I had the chance to chat with Alex Raymond, RD, LD, CEDRD-S, and co-founder of Courage to Nourish. Alex specializes in eating disorder treatment and is passionate about supporting her clients in finding food freedom, learning to appreciate and respect their bodies, and helping them realize that eating disorder recovery is possible. When she’s not on the job, she is busy caring for her cat and new puppy, unwinding with a mystery/thriller book, or planning her next travel getaway. Learn more about Alex below!
What is your favorite food today? What was your favorite as a child?
I feel like anytime someone asks me what my favorite food is, I have a different answer. But the first thing that popped into my head was pasta, so I guess that’s my favorite food today. I really like gnocchi, my grandma used to make that for me growing up.
When I was a kid, my favorite food was lobster. My family always tells a story about a time that my aunt offered to make me whatever I wanted for dinner one night, thinking that I was going to say a typical kid food like grilled cheese or pizza, but I said lobster. So then she asked “Alright, what is your second favorite food?” I don’t know why that was my favorite food. I actually don’t think that I liked the lobster that much, but that I just loved dipping it in the butter.
Where are you from? What is your favorite thing about that place?
I’m from New Jersey. My favorite thing about it is that it’s central to a lot of different things. It’s actually a really underrated state. If you think about it, it’s close to New York City, Philadelphia, a lot of international airports so you can easily travel to a lot of different places, and a fun Six Flags Great Adventure. I’m a big New Jersey advocate.
How did you become interested in nutrition?
I always liked food, I remember as I was growing up I was always in the kitchen. My Nonna used to teach me how to cook and I really enjoyed that time with her. When I was applying to college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was considering being a teacher or going into business school. I was really interested in psychology as well, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a therapist or a social worker. That didn’t really feel right for me.
I stumbled across nutrition as a major and thought it would be really cool to be a dietitian. It morphed from there because with eating disorder work, I’m definitely not a therapist because I don’t have that specific skill set, but it’s a great blend of counseling and working with people one on one.
How did you decide to become an anti-diet and Health at Every Size © RD?
I never remember wanting to help people diet or lose weight. My intention to become a dietitian was to help people “be healthier”. I think that can still have diet culture undertones to it, but because I never wanted to help people diet or lose weight, HAES, intuitive eating and anti-diet practice was a natural segue for me. A lot of it really resonated with me.
I remember learning about how diets don’t work and are not sustainable and people are always going on and off them, so I didn’t want to do that kind of work with people. The work that I want to do with clients is to create a more sustainable, positive relationship with food and their bodies. I had a lot to learn about HAES and anti-diet practice, and still do. It felt like a natural fit and I’m so glad I found this type of work. It is very fulfilling.
What is your favorite thing about working with Courage to Nourish clients?
Their willingness to learn, strength and drive to want to work to recover from their eating disorder. While my clients learn from me, I learn a lot from them too. They are more of the driver of their recovery than I am.
What brings you joy in your daily life?
In my daily life, my cat brings me joy. I also enjoy having a nice, slow morning when I can take care of myself and relax before I start my day. TV and reading for sure. I love the mystery thriller genre for reading. I watch everything, but I am not a huge fan of reality TV. My relationships with my friends, my boyfriend, and the Courage to Nourish team definitely bring me joy too.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I don’t think people have to be either a dog or a cat person, but if I had to choose, I think I would be a cat person. I like the balance of cats, sometimes wanting your attention but they are also very independent. I have a cat named Poe and I just got a Mini Bernedoodle puppy named Marlon. Poe is named after the Baltimore Ravens mascot and Marlon is named after Marlon Humphrey who is a Ravens cornerback.
What is something on your bucket list?
I really enjoy traveling. I want to go to a lot of the National Parks and Greece. I’m going to Oktoberfest this year and I’m really excited.
What is your favorite season and why?
Fall or Spring when the weather is 60-70 degrees. Any season that has mild weather I prefer because I like doing things outdoors.
Are you a morning or night person?
I would say I’m a mid-morning to mid-afternoon person. I definitely don’t go to bed anytime after 10pm.
Courage to Nourage has offices in College Park, Maryland. Columbia, Maryland. And Alexandria, Virginia. We also see clients virtually across Virginia. Maryland. Washington DC. Colorado. And Pennsylvania.
Alex Raymond, as well as all of our dietitians, would love to work with you or a loved one today. Please visit our website to read more about our services. We can help! We would love to set up a 15 minute discovery call and answer any questions you may have about working with us. Visit our contact us page to send us an email.
Jordan is a Courage to Nourish Intern. She received her BS in Nutrition Science from The George Washington University and is currently pursuing her MS in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Rhode Island. Jordan hopes to become a dietitian and is excited to learn more about eating disorder treatment as well as weight inclusive, anti-diet approaches to dietetics.