There’s something you should know about me. I love a lot of things in life, but two that I talk about most often are:
- Peanut butter & jelly.
- Intuitive Eating.
Number one is self-explanatory–though if you continue to follow along, you’ll undoubtedly hear a lot more about it. This brings me to number two. Intuitive Eating has caught a lot of attention in the media recently, but let’s talk about what it means for you.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Really, if we didn’t live in diet culture, intuitive eating would just be called eating. Simple as that. It’s a non-numbers, weight-neutral approach to health that will allow you to heal the negative physical, mental, and emotional effects of chronic dieting and food restriction. It will help you regain confidence in the ability to acknowledge, listen to, and trust your body’s cues around hunger, fullness, satiety, cravings, and so much more. It will help you understand that food is fuel for the physical body, but it’s also so much more than that.
A bit more technically speaking, Intuitive Eating is a framework of ten research-informed, Health At Every Size® aligned principles outlined by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD (how about that for some credentials?) in their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works.
But here’s one of the most exciting things about Intuitive Eating: you were born an intuitive eater. We all were! As a baby, you knew how, when, and how much to eat and didn’t need to think twice about it. It’s okay if you feel like you’ve lost touch with these innate abilities, though. After all, years of being exposed to diet culture messages that say “eat this, not that” or “you have to track calories and points to be healthy” can really serve to erode your sense of self-trust around food. But just because you’ve lost tough with these abilities doesn’t mean you’ve lost them altogether. You can rediscover them to heal from years of dieting and disordered eating!
So that’s what I’m here to help you do–to unlearn all of the negativity, restriction, and rules around food so that you can relearn how to find peace, satisfaction, and enjoyment with food. Because really, you were meant to do way more with your one precious life than report to wake up every day, report to the scale, track your calories, and stress out over food.
Want to learn more about how I work with individuals 1:1? Click here!
But now, back to a bit more about myself…
Becoming Yours Chewly
Now, allow me to welcome you to Yours Chewly–my brand and virtual intuitive eating coaching practice with an intentionally punny title that serves to tell you three important things about myself: my name is Claire Chewning, I’m a Registered Dietitian (& yoga teacher!), and I value a well-timed pun more than I should probably admit.
I grew up as an only child (unless you count my cat) in the mountains of southern Virginia, and took an interest in food at a very young age. I owe this interest largely to the influence of my dad, who always had the time and patience to allow me to cook alongside him–even when I was barely tall enough to peer over the counter. Because of his early influence, I not only learned a lot about cooking, but I was lucky enough to discover the thing I feel like I was meant to do at such a young age. For this direction, clarity, and purpose I am forever grateful. Don’t worry, I’ve learned just as much from my equally incredible mom–but she has always been the master baker in our family. And really, baking just has too many rules for me!
I entered college knowing exactly what I wanted to do. “Hi, my name’s Claire and I’m going to be a Registered Dietitian!” -me, probably 5,000+ times over the course of those four years. I jumped into the dietetics coursework (side note: please never make me look at a chemistry textbook again) and started learning all that I could about food and nutrition. It was awesome…until I started to realize my own relationship with food was changing (and not in a positive way).
I’m a firm believer that sometimes knowledge is too much power–and I think that was the case for me in those early years of school. As I learned more about nutrition and a dietitian’s role, I started thinking to myself, “Well if people are going to be coming to me for nutrition advice, then I need to have a PERFECT diet.”
So, I began to “eat perfectly” (whatever the heck that even means). “Good food” was allowed (but only in certain amounts, of course), and “bad food” was forbidden. And, if the “bad food” was ever allowed, you best believe that I had like…the most guilt ever.
But lucky for me, I moved off campus my junior year with a great group of friends and we were all responsible for cooking our own meals. Remember earlier in the story when I told you I loved to cook? Well, I started cooking again (you’re welcome, roommates!), and I started to catch glimpses of that fun, creative, and adventurous relationship with food that I had as a kid. And the more glimpses I caught, the more I started to realize why I even wanted to become a dietitian in the first place…
I wanted to help people love and enjoy food, not fear it. Little girl Claire knew that, but older Claire with all of her “super fancy nutrition knowledge” seemed to have lost sight of it. So over those last years of college and into my dietetic internship, I started to allow all foods that I enjoyed back into my life and make peace with the ones I had once labeled as “bad.” (Note: That sentence made that process sound easy, but don’t be fooled. It took work!)
Now? Food and I are good friends–no numbers, crazy restrictions, tracking devices, or food rules. Just me, my body, my preferences, and food! Sounds like great fun, right? It is. And I want to help you find your version of those feelings in your own life.
I graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in Dietetics and completed my dietetic internship at The Ohio State University. Throughout my 1,250 hours of supervised practice, I tested the waters of public health nutrition, inpatient and outpatient medical nutrition therapy, sports nutrition, and foodservice management.
I’ve now owned and operated Yours Chewly Nutrition, LLC. for going on two years now and find so much joy in helping individuals like yourself recover from years of dieting and disordered eating to reclaim an easeful, happy, and chewly healthy relationship with food, movement, and their bodies.
Where else do I hang out?
Honestly, the local Trader Joe’s. But if you’re looking to hang with Yours Chewly from the comfort of your own home, you can always find me on Instagram, in our private Facebook community, The Yours Chewly Goal Slayers, or on The Yours Chewly Podcast. Talk soon!