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EDRecovery Blog
Tools and Information for Individuals in Recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating
rainbow in the desert

January 27, 2020 by Jeanne Rust

The Plate-by-Plate Approach

I just read about a new way of helping people eat and I was struck by its utter simplicity:

I can't believe that there is a whole group of people already doing this!

How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder: A Simple, Plate-by-Plate Approach to Rebuilding a Healthy Relationship with Food was written by Wendy Sterling, MS, RD, CSSD and Casey Crosbie, RD, CSSD. The book helps families begin to normalize eating while they navigate the high calorie needs of malnutrition and weight gain. And the only tool they'll need to manage their child's nutritional needs is one ten-inch plate! plate-by-plate approach

There are two types of plates. The first plate has 50% of the meal as starch and is meant for someone who needs to gain weight, such as someone with anorexia nervosa or amenorrhea (lack of menses). The second plate is about 33% starch and is perfect for someone who wants to balance out or normalize their eating such as a person recovering from bulimia or binge eating disorder. Protein for both plates might constitute 25% of the meal and the remainder is fruits and vegetables.

Like integrative nutrition, the plate-by-plate method emphasizes whole grains, vegetarian and high-quality animal proteins and plant-based fats. The plate is surrounded by factors that create optimal health such as relationships, physical activity, spirituality, and career. A person can eat a pound of broccoli daily and still have a lousy life if they are a couch potato who has numerous challenging relationships.

The difficulty in eating still needs to be negotiated but the plate-by-plate method is a helpful first step.

Jeanne RustJeanne Rust, CEO and Founder
Mirasol Recovery Centers
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