Castlewood Treatment Centers is creating an eating disorder care model focused passionately on caring for clients, inspiring employees and collaborating with partners. The company is growing thoughtfully and investing in the right things to create a preeminent eating disorder program. To support these efforts, Jennifer Crute Steiner, Chief Executive Officer at Castlewood, is pleased to announce an addition to the leadership team.
Joining Castlewood in the new role of Regional Executive Director – Northern and Central California is Andy Williams, LMFT, MBA. Andy will join Jeannette Rojas Rivero, LASAC, CEDS, CADC II, who was announced prior and now assumes the role of Regional Executive Director – Southern California.
Andy brings a wealth of behavior health and eating disorder experience to Castlewood. Prior to joining the Castlewood team, he served as Clinical Director of Monte Nido and Affiliates Springfield, Oregon location. Andy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and is a member of the International Eating Disorder Professionals and California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He received his M.B.A. from the Jack Welch Management Institute, and Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Ms. Crute Steiner shared, “Ensuring that quality eating disorder treatment is available to all who need it on the west coast is an important goal at Castlewood. We’re excited to have Andy join us in delivering accountable, high quality and innovative care for eating disorder treatment.”
Looking for an outpatient registered dietitian (RD) can be difficult for any client with an eating disorder (ED). The search requires follow-through and commitment to recovery that may be difficult to tap into at times. Engaging the help of another treatment team member to find a suitable dietitian will make the task easier. The search can be complicated by two factors:
1) limited dietitian choices in the area in which you live and
2) financial resources that are available.
Many dietitians do not have the option of taking insurance due to limited availability to do so. Finding one that understands eating disorders adds another strenuous part of the endeavor. However, the importance of having a dietitian that understands eating disorders is vital to the recovery process.
When screening and discussing your goals with a potential dietitian, it is necessary to be honest about your struggles. It is also important to ask your prospective RD about her or his experience with eating disorders. Treating EDs requires extensive training and experience that not all dietitians have. It is absolutely appropriate to ensure that your provider can help you in the way that you need. Dietitians that are not familiar with EDs may view some of the thoughts or habits of the eating disorder as harmless or "healthy" for you. This can further perpetuate behaviors and reinforce beliefs. The RD may also not know what questions need to be asked to properly address the struggles you may be experiencing. The requirements of a nutrition session for an ED are different than what is needed in a session for another nutrition-related topic. It requires the ability to tie behaviors to triggers, understand coping skills, experience with working through negative body image, and meal planning in a way that offers flexibility and challenges. Finding someone that you can built trust and rapport with is equally essential. There are amazing dietitians out there that do not treat eating disorders and refer to those that do. You can always ask if the RD knows of anyone that specializes in ED. Please make sure you find the one that fits you best by asking for what it is that you need.
Chelsea Martin, RD, LD, CEDRD
Director of Clinical Services- Residential
Castlewood Treatment Center
Have you ever been watching TV or in a high stress meeting and all of the sudden your hand reaches the bottom of the bag of chips and all you can remember is eating the first bite? So many times, we become disconnected from our food intake and our nourishment experience because of distractions and the fast paced world existing around us. Discovering a way to connect to these Mindless moments, involves choosing to be Mindful. I like to think of Mindful eating as “Filling My Mind” with the food I’m about to eat, the experience I’m about to have, and the nourishment I’m about to receive. When I am being Mindful, I am fully “conscious and aware” of my food and my experience. When I remove food fears and judgments around foods, I mindfully create an experience where I have a full awareness around my hunger, my satiety, why I eat, and a greater ability to express gratitude for my food.
Are you someone who eats mindfully?
Do you acknowledge that there is no right or wrong way to eat, but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food?
Do you accept your eating experience as unique?
Are you an individual who by choice, directs your attention to eating on a moment by moment basis?
Do you choose to gain awareness of how you can make choices that support your health and well-being?
Do you choose to have an awareness of the interconnection of earth, living beings, cultural practices, and the impact of their food choices on those systems.
In having a focus to be more Mindful, I challenge you to slow down, express gratitude, find satisfaction and pay attention to the food you place in your body. Committing to these practices and gaining insight to ourselves, can make Mindful eating… somewhat Mindless. Happy National Nutrition Month!
Planning a balanced meal can feel like a daunting task. At Castlewood, we strive to balance nourishment and pleasure to create delicious and nutritious meals for our clients and staff. Each meal is planned using these three checkpoints:
Does each meal contain three to four fuel groups including energy, protein, and a foundation fat?
Fuel groups that provide carbohydrate energy include:
Fuel groups that provide protein include:
Hint: meals can have more than one type of food within the same fuel group.
Example: Turkey sandwich with avocado, pretzels and fruit
Bread and pretzels are both members of the “grain/starch” fuel group
Lettuce and tomato (if on sandwich) are both “vegetable” fuel group
Fruit is part of the “fruit” fuel group
Turkey is a member of the “animal protein” fuel group
Avocado is a “foundation fat”
Does the meal provide adequate amounts of each fuel group to nourish my body?
This step is individualized for each person based on their body’s nutrition needs. At Castlewood, we like to use visual representations instead of exact measurements for portion sizes. Easy to remember visuals include: a baseball, a ping pong ball, and the palm of your hand. The general portion sizes for each fuel group are:
Grains/starches: 1 baseball
Fresh fruits: 1 baseball; dried fruit 1 ping pong ball
Vegetables: 1 baseball
Animal proteins: palm of your hand
Plant/dairy proteins: 1 baseball
Foundation fats: 1 ping pong ball
Do the food choices and portions represent a realistic meal?
This guideline can help determine if a meal is appropriate. For example, choosing pretzels, peanut butter, fruit and yogurt meets the fuel group requirement of 3-4 fuel groups (grain/starch, foundation fat, fruit, and dairy protein). However, the portions required to meet nutrition needs are not realistic using these foods. A practical alternative would be our example from checkpoint #1.
Remember, more specific recommendations may be determined by a dietitian based on individual needs for healing and recovery.
Ali Brown, MS, RD, LD
(636) 386-6633 x320
Living in this world and trying not to be defined by what you eat or the size of your body is really hard. The diet talk is everywhere we look. Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram, glancing at magazine covers while standing at the grocery store check-out, talking to co-workers in the break room, or watching the commercials during your favorite show, you’re bound to run into disordered messages. And then when we throw an eating disorder into the mix, things get really messy. The ED turns the volume way up on the disordered thoughts and completely tunes you out from what your body is telling you.
One of the most important things I work on with IOP clients is how to turn down the external diet noise and turn up the volume on their internal cues. One of the first steps in this process is to be able to identify what diet chatter is. I would define diet chatter as any message, thought, or person that makes you feel the need to question what you are eating, feel fearful about the food you put into your body, or feel like you need to take up less space.
Here are some suggestions of actionable steps to take to turning down the diet chatter in your life:
Take a genuine look at the messages you voluntarily surround yourself with. If you’re following a girl from high school on social media who only talks about how many miles she’s run or the new diet she’s on, it is probably time to reevaluate how following her is affecting you. Since we often have little control over the messages we encounter, it’s important to become fiercely protective of what we allow to come into our life or roll across our screens on a day-to-day basis. It might be time to get friendly with the unfollow button. This doesn’t mean that the people we choose to block or unfollow are bad people—they might be really cool. It simply means that recovery is REALLY HARD and often requires you to prioritize your mental health over pleasing everyone around you.
Actively seek to surround yourself with positive messages that are congruent with your values and encourage a non-diet approach to food. I encourage clients to follow blogs, listen to podcasts or read books that cultivate this way of thinking. Doing this can be so helpful in reminding yourself that there really is a way to exist in the world without dieting and that you aren’t alone in this journey. Some of my personal favorites are:
During a rotation of my dietetic internship, a preceptor asked me, “What is your nutritional philosophy? Before you start to practice, you should know where you are coming from.” Her words have stayed with me as I have pursued my career path into Eating Disorder treatment. I believe in helping a client navigate his or her individual path to embrace the idea that all foods fit and to seek balance, nourishment, and eventually joy from the foods they eat.
What about Castlewood’s Nutritional Philosophy?
So often with my clients, I see a struggle to find balance among the rigidity and chaos when it comes to their food choices and eating habits. Castlewood’s nutritional philosophy aligns with my own, in that it also advocates for “Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure.” As dietitians, we begin to challenge clients very early in treatment to shed the structure, rigidity, and beliefs demanded by the eating disorder and embrace more flexibility. With staff support, we encourage clients to practice estimating portion sizes using visual cues and neutral language while selecting from a variety of foods. With the structure and support of treatment, our goal is for clients to eventually eat in a normalized and mindful way while embracing an all foods can fit mentality.
What choices can you make to balance nourishment and pleasure today?
March is National Nutrition Month! Its focus is to put attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help to reduce food loss and waste. The nutritional experts at Castlewood are excited to share their thoughts, news and updates during National Nutrition Month.
What is a diet?
Google defines the word diet as “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. When I was in school, this was the ONLY definition. Unfortunately, this word has come to mean something more. It now means restricting oneself of specific food items in order to lose weight. This makes me sad. When did we as a culture decide that food was bad? Food is fuel. It is meant to be enjoyed. Why would we need to eat multiple times each day to sustain life if this wasn’t meant to be a pleasurable activity? I would encourage each of you, for National Nutrition Month, to begin neutralizing the word diet and remember that ALL foods fit.
Here are some examples of statements that help to neutralize food:
food is not a form of currency
anti-diet does not mean anti-health
food provides my body with energy
Happy National Nutrition Month!
Rachael Wolf, RD, LD
Lead Dietitian of St. Louis Outpatient Services (PHP & IOP)
Nicole Siegfried, PhD, CEDS, Chief Clinical Officer of Castlewood Treatment Centers, is pleased to announce a new addition to the clinical leadership team.
Joining Castlewood is Brian Cook, PhD. In his new role as National Director of Movement and Exercise, Dr. Cook will work closely with Dr. Siegfried and Tammy Beasley, RDN, CEDRD, CSSD, LD, VP of Clinical Nutritional Services, in development and execution of an innovative approach that will look at changing the functional relationship of exercise from a compensatory behavior to one that functions equally with other components of complete health. Stated Dr. Cook, “This program will not focus on an exercise prescription, but rather use movement as one tool to impact and relate to all aspects of health and recovery in eating disorder treatment.”
Dr. Cook has developed and maintained an original line of research focused on examining the etiological role, management, and therapeutic potential of exercise in eating disorders. His education at the University of Rhode Island, University of Florida, and a National Institute of Mental Health funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, ND has allowed him to train under leading experts in the eating disorder field. Dr. Cook is a sought-after expert presenting research at international level conferences, chairing conference paper sessions focused on eating disorders and associated psychiatric illnesses at international level conferences, publishing in leading journals, and authoring several invited book chapters. These accomplishments provide strong evidence of Dr. Cook’s passion for improving the lives of individuals with eating disorders and his potential to continue to impact the fields of eating disorders research and treatment. Dr. Cook is also currently an assistant professor at California State at Monterey Bay.
Dr. Siegfried shared, “we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cook to the team. As we enhance our clinical model and focus on adaptive treatment addressing the whole person, the addition of Dr. Cook provides a leading expert to guide the critical physical aspects of recovery from eating disorders.”
Jennifer Crute Steiner, CEO of Castlewood Treatment Centers, is pleased to announce the newest addition to the leadership team.
Joining Castlewood is Jeannette Rojas Rivero, LASAC, CEDS, CADC II. In her new role as Regional Executive Director of California, Jeannette will be leading operations, expansion and new sites in California and surrounding areas. She joins Annalee Plumb, Regional Executive Director of Missouri and Ronda Cannon, Regional Executive Director of Alabama, in ensuring that all programs are operating at the highest levels.
As a leader in Eating Disorder treatment, Jeannette brings over 20 years of experience to Castlewood. Prior to joining the Castlewood team, Jeannette was Executive Program Director of Rebecca’s House. Jeannette also worked ten years at Sierra Tucson as a Primary Therapist and Eating Disorder Coordinator. In addition to oversight of the treatment teams, she also spoke at national conferences and built relationships within the industry. Jeanette is a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC) in the State of Arizona, a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) and Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor II (CADAC II).
Ms. Crute Steiner shared, “This team addition shows our commitment to thoughtful growth and expansion on the West Coast and further improving how Castlewood serves clients and supports one another. We are building a culture of accountability and encouraging innovation, which in turn is making us a better company.”
Chef Mary Russo at Castlewood’s Monarch Cove location was recently promoted to National Director, Culinary Services. She uses her expertise in crafting delicious and nutritionally balanced meals to help our clients restore healthy relationships with food.
The holidays are finally here! For me, as for many people, holiday traditions and memories are tightly intertwined with special meals and exceptional foods. In fact, my love for cooking developed over years of preparing meals for holidays, parties and other family gatherings.
It’s not only the food, but also the movement of hearts and minds at dinner tables that makes cooking such a joy. The laughter and rich conversation frequently shared over meals is the stuff of strong, genuine relationships. Those opportunities of togetherness fostered by finger foods can produce cherished memories and feelings of warmth that last for years to come. My role at Castlewood means that I can play a part in teaching clients to enjoy food again, both preparing and eating it. In turn, I hope that their family gatherings are unhindered by the angst that eating disorders can carry and that instead each of them is assured by love and belonging.
In light of the holiday season, I want to share a recipe with you that is one of my all-time favorites. When I was little we used to wait impatiently for my oldest brother and his wife to arrive on Christmas morning so we could open presents. She always brought this delicious egg and sausage casserole that I loved. I tried to replicate it for years, and finally arrived at this recipe. It’s perfect for Christmas morning, and makes the house smell delicious. My family and I sit around on couches and eat it while we open presents.
Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms, Cheddar and Pancetta
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ lb assorted wild mushrooms (or a variety of any type of mushrooms that you can find), such as chanterelle, porcini, brushed clean and coarsely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
10 large eggs
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 oz. pancetta, chopped
¼ lb cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 Tbsp minced, fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 ½ Tbsp of the butter. When it foams, add the mushrooms and sauté until they release their juices, 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp of the salt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl, add the pepper and the remaining ¼ tsp salt, and whisk until well blended.
In a clean frying pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 ½ Tbsp butter. When it foams, add the garlic and pancetta and sauté until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the eggs and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until the eggs are nearly cooked to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes for a soft curd, and 7-8 minutes for a firmer one. Add the mushrooms, cheese and parsley during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Spoon the eggs into a platter or individual plates and serve at once.
Tip: Fresh herbs, such as thyme or basil, can be used in place of the parsley, while Gruyere or mozzarella cheese can be substituted for the Cheddar.
I’ve got breakfast covered; what about snacks and dinner? Share your favorite holiday meal in the comments sections below.