metabolism.

What causes PCOS?

PCOS seems to be related to a combination of environmental factors and genetics. There are both maternal and paternal genetic links to PCOS. I was surprised when I linked my PCOS to my father’s female relatives.

Environmental factors that affect PCOS include geographic location, exposure to industrial products, and changes to the food system. Agricultural changes that affect the food system may also influence the development of PCOS. Some environmental factors are out of your control, and I know this can feel frustrating.

As I have learned about the environmental factors that influence my PCOS, I can understand how to better nourish my body through what I can control. I look forward to sharing how changes in the food system affect PCOS.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Grab a FREE download from Julie here.

Did my weight cause my PCOS?

Nope. Your weight did not cause your PCOS. A lot of health-related guilt can surround existing at a higher weight, but numerous studies show that weight gain does not cause PCOS. 

Should I wait to worry about my PCOS when/if I want to get pregnant?

You may not want to have children now or ever, but you can still manage your PCOS. PCOS affects more than just your fertility. It’s associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, anxiety, depression, and endometrial cancer. PCOS can also influence your cravings and how your body uses energy from food. Managing your PCOS can improve your overall health and energy regardless of if you are trying to get pregnant.

Is there a cure for PCOS?

There is not a cure for PCOS. This may seem scary, and you may be wondering if there is a special secret remedy to get rid of PCOS forever. The Internet may try to sell you on a special diet or remedy, and it may seem appealing, but I know you won’t fall for it!

Although there is not a cure for PCOS, there are many ways to manage it. In addition to various types of treatment, there are lots of changes you can make to your lifestyle in order to manage your PCOS.

A lifestyle change-I’m sure you have heard this before.

Suggesting a lifestyle change is usually accompanied by a friendly spiel about diet and exercise. Although nutrition and movement are important components of managing PCOS, there are many other aspects of your life! These may include learning ways to manage stress, build support, advocate for your needs, and, perhaps most importantly, how to listen to your body.

Stay tuned to learn more about these in future posts. Growing in these areas can help you manage PCOS.

In my experience, using a wholesome approach to managing PCOS helps me feel like I’m working with my PCOS, not against it.

It helps me work in sync with my body, and I hope it helps you do the same.

Want to explore more non diet options to help manage your PCOS, promote health AND healing?

Click here for details on Julie’s PCOS and Food Peace course.




Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Christakou, C., & Marinakis, E. (2012). Phenotypes and Enviromental Factors: Their Influence in PCOS. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(3), 270-282. doi:10.2174/138161212799040457

Dumesic, D. A., Oberfield, S. E., Stener-Victorin, E., Marshall, J. C., Laven, J. S., & Legro, R. S. (2015). Scientific Statement on the Diagnostic Criteria, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Molecular Genetics of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Endocrine Reviews, 36(5), 487-525. doi:10.1210/er.2015-1018

Hayek, S. E., Bitar, L., Hamdar, L. H., Mirza, F. G., & Daoud, G. (2016). Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome: An Updated Overview. Frontiers in Physiology, 7. doi:10.3389/fphys.2016.00124

Merkin, S. S., Phy, J. L., Sites, C. K., & Yang, D. (2016). Environmental determinants of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 106(1), 16-24. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.05.011

Polycystic ovary syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2017, from

The science behind that post-Easter candy binge


Did you binge on the Easter candy? Before you curse your will power or lack of self-control, consider the science of eating behavior. Using this evidence-based approach may help you experience more food peace in the future.

Don’t blame yourself for the candy binge⎯It’s really Food Habituation

Do you categorize foods as good versus bad? Labeling food this way can set anyone up to feel out of control about what to eat. Food is not an exact science. Rather than considering food as good versus bad, think of food lying on a continuum. This means there is more gray than exact black and white rules.

Folks who categorize foods as good or bad will, more often than not, experience binges on those “bad” foods. Research explains this through the science of food habituation. This type of research demonstrates that the more we’re exposed to a food, the more our brains could care less about it. On the flip side, the more unique and rare the food, the more our brains fixate on it. This promotes intense cravings, and drives us to want to eat the novel food.

Healing Hint: Instead of blaming yourself for the post-Easter candy binge, consider the science behind the experience. Are you around this food often? And, if so, do you allow yourself to eat it? If the answer to both questions is “no”, point your finger at your lack of food exposure instead of your lack of will power or self-control.

Don’t blame the food after the candy bingeIt’s really “Food Deprivation

The more we abstain from a food, the more our brains like to fixate on it. How often are we actually around jelly beans, peeps,  or peanut butter filled eggs? No wonder it’s so tough to stop eating them. And, when we avoid the fun food long enough, we often feel guilt-free and give ourselves permission to “indulge”.

Why does “just one bite” often lead to a binge experience? This is the basic law of food deprivation. When we’re around an avoided food, our brains light up with interest — sometimes even as far as obsession. When we finally allow ourselves a bite, it’s often hard to stop.

Some clinicians connect the one bite to binge experience as food addiction. I’ve been keeping up with this research too, yet so far, it’s flawed. Until the researchers take into account food deprivation and habituation, the research means nothing — unless people become robots without free will. To hear more, check out this Food Addiction episode of the Love Food podcast.

Healing Hint: Rather than blaming yourself for the candy binge, consider the science behind the experience. Have you been dieting? Have you been limiting the variety in your food choices? Have you been disrespecting hunger? If your answer is “yes” to these questions, then point the finger at food deprivation.

Practice unconditional permission to eat

Allowing candy to remain around can help us navigate through different types of food. Is this too scary? You’re not alone.

There’s a way to heal this. It’s called unconditional permission to eat. When a person has true permission to choose any food, in any amount, eating according to physical hunger and fullness cues ⎯ this should be the norm. This won’t work if “permission” is tangled up with one of these familiar sabotaging statements:

  • I will just have one.
  • I will save up my calories to have candy tonight.
  • I will exercise off calories to have candy tonight.

When we view food choices with permission, we begin to experience healthy ways of relating to food. This concept is from the book, Intuitive Eating, by Tribole and Resch. Hear from Evelyn Tribole directly on this episode of the Love Food Podcast. Life changing work is done within the framework of eating intuitively. I encourage you to read it.

Healing Hint: To feel safer during Easter and other holidays, be curious as to why the binge is happening, or happened. When you hear your self-talk blaming your lack of will-power or self-control, consider the science instead. Blame diets, food rules, and body hate. Learning to experience food with self-compassion and trust will help you eat to promote health and peace.

julie_lovefood_secondary_rgbDo you enjoy listening to podcasts and want to ditch diets? Check out mine: it was made for you!

The Love Food Podcast Episode 59

059 Image

Did healing your relationship with food result in weight gain? Are you angry that healing your relationship with food has made you gain this weight? Do you feel judged based on the weight gain? Listen now for some ways to deal with this part of the food and body peace journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Specialized Track for College-Aged Women at Green Mountain at Fox Run

Dieting trends. Endless images of ‘perfect bodies’. Find a permanent solution to struggles with food, weight and body at Green Mountain at Fox Run. Green Mountain is hosting weekly programs between May 14 and August 26 tailored to the needs of women between ages 18 and 25. Your whole life is ahead of you, and you deserve to live it happily and in good health. Visit for more information.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week! It’s time we tackle our cultural eating disorder recovery and speak out about the seriousness of eating disorders.
  • Dieting is a part of the eating disorder experience… if diets weren’t normalized, we would have fewer eating disorders!
  • On March 1st start looking for #ChangeTheGame!! Let’s change the conversation around dieting. Dieting is NOT healthy eating.
  • Eating disorders kill more people than any other mental illness. One person dies every 23 hours from an eating disorder.
  • The Canary in the Coal Mine metaphor:
    • Coal miners used to bring canaries down into the coal mines with them. If the canaries were singing, the coal miners knew they were safe. Once the singing stopped though, that was the coal miners’ cue to get out quickly before the toxic gas killed them too.
    • We live in a toxic environment focused on the thin ideal… some people are impacted much more quickly or intensely than others, and they develop eating disorders (the canaries). They are our warning to fix our toxic environment before it gets us too (the coal miners).
  • Many people who go through classic eating disorder treatment receive a meal plan from their dietitians to guide their eating in recovery. This system may be flawed though, and potentially damaging, and we are actually discovering that we may be able to use intuitive eating much earlier in eating disorder recovery than we initially thought!
  • What exactly is a “set healthy weight?” We really have no clue what any single person is supposed to weigh. At certain points in eating disorder recovery this “set-point” can be an important number, and is determined by past weight experiences… but it’s very difficult to actually pin this number down.
  • Our “healthy weight” CHANGES based on our age and other life factors!
  • Some research indicates that being in larger body as we get older can be protective.
  • It’s time we change our thought process on what weight indicates!
  • Trying to manipulate someone’s weight is going to negatively impact their behaviors.
  • What if the enemy is not food at all, and the enemies are really body hate, the need for control, the value attached to body perception, and the value we hold for the judgment others place on our bodies?
  • We do an activity from When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, a book that approaches recovery from a feminist perspective. How would we lead our lives if we lived in a world where all bodies were valued, no matter their size? What if we were all considered important and precious the way we are now?
  • We DON’T know what anyone’s weight is actually supposed to be, and we probably never will. We just need to accept where our body is at, no matter what. We don’t have to fight against our bodies.
  • We need you in this world, as you are now.
  • Food is NOT the enemy!

Show Notes:

  • Link to subscribe to the weekly FREE Food Peace Newsletter. It is sent out every Tuesday morning and no spam EVER. By signing up, I will also send you Love Food’s Season 1’s Food Peace Syllabus.
  • Overcoming Overeating: How to Break the Diet/Binge Cycle and Live a Healthier, More Satisfying Life by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter  —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #1
  • When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession by Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter —> This week’s Food Peace Syllabus addition #2
  • Love, Food Episode 22 with Dr. Maria Paredes
  • Eating Disorder Dietitians
  • Julie Dillon RD blog

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.


This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

Weekend Program for Women who Struggle with Eating and Weight Concerns

Green Mountain at Fox Run is excited to announce a one-time opportunity to newcomers – an all-new A Taste of Green Mountain weekend program (March 3 – 5)! Key strategies for mindful eating, mindful movement, self-care, and stress management will be introduced to help participants to eat, move, feel, and LIVE in the moment…to #BeHerNow! This opportunity is only open to new guests of Green Mountain.

Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive

The Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating is offering its foundational one-week Pathway™ program in an intensive weekend format. Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. Dates are scheduled monthly throughout 2017 although capacity is limited, so visit  for more information.

There’s only ONE premier retreat for women who struggle with overeating and weight.

It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit for more information.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Binge Eating White Paper – Myths, Truths and Treatments

Download Green Mountain’s free whitepaper to understand Binge Eating Disorder, the most common eating disorder. Explore the symptoms of and treatment for BED, assess where weight loss fits in, and gain clarity on common myths. Visit for more information.