The Mindful Dietitian with Tara MacGregor

December 22, 2017

Tara MacGregor, Counsellor, Psychotherapist and APD, on the psychotherapeutic model for behaviour change, client centred practice misconceptions, context in practice, motivational interviewing, getting out of ‘fix it’ mode and the importance of professional supervision.

Please join me today as I speak with the inspiring and very experienced Tara
MacGregor; a qualified Counsellor, Psychotherapist and APD. After many years in
clinical dietetics, Tara currently manages a successful private practice located in
Sydneyss North Shore. Tara assists adults suffering with chronic yo-yo dieting,
disordered eating and eating disorders by combining skilful client centred counselling with nutrition knowledge using the HAES/non-diet approach. Through her training organisation Practice Pavestones, Tara also provides training for health professionals focussing principally on motivational interviewing. Tara also offers clinical supervision and mentoring for dietitians and mental health professionals.

Here Tara shares:
 How she became interested in the overlapping/space between dietetics and
counselling/psychotherapy and what her current space encompasses.
 Taking off the white coat; the growth of the psychotherapeutic model and
limitations of client ‘education’ in behaviour change.
 Client Centred Practice misconception; how it is not doing what your client
wants, the ethics and how you can navigate this space!
 The importance of ‘context’ in practice and allowing your client to have their
 Motivational Interviewing; a conversational, guiding style perfect for HAES/non-
diet approach
 “Laying the burden down of being the fixer and tapping into our foundational
qualities that were already there”
 “There is an alternative to traditional dietary therapy” and how supervision can
complement the transition by bringing out your strengths.

Supervision – the key questions answered:
o The difference between professional supervision and mentoring
o How would a dietitian know if they needed supervision?
o What ‘should’ supervision feel (afterwards)?
o Should a supervisor be another dietitian?
o How you can find a supervisor?
 Current work and involvement with the DAA; Dietitians Association of Australia

Connect with Tara;


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Susan Williams

December 13, 2017

Susan Williams, RD, on beinga HAES Dietitian working in a traditional weight-focussed workplace, Non-Diet Ninja-ing, incorporating HAES into the public health setting and using our privilege to speak up for what is right!  

Please join me today as I speak with the passionate and fun-loving Susan Williams. Susan is based in west Sydney and is the principal dietitian at Zest. She specialises is eating habits and behaviours, body image and weight concerns, and recovery from eating disorders.  Susan practises HAES/non-diet approach and is currently advocating for a weight neutral, client centric focus as she works as part of a multidisciplinary group within the public health sector.   

Here Susan shares:

  • ‘Fangirling’ - being on the same bill as Dr Anita Johnson and meeting Fi
  • The journey to dietetics and ‘I’ve graduated – now what?’; feeling uncomfortable with the traditional dietary therapy focussed on weight-loss.
  • Reading ‘Child of Mine’ by Ellyn Satter; how it provided me with confidence; “I am okay - I can be a dietitian like this (with a HAES/non-diet approach)!”
  • Activism; the controversial hiring of a HAES/non-diet dietitian within a government funded family health service scheme and Susan’s own lived experience providing a weight neutral approach within this programme.
  • The many challenges of working within the public health sector; ‘everything happens SO slowly’, also but recognising the small wins and many opportunities.
  • The importance of not ‘keeping quiet’ around the HAES/non-diet approach – “not playing nice strengthens the weight neutral voice and brings awareness to the issues surrounding weight stigma/bias and how this effects client health outcomes” – we need to be loud for our clients!
  • The need for health behaviour research and for a stronger focus on the social determinants for health; “we must recognise that the playing fields are uneven!”
  • How working in this paradigm can feel like being in the ‘upside down’ (Stranger Things!); no one can hear you from the other side and NO this is NOT the easy/passive approach!
  • How the HAES/non-diet approach can really focus on nourishment and allows our clients to be reverent and respectful of food rather than fearful!
  • Susan’s night-time ninja activities last week; how we can use and acknowledge our privilege to speak up for what is right!


Connect with Susan;

At Zest Nutrition; here or on FaceBook


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Grace Wong

November 19, 2017

Grace Wong, RD on finding courage in discomfort, the importance of tough conversations both with our clients and within our communities and the confusions around HAES and client-centered practice.

Thanks for joining to me hear the inspiring Grace Wong from Calgary, Canada who is a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders, mental health nutrition and parent-child feeding relationships. Graces advocates for the non-diet approach, HAES and weight acceptance in her practise and campaigns for a supportive community where practitioners can engage in respectful disagreements and ongoing professional and personal develop to broaden perspectives and strengthen and advance our work.

Here Grace shares:

  • ‘Renting & Venting’ - meeting on The Mindful Dietitian FaceBook page and the importance of giving our emotions a safe space.
  • ‘Weight/Food’ = Emotions. Why and how we need to move emotionally with our clients.
  • Working with Ellyn Satter - Models and Attitude in practise;

    • Understanding the entire development process and behaviours and how they progress.
    • Being clear, assertive and confident in our work.
    • The importance of talking through our disagreements with other professionals.
  • Exploring discomfort; how to become comfortable with conflict and how it can advance our work.
  • Emotions continued; making room for clients to experience the full spectrum of emotions for change and healing.
  • Patient Centric Care in HAES/non-diet approach and the confusion around motivational interviewing
  • ‘Focussing not only on the approach, but discussing the science with clients means weight loss will not stand’.
  • Uncertainty and perfectionism in practise and hopes for the future.


Connect with Grace here.


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Tracy Brown

October 22, 2017

Tracy Brown on attunement, somatic-based nutrition therapy, trauma and moving away from shame through connecting with the body's wisdom. PLUS a BONUS meditation!

Please join me as I speak with the passionate Tracy Brown of Florida, USA. Tracy is a registered dietitian, eating disorder specialist, body image and attuned eating coach who also specialises in the unique practice of somatic nutrition therapy. Here Tracy shares:

  • The bigger scope; leading clients to trust their bodies for life
  • Importance of attunement and mindful presence in nutritional practice
  • Being comfortable with mess; the art of knowing when to use cognitive and counselling/mindful skills
  • Client journey and recovery; importance of patience, non-judgment, compassion,helping them feel seen and heard
  • Diet-culture in practice; using it to reprogramme and show clients they have a power and choice – they are in charge!
  • Trauma; introduction to Big T’s and Little T’s
  • An introduction to somatic nutrition therapy; things getting stuck in the nervous system - a transformation of neural pathways, not just strategies for coping
  • Recognising client needs and what they are ready for; making their choices okay for them by building safety
  • Shame; how it arrives, recognising it, sitting with it and bringing it out in the open for healing
  • Her new project and leads us in a meditation to help us find our centre to increase worthiness

Connect with Tracy:

Find out more about Tracy here


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Isabel Foxen Duke

October 9, 2017

Isabel Foxen Duke on our fat phobic society, how our limited defintion of recovery gets in the way,how to spot bias in our training and research, and how food policing directly contributes to weight stigma.

I was so excited to speak with the very passionate Isabel Foxen Duke, Health Coach and Emotional Eating specialist from San Francisco. Isabel has a "no holds barred" kinda attitude, which I absolutely love, and shares with us her gems in this jam-packed episode! Keep an eye out for Isabel's NEW coaching program for professionals (to be launched end of Oct 2017).

Here Isabel shares:
• Her first introduction to diet culture at just 3 years old and how it impacted her relationship with food and self into adulthood
• Flying under the radar and the journey to treatment
• Our fat phobic society, the flaws of treatment and how recovery idealism is affecting true recovery
• Understanding weight bias; the importance of the critical analysis of research
• How we are misunderstanding health; it is a spectrum, not something you have or don’t have!
• The real issues of weight stigma
• The key challenges working in this paradigm
• The importance of providing clients with the theory behind recovery measures for healing; not just providing them with another set of do’s and don’ts
• Being aware of our language so not to engage in diet mentality
• Stop Fighting Food TM and her new exciting project

Connect with Isabel:
Stop Fighting Food TM
About Isabel
Isabel on Facebook

Email list: Sign up for Coaching (professionals)

Isabel Foxen Duke is the creator of Stop Fighting Food TM, a masterclass for clients in recovery. After 5 successful years Isabel is taking on a new venture in Health at Every Size teacher training and mentorships.


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Megan Bray

September 6, 2017

Megan Bray, APD bring us her thoughts on practice-based evidence in Eating Disorders, the Clinician's lived experience and how we can all contribute to equitable care.

Please join me as I speak with the immensely passionate Megan Bray of Food Mind Body Queensland. As a registered dietitian and trainer, Megan supports eating disorders recoveries through a diet-free and body positive approach, whilst also using her own lived experience to reduce shame and support her clients through compassion and empathy.

Here Megan shares:


  • Her journey to Prague for the June 2017 International Conference on Eating Disorders and importance of bringing the community together for ‘rich discussions’ to improve client approaches and recovery
  • The focus on diagnoses; we need to shift towards an individualised approach
  • Looking outside the manualised approach; Practise Based Evidence and how the theory can be applied
  • Her lived eating disorder recovery experience and why it’s important to see a dietitian during recovery
  • How sharing your own shame and vulnerabilities can creates a supportive, trusting environment and reduce client’s expectation of judgment



  • Advice for Dietetic/Nutrition students who are recovering or have an Eating Disorder
  • The emphasis on mentoring and supervision
  • Why we need practitioners to stop engaging in disordered eating behaviours



  • How ‘labels’ and ‘numbers’ can hinder recovery and how some behaviours need to be acknowledged as simply ‘human’
  • The power of images/photos and the feminist and body positive movement in opening our mind to size diversity and building self-worth.


As discussed in the podcast:

Food Mind Body

Connect with Megan:

Find out more about Megan here


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Dana Sturtevant

August 21, 2017

Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD, RYT on Body Trust, the power of Poetry & being a diet culture crusader!

Please join me as I speak with the inspiring Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD; nutrition therapist, yoga instructor and founder and educator at The Be Nourished Training Institute in Oregon, Portland. Dana, along with business partner Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC, deliver programmes to health professionals and the wider community focussed on the art and science of behaviour change and advocate for Body Trust®; which they believe to be the beating heart behind the cultivation of Health at Every Size® and Intuitive Eating practices.

Be Nourished offer incredible provider programs, including an E-Course, six month Body Trust Provider Certification Training and supervision. Find out more, or sign up for their newsletter at:


In our conversation, Dana shares:

  • How her experience in nutritional research exposed her to motivational interviewing; a critical element to her career.
  • The band aid approach to research; how it promotes diet culture and neglects to investigate the root cause
  • Why knowledge is not enough to change behaviour
  • A beautiful match; Dana & Yoga, the powerful ability yoga has of strengthen one’s relationship with their body; both emotional, physically and mentally
  • Meeting Hilary and the beginning of Be Nourished and healing the dieting mind
  • The power of community and group work
  • The need for adequacy NOT perfectionism – “We need more C’s not A’s”
  • Her super-poetry-reciting ability and why and how she incorporates poetry into her therapy
  • Body Trust® training
  • Creating Brave Communities for change.
  • Social justice in practise; how all oppression is connected

As discussed in the podcast:

Body Trust®

​Connect with Dana:

About Dana:

Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD, is a trainer, mentor, Kripalu Yoga teacher, and dietitian specializing in Health at Every Size® and intuitive eating. She is the cofounder of Be Nourished, a revolutionary business helping people heal body dissatisfaction and reclaim body trust. Dana loves incorporating mindfulness and self-compassion practices into her work. A member of the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Dana has facilitated more than 300 workshops throughout the United States for health care providers looking to enhance their skills in behavior-change counseling. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post.

Find out more about Dana here


The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Megrette Fletcher

July 31, 2017

Megrette Fletcher on the intersection of Mindfulness, Mindful Eating and Motivational Interviewing.

How does Mindfulness practice, Mindful Eating & Motivational Interviewing fit together? Very nicely, thankyou very much! Join me as I speak with inspiring leader, author and Mindful Eating Specialist Megrette Fletcher, M.Ed., RD. CDERD as we dive down into some of the complexities of working with humans as we aim to support them to navigate their own experience. And our own!

You'll also hear us talking about:

  • The natural fit of Mindfulness and Motivational Interviewing
  • Megrette's early upbringing in a Christian house and her later explorations, and immersion, in Buddhist teachings
  • The starting of The Center for Mindful Eating and the dining table where it all began
  • How weight stigma hurts everyone, and particularly those diagnosed with a disease such as diabetes
  • How a diagnosis can "set off" disordered eating, or support the re-emergence of dieting attitudes and behaviours
  • Breaking the shame spiral, starting with us!
  • How we can support people to get back in touch with their inherent worth and value as humans
  • The importance of supervision for Dietitians


You can find Megrette here:

Including links to her books:

The Core Concepts of Mindful Eating: Professional Edition

Discover Mindful Eating for Kids

Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes with Dr Michelle May M.D.

Discover Mindful Eating: A resource of handouts for health professionals with Frederick Burggraf.



The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Jessica Setnick

June 28, 2017

Jessica Setnick on transgenerational influence on food and eating experiences.

Fellow Eating Disorder Dietitian brings her fabulous unique style to this interview, as we explore ways in which we can be aware of transgenerational influences on the way we experience food, eating and our bodies.

  • Jess's background in anthropology, and how this informed her Nutrition practice
  • Why a transgenerational assessment is such an important part of the Dietetic consultation
  • Transforming understanding from "this is a fact" to "this is a behaviour"
  • How awareness of the origins of our behaviours can open up space for choice
  • Separating moral judgements from behaviours
  • "When you can see many possibilities, shame diminishes" - we can help people navigate possibilities!
  • "No one choice makes or breaks"
  • "No one is born preoccupied with food, society makes us this way...."
  • How we can support parents in their efforts to feed their children in a way that fosters respect and care
  • Offering meaning to the behaviours, breaking through shame
  • How to use the word "regret" in a helpful way
  • How storytelling is a way we talk to ourselves too
  • Creating safe spaces for our clients
  • When to shush, when to speak up
  • The power of witnessing someone's struggle



About Jess:

Jessica Setnick has one of the most recognizable names in the eating disorders treatment world, thanks to her engaging and charismatic presentation style, her unique point of view, and her genuine ability to connect on a deep level, even from the podium. She has spent her career developing eating disorder treatment protocols in every level of care and shares her wealth of knowledge with health professionals and the public in every possible format, including the Eating Disorders Boot Camp: Training Workshop for Professionals audio course, The Eating Disorders Clinical Pocket Guide, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Pocket Guide to Eating Disorders, as Eating Disorder Editor at Recovery Campus Magazine, in the forthcoming book Managing Eating Disorders on Campus, as a CEDRD Supervisor and mentor to treating professionals around the world, and in her many, many, many presentations. Jessica’s mission is to work toward a world where everyone who needs care for eating issues has access to qualified professionals, and no one is turned away due to insurance issues or mistaken stereotypes.


You can find Jess here:

International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians



The Mindful Dietitian Interview Series - Anita Johnston

June 17, 2017

Dr Anita Johnson on using metaphor and stories to bring meaning, insight and compassion into the lived experience.

Anita Johnson, author of "Eating in the Light of the Moon" is a very highly regarded Eating Disorder therapist and healer, and someone who uses metaphor and stories to support people in bringing meaning, insight and compassion to difficult life experiences. In this interview, Anita generously shares with us some of her more "famous" metaphors and some incredible pieces of wisdom including:

  • Eating in the Light of the Moon as 10 year project, first published in 1996
  • Why metaphors are so poweful, lessons from neurocience
  • Storytelling, and "storylistening"
  • Why our body signals are suchpowerful indicators, and how we learn to disconnect
  • Why there is such profound meaning in the way people use food, and what we can discover along the way
  • Finding meaning and themes in eating behaviours beyond the eating disorder
  • Imagination as a highly valuable part of the recovery process
  • The naturally changing body vs cultural pressures
  • People do what they do for very good reasons,there is nothing wrong with you!
  • Seeing the patterns in our behaviour - is restriction or binge eating just about the food?
  • Don't look at the finger pointing at the moon, look at the moon.... (Zen saying)
  • "cracking the code" of food cravings (see your free gift!)


Your free Gift here!


About Anita:

Anita Johnston, Ph.D., CEDS, is a Depth Psychologist, certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor, storyteller, and author of Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationships with Food Through Myth, Metaphor, and Storytelling, which has been published in six languages along with numerous book chapters and articles in professional journals.

She has been working in the field of women’s issues for over 35 years and is currently the Clinical Director of ‘Ai Pono Hawaii which has outpatient eating disorder programs in Honolulu, the Big Island of Hawaii, and a residential treatment program in Maui.

She is the co-creator of the Light of the Moon Café, an interactive e-course, women’s circle, and online “workbook” for Eating in the Light of the Moon.

Dr. Johnston provides individual consultations via teleconferencing and lectures around the world to professional organizations, conferences, universities, medical institutions, and the community at large. She is best known for integrating metaphor and storytelling into her training as a clinical psychologist to explain the complex issues that underlie struggles with eating, weight, and body image.


Pronunciation note:

‘Ai Pono sounds like iphone, but instead of phone you say pono (oh no with a “p” in front)




You can reach her at: