Meet Samantha Finkelstein! An eating disorder dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, CA as well as the owner of a part-time private practice called Rediscover Nutrition. In both of these settings she gets to enjoy doing the work she loves, which is helping others recover from eating disorders and guiding them back to Intuitive Eating.
Where do you work?
At Kaiser I am 1 of 2 RDs in their eating disorder program. I work at the outpatient and intensive outpatient levels of care with diagnosed eating disorders, as well as with disordered eating and chronic dieters. Additionally, I work two days each week in my own practice, Rediscover Nutrition (I call it RDN for short! At RDN, I get to do more of the work with chronic dieters that I love, helping guide them through Intuitive Eating and working on body image.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love being a part of the solution in the work that I do. Sadly, this doesn’t always mean being my clients’ favorite person, but the greatest reward is when we do get to see them turn a corner — and then they actually love us! The little wins in this work make it all worth it.
Why eating disorders treatment? What drives you?
I have seen through my personal and professional experience the way diet culture tears people down, and makes people so focused on their eating and bodies that they lose all enjoyment in life. As a registered dietitian, I refuse to participate in that. Our role as RDs is to practice based on the evidence, so that’s why I treat eating disorders from an Intuitive Eating and HAES perspective.
Who are your favorite social media influencers in the non-diet, recovery, body liberation space?
So hard to choose! I’m a huge fan of many fellow RDs, including Christy Harrison and Rebecca Scritchfield. I also love Fiona Willer who creates amazing graphics to communicate HAES/anti-diet research. And then of course there are the non-RD body positive warriors, like Jes Baker @themilitantbaker and @ybicoalition, and @bodypositivememes for a good laugh and spirit lift. Lately, I’ve been really into filling my feed with bodies that are more representative of myself and the average population — my faves at the moment are @the_em_edit, @girlwithcurves, and @allisonkimmey.
What are your favorite book/s or resources that have made a difference in the way you work?
Body Kindness all the way! And of course Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size which started my own personal revelation. I also love the podcast Food Psych.
What is one non-diet, Intuitive Eating, or Health at Every Size® pearl of wisdom you’d like to share?
This is really the whole point of the work we do… but it would be TRUST YOUR BODY. Trust that it will let you know what it needs when you’ve shown it there’s plenty of nutrition to go around; trust that it will take the shape, size, and weight that is best for you right now; trust that all it wants to for you to live and thrive. The more I learn about all that our bodies do to take care of us on a daily basis, the more I believe we can fully trust our bodies, as long as we work with them instead of trying to fight against them.
To get to know Samantha more by following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @samthedietitian! You can also visit her website, RediscoverNutritionLLC.com.