The Mindful Dietitian

The Mindful Dietitian with 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:


Play this podcast on Podbean App