by Adrien Paczosa, RD, LD, CEDRD


I look back at my experience of working in eating disorders and mental health nutrition, and truly am shocked at all that I have learned and been a part of. This area of nutrition was not on my radar as I was going through school, and thankfully one of my great mentors offered me a chance of a lifetime. Since jumping in, I have not only continued to learn daily, I have been given great honor to be a part of my clients’ journeys. As a Certified Eating Disrobed Specialist, one of my missions is to empower other dietitians to reach the same credentialing, and create better access to dietitians. Though this personal mission, I have been fortunate to be a part of Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietetic Practice group and this coming year will be the chair elect.


In my work with patients and their loved ones, I continue to learn from them daily. One of the most profound things I have learned is how powerful words can be. As a health care professional, my words can be fearful and uplifting at the same time. I asked a few of my clients what has been the most meaningful words I have said to them. A few surprised me!!

*Some of the quotes have been altered to protect the patient’s identity.


My Question said, “ I am writing a blog for ED awareness week. What has been the most meaningful or helpful thing I have said to you?”


  • Haha – loaded question! You’ve said a lot of helpful things! Most recently “flexible and not perfect” helps a lot. Also, “there are no mistakes in food.”
  • Life being more than the calorie content of your meal or the number on the scale.
  • Not letting food guilt from the past steal from the present.
  • Knowing that someone is willing to meet me where I am with what my goals are for myself has been the most helpful.
  • The most helpful thing has been the questioning process behind all the biases I hold about food and weight. But one quote would be: food is fuel – no good, bad, right, or wrong. 🙂
  • You told me that the things I fear most: carbs and fats make my body and brain work. It’s because you SOOO understand the science and behaviors of ED that you get with each person it’s different, you think out of the box and shift things to meet people.
  • You make it ok to always be where I’m at.
  • My favorite thing was the weekly sheets. I still have them all. “You’re a Rockstar” or “Have a Rockstar week” are the most meaningful!!!!!!
  • Reminding me that recovery is not linear. Helping me to realize that I can’t be perfect because there is no such thing.
  • Whenever I would say “when I get home I have to do this” or “I need to clean the kitchen or else I feel stifled” or whatever and you would ask “Why?” Or “What would happen if you didn’t?” I think that voice has stuck with me and helps me evaluate the absolutes I set up for myself. I’m more likely to cut myself some slack when I realize there aren’t real consequences to some of my “musts.”
  • That you would not give up on me. Patience


Words do matter and they have a powerful effect on those around you. I am honored to be on the journey with each of my clients!


By Adrien Paczosa

Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties. Adrien is also a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian(CEDRD). Adrien began her path towards nutrition through her falling down. She has been a dancing since age 2 and in college was a Kilgore College Rangerette. During a practice, she took a fall and broke her foot, and that sparked the ideas of needing a new direction in her life. After graduating in 2003 from the University of Illinois – Chicago with a bachelor of science degree in Human Nutrition, Adrien began her career as a staff dietitian at the hospital in downtown Chicago. She was promoted to the hospital’s Director of Food Service and Nutrition and was responsible for all food preparation as well as patient nutritional care. While working at her clinical job, Adrien maintained her passion for movement by working as a personal trainer and nutrition coach in downtown Chicago. In 2006, Adrien returned to Texas to be close to family, friends, and warmer weather! She opened her private practice, I Live Well Nutritional Therapy in 2007 and has only continued to grown. To date, iLiveWell Nutrition Therapy has multiple locations, contracts with numerous corporations and treatment centers, and currently, five dietitians are employed under iLiveWell. “Creating better access to dietitians!” has been one of the driving forces of Adrien’s company.

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