As part of the Paradigm San Francisco diagnostic interview process, all teens receive a nutritional evaluation in order to identify any specific nutritional needs or deficiencies that are pertinent to teens’ overall physical and mental well-being. In conjunction with our other treatment team members, our nutritionist will use the nutritional evaluation to identify any nutritional support which might be useful to incorporate during the teens’ treatment.
Our Teen Nutritional Evaluation at Paradigm San Francisco serves several purposes. First of all, we want to identify any foods in the diet that may be causing negative effects on teens’ moods, sleep, or other symptoms. By identifying problematic foods, our nutritionist can work with teens to adjust diet in a way as to relieve symptoms and support overall healing and recovery.
Another aspect of the Teen Nutritional Evaluation is we want to educate teens as to how to evaluate and support their own physical health, by eating consciously and intentionally. Overall, teens at Paradigm San Francisco report greatly enjoying the food, while also feeling better, such as experiencing increased energy and improved concentration. We find that when teens experience first-hand the direct positive effects of eating a more healthful diet, they are more motivated to create healthy eating habits in their lives, moving forward.
In some cases, such as Teen Eating Disorders, the Teen Nutritional Evaluation will also be used to examine teens’ nutritional health when they come to Paradigm, as well as continue to monitor their progress, as they work with therapists in developing new eating habits. By having an in-house nutritionist that works alongside our chef and our therapists, the teens’ team can all coordinate their information and efforts, in order to provide teens with the best possible support in overcoming their eating disorder behaviors.
More generally speaking, our Teen Nutritional Evaluation and the work our nutritionist does here at Paradigm San Francisco is one aspect of the holistic care we provide, which addresses all aspects of teens’ physical, mental, and emotional health. As countless research and statistics show, to nurture teens’ physical health is to nurture their minds and at the same time, it’s difficult to support the mind to heal, if the body is not well. To this end, we want to support teens physically in every manner that we can, in order to support their overall recovery and healing.
Healthy diet has been proven to improve a large number of symptoms associated with mental illness, including but not limited to: depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, drug cravings, ADD, panic attacks, chronic stress, and more. Beyond just diet, some of the specific practices we might incorporate into teens’ nutritional plans might include things such as vitamins and supplements, as well as addition of certain foods. In this regard, we take very seriously the responsibility of educating and supporting teens to understand the effects of the food they eat, and we want to help show them the benefits of nutritious eating, while they’re here with us at Paradigm San Francisco.