Nutritional Philosophy

At Haven Hills Recovery, we understand how challenging it can be to start redeveloping a relationship with food when beginning the recovery journey, which is why our well-trained staff and clinicians are there every step of the way to support our clients with their struggles and fears around food. We use a direct, yet gentle approach when helping our clients navigate food. Our clients learn how to properly nourish their bodies by consuming a balanced meal plan that is appropriate for their individual needs. Clients are involved in the menu planning process and we encourage them to choose foods that genuinely sound appetizing to them to help them re-discover their true likes and dislikes. We use a non-diet approach and view all foods as neutral, rather than good versus bad, and we encourage mindfulness when making food choices and eating. Clients are encouraged to try to begin the process of connecting with their bodies by assessing their hunger and satiety cues at mealtimes.

The plating method is used for meals, which is flexible and helps clients understand how to put together meals that contain a variety of nutrients from the different food groups. Clients are offered appropriate real-life sized portions so they can visually understand how much food they need daily to maintain a healthy body weight after treatment. We believe that weight restoration should most commonly be done through nutritional supplements rather than food to avoid mimicking a meal that looks like a binge and to prevent clients from feeling overwhelmed by the amount of food they need to eat to restore weight. However, we also feel that it is important to be flexible when working with clients to meet their individual needs.

At Haven Hills Recovery clients are involved in the food and nutrition program to help them feel more confident before transitioning home. It is our hope that our clients will be able to apply what they have learned and experienced in treatment to their home environment.

We use a variety of experientials to keep clients engaged with the nutritional aspect of their recovery. This type of exposure helps prepare them for real-life situations after treatment, including social gatherings and events that involve food. Our nutrition schedule is comprised of multiple individual, group, and family meal experiential interventions which includes cooking demonstrations, menu planning, portioning, family-style meals, holiday parties, and restaurant outings. Nutrition education is also a key component of our nutrition program, which enables our clients to use the knowledge they acquire to help them cope with the fear and anxiety they may experience around food. It is our hope that our clients will be able to see for themselves that food can be pleasurable and fun. We feel that it is not only important to improve our clients’ nutritional status, but also to begin to help them re-develop a healthy relationship with food.

Haven Hills Recovery – San Diego Eating Disorder Treatment