Healthie is excited to partner with Sumner Brooks, MPH, RDN, LD, founder of Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian Pro (EDRDpro), a global community of dietitians and students with interests in eating disorders and a non-diet counseling approach. EDRDpro partners with leading experts from around the world to bring professionals and students access to training and tools that can be watched from the comfort of their office, classroom, or home.
As one of the fastest-growing web-based education platforms for dietitians, EDRDpro offers continuing education credits through both a membership option and an annual online conference called the EDRDpro Symposium. EDRDpro trains dietetics professionals on evidence-based Health at Every Size research and emerging science to elevate each clinician’s skills in identifying, treating, and preventing disordered eating and eating disorders.
We at Healthie are so lucky to catch Sumner for an interview! Hear about her experience as a nutrition entrepreneur and see what advice she has to share!
Tell us about yourself, your journey to becoming a dietitian and forming your EDRD community.
My journey to become a Health at Every Size informed eating disorder dietitian has been an incredibly empowering part of my career. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder throughout my years in college and my dietetic internship, I have, the utmost compassion and wholehearted interest in helping to prevent dietitians from entering the field of nutrition counseling without having unpacked their own food and body issues. I am a sensitive, empathetic, and determined entrepreneur who at my core, knows that the more we teach dietitians about screening, preventing and treating eating disorders, the better public health outcomes we will have in our society in the big picture.
My journey included some amazing experiences, from a very positive and supportive experience at San Diego State earning my bachelors, to completing the dual MPH and Dietetic Internship track at UCLA and the VA in Los Angeles. I had formative career experiences, all in outpatient counseling settings, ranging from Cedars Sinai Medical Center, to corporate wellness positions at numerous Fortune 500 companies, to eventually running my own private practice focusing on Intuitive Eating and eating disorder treatment for many years in Redondo Beach, CA.
EDRDpro formed as a result of realizing that I wanted to attend each and every eating disorder conference available, and knowing that it’s just not practical or feasible with the travel, expense and time involved. I wanted to create a way to use technology to help train and teach professionals and learn from the very best. That’s what we offer at EDRDpro.
What led you to specialize in eating disorders?
Surprisingly, it was not my own recovery process that led me to want to pursue this specialty as a provider, but it was my clients. I witnessed such a significant portion of clients coming to me for help with weight and eating concerns who actually presented with disordered eating, that I knew it was a population in need. It also is the population that I enjoy working with the most, especially having the honor of being a part of someone’s transformation to freedom from diets and disordered eating.
How do you think technology is changing the landscape of dietetics?
It absolutely blows my mind how quickly things change based on technology these days. I’m seeing online communities evolve, which are so cool and powerful! I also think it’s incredible how we can impact thousands of individuals via our own professional social media channels daily.
With the benefits of technology, also come the downsides, of course. As dietetics professionals, we need to be careful that our messaging of what’s healthy isn’t being interpreted in a harmful way (ie leading people down orthorexic pathways). On an individual client level, I truly appreciate and try to make the most out of working with clients virtually, which is why I get so much out of Healthie’s telehealth platform.
The possibilities of working with clients, running online groups, and particularly what we do with EDRDpro are endless because technology allows us to bring people together in ways we never imagined 10 years ago.
What do you wish you knew as a student/dietetic intern?
Wow, that’s a big question! As a student, I wish I knew more about the psychology of eating. I wish I would have known that eating and health is about so much more than numbers and macronutrients. Becoming a certified Intuitive Eating counselor and immersing myself in HAES® has taught me so much about people, about greater wellbeing, and about compassion and empathy – all things that are necessary to really help people with their eating and their relationship to food.
What’s next for the EDRD community?
We are very excited about the 2018 Symposium, set to take place, virtually of course, March 1st – 4th 2018! We have totally re-vamped the platform to make it a better user experience with fewer hiccups and have some really outstanding topics and speakers expected. We also continue to welcome new EDRDpro members in to our membership group every day for those who want the year-round learning, support and training experience. Anyone interested should check us out at www.eattolivehappy.com. We are all about collaborating, growing, and spreading the messages of prevention and proper treatment approaches for our clients.
Healthie is excited to partner with Sumner’s incredible EDRDpro community for a Healthie demo on August 1st at 7pm EST. Click here to register!
To find out more about the growing membership community for all professionals interested in Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and eating disorders, please visit www.eattolivehappy.com.