We are excited to introduce you to EDRD Pro member Bailey Weirens, RD, LD (she/her) of Renewed Nutrition, LLC!
In her words: “My nutrition philosophy is simple – all foods deserve a spot at the table. This means that if you want the salad, eat the salad. If you want the ice cream, eat the ice cream. We are instinctively intuitive with food and our body, and deserve to return to a life where food is not so complex. If food brings about stress, anxiety, fear, or more – it may be time to rethink your relationship with food. I would be honored to support you in this process, knowing it will not be easy, but it will be worth it.”
Keep reading to learn more about Bailey and her incredible work!
What’s your favorite meal?
Realistically, anything with potatoes included – pretty much all my friends, coworkers, and even clients know about my passion for potatoes. They are so versatile and can really make a dish.
What’s saving your life right now?
Probably my dog, Finnegan. He is a standard Goldendoodle, and the way he greets me after a day at work makes me feel like the most important person in the world!
What would you say is one of the most valuable skills you’ve developed in your career?
The ability to take a step back and look at the “whole picture” – the “picture” may be a work scenario, it may be a specific client, etc., but my detail-oriented brain seeks to see the small things. While the small things have a lot of value, they don’t mean much if I don’t understand the bigger system involved or the whole person.
If you didn’t do what you do professionally, what other job or field would you have pursued, and why?
Likely something in the non-profit realm focused on creating access to food and other survival resources. As someone who struggled with my own food insecurity growing up with a (rockstar) single mom, I have a vision I hope to become a reality someday. I would love to purchase a food truck and provide free meals (+ more) to those in my community who are struggling with homelessness or instability. There are so many excellent programs that exist, but for many to access said programs, they usually have to travel to get there. My goal would be to have the resources move around via the food truck to increase accessibility.
Where do you work?
I currently work in a residential treatment facility, as a Clinical Nutrition Manager, as well as a Registered Dietitian. I have worked both in an adult and adolescent residential setting, supporting clients with eating disorders. I am currently transitioning out of my role and starting my journey into private practice. I recently started Renewed Nutrition, LLC.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I really enjoy connecting with clients and seeing the transformation in their cognitions, personality, and so much more throughout residential treatment. It brings me so much joy to watch how nutrition brings clients out of their “eating disorder shell” and into more of their authentic selves. I am hopeful to continue to see these long-term transitions in the outpatient setting!
Why eating disorders treatment? What drives you?
Such a loaded question! Personally, I knew a handful of loved ones who struggled with eating disorders, and I clearly recall as an adolescent questioning, “Why can’t they eat food? It’s so good!”
I knew instinctively that there had to be more, so I sought out what the “more” could be. In my educational and professional development, I realized how complex the “more” was. To have learned what I know now, I feel a strong drive to not only support eating disorder recovery but also to intentionally challenge the deeply-rooted diet culture that we live in.
Transparently speaking, some days this feels like quite an uphill battle. I have hope that as more non-diet and weight-inclusive providers evolve, experiences seeking care will improve, and we will see healthier relationships with food, body, and overall well-being.
How did you find the non-diet, Intuitive Eating, and Health at Every Size® approaches, and what inspired you to adopt these frameworks?
None of these approaches were discussed enough in undergrad, which made me question whether I could counsel in the way I felt was more supportive – at that time, I did not have the language I do now. Upon completion of my dietetic internship, I had completed a couple of rotations in an eating disorder setting that confirmed the type of work I wanted to do and introduced me to these approaches!
Unfortunately, my first role as a registered dietitian was very much in a wellness setting, and I felt a moral battle in wanting to get experience as a new dietitian but feeling like I was perpetuating the harmful cycle I had identified not wanting to be a part of. Not long after, I was able to transition into a role in a residential eating disorder facility, where I was able to fully adopt and feel supported in counseling with these approaches.
What projects, products, or services do you offer that you want to share with our audience?
I offer 1:1 nutrition counseling – I am currently in the process of credentialing with insurance, therefore only accepting private pay at this time.