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Integrating Outdoor Therapy with Nutrition to Enhance Positive Body Image

Barbara White, RD, is a nutrition therapist with a private practice in both Boulder and Denver who provides food, weight and body image counseling. White’s joyful attitude is infectious and immediately inspires confidence in potential clients. She loves what she does and this passion radiates from her. She truly believes in each client’s capacity to regain health in mind, body and spirit.

A graduate from the SUNY system in New York, White’s degree is from the University of Buffalo. She trained clinically at the University of Rochester Medical Center. White’s first career job was at George Washington University Hospital in Georgetown, Washington D.C. as a registered dietitian. However, White, who is an avid outdoor enthusiast, had a yen to move West. “I worked at Denver Presbyterian Hospital in diabetes care as a clinical dietitian,” White explains. “Four years later, I accepted a position at Porter Memorial Hospital as the outpatient nutrition therapist in the outpatient Eating Disorders Program and I made it my business to learn as much as I could.”

White’s goal was to work with all ages. She worked at Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program of Denver where she gained experience working with younger teens and recalls, “I spent 20 hours with the eating disorder team and 20 hours in the diabetes program and collaborated with the Barbara Davis Diabetes Program as the programs merged.”

White also worked at Lutheran Medical Center in their outpatient health services division where she facilitated groups that lasted 6–12 months (weekly). “At Lutheran, they needed someone with my skills to work with adults who, for medical reasons, had to lose large amounts of weight,” White says. “I was using cognitive behavioral therapy skills in the context of eating treatment.” 

White has had 24 years experience in nutrition and body image therapy, and has been in private practice exclusively since 1995. According to White, “Clients love that my office is very private, small and they know the therapy they receive is highly individualized and collaborative. I do work with boys and young men with eating and body image, but primarily with women and girls, as that is where my expertise is focused.”

Another distinctive feature of White’s practice is her integration of outdoor therapy with nutrition. White periodically brings individual clients or groups into the natural environment where she conducts kayak nutrition clinics, as well as hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing sessions. White emphasizes that this is an optional, adjunctive component of her practice. If it seems like a particular client would be a good fit for an outdoor experience, then she suggests it. Additionally, White facilitates support groups and restaurant outings. These are some of the creative ways White brings women and girls together to meet other girls/women who can relate to what they're going through and learn experientially. 

When asked why she feels her work is important, White is quick to reply, “ I love witnessing my clients get stronger and more confident. I see them become more relaxed with eating and themselves. It’s a joy to see this transformation.

Consultations with Barbara White are available by phone, email and in person in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Call (303) 470-1200, or visit http://www.BarbaraWhiteNutrition.Com

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