Carrie Dennett, MPH, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Nutrition Writer, Author & Speaker
Carrie Dennett

Hi! I’m Carrie, and I’m a nutrition counselor/therapist/coach.

I believe that a balanced, peaceful, joyful relationship with food is possible, whether you’re a survivor of diet culture or grappling with IBS (or both). My job is to create a supportive space for you to explore your relationship with food and your body, and to start the process of healing from — and unlearning — the messages you’ve received from society, media, doctors, family or friends that your eating is wrong, that your body is wrong. I approach this work from a place of curiosity, non-judgment and compassion.

There’s no right way to have a body.

You are enough as you are right now.

You are a unique human, with unique experiences…and you have been shaped by the family you grew up in, the life experiences you’ve had, and quite possibly by the traumas you’ve survived.

All of this affects how you view the world, your food and your body. It affects how you show up in the world and how fully you live your life.

I’m not the expert of you (you alone hold that important position), but my hope is that I can help guide you on your journey to a more peaceful relationship with food, movement and body image, and that as I learn about you I can shine a light into the shadows that hold you back from befriending yourself instead of battling yourself.

My pronouns are she/her.

I’m white, cis/het and a survivor of trauma and diet culture (which is a trauma in itself). I have explored my own relationships with food and body in the context of our cultural and societal pressures and expectations, so I bring both professional and personal wisdom to my work with clients. I love being an anti-diet dietitian and helping people disentangle from diet culture. You can read more about this down below, along with more about my story, my values, and why I do this work.

A little bit more:

One thing I know for sure is that one-size-does-not-fit-all when it comes to nutrition, health and well-being. A few other things I know?

Nutritious eating doesn’t need to be complicated (or look one particular way), health is not dependent on body weight…and a lot of us have skewed relationships with food. We’re led to believe that if we can control and manipulate our bodies, then we will be able to love, or at least like, our bodies. That belief keeps us trapped. It makes our lives small.

We’re told, over and over, that we can’t trust our bodies. But your body has been there for you since you were born and will be there for you until you die. Your relationship with your body is the longest relationship you will have, so doing the work to heal any dysfunctions in that relationship will benefit you for years or even decades to come.

Your body is not an object or an ornament, it is your home. If you hate your home or wish you lived in a different home, how well are you going to take care of what you have right now?

No, really…are you caring for your here-and-now body, or are you waiting until your body is “worthy” of care?

Why do I do this work? Because it’s important.

My mission is to help people explore the why and how of eating — not just the what — to support mind, body and soul. This is what I wish for you:

  • I want you to have a peaceful relationship with food, where food is a pleasure and a joy and provides nourishment for your body and mind so you can do the things in life that make your spirit soar (and those other things that still need to get done…like the laundry).
  • I want you to be able to swim in the waters of diet culture (because we are ALL swimming in those waters) without getting pulled under in a riptide.
  • I want you to be secure in your knowledge of what YOUR body needs, because you trust its innate wisdom.
  • I want you to be inoculated against confusing, at times conflicting, nutrition information.
  • I want you to be able to say, “This is what’s right for me,” and also be able to defend that boundary.

If this is not you, right now, I want you to know that you are not alone, it’s not your fault, and that healing your relationship with food is possible.

My credentials (in case you’re curious).

I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in sociology. I spent several years as a newspaper reporter and several more as a healthcare copywriter

I wondered if anyone was actually changing their habits based on the sparkling newsletter and web content I was writing.

I decided I wanted to help people one-on-one, and that I wasn’t going to fall into the trap of getting some means-nothing online nutrition certification. I looked into what it would take to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), and gulped when I saw I would have to take two years of science classes first. (“I can’t do that…I’m a writer, not a science person,” I told myself.)

But I knew this was the right path, so I gritted my teeth, took the science classes (and was shocked to discover that science was fascinating!) and applied to graduate school to earn my Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutritional Sciences, and train to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

I finished my classes, my long internship, graduated, and started working in outpatient clinics. First, I worked as an oncology (cancer) dietitian, then I worked in “non-diet weight management” (I use quotes, because I realized “non-diet weight management” is not a real thing) for several years. To go full-on non-diet (anti-diet, really) I started my virtual private practice in 2018. And here we are!

Along the way, I:

  • Became a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, doing my training and supervision with Evelyn Tribole, co-author of the book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach.”
  • Became a licensed Be Body Positive Facilitator after completing trainings with Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott, co-founders of The Body Positive. I’ve done additional training on embodiment with Elizabeth Scott.
  • Completed ongoing professional supervision with Evelyn Tribole, Elizabeth Scott, and Fiona Sutherland.
  • Did professional training on body image healing with Marci Evans, Fiona Sutherland and Brianna Campos.
  • Completed training on trauma-informed nutrition counseling with Tracy Brown and Fiona Sutherland and mindful self-compassion training with Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer.
  • Am completing Mindful Eating Certificate training through The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME).
  • Completed online training with Russ Harris (author of “The Happiness Trap”) on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
  • Presented at numerous conferences about weight stigma, Health at Every Size, embodiment and weight-inclusive healthcare.
  • Written many, many blog posts and many, many columns and articles for The Seattle Times, The Washington Post and other publications.

All work and no play just doesn’t…work.

I try to walk my talk, so I prioritize making time for the things that “feed” me.

On any given day, that include some combination of movement (dance, yoga, weightlifting, walking), reading, meditating, taking a bath, watching something excellent on TV, playing in the kitchen, petting my golden retriever, listening to music or just being. (Because we are human beings, not human doings.)

I also enjoy camping where there is both forest and a body of water, and love to explore the food, architecture and culture of countries that are not my own.

Here’s how I really got here.

I grew up believing that my body wasn’t good enough and that because of that, I wasn’t good enough.

That translated into decades of chronic dieting and chasing the seductive idea that the next diet held the secret to lasting weight loss.

I embarked upon my journey to become a dietitian at the same time I was in the midst of my most intense “body project” ever (i.e., obsessive macro and calorie counting combined with compulsive exercise). I was a (temporary) weight loss “success” story and thought I had it all figured out. My goal was to help other women be just as “successful.” (If you’re interested, I talk about this in my interview with Christy Harrison in Episode #194 of the Food Psych Podcast.)

Shortly after I started grad school, I chanced upon the books “Health at Every Size” and “Intuitive Eating.” At first I thought the ideas in those books were great…for other people. (I was still holding myself to a different standard.) But as I started to dig more into the science of weight and health (spoiler: those two things are not as linked as you think, and researchers have not been able to identify a method of sustainable weight loss), I realized that promoting weight loss wasn’t quite ethical.

After earning my Master of Public Health (MPH) in nutritional sciences and becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), I started to counsel women with weight concerns. The more I worked one-on-one with them, the more stories I heard of feeling “not enough,” of feeling flawed, and broken.

I empathized with their stories, because I too had invested a lot of time and energy trying to “fix” my body, only to gradually, finally realize that it was never broken.

I’ve learned through years of study, introspection and experience providing one-on-one counseling for women of all ages with food and body concerns that the single-minded pursuit of weight loss is not the answer to the questions, “How do I improve my health?” and “How can I feel better about my body?”

That’s why I decided to create a supportive space for women to make peace with food and liberate themselves from unrealistic and oppressive body standards. A space to grow, to explore self-compassion and self-care, and to explore their authentic selves.

That’s nice, but what does it mean for you?

The work that I do is about honoring and acknowledging all the things that brought you to this place. It’s about helping you reconnect with your inner intuitive eater, to begin to see your body as a home rather than an object to be battled or beautified.

We’re taught that our bodies are failures unless they conform to a narrow set of standards. We’re taught that if we don’t eat perfectly, that any health problems we develop are our faults.

That’s just not true.

Health and well-being are multi-faceted. They don’t look the same for every person, and there’s no one right path to follow on your journey.

You are the expert in you, because only you have lived in your body and had your life experiences. I’m here to be your guide, to listen, to understand, to ask questions, to help you expand your awareness and curiosity while setting self-judgment aside. All of this can help you…

….start to release yourself from rigid or manic food beliefs and food rules.

…cultivate ways of eating and moving that feels right for you.

…learn how to nourish yourself, mind, body and soul.

…rewrite your story (including a happier ending).

This is our work together…I invite you to join me on this journey. Are you ready?

Join me. Let’s do this together.

If my philosophy resonates with you, I’d like to be part of your story. Here’s how to get started.

Questions? Send me an email via my contact form. You can also find me on Instagram or Facebook.