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Removing Food-Guilt- Building Self-Trust ft. Kathleen Meehan RD

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If you eat something and you feel really guilty and shameful about it, I don’t care how healthy that food is, it’s going to have a ripple effect that is unhealthy and unproductive.

Kathleen Meehan


Kathleen Meehan RD

Our guest this week is an Intuitive Eating Counselor, Registered Dietitian and Health Coach with a Master’s degree in nutrition. Kathleen Meehan RD is a disruptive force in the health and wellness industry when it comes to her views on anti-diet culture and food guilt.

Kathleen beautifully explains the power of intuitive eating in the world we live in today. As we are bombarded with vilifying messaging about what food is “good” or “bad” or “healthy” or “unhealthy,” she believes in liberalizing them all. By removing restrictive eating patterns, giving yourself permission to eat, and noticing our experience with food, Kathleen feels we can create a new relationship with food in a way that is sustainable and will empower you to live and be more in tune with your body. ⁣

Find Kathleen on

  • Instagram – @therdnutritionist
  • Twitter – @kathleenmRDN

Episode Highlights

When asked about how Kathleen became passionate about intuitive eating, she answered that she didn’t learn about in school, but rather tumbled across it a few years into her career and felt it was the missing piece for her. 

She learned that there was a framework that supports people in a different way. Kathleen’s intuitive eating and non-diet approach combines enjoyment and satisfaction with the experience of eating. When it comes to food, we often hear do this/don’t do that. Intuitive eating is “more about listening to your body than listening to the external rules or suggestions”, Kathleen explained. She went on to explain that intuitive eating is really just noticing your experience with food.

Intuitive eating is an inclusive approach, that respects peoples bodies and where they naturally fall when you have different behaviors in place thats more about nourishing than restricting, Kathleen explained. It includes both helping to heal your relationship with food and also maintain a healthy relationship with food. According to Kathleen, intuitive eating is taking care of yourself with more flexibility.

When it comes to weight loss, Kathleen explained, “we can hold space for the desire for weight change, but we’re going to do things like work on your relationship with food, work on your relationship with movement, discuss what self-care looks like, and body respect.” The science of weight is very complex, and we have simplified it to calories in vs. calories out or nutrition and exercise. Cutting out 500 calories a day for a week equals losing one pound a week. Let’s stop thinking of what you can’t have and start thinking about what you can. Let’s get you to believe that you are in control by practicing individual autonomy.

“When we restrict, our bodies view that as a threat. It’s sort of like our bodies can’t determine this is intentional weight loss vs. this is a famine. At a certain point in time we see there are these adaptations in our hormones, increased cravings, metabolism slowing down, your body begins to fight back as a means of survival”, explained Kathleen.

Kathleen further explained that weight cycling negatively affects your metabolism and health by you constantly being in battle with your body. “Our bodies are going to resist what feels like restriction because it’s really a protective mechanism,” shared Kathleen.

Based on the way of life in America today, we don’t even realize its happening- the multiple apps, tracking, new things, intermittent fasting, Noom, Weight Watchers bombarding our ability to know what’s best for us. Kathleen explained that when people talk about their past experience with diets and restricting food they usually say something along the lines of “that didn’t work for me” or “that worked until it didn’t work”. So what is sustainable? What do we do?

According to Kathleen, it’s about turning down all the noise, unlearning the do this/not that that our society has drilled into our brains. What is it like to experience food and nourishment, responding to your body’s cues, and experiencing being in your body rather than listening to the outside noise?

Kathleen explained that, “there’s research that names the fact that the inability to stick to something like Weight Watchers, low carb, is not an individual failing, its something we can expect based on how our bodies are hardwired. We have science that shows these things don’t work long time and we tie it back to your experience. You didn’t not have will power.. It’s not you, its the program”.

Kathleen’s conversation with clients and food begins with asking questions around their experience and their story. What they’ve tried in the past- naming all the different things that this person has tried that hasn’t serviced them in the long run or hasn’t led to a peaceful relationship with food. 

“When we have permission to eat all of these different foods, it opens up an opportunity to kind of notice the experience of your body and consider what is going to be realistic for you in that meal, that moment, that season of life.,”

It’s more than just healthy vs. unhealthy, Kathleen further explained. We have to take into account things like access, convenience, time, affordability – recommendations that we make aren’t accessible to a lot of people. What we can recommend for everyone is to slow down, eat a wide variety of foods, and stop villianzing food that leads to guilt and shame.  

Kathleen stated “if you eat something and you feel really guilty and shameful about it, I don’t care how healthy that food is, it’s going to have a ripple effect that is unhealthy and unproductive”. She broke down how to start eating intuitively by stating, “eat consistently throughout the day and notice your experience… eat regularly so you don’t have these extreme periods of time, blood sugar crash, people notice their experience with food becomes more calm right off the bat… You can have all these things, but what do you notice when you choose to eat it?… What is it like to give yourself permission if you eat it?… What do satisfying meals look like for you (including carbs, fats, protein, produce)?… What did you notice after you ate that.. How did you feel?”

Intuitive eating is about putting all food on the table and having these things available so you can nourish your body. It’s normal to keep eating, our bodies need food, explained Kathleen.  What sounds good to you, what do you think would make you feel satisfied? There’s not one right way for every single person to eat.  

What if you could eat anything? Would you be stressed about food if everything was on the table?


Our relationship with food is important to address and Gold Ivy brought on a powerhouse of an RD to talk through it. Intuitive Eating Counselor and Registered Dietitian, Kathleen Meehan, discusses her approach to liberalizing foods so that we can eat a wider variety and experience less guilt, shame, and judgment during our experience with food. Andrea and Brooke had a lot of questions for @therdnutritionist and she did not disappoint. Turn down the external noise of diet culture and tune into Ivy Unleashed as they discuss the intriguing topics of: fad diets, meal planning, cleanses, weight cycling, metabolism, and food restriction. 

Behind-the-Scenes Video

3 Gold Stars

1. Aim to eat consistently throughout the day when you are hungry.

2. Plan out 5 meals for your week and when you will grocery shop for those items.

3. Honor your preferences and cravings this week and notice how you feel physically and emotionally.

Ivy Reflections

  • What food beliefs (dos and don’ts) do I have and where do they come from?
  • How would I describe my relationship with food?
  • What feelings arise when I think about no food being off-limits or “bad”?

Piece of Gold

We diagnose eating disorder behaviors for people in smaller bodies, but we prescribe those same behaviors for people in larger bodies.

Deb Bregard

Healing Food of the Week-

Not that any of us need more reasons to love blueberries, but it can’t hurt! Check out some interesting information on one of our favorite fruits below👇⁣⁣
Blueberries are a great source of flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin E, and riboflavin.⁣⁣
𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬: They are especially helpful in improving vision and protecting against age-related macular degeneration (loss of eyesight). ⁣⁣

𝐅𝐮𝐧 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐭: When Tufts University analyzed a variety of 60 fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capability, blueberries rated the highest.⁣⁣

Recipes You Need to Try!

Triple Berry Oat Smoothie with Hemp Seed

⁣⁣ ⁣⁣



Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal Cups on white parchment paper

Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal Cups ⁣⁣

@allthehealthythings ⁣⁣


  • Founders of Intuitive Eating –
  • The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray M.D. Joseph Pizzorno N.D. and Laura Pizzorno M.A., L.M.T.
Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods - By Michael T Murray & Joseph Pizzorno  (Paperback) : Target


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We thank you for joining us in the fearless pursuit of self-discovery and growth and hope that you transform our lessons into your gold. 

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Listen to your truth and go chase your gold.

– Gold Ivy Health Co.

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