I am a Registered Dietitian and Founder of LK Nutrition, a non-diet nutrition counseling practice in NYCFeatured

Hello Elpha! My name is Lindsay Krasna (she/her). I'm a Registered Dietitian and the founder of LK Nutrition, a non-diet, body inclusive nutrition counseling private practice based in New York City. We believe in the philosophies of Intuitive Eating and HAES (Health at Every Size). In a nutshell, this means we seek to empower clients of all shapes and sizes in adopting sustainable behaviors and mindset shifts around food/physical activity that genuinely support health (including mental and physical well-being), without dieting or focusing on the scale a measure of "success." I personally specialize in working with individuals who may be struggling with chronic dieting, dysfunctional eating patterns, eating disorders, certain chronic disease e.g., (type 2 diabetes, heart disease) and body image concerns. I studied nutritional science at Cornell University, and have a masters' degrees in counseling psychology from Columbia University. Ask me anything about debunking diet myths, Intuitive Eating concepts, body image challenges, fueling tips for physically active people, tips for starting or growing a private practice (or a related small business in the healthcare field), why dieting is harmful, or something else.
Hi everyone! Health and wellness is a popular topic on Elpha, and we're very excited to have Lindsay joining us for a special edition of our Office Hours on food, nutrition and health.Thanks so much for being here, Lindsay! Post your questions for Lindsay before Thursday. She may not have time to answer every single one, so upvote the ones you’d most like her to answer.
This is great! Thanks so much @lindsayk for your time and @kuan, @cadran for organizing! A couple of questions: - What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting? Several of my friends skip lunch or dinner every day (they are not overweight and exercise regularly). Is it a fad? - Is Soylent good for you? It sounds like a great, time-saving option.
Hi @Purva, thanks for your question!I don’t believe intermittent fasting is a healthy practice (mentally or physically) for anyone, regardless of body size. There is very limited research on intermittent fasting, and the studies that have been done have only been done on white men, have a limited sample size, and don’t show long term effectiveness. In my professional opinion, it’s just another fad diet. The idea that we have to skip meals or ignore our hunger to keep our metabolism working optimally is junk science. It’s just another set of arbitrary rules that ultimately disconnect us from our bodies, interferes with our natural appetite cues, and can lead to more disordered eating. Also, in my clinical experience, clients that have done intermittent fasting are usually more prone binging.
And my thoughts on Soylent: I think it depends upon how it’s used. If you like the taste, if it gives you energy, and if you don’t mind spending the money, sure, I think it could serve as a nice snack option, especially when you're crunched for time. But I don’t think there’s anything particularly magical about it. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of a protein smoothie. A few other things to consider. Calorically, while everyone’s needs are different, it’s generally not enough energy to constitute what I would consider a full meal. Also, note that vitamins and minerals don’t get as well absorbed by our bodies when they’re in supplement form (pills or shakes with additives) compared to in food form. So, for example, you’re going to absorb potassium much better through eating a banana, compared to drinking it in a fortified shake. Lastly, “drinking nutrients” doesn’t generally to provide the same level of satisfaction in our eating experience as that of taking a break and actually chewing through a meal or snack. And experiencing satisfaction in our eating (when it’s possible) is a part of a balanced, intuitive relationship with food. So, I think the answer is, it depends… and those are some things to consider in deciding if it could be a good supplemental option for you.
Hi Everyone! Thanks @kuan for having me on Elpha!Thanks for your great questions!I want to start with a big disclaimer (for this and all of my answers): I completely respect each individual’s autonomy to eat in a way that feels best for them. So when I answer, I’m intending to share evidence based information and people can choose what they want to do with that. It’s not my intention to ever shame anyone that may be practicing a certain way of eating, even if I wouldn’t recommend it.
Curious to know your thoughts on how gut health specifically these at home tests that are becoming popular with 'testing your microbe', etc? Are they reliable? What is your advice for someone who is looking to learn more about their gut health and how it effects both the body's physical and mental functions?
Hi @whitneycaneel, thanks for your question!Wow, I’ve actually never heard of those at-home microbiome tests… so that’s saying something :). Thanks for making me aware! While there is a lot of fascinating research starting to emerge about the gut microbiome, the reality is, much of the research is still in its infancy and there is also a lot of bogus info circulating out there that’s not based on current science. I have had some clients that have seen naturopaths who ordered blood tests that weren’t evidenced based, only to be recommended taking a boat load of expensive supplements. I'm not knocking all naturopaths, but I would be weary if they tell you to take a zillion supplements and cut out specific foods and you’ll be cured… Some general tips I can suggest:-The gut loves consistency. Eating every 3-4 hours can help normalize our digestive system (another reason why intermittent fasting isn’t a good idea)-Eating a wide variety of foods helps diversify our gut microbiome (aka it helps balance the bacteria in our guts)-Reducing stress helps. Our brains and our digestive systems are intimately connected, so anything you can do to create a relaxing eating experience (deep breaths, paying some calm music, etc) can help improve digestion. Some other resources I recommend checking out if you’re interested in learning more:The Truth about Digestion and Gut Health - Food Psych Podcast Episode featuring Marci Evans book, “Gut” by Giulia Enders - a surprisingly entertaining read and very informative. Duker Freuman’s articles: (click on resources and scroll down to her articles). She’s also a Registered Dietitian and specializes in digestive issues. She sees patients in NYC, if you’re in the area. If you’re having a specific issues that’s bothering you, I would also recommend consulting with a gastroenterologist. Feel free to DM me if you’re in the NYC area and would like a recommendation! Hope this helps!
Can you actually be “healthy at any size”? Isn’t obesity high risk, regardless of eating style?
Hi @TheresaJohnson,Thanks so much for asking this. I’d like to first distinguish that the philosophy is called Health at EVERY Size, not Healthy at ANY size. It may seem like a subtle difference, but that’s important. The philosophy is not purporting that all people are healthy at any sizes. It’s purporting that individuals at every size can adopt health-promoting behaviors, regardless of size.Also, while yes, statistically individuals in larger bodies have a higher associated risk of certain health conditions, this is an association, not a proven causation. There are some other plausible explanations that could explain this association. Firstly, weight stigma (aka discrimination based on a person’s weight), which is known to be higher for those in larger bodies, can contribute to poor health out comes (regardless of body size). Also, we know that weight cycling puts stress on the body, and those who have a history of dieting are more likely to weight cycle. And who’s most likely to diet in the first place? Those in larger bodies, of course. Lastly, there is also data showing that when individuals across weight categories engage in the same health-promoting behaviors, size doesn’t make a significant difference in overall health. There are a lot of nuances and misconceptions about the Health at Every Size (HAES) philosophy. This isn’t the paradigm through which most dietitians are trained, nor the paradigm through which our culture at large talks about health. For many, this is a very radical concept. Below are some additional resources in case you’re interested in learning more.Health at Every Size principles from the Association of Size Diversity and Health Website: Harrison’s Food Psych Podcast — this episode in particular is great if you’re just learning about it: article, called Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift: video: Poodle Science: book: Body Respect:
First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for the work that you do. Teaching and promoting Intuitive Eating and HAES principles is such important work and it can be really difficult to find non-diet dieticians. As someone who has battled an eating disorder, I can't even begin to tell you how life-changing and liberating it is to let go of the scale, eat like a "normal" person, and feel healthy again. And life-changing is not being hyperbolic. It truly cannot be overstated how damaging and harmful dieting can be. There is so much garbage science around diet and nutrition, and much of it is rooted in fatphobia (often disguised as "wellness"). I'm a big fan of Christy Harrison's work and can personally attest to why she calls dieting "The Life Thief". It's a distraction that keeps women from doing their life's work and prevents us from focusing on things that *actually* matter. I'm really heartened and impressed that Elpha has chosen to amplify the voice of someone who actively works to dismantle fatphobia and heal our relationships with food and our bodies. 👏🏻
Hi @vincianed, Thank you so much for your supportive words and for sharing your own personal history too. It means a lot, and I couldn't agree more. I love Christy's work (as you can tell by me referencing her podcast multiple times in the AMA ;). I'm looking forward to reading her new book, too. Funny enough, I was actually just interviewed by her as a guest for an upcoming Food Psych episode (my first ever podcast recording experience! eek)... I believe it's going to be released next month. Anyway, glad to be connected with you through here and thanks again for your comment.
I currently work in tech, but am pursuing going back to school to become a second career RD. I was just curious about your journey to open your own private practice and hear more about how you combine your RD background with technology in your practice? Additionally, any tips or advice you have for a future RD (particularly in finding a mentor) would all be helpful!
Hi Lindsay, thanks for sharing! What do you think are the top pain points when you work with individuals to help them achieve mental and physical well-being?
I would love to learn more about taking care your health by following Intuitive Eating concepts while having a partner who might have different eating needs. How do you communicate your needs effectively when it comes to food (say you want an early dinner) and your partner isn't ready to eat yet.
Hi Lindsay, thank you so much for doing this. Curious to know your thoughts why weight/fat loss for a person with PCOD/PCOS is slow. Are there any fixes for this? I have a friend who has been very diligent in eating clean and working out 4 days a week. She finds it hard to manage her weight.
Hi Lindsay! I am super curious why you were inspired to do this, specifically a "health at every size" program - personal experiences? Professional?
You are doing incredible work - THANK YOU! Excited to read all these questions and answers! And as always, thanks @kuan and Elpha team.