For the sixth edition of our Clinician Spotlight series, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Daisy! Dr. Daisy works with children, teens and adults with a wide range of eating issues. Yet her particular area of specialty is working with people with ADHD (and other neuro-differences) overcome eating challenges.
What interests you most about health and nutrition? The why. Why do we eat the way we do? How does our constitutional make up, our upbringing, and the culture that surrounds us influence how and what we eat? I love learning about all the things that can get in the way of having a good relationship with food. Is eating fun and joyful? If not, let’s explore that. Everyone deserves to have a great relationship with food.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what fueled your interest in nutrition I actually started off as an artist, believe it or not! I am ADHD and growing up, nobody knew it and I had no support. So I did terribly in school. But I was creative and emersed myself in art. My quirky art friends were 'my people'. I went to Art School in Boston and did the BFA program at Tufts - back then you didn’t need grades to get in, just a good art portfolio. After graduation it was time to engage in the business of selling art. This felt like a mountain I didn’t want to climb. I was drawn to nutrition because, back then, I was still diet-minded and I wanted to learn how to eat ‘healthier’ and tell others how to do this too. However, soon after I started my Master’s program in nutrition I realized that eating psychology was FAR more important and interesting than the nutritional composition in food. My interest in eating psychology (no more diets!) and neuro-nutrition grew from there.
What skills do you consider to be essential to work in this industry?
I’m not sure if this is a skill but I’d say, empathy. The most critical element in our work is being able to imagine what it might feel like to be our client. To see the world as they see it.
Favorite snack? Always changing day-to-day. This week I was into a mini-charcuterie plate - crackers, cheese, fruit, olives, nuts, salami. So good.
Fun fact about you? I play ice hockey. I started at age 49 and no, I’m not good in the slightest.
What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?
You got this, Daisy.
Are there any books, magazines, newsletters, podcasts or websites you would recommend for those who want to become better educated about diet and nutrition?
I have not yet listened to this podcast myself but the RDs on our team absolutely love the podcast, ‘Maintenance Phase’. ‘Anti-Diet’ by Harrison is a fantastic book if you’re looking for some evidence to support not dieting.
Do you see a shift happening in public perceptions of nutrition?
Yes! Like a lot of things, health and nutrition seem to be more polarized. When I started my career 22 years ago we didn’t have words like, “anti-diet”, “body positive”, "fat positive", “fat shaming”, “non-diet”, “HAES”, “size-inclusive.” Also, twenty years ago there were no larger-sized mannequins or models for popular brands. So those are positive shifts. But in the opposite direction, dietary restriction is more normal than ever. It's a 'lifestyle'. The wellness industry has contributed to a LOT of disordered eating. Our fear of fatness has increased. Ideal bodies have become not just thin but unattainable without surgeries. So, both ends of the spectrum have gotten more extreme. We'll see what the future holds but I'm very optimistic. There's so many great people doing good work in our field.
To read Daisy's formal education and work bio click here.