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Introducing Chef Mary at Castlewood Treatment Center at Monarch Cove What do you love most about working at Monarch Cove? Being able to utilize the creativity and artistry of cooking to develop my craft on an ongoing basis is something that I’m grateful for every day. What I love most about working at Monarch Cove is that I’m able to use that daily inspiration to nourish our clients and be instrumental in developing or restoring their relationship with food. What made you decide to become a Chef? I’ve always been someone who wanted to cook. I spent many years preparing dinners for holidays, gatherings with family and friends, or any occasion that I could think of.  When I moved on to cooking for people in a professional capacity, it was a part of me that evolved into something that I could no longer not do.  Over the years, my cooking has evolved into preparing food for people on more of a personal basis, so to be able to help someone in their recovery makes my heart very happy. What is Castlewood Cooking Experiences:  Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure and how has it helped our clients? Castlewood Cooking Experiences is a part of our Life Skills program, to help our clients develop practical, real-life kitchen knowledge and skills with meal planning and preparation. Each week one client comes into the kitchen and works with one of our experienced Chefs to assist with dinner preparation. The session lasts for one hour and can include anything from assembling salads, preparing desserts, helping cook, chopping and preparing ingredients -- anything involved in organizing and preparing a balanced meal. Castlewood Cooking Experiences program can help our clients soften or remove “taboos” surrounding food preparation, learn how to use everyday kitchen equipment, learn the fundamentals of how to organize and create a balanced meal, practice kitchen/cooking skills that they already have, and develop ideas about food combinations. It helps clients know that they can come into a safe environment, with no pressure, and be exposed to food in a hands-on, practical way. Our clients are able to be creative and prepare food for their peers. This not only gives them experience with food preparation, but also a sense of accomplishment that they can revisit and bring with them as they transition into their recovery and life beyond residential treatment. If you would like to learn more about Castlewood Cooking Experiences and our different treatment options, please call our Intake Department at 866.681.8624

The post Castlewood Cooking Experiences: Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure with Chef Mary appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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Welcome Back Jenn! Staff Spotlight:  Jennifer Edwards MA, LPCC (#2700), R-DMT- Clinical Director Your role at Castlewood at Monarch Cove: I am the Clinical director at Monarch Cove.  It is my role to support and guide our Monarch Cove team in deepening the therapeutic work of each of our clients. I am returning to Monarch Cove inspired and rejuvenated.   I have missed the team collaborative approach that truly is unique to Castlewood.  I really thrive when surrounded by the talented and dedicated staff that are inevitably attracted to Castlewood, and I have found the team at Monarch Cove to be no exception!   The thing you love most about working with people affected by eating disorders: Witnessing their self-hate transform into compassion, acceptance and self-love. What brings you joy and happiness in your life: Spending time with people and animals that I love, being with nature, traveling, dancing, witnessing others in their joy Your favorite quote: Oh gosh… I am not much of a quote person. “Wherever you go, there you are.” 6 things you could never do without: My fiancé, sunshine, pizza, my friends, the ability to move my body, laughter. Last song you listened to: I typically listen to podcasts, not music, so the last podcast I listened to was “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me." And they mentioned the Monterey Bay Aquarium!! Describe Jenn in 3 words:  Thoughtful, calm, direct.    

The post Staff Spotlight: Jenn Edwards Returns to Castlewood at Monarch Cove appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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Eating disorders are all too common—and they remain all too infrequently talked about. Although 30 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives, there’s so much stigma surrounding the subject that most of us still don’t feel comfortable broaching the subject publically. Yet, the absence of solid information about eating disorders means that many myths and misconceptions persist. As a result of this, many people who struggle with eating disorders don’t get the help they need. They don’t realize that treatment works, and that recovery can be attained. They don’t realize that they are not alone. For this reason, we believe National Eating Disorders Awareness Week to be a critical happening. It’s going on this year from February 26 through March 4, sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association. We’re proud to be partners with this important event, and we want to encourage you to join us. What is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week? First, though, let’s offer a quick explanation of what this week is and what it’s intended for. According to the NEDA website, “The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders by educating the public, spreading a message of hope, and putting life-saving resources into the hands of those in need.” During National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, organizations like Monarch Cove are encouraged “to raise awareness through social media campaigns, legislative advocacy, building lightings, local events, and many more activities.” That’s where you come in: We want you to help us in spreading the word, breaking down stigma, and having your voice heard. We invite you to participate in this year’s events simply by openly and honestly talking about your own experience—struggling with an eating disorder yourself, or simply providing love and care to someone who does. 5 Ways to Talk About It Indeed, the theme of this year’s NEDA Week is “It’s Time to Talk About It.” According to the website, “NEDA is opening up the conversation about eating disorders as a growing public health priority that affects all kinds of people, regardless of age, gender identity, ethnicity, sexuality, or background. By starting conversations, busting myths, sharing the online screening tool, and framing eating disorders in a more holistic way, we can reach new audiences by sharing resources and diverse stories of recovery.” The question is, what can you do to promote conversation? Here are our five suggestions:
  1. Use social media to share your story. Be candid about your own experience with an eating disorder—how it’s touched your life, and how treatment has helped. Use #NEDAWeek to hashtag it!
  2. Share some informational articles and resources that promote understanding and help move the conversation forward. The blogs you find here at Monarch Cove’s website can certainly provide you with some fodder!
  3. Connect with a local eating disorder awareness group or support group, and ask how you can help; it may be as simple as being willing to speak about your experience.
  4. Become an ambassador for recovery! If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, urge them to seek therapy. Let them know that recovery is attainable.
  5. Be willing to initiate tough conversations with loved ones. Open up to the people you care about about why eating disorder recovery is something that you care about.
You can get involved, and you can make a difference. It can be as simple as talking about your experience. Join us in doing so today! Join us! Share your story on Facebook!

The post 5 Ways to Get Involved with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” – Philip Sidney   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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A common misconception about mental health disorders is that they are “all in your head”—that is, that they don’t take a physical toll on the body. This could not be further from the truth. Medical research confirms time and time again that depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can have an impact across your bodily systems, not just in your mind. Eating disorders are no different. An eating disorder, when not properly treated, can ravage the body in a number of ways—and that includes adverse impact on the heart. February is National Heart Month, a time when many medical organizations are focusing attention on the importance of cardiovascular health. In this post, we’re going to join them, first highlighting some of the ways in which an eating disorder can impact the heart, then offering some general tips for improving heart health. Eating Disorders and Your Heart Different eating disorders can impact the body in different ways. We’ll highlight three common eating disorders here, beginning with anorexia. Anorexia starves the body of essential nutrients, and as a result the body must slow its functions in an effort to save energy. This includes slowing the heart. Some possible ramifications of this include slow heart rate and low blood pressure, both of which increase the risk of heart failure. That’s to say nothing of other health concerns, such as low bone density, dehydration, and more. Bulimia can also have an impact on the heart. That’s because the binge-and-purge cycle that characterizes bulimia leads to severe electrolyte and chemical imbalances, which can in turn thwart the proper functioning of all major bodily systems. It is not uncommon for those with untreated bulimia to experience malfunctioning of various major organs, and that sometimes includes the heart. Finally, there is binge eating disorder (BED). Those who struggle with this eating disorder may experience many of the same health effects that characterize obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Tips for Improving Heart Health Clearly, eating disorders can jeopardize heart health, which means that they can be life-threatening. The question is, how can you work to get your cardiovascular health back on the right track? The first step is to seek treatment for your eating disorder. Persisting with an untreated eating disorder can only have a negative impact on your heart health, but when you seek the proper clinical intervention, full recovery is attainable. If an eating disorder is causing you heart problems, treatment for that eating disorder is necessary for you to protect your cardiovascular condition. Any list of heart health tips will inevitably have dietary recommendations—something that can be complicated for those who also struggle with an eating disorder. This is why it is imperative to work closely and regularly with a dietitian, who can help you develop a meal plan that addresses the needs of your eating disorder recovery while also providing the nutrients necessary for heart health. Some additional tips we recommend for improved heart health:
  • Ensure that you are getting your rest! Eight hours of sleep each night can help fortify heart health.
  • Talk with your eating disorder therapist about appropriate forms of exercise.
  • Make sure you have a stress outlet—something like journaling, creative writing, piano playing, yoga, or whatever else.
  • Make it a priority to have regular check-ins with your general physician, including blood pressure checks.
If you have questions about the link between eating disorders and heart health, we urge you to contact Castlewood at Monarch Cove to ask for more information. Contact us to learn more about eating disorder recovery.

The post Eating Disorders and Heart Disease appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.” – John Wooden   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandino   Share your favorite quote in the comments below! Your words may be just the ones someone suffering from an eating disorder needs to get through a difficult moment.

The post Eating Disorder Recovery Quote appeared first on Monarch Cove.

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