Eating Disorders and Substance Use Podcast 1

Eating Disorders and Substance Use Podcast

Eating Disorders and Substance Use Podcast – Interview with Tabitha Farrar

In this excellent conversation Tabitha and David Wiss discuss the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance use disorders, and the challenges faced by treatment providers. David discusses how many people with EDs can “hide out” in addiction treatment.

Eating Disorders and Substance Use

Tabita Farrar is an eating disorder recovery coach with lived experience. She was a pleasure to chat with and has a fantastic podcast.

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Nutrition for Mental Health Webinar

Nutrition for Mental Health Webinar

Hot Topic: Nutrition for Mental Health

David Wiss MS RDN presents to students at California State University Northridge about the connection between nutrition and mental health. This presentation covers the microbiome, substance use disorders, disordered eating, depression, recovery, and more. It’s just over 50 minutes long, but worth every second! Why? Because nutrition for mental health is the future! Read more about this topic and check out some recent references HERE

Nutrition for Mental Health 53:34 #GutBrainAxis
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Dope Wisdom Podcast

The Dope Wisdom Podcast with Yeshaia Blakeney from Recovery Integrity – Interview with David Wiss.

David and Yeshaia discuss addiction, recovery, nutrition, gut health, microbiome, research, and intellectual spiritualism.

Yeshaia Blakeney, host of the Dope Wisdom Podcast and co-founder of Recover Integrity, a Los Angeles addiction treatment program he opened in 2015, is an addiction expert with 15 years of experience working in substance abuse and mental health.

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Los Angeles Conference April 6, 2019

“Dialectics in Dietetics: Multiple Truths in Nutrition Science” Conference April 6, 2019

History of the Conference

At the Los Angeles District of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual transition meeting in the summer of 2016, we had a big idea. What if we could throw our own conference?

In 2017 we actually did it and it was epic! Our first conference was called “Public Health and Private Profits: A Dialogue about Critical Topics Shaping the Future of the Dietetic Profession”

Our 2018 conference was called “One Size Does Not Fit All: Promoting Diverse Perspectives in Dietetics” and was also SOLD OUT.

Our April, 6 2019 conference should be the best one yet! “Dialectics in Dietetics: Multiple Truths in Nutrition Science.” We are so thrilled to have such a star-studded line-up this year! The conference is held at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is not to be missed!

April 6, 2019

We have special pricing for students, RDNs, and LAD members!

Register for the conference HERE

April 6 will be here before we know it!

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Nutrition Interventions Amidst an Opioid Crisis

Nutrition Interventions Amidst an Opioid Crisis

“Nutrition Interventions Amidst and Opioid Crisis: The Emerging Role of the RDN” by David Wiss MS RDN

The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. The time to include nutrition into the treatment paradigm has arrived. David Wiss is not afraid to take the lead, and is doing research on this topic at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

This presentation was given at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) on Sunday October 21, 2018 in Chicago which was an invited presentation in response to the opioid crisis. Here David Wiss describes the impact of opioids on nutritional status and gastrointestinal health, identifies common disordered and dysfunctional eating patterns common to opioid-addicted populations, and describes nutrition therapy protocols for specific substances including opioids and for poly-substance abuse.

The presentation is 1:29:01 and was moderated by my dear friend and colleague Tammy Beasley, RDN. If you want to skip the video, and go straight to the slides, you can do so HERE. 

In summary, nutrition interventions have not yet been standardized or widely implemented as a treatment modality for substance use disorder (SUDs). Emphasis should be placed on gastrointestinal health, and reintroduction of foods high in fiber and antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Adequate intake of protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids should be consumed daily. Regular meal patterns can help to stabilize blood sugar. Water should replace sweetened beverages. Caffeine and nicotine intake should be monitored. Dietary supplements can be very helpful in the recovery process, but should not supplant whole foods. Once nutrition behavior has improved, use of dietary supplements should be reevaluated. Lab tests and stool samples assessing gut function should provide valuable insights in upcoming years. In addition to expertise with the interaction between specific substances and nutritional status, RDNs working in treatment settings should specialize in gastrointestinal health, eating disorders, and should be current with food addiction research. There is a timely need for specialized nutrition expertise in SUD treatment settings, including outpatient clinics and “sober living” environments. Public health campaigns and specialized training programs targeting primary care physicians, mental health professionals, and other SUD treatment professionals are warranted. 

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Private Practice

Nutrition in Recovery is a private practice founded by David Wiss MS RDN, who recounts:

The vision was born in 2006 ago when I got sober and used nutrition and exercise as part of my personal recovery. I had made attempts at getting sober previously, but never felt comfortable in my skin, mostly plagued by lethargy and anxiety, which left me pessimistic about sobriety. I had always assumed nutrition was about fitness and weight, which is how it is presented by society. But when I began to exercise and eat a wide range of plant foods, something dramatic happened to my mental health. There were dramatic changes in my body which served as positive reinforcement, but the real outcome was that I became optimistic and found some inner-peace. My thoughts cleared up and so did my skin. My bowel movements became regular, and my heartburn went away. I woke up feeling refreshed in the morning, and when I read recovery-related literature, it was actually sinking in. Previously it seemed as though my eyes were just skimming the page. At that point I knew that nutrition is important for recovery from addiction and wondered why no one ever told me so. From there I was able to quit smoking and became a non-competitive athlete. I can remember being extremely excited to go to the grocery store and buy fresh food to experiment with in the kitchen.

After working as a personal trainer for a few years, I was accepted into a master’s program in nutrition where I completed training to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I worked at UCLA Medical Center and gained experience with eating disorders. The field of nutrition for addiction recovery was unchartered and I started a private practice immediately after passing my exam. I have not had a slow week since. I have run groups at many different treatment facilities and have trained other dietitians to do the same. I fell in love with academic research and began publishing scientific articles. I taught myself the basics of neuroscience, nutrition-related hormones, and gastrointestinal health. With this information I was able to conceptualize eating behavior in order to create real change in the people I work with. Most of my referrals come from previous clients, and mental health professionals who have seen my work transform people. Currently I am working on my PhD in Public Health from UCLA.

I am not attached to any particular food philosophy. I do not try to convert people to eat the way I eat, although I do eat strategically without much effort. I am a believer in using whole foods and developing life skills to cook and prepare food when possible. Supplements can be helpful, but they are designed to support behavior change. I specialize in helping people to make gradual and stepwise changes in their food choices. I am an expert in nutrition but can serve the role of a coach. I look at the entire dimension of wellness: food, beverage, exercise, supplements, sleep, sunlight, etc. I am recovered, and love to help other people become the same. I spend the first hour collecting information about you and from there will have a better picture of the direction we are headed. Some people need structure, other people just need a safe place to talk about food and body. Some people need tips for grocery shopping, other people just need some accountability for their recovery. I try to find the intersection between giving my clients what they want and giving them what they need. Let’s take a journey together and see where it goes!

About Nutrition in Recovery 1

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Journal Articles by David Wiss

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles by David A. Wiss MS RDN

(ORCID Link Takes You Directly To The Articles)

Wiss, D. A., Avena, N., & Rada, P. (2018). Sugar addiction: From evolution to revolution. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(545). doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00545

Wiss, D. A., Schellenberger, M., & Prelip, M. L. (2018). Rapid assessment of nutrition services in Los Angeles substance use disorder treatment centers. Journal of Community Health.

Wiss, D. A., Schellenberger, M., & Prelip, M. L. (In Press). Registered dietitian nutritionists in substance use disorder treatment centers. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2017.08.113

Wiss, D. A., Criscitelli, K., Gold, M., & Avena, N. (2017). Preclinical evidence for the addiction potential of highly palatable foods: Current developments related to maternal influence. Appetite.doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.12.019

Wiss, D. A., & Brewerton, T. B. (2016). Incorporating food addiction into disordered eating: The disordered eating and food addiction nutrition guide (DEFANG). Eating and Weight Disorders. doi:10.1007/s40519-016-0344-y

Wiss, D. A., & Waterhous, T. S. (2014). Nutrition therapy for eating disorders, substance use disorders, and addictions. In Brewerton, T. D., & Dennis, A. B., Eating disorders, substance use disorders, and addictions (pp. 509-532). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Publishing.

Specter, S. E., & Wiss, D. A. (2014). Muscle dysmorphia: Where body image obsession, compulsive exercise, disordered eating, and substance abuse intersect in susceptible males. In Brewerton, T. D., & Dennis, A. B., Eating disorders, substance use disorders, and addictions (pp. 439-457). Heidelberg, Germany:Springer Publishing.

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Recent Podcasts with David Wiss

Recent Podcasts with David Wiss

Nourished Brain Solutions podcast with Sarah Thomsen Ferreria MS, MPH, RD

Mindfully Nourished Solutions: Integrative Nutrition-Gut-Brain Connection

Linking Nutrition and Addiction (recorded July 9, 2018)

This conversation covers all of the basics linking nutrition to Substance Use Disorders and to recovery. This is a great example of how much can be covered in one hour on podcasts with David Wiss.


The Exploding Human with Bob Nickman

Gut Health & More (recorded August 10, 2018)

This conversation discusses the significance of maintaining a healthy gut for optimal health. We talk about testing that is available, and larger public health issues. There will be more podcasts with David Wiss in the future, so stay tuned!


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Journal Publication: Nutrition Services in Los Angeles Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Rapid Assessment of Nutrition Services in Los Angeles Substance Use Disorder Treatment

One of our research studies “Rapid Assessment of Nutrition Services in Los Angeles Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centers” was recently published in the Journal of Community Health.

We assessed the prevalence of nutrition services in Los Angeles treatment centers and found that is was quite low! The article offers some important ideas about the addiction crisis.

Much thanks to Maria Schellenberger and Dr. Michael Prelip for their assistance with this research.

Link to article:
Direct download HERE

Journal Publication: Nutrition Services in Los Angeles Substance Use Disorder Treatment


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of nutrition services and utilization of registered dietitian nutritionists at substance use disorder treatment centers in Los Angeles. This cross-sectional descriptive study utilized phone interviews with facilities within a 25-mile radius of the Los Angeles metropolitan area using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Services Locator to identify facilities that included a listing of substance abuse as primary focus of care (n=128). Facilities were asked if they offered any kind of nutrition services, the type of services that were offered, and the credential of the professional providing the services. We compared facilities that offered a residential level of care to those offering outpatient services only. The Fisher’s exact test was used to determine statistical significance. The study showed that only 39 sites (30.5%) offered any type of nutrition services on site, and the odds of a residential level of care offering nutrition services was 2.7 times higher than outpatient only facilities (p=0.02). Of the 39 facilities offering nutrition services, only 8 (20.5%) utilized a registered dietitian nutritionist. Overall fewer than 7% of the facilities utilized the services of a dietitian. Recovery programs for substance use disorder should consider using a registered dietitian nutritionist as a member of the treatment team, which may contribute to better clinical outcomes.

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Alcoholic Liver Disease Video

Nutrition in Recovery is thrilled to announce our new monthly newsletter! Get the latest information on Nutrition for Addiction! Check out our latest video on Alcoholic Liver Disease!

Nutrition in Recovery is a group practice of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and other health professionals who specialize in the treatment of addictions, eating disorders, body image, mental health, as well as general wellness.

We send out a monthly Newsletter summarizing the latest research linking nutrition and mental health. Each newsletter will include a short video with some helpful hints and actions you can implement to improve mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing for yourself and for your clients. You will be among the first to hear the findings and insights from cutting-edge data, and we are providing references so you can do your own research if interested.

Within the next year you can look forward to the following topics being covered:

Attentional Bias

Vaping (E-cig)

Bariatric Surgery

Child Nutrition

Circadian Rhythms

Men and Eating Disorders

View last month’s video on Food Politics 


Please SIGN UP HERE so you will not miss out on this revolutionary information!

Do you know someone who might be interested in the link between nutrition and mental health or any of the topics mentioned above? Please forward this to them so they can join us and don’t keep us a secret!

Thank you for all your support as we embark on the journey of improving the health and wellbeing of our clients and their loved ones.

Have thoughts about Alcoholic Liver Disease? Reach out to us, we would love to hear your thoughts!

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