How AEDRA Meal Support Works
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
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How long does a session last?
AEDRA Meal Support Sessions are 30 minutes.
What does an AEDRA Meal Support Coach offer?
Offers compassionate, consistent, mealtime encouragement and support for a person with an eating disorder.
Stays calm and confident when providing Meal Support for a person with an eating disorder.
Offers support without judgement for any person trying to eat.
What doesn’t an AEDRA Meal Support Coach offer?
Meal Support Coaches do not offer nutritional advice
Meal Support Coaches may not promote goods or services
Meal Support Coaches never offer opinions on diets or exercise routines
Meal Support Coaches do not offer therapy, relationship advice, medical advice, or indeed anything else that could be considered counsel
Meal Support Coaches do not give opinions on the meal plan that the client is following, they only encourage the client to eat
Why is meal support needed alongside professional treatment?
If a person is receiving professional treatment from an eating disorder, they are likely to also still need meal support. This is because most therapy sessions are once a week, and dietician sessions even less frequent. As the sufferer needs to eat six times a day in order to weight restore, they cannot have their therapist with them for every meal.
Additionally, very few therapists offer mealtime support at all. While they may be able to offer support for anxiety, they are not able to physically help patients with the process of eating. Dietitians also can set meal plans, but the sufferer is then left alone to try and work out how to actually eat.
If people with eating disorders had no trouble eating, then they would not need treatment in the first place. An eating disorder creates fear and anxiety around the process of eating food, so it stands to reason that what a sufferer needs most is help at mealtimes.
Is AEDRA Meal Support an alternative to eating disorder treatment?
No. Absolutely not. And we are not therapists. We do not offer therapy or nutritional advice. We offer meal support to complement the meal plan that a sufferer may be working with as provided by a registered dietician. We offer meal support to complement the therapy as given by a registered eating disorder specialist.
What about the food part?
Before you have your session, you should make sure that your food is ready. When you have the session, the meal support coach is there to provide you with support for getting your meal eaten. We do not advise on what you should be eating.
If you need a meal plan, then you should contact a eating disorder specialist to help you with this. Remember, meal support is an important part of recovery, but cannot be substituted for treatment as provided by an eating disorder specialist.
What about if I don't have a meal plan?
AEDRA supports the concept that eating disorder sufferers can benefit from working with a treatment team. If you need a meal plan, then you should contact a eating disorder specialist to help you with this. Remember, meal support is an important part of recovery, but cannot be substituted for treatment as provided by an eating disorder specialist.
What happens if I don't have my meal prepared at the time that the session starts?
If you do not have your meal prepared and ready at the time that your session starts, your meal support coach will wait and talk with you while you prepare your food. However, you must be aware that support sessions booked for 30 minutes will not be able to run longer than 30 minutes. Therefore it's much better if you have everything ready before your coach calls you.
Coaches cannot advise you on what to eat or how much to eat, so please do not ask them to if you are preparing food. Thank you.
Can I use AEDRA if I do not have a treatment team?
Yes. AEDRA will serve any person who wants meal support. We just think that it's best if you are working with a treatment team also. :)
AEDRA believes that family support is important, so if you do not have a meal plan as set by a treatment specialist, then you should work with a family member who has a sufficient understanding of eating disorders to help you set a meal plan.
You can use meal support to help you eat if you are working on recovery alone, but you must have your meal ready at the time the session starts, so pre-planning is vital.
How does post-meal support work?
Post-Meal Support provides support for the time after eating. For some people with eating disorders, it is the time after the meal that is the most stressful for reasons ranging from physical discomfort to mental anguish. Post-Meal Support helps here by giving the sufferer someone to talk to who understands.
Post-Meal Support can also act as a distraction or supervision time for people who suffer from eating anxiety, binge eating disorder, or bulima.
How do I learn more about becoming a Meal Support Coach?
We are currently seeking meal support coaches. Coaches work to their own schedules as independent contractors and, if accepted onto the program, are put through AEDRA Meal Support Training.