At Magnolia Creek, we meet the needs of the whole person by treating not only the eating disorder, but also the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of each woman in our care. We believe that All Foods Fit, meaning there are no “bad” foods and there is room for all foods. Our holistic approach allows us to help our clients to honor their hunger and fullness cues and to understand that all body types were created for a purpose.
Nutrition Therapy Program
Upon admission to Magnolia Creek, clients will meet with a registered dietitian within 48 hours for an initial nutrition assessment. For their first 48 hours, clients are placed on a standardized meal plan. During the initial nutrition assessment, the client will receive an individualized meal plan tailored specifically to their needs to meet their weight restoration goals.
After completion of the initial nutrition assessment, clients will meet weekly with their dietitian for 30-90 minutes to discuss any nutrition-related topic ranging from education of macronutrients to discussing the functions of their eating disorder to developing acceptance/tolerance of their current body as it restores weight. As progress is made, clients gain freedom and responsibility related to meal planning, preparation, and dining.
If a client is severely underweight and after the initial nutrition assessment is classified as being at risk for refeeding syndrome, further measures will be taken to insure they are restoring weight in line with the recommendations of nutritional rehabilitation for refeeding the anorectic patient via the National Institute of Health and Clinical excellence (NICE). In these specific cases, the dietitian will make the following recommendations:
- Labs are obtained for 3 days
- Weight is taken in the morning before any intake
- Daily monitoring of vital signs 3x/day
- Daily medical assessments
- Meal plan increases/adjustments for 3-4 days
- 24/7 monitoring by the medical and nursing staff
An individualized meal plan is designed based on the client’s specific needs and nutrition goals. All clients participate in three meals and three snacks per day, as eating consistently has several advantages, including, but not limited to blood sugar regulation, appetite regulation, and metabolism restoration.
Clients have a certain amount of control regarding their menus. Concerning weekly lunch and dinner menus, clients may except up to three foods each week. A food exception refers to one specific food (e.g., cauliflower, salmon), NOT a food group or generalized group (e.g., vegetables, meat). Magnolia Creek’s dietitians select food substitutions that are nutritionally equivalent to the excepted food(s).
By Sunday evening, clients are required to complete their breakfasts and snack menus for the upcoming week. Once a week, clients may also choose to substitute a “lunch-box meal” for one entire meal (clients may not substitute desserts). A lunch-box meal consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a meat and cheese sandwich, or a grilled cheese sandwich with a fruit and vegetable side. After the dietitian reviews menus, clients and other staff members do not make changes to menus or meals. Clients who identify as vegetarian, gluten-free, or lactose intolerant must present a medical practitioner’s order, prior to admission, to continue this lifestyle at Magnolia Creek. Magnolia Creek recognizes all food allergies diagnosed by medical practitioners.
Staff members perform blind weigh-ins on clients at the time of their admission and every morning thereafter. Weights are taken in private on a balanced scale.
All clients participate in a cooking group with our Magnolia Creek chef on Wednesday mornings, where they can suggest meals and desserts that they would like to learn to prepare. Clients learn proper food preparation techniques and have hands-on experience with meal and dessert preparation. As clients move forward in their recovery process, they also can work with the chef for one-on-one learning and helping with daily lunch and dinner preparation.
Meal and Snack Outings
Each week, as part of our daily nutrition groups, clients who are medically approved attend group meal and snack outings with Magnolia Creek’s dietitians and staff counselors. Clients practice dining in public, eating food prepared by unknown people, determining appropriate portions, and ordering challenging foods. Dietitians provide instruction and/or portion size recommendations, as needed.
Magnolia Creek’s dietitians and physician work collaboratively to establish an appropriate exercise regimen for each client (based on her physical assessment, current nutritional status, and identified treatment needs). We offer a variety of exercise options, such as yoga, mindful movement, gentle movement, and walking.
Fluid Intake Guidelines
Unless otherwise recommended, clients are prescribed to drink 16oz of water at meals and 8oz of water at snacks. Clients may also have up to three additional 16oz bottles of water throughout the day if desired. Magnolia Creek’s dietitians may also prescribe clients to drink milk, soymilk, Ensure, PowerAde or fruit juice in addition to the water requirements.
Why We Do What We Do
Our clients. Everything that we do is with the hope that we may be the answered prayer needed on their journey to freedom from their eating disorder. As a culture, we’ve neglected the social, emotional, and psychological aspects of health and have instead focused so much of our attention on eating and exercise that in turn, we have begun to normalize disordered eating and exercise. Our hope at Magnolia Creek is that we can break down the barriers of the eating disorder, begin to have the client challenge all internal eating disorder “rules”, and thus, embark on the journey of healing their relationship with food and their body.