Emily Piazza, MS, RDN, CD
Nutrition Therapist and Doula
I believe food should be fun and bring pleasure. It connects us to each other, our ancestors and to ourselves. It nourishes our physical body and our soul. I also believe our bodies are capable of amazing things. When we learn to listen to them and trust them we can appreciate all they are capable of and appreciate the experience of living in our own unique body.
I also believe birth is a normal, natural part of life. When we trust our bodies, our babies and our care team birth happens without too much fuss (I mean, other than the fact that giving life to a human is freakin amazing in and of itself). Birth must always unfurl with the rights and respect for the birthing person front and center.
My career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist has taken many paths through “traditional” dietetics. Teaching people calorie counts, food tracking, behavior modifications and “fat burning” exercise got old. And it didn’t work. As a human living in this culture I also felt the pressure to “eat healthy and manage my weight” during my pregnancies and postpartum journeys. When I fully embraced and integrated intuitive eating and the Health At Every Size principles into my life and into my practice with clients joy returned. Body trust emerged. Letting go of control and trusting the process are important aspects of eating, growing a human, birth and being a parent.
It is my mission to support people on this journey through pregnancy and postpartum, because you deserve to be lifted up and surrounded by people who believe in you. You deserve to be heard, understood and trusted, to have someone by your side who gets it, who won’t sugar coat it and won’t give unsolicited advice. Amidst the challenging struggles there are opportunities for profound revelations and joy. Finding peace with food, tapping into your body’s intuition and having an empowering birth experience with a healing postpartum recovery is possible. The potential lies within you. You can discover it, I can help guide you.
Year by year… 2015
I attended my first training to become a doula through Birth Arts International and started supporting birthing families. It was such a joy and honor to be a part of their journey and to help protect their birth space.
During my second pregnancy I developed gestational diabetes and it really threw me for a loop. All. The. Feelings. It’s fair to say that all the internal and external pressure I felt to manage my blood sugar through a strict diet and exercise sent me into some very disordered eating that stuck with me for years. Through it all I had an incredibly supportive team and had a wonderful birth experience that focused on me and not gestational diabetes.
I decided to open my own private practice to focus on supporting pregnant folks with nutrition counseling and doula support, and I formed Nourished Journey! My plan got pushed back due to an opportunity falling through and a third pregnancy. For this pregnancy I tried some things differently knowing my increased risk for gestational diabetes. I stressed less and worked on improving the big picture of my health. I “passed” my screening test and had another empowered birth experience with my incredibly supportive team. Did I mention my amazing doula was there for all 3 births?!?
I was ready to start seeing clients! Enter the pandemic, and my business gets put on back burner, again. As I was stuck at home with three kids 5 and under with no childcare I found myself daydreaming and planning during those few minutes to myself I had each day about Nourished Journey. Eventually we got some help and I was able to refocus. This year also included major shifts in how I wanted to practice. I fully embraced an anti-diet, Health At Every Size and Intuitive Eating approach and never looked back.
January 1st, 2021
Finally, officially saw my first client as Nourished Journey.
The story continues…
I didn’t always practice from a weight neutral and intuitive eating standpoint. Like most dietitians I was educated, trained in and practiced from a “weight loss is best” approach. But it never really sat right with me. I saw the struggle so many of my clients had, holding out hope for the life they wanted, believing it would only happen if and when they lost weight. Seeing this personally and professionally play out in the pregnancy and postpartum journey is equally challenging and frustrating. By incorporating more intuitive eating and self compassion into my clients lives I have seen so much health, happiness, and healing.
So much of the information out there about how to eat during pregnancy, especially with gestational diabetes or in a larger body, is rooted in diet culture that promotes restriction and fuels feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy. There is so much emphasis on the health of the baby, while the pregnant person, and their health and wellbeing, is seen as an afterthought. We need a place to honor the feelings and experiences of the pregnant person.
Driven by my beliefs...
all bodies are beautiful and worthy of respect.
Ongoing, informed consent is a right.
Your lived experience is valuable.
Food should be pleasurable and life giving.
Rest is necessary.
the current system is unsupportive and inadequate.
we need to find a better way…
people deserve better.