Claire here, nice to “meet” you! I’m chewly glad you’re here. I started Yours Chewly Nutrition back in 2018 and have since had the privilege of working alongside hundreds of individuals making long-lasting changes in their health and relationships with food. If you’re interested, I’ll tell you more about my story below. But first, I’ll share a bit more about my nutrition philosophy in case this is your first time hearing of an anti-diet dietitian…
My Nutrition Philosophy
So I’m an anti-diet, fat-positive RD*. What does that mean? It means that I’m here as a healthcare provider to listen to your lived experiences, hear your food concerns, and offer compassionate, individualized, and evidence-based nutrition care. I’m here to remind you that health is complex, it means something different for everyone, and it’s not a moral obligation. And if focusing on your health and wellbeing is something you’d like to do, I’m here to support you in finding feel-good, sustainable behaviors–not the newest weight-loss focused fad diet.
One framework that I talk with my of my clients about is Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is a weight-inclusive, self-care eating framework that can help you heal from the negative physical, mental and emotional effects of chronic dieting and disordered eating. In this framework, we explore topics like noticing + honoring your body’s appetite cues, questioning (and unlearning) your food rules, building a non-punishing relationship with movement, getting curious about “emotional eating,” and expanding your nutritional variety + knowledge with gentle nutrition.
You can learn more about the ten research-informed, Health At Every Size® aligned principles of Intuitive Eating in the book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach, by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD
Another way to sum up my approach to nutrition is that I’m here to help you add things IN, not cut things out. Dieting and cutting out foods (without medical necessity) can lead to increased food fixation and other disordered eating behaviors. It’s no secret that eating is something you’ll need to do multiple times daily for the rest of your life, so I support my clients in building relationships with food that prioritize nourishment, satisfaction, accessibility. This way, they’re able to live their lives and leave food guilt + shame in the past!
*It is important for me to continue to recognize the many unearned privileges I hold as a straight-sized, white, able-bodied practitioner in this space. These privileges allow me to do this work with relative ease and receive less pushback than my colleagues with more marginalized identities. I continually engage in professional supervision and continuing education to ensure that I have the tools + knowledge to support my clients, as well as the support to continue unlearning my own biases. I’m always open to constructive feedback on how I can do better as a provider.
Want more information about how I work with individuals 1:1?
Becoming Yours Chewly
Now, since you’ve clicked on the “About Me” page, I’ll share a bit more about me! I’m Claire Chewning, and besides being an RD, I’m also a business owner, podcaster, pun enthusiast, and lover of long, shell-collecting walks on the beach (cheesy, but works out well since I live along the Chesapeake Bay).
I grew up as an only child (unless you count my cat) in the mountains of southern Virginia and have loved food for as long as I can remember. My dad always had the time and patience to let me to cook alongside him, so I was lucky to learn a lot about cooking at an early age. Sharing meals around the table with both him and my mom are some of the best memories of my childhood and we still love cooking together when I’m back at home for a visit.
I entered college at James Madison University with this love of food and cooking, so applying to the dietetics program after my first year as an undergrad felt like an easy decision. With the exception of organic and biochemistry [cue the nervous sweats just thinking about those classes], I loved the coursework and found it so fascinating to learn the ins and outs of anatomy, physiology, human metabolism, medical nutrition therapy, and culinary science. The one downside of these years, however, is that my own relationship with food started to take a turn.
At the time, many of my classes were weight and calorie focused. In some classes, I learned formulas to calculate “ideal body weight”, did projects involving tracking calories and assessing the nutrient density of my own diet, and came to assume that one of a dietitian’s core roles was to help people lose weight. I started to think 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 attempted to “eat perfectly” (whatever that even means). “Good food” was allowed (but only in certain amounts, of course), and “bad food” was forbidden. And when the “bad food” did inevitably make its way onto my plate? Cue the guilt, shame, and feelings of both personal and professional failure.
Luckily, I moved off campus for my last two years of undergrad 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 and began to catch glimpses of that fun and creative relationship with food that I had as a kid. And the more glimpses I caught, the more flexibility I was able to slowly bring back to my relationship with food.
I started to think about why I wanted to become an RD in the first place! It was because I wanted to help people love and enjoy food, not fear it. I didn’t want to become an RD that was viewed as “the food police,” because that way of thinking would have continued to be harmful to myself and the clients I would one day work alongside.
I graduated from JMU with a B.S. in Dietetics in 2017 and completed my dietetic internship at The Ohio State University in 2018. 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 food service management. In 2020, I also completed Evelyn Tribole’s training and supervision to become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
I’ve now owned and operated Yours Chewly Nutrition, LLC. for five and a half years and find so much joy in helping individuals recover from years of dieting and disordered eating to build an nourishing, confident, fun relationship with food, movement, and their bodies.
Beyond Yours Chewly
Beyond working with 1:1 clients, course participants, and my membership group, I’m also the RD Advisor at Health-Ade Kombucha. I’ve been a huge fan of their bubbly kombucha since I was a freshman in college, so it’s really a dream come true to be able to work alongside one of my favorite companies. I love educating employees and consumers about all things gut health from a non-diet perspective. If you’d like to read some of the blogs I write for Health-Ade on a monthly basis, click here.
I’m also a partner at Way Health, an intuitive eating and mindful eating app that helps you find peace in your relationship with food and body. The Way app is unlike any eating app I’ve seen before because it guides you in making small changes in your relationship with food while never asking you to step on a scale or count a calorie. It offers more than 60 activities across three pathways, Emotional Eats, Body Feels, and Mindful Shifts. To learn more about Way, you can check it out in the Apple App Store or click here.
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…
The Yours Chewly Podcast