Are you in the process of recovering from an eating disorder? Maybe you are trying to support a loved one or you are a health professional wanting to learn more about what recovery looks like. We have put together a master list of eating disorder recovery resources just for you! Some are helpful for those in recovery, some are more helpful for healthcare professionals, some are best for families, and some are great for all! We have it broken down into books, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, and blogs. Many of these resources can also be helpful for loving your body the way it is and improving body image.
- For Individuals in Recovery
- For Families
- For Health Professionals
First off, we want to start with books. Each of these books have a specific target audience. But, there are twenty on this list, so there’s one for everybody. Whether it’s you or a family member that is recovering from an eating disorder, we think you’ll find something here that will be of benefit.
For Individuals in Recovery
1. The Brain Fix: What’s the Matter with Your Grey Matter by Dr. Ralph E. Carson*
This book is a really interesting examination and analysis of our brains. It dives into what can stress or damage our brain in everyday life. He then goes on to discuss what we can do to help protect our brains from the stressors of life. It’s a great combination of anatomy, interesting health perspectives, and tips for better mental health. He touches on food habits that might improve mental health, but not in a judgmental or limiting manner.
2. Land Whale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass by Jes Baker*
Jes is a fat woman who advocates for fat positivity/acceptance. She talks about her experience living in a larger body.
3. Body Kindness By Rebecca Scritchfield*
This is an amazing book if you’re looking to read more about breaking free of the dieting mindset and learning how to respect your body. It has unique tools for you to work through while reading and for professionals to use in session.
4. Body Positive Power: Because Life Is Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It by Megan Jayne Crabbe*
Megan’s Instagram, @bodyposipanda, is one of my favorite body-positive accounts! I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to make peace with her body and who is looking for a bit of body-positive inspiration.
5. Intuitive Eating and the Intuitive Eating Workbook by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole*
If you buy this book, please make sure to get the (new in 2020) fourth edition We would recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with chronic dieting, health professionals, and those in a stable place in recovery from an eating disorder. There are some great activities in the workbook.
6. Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston, PhD*
This book is filled with tons of powerful metaphors to help inspire your recovery. They help you understand how difficult it can be to trust in the recovery process. However, the journey will ultimately be worth it when you are able to break free from an eating disorder. Here is one of our favorites to share in session.
7. 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin*
Carolyn Costin’s book is eye-opening in regards to the complexities of eating disorders and the tremendous power of food, nourishment, and nurturing. She explains how eating disorders are not about food and how, in another sense, eating disorders are all about food. It is brilliantly written and each chapter includes thought-provoking writing prompts to foster healing. You can watch Carolyn here.
8. Life without Ed by Jenni Schaefer*
The book emphasizes that an eating disorder needs to be separated from the person struggling with the eating disorder. Thinking about the eating disorder (called ED) as a destructive relationship helps to embrace a healthier voice. Once this is recognized, it helps to actively fight, challenge, and break up with the ED voice. The book has nice, short, easily digested chapters.
9. Taste the Sweet REBELLION: REBEL Against Dieting by Fortunato, Magee, and Bitzer*
Our team of dietitians created our own rebellious spin of helping people get out of the dieting prison. This book includes chapters on self-care, eating and enjoying food without deprivation, and empowering yourself as you learn and practice skills to live joyfully.
10. Telling Ed NO by Cheryl Kerrigan*
This workbook is filled with lots of empowering activities including using your senses, taking risks, creating a vision board, creating a support network, and other ways to promote positivity and gratitude to help push eating disorder thoughts out.
11. Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop by Cynthia Bulik, PhD*
Although this is not a workbook, it has empowering information on cravings, bingeing, and understanding that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. It discusses that there is hope and gives strategies to learn about yourself to help you decrease your bingeing.
12. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating by Michelle May*
Living in America, it is difficult to not be dragged into conversations about whether or not a certain food is good or bad. People seem to be having endless conversations and comments about the “value” of certain foods. This kind of thinking can consume so much energy. Michelle helps you remember that all foods can be enjoyed and encourages you to do so. There is also a book for diabetes.
13. Body Respect by Lindo Bacon and Lucy Aphramor*
It breaks down the research surrounding dieting and the so-called “obesity epidemic.” It’s also a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning about Health at Every Size©, has chronically dieted, or is in a stable place in their recovery from an eating disorder. This book does have lots of numbers in it, so please be mindful about this if numbers can trigger you. To further understand Health at Every Size©, watch this video, which does a great job explaining it!
14. Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison, MPH, RD*
Christy exposes diet culture and its impact on people’s mental health. She dives into the history of diet culture, scientific research, her own experiences, and stories from others.
15. Nourished: 10 Ingredients for Happy, Healthy Eating by Klara Knezevic, Dana Magee, and Kaitlin Williams Eckstein*
This is our book! It helps you adopt the principles of intuitive eating. We guide you through nutrition concepts and what normal eating can look like. We also take you step by step in order to put that knowledge into practice by organizing your kitchen, meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prepping, and eating out. Not only will this workbook help you improve how you feel but it will give you confidence in eating.
1. Eating Disorders: A Guide to Medical Care and Complications by Philip S.Mehler and Arnold E.Anderson*
This book goes into what an eating disorder is, treatment information, recovery resources, and more. But why we like the book so much is that, while the information in it is evidence-based, the language is very easy to understand and the explanations are not full of medical jargon. This is a great book if you have a loved one with an eating disorder and want a little more understanding.
3. Child of Mine Feeding with Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter*
This is a classic book that talks about the division of responsibility for eating. Parents should determine what their children will eat, while children determine how much they will eat. Doing this allows children to stay connected to their hunger and fullness cues, developing a healthy relationship with food.
4. Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder by Locke and Le Grange*
This is an amazing resource for parents who want to stay informed and develop a united force to attack the eating disorder and help your child recover from an eating disorder. A family approach with a strong treatment team can help your loved one reach full recovery from an eating disorder.
5. Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family by Ellyn Satter*
Ellyn wants to help families celebrate eating while supporting good emotional health and positive family relationships. This book gives tips for raising good eaters and for practical cooking.
For Health Professionals
1. Sick Enough by Dr. Jennifer L. Gaudiani*
Sick Enough is written by Dr. Gaudiani, a doctor who specializes in eating disorder recovery. This book focuses on when someone with an eating disorder may not think they are “sick enough” to ask for help or work with a treatment team. Dr. Gaudiani does a good job of explaining the medical risks of delaying treatment and does so in a non-judgmental and easy to understand manner. She focuses on overcoming perceived barriers to treatments and advocates for increasing the perceived benefits of treatment and for how much it helps with recovery.
2. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bulimia: Using DBT to Break the Cycle and Regain Control of Your Life by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher PhD and Michael Maslar Psy/D*
This is a bulimia recovery workbook written by two psychologists that is meant for use by therapists or dietitians. It addresses what bulimia is and delves into the emotions and possible triggers associated with it. It then provides several worksheets and activities to help clients throughout the process of recovery. The book is centered around 4 core skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Through working on these skills, one can build their independence from their eating disorder. This book uses empowering language and breaks down skill building into manageable tasks.
This book speaks about Roxane Gay’s experience living life in a larger body. Every health professional should take the time to read Hunger. This book does include many numbers and may have some triggering information.
5. Intuitive Eating and the Intuitive Eating Workbook by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole*
See #5 in “for individuals in recovery.”
6. “Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders” by Marcia Herrin and Maria Larkin*
Marcia Herrin and Maria Larkin infuse research-based approaches and their own clinically-refined tools for managing food and weight-related issues. As professionals, we think you’ll appreciate the state of the art nutrition and weight assessment guidelines, the practical clinical techniques for managing bingeing, purging, excessive exercise, and weight restoration as well as the unique food planning approach that the authors developed in this book. As a comprehensive overview of food and weight-related treatments, this book can be a great resource for nutrition counselors, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, physicians, and primary care providers.
7. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman*
This is not a book typically recommended to clients struggling with eating disorders. It is something for treatment teams to keep in mind while working with clients. It helps us remember that each client has unique needs and tends to participate in relationships in ways that they wish to be treated. As people move away from their unhealthy relationship with their eating disorder, there is room for new healthier relationships. Part of the journey is finding ways to feel nourished in a healthy way.
8. Health at Every Size by Lindo Bacon*
This book will help healthcare professionals help others tune into their body. The HAES approach boosts both health and self-esteem while helping people break free from dieting.
Once you choose some books to read, it’s time to give your Instagram feed a makeover! While most of our other eating disorder recovery resources so far are more informational, Instagram accounts can offer a different avenue for encouragement and information too! We have made two lists of Instagram accounts to follow, accounts for positivity and accounts related to recovery. Whether you want to fill your feed with general positivity or you want more recovery-focused content, we have something for you!
First, we’ll give you a list of generally positive accounts. These are great for anybody! Instagram feeds are commonly cluttered with negativity and comparison. These accounts can help take the focus away from that, and make it a more positive space.
Now, here are some that are more specific for those in recovery. These are some Instagram accounts that post content related to eating disorder recovery, body positivity, and body image. They can help you see that you aren’t alone and can validate your feelings during recovery.
We suggest visiting the NEDA website, but we have tons of resources on our blog! Check out some of these posts:
-Resources compiled and organized by our nutrition intern, Haley Kappey from the University of Maryland. June 2020