Hello! I’m Meredith Milton, a Certified Nutritionist and Wellness Coach. I help savvy professionals successfully transform their health and lives so they can thrive as the best versions of themselves.
I received a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University and published my thesis work which studied how mindfulness training impacts eating behaviors & food intake.
I now help motivated women (& men) acheive optimum states of wellbeing and become Intuitive Eaters (if you are curious what that means, read the highlighted paragraph at the bottom of this page). One of my mantras:
THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP.
THIS IS MY STORY:
In my very early twenties, I was out of shape, depressed and fatigued. While I was “successful” in school and in my work in advertising and public relations, I partied a lot and didn’t really take care of myself. I didn’t really love my life.
Then one day I had a wake-up call. I was in my doctor’s office and looked at the “height-weight” chart on the wall and realized I was OVERWEIGHT. How did this happen!? I grew up being tall and skinny and was in incredible shape in high school, so I was horrified. Instead of taking the bus, I walked home and thought about how out of shape I felt, and about how I WANTED to feel and the person I wanted to be when I was 30 or 40. I don’t want to feel like this, I thought. If I don’t do something now, it will only get worse.
Over the course of a year, I empowered and educated myself to lose weight and get in shape, which eventually also became a quest for whole-person health. I became passionate about nutrition and learning about the effects of foods on the body and about fitness. I started learning about psychology and the mind-body connection, started meditating, journaling, flossing everyday (ha!), pampering myself, doing yoga, listening to my heart’s true desires, discovering my authenticity…and had a spiritual awakening.
I became crazy passionate about holistic health and wellness. I had an amazing transformation. I wanted to help others do the same.
I decided to leave my corporate job and move from Chicago to Seattle to obtain a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, which is a pioneer in natural medicine and the only dietetic program accredited by the American Dietetic Association that takes a whole foods and whole-person approach to health, seeing food as medicine. The philosophy of the school is to treat the root cause of imbalance, rather than the symptom. Something I wholeheartedly agreed with.
Upon uprooting my life, starting over in a very rigorous graduate program in a city where I knew no one, following my dreams to pursue a career in nutrition and wellness and ending birth control pills (thus letting my hormone imbalances become REALLY out of whack, which in hindsight contributed to SO many things I didn’t put together at the time)…..I developed a disordered relationship with food. I started binge eating regularly. Food became my coping mechanism for everything. I often would over-exercise to compensate, or would be so full and uncomfortable that I would cancel social plans, thus leaving me home alone and lonely feeling terrible about myself…and to deal with those feelings I would engage in MORE eating. A vicious cycle.
As someone who prided herself on being healthy and well, and was studying nutrition, I felt like such a fraud and was so ashamed.
I had an “aha moment” through this process, though, where I knew that healing myself and learning how to cope without using food, and figuring out how to eliminate the compulsive urges would enable me to help other people who have similar struggles.
After seeing countless psychologists and psychiatrists, who really didn’t know HOW to help me (bless their hearts, they tried)….I discovered mindfulness. The word “mindfulness” always struck me on an intuitive and gut level. I didn’t really “get” what the word meant but somehow just “knew” that it would be therapeutic and the key to my healing.
So I studied it.
My Master’s thesis was a research study on mindfulness and eating behaviors (emotional eating, restrained eating and binge eating as well as fat, calorie and sugar intake). I teamed up with a Gastroenterologist at the VA Puget Sound Medical Center (Dr. David Kearney) who was studying mindfulness and, who, through his research, saw tremendous benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on PTSD and IBS. So together we conducted a research study on eating.
We also published it.
After diving into the scientific literature and examining hundreds of studies on diets, weight-loss, stress, emotional eating, binge eating, and mindfulness, along with undergoing a lot of mindfulness training of my own, I learned how the rigid approach to weight-loss and food I had so healthily embarked on had also set me up to deprive myself and then binge. I had become obsessed with food and having a “perfect” body. I realized I was not alone in this (even though I thought I was the only one who struggled and didn’t dare talk to my friends about it.)
The results of my research project had showed that people who have an increase in the skill of mindfulness (yes! It can be measured!) also have a decrease in emotional eating—which was also my personal experience.
I not only felt less stressed and more present in my life and my body, but I was also able to handle the triggers for compulsive behavior in more skillful ways.
I also realized that through binge-eating (and probably from some antibiotics I took as a teen and stress of grad school) I had managed to disrupt the ecosystem of my gut and potentially gave me leaky gut, which, because the gut and brain are so intricately connected, contributed to the feelings/emotions/compulsive states that made me want to eat MORE. It actually WASN’T because I lacked willpower! Plus, my hormones were still out of whack. And the stress from moving to a new city and grad school had taxed my adrenals. A catastrophic cocktail for someone who eats emotionally. But I was glad to figure out it wasn’t ALL emotional, it was also physiological.
So I then had some work to do to HEAL MY GUT AND BALANCE MY HORMONES, which eradicated my crazy cravings.
I now consider myself an INTUITIVE EATER: I intuitively know what my body is asking for and listen to my body rather than my head: “water!” “protein!” “vegetables!” (Yes- I CRAVE VEGETABLES); I eat when I am hungry, stop when I am satisfied (and can differentiate biological hunger from other things masking as hunger), I skillfully work with my emotions, engage in self-care, allow myself to feel, listen to the messages of my emotions and tend to them, allow myself to indulge and savor food that I love without guilt, I make eating a full sensory experience, I trust and feel good in my body (most of the time ;)). I am learning how to love my self completely.
Through some training in life coaching, LOA and self-empowerment work, and loads of personal development work, I also have learned how to talk to myself and re-program underlying beliefs that promote behaviors resulting in whole-ness and happiness rather than self-sabotage.
I am passionate about helping motivated women & men create amazing relationships with their bodies, discover ways of being, eating and healing that enable them to thrive so they can live with more confidence and freedom.
It’s what gets my juices flowing. I LOVE this stuff.
Other Things I Love:
- Dance. It’s such a beautiful way to inhabit your body, express yourself, be in the present moment and experience music. I regularly social dance and compete in West Coast Swing, as well as salsa dance socially on occasion.
- Being Outdoors: in a park, on a mountain, in the water.
- Being Cosmopolitan: exploring new restaurants, the arts & cultural experiences
- Stretching. Seriously—it’s one of my favorite things to do!
- Coffee Shops
- Connecting with people on a deeper level
Want to stay in touch? Take my “Intuitive Eating Quiz” to learn which stage you are at—and receive a free 4-part guide, as well as updates on my future programs.
Interested in working with me one-on-one? Let’s chat and determine if we’re a good fit for one another! Schedule a free 30-minute phone (or skype) consult here: https://eatingmindful1.youcanbook.me/
P.S. I would also love to connect with you through facebook! http://www.facebook.com/EatingMindful
Meredith Milton’s Credentials:
BA in Advertising and Public Relations from Drury University
MS in Nutrition from Bastyr University
Certified Nutritionist in the state of Washington
Published Thesis Research: “An Exploratory Study of a Mindfulness Intervention on Eating Behaviors and Food Intake”
Life-Coaching training with Empowerment Institute