So about a week and a half ago, I had the opportunity to visit Veritas Collaberative for a FREE professional visit. How awesome is that? Well let me tell you it was VERY awesome! It really seems like so long ago that I went. I seriously had the best time and I am extremely excited to get to share it with you all.
My day started out Thursday morning waking up at 3:30 A.M. in order to drive to the airport and catch my 6:30 A.M flight. My wonderful mom woke up and drove me there. 🙂
Ate some honey nut cheerios before I left because my hunger was real at 4:30 A.M. that morning.
Flew into Dallas. Ate a snack and had an iced coffee.
Then flew into Raleigh/Durham where I caught a taxi for the first time. Veritas had arranged an airport taxi for me to catch but I could barely understand the guy – LOL – thankfully I caught something about “zone 15” and asked someone that worked there who pointed me in the direction. Adulting at it’s finest right?
I got to the hotel around 10:30 A.M. I couldn’t check in yet and I was super hungry so I decided to stretch my legs and find a place to eat. I found this place that had great reviews and seemed to have an awesome menu. Lots of gluten-free options for my gluten intolerant self – a bun made out of plantains and they had yucka fries too! Looked super cool and sourced local ingredients. I get there and the power is out on that side of downtown. 😦 Guess that means I will have to go back and try out that restaurant another time. Asked a local for directions on how to get back to the other side of town because I got confused. Got back and ended up just getting a lettuce wrapped burger and fries from this place and it was pretty good. I was SUPER hungry regardless so anything sounded good at this point.
Went back to the hotel and it was ready so I went up to my room and got settled in. Stretched out on the bed and watched an episode of Catfish. I had never watched the show before Matt introduced me to it and now I love it lol. I don’t know why I find it super entertaining but I do. Anyone else a fan?
Got ready and headed out to catch the shuttle for the first day of the professional visit.
I was the only dietitian at the professional visit. The others were either therapists or social workers. Everyone came from all over the place to visit. Everyone was super nice! The people at Veritas were super nice too.
Especially this girl! Hey Teresa!
The first day we visited the Adult Hospital. We had two presentations. I especially enjoyed Jennie Lacy. She was so relatable. She said something that really stuck with me. “Everyone could use a little DBT.” Dialectical Behavior Therapy- To those who are not familiar with mental health. DBT is a cognitive-behavior therapy that strongly emphasizes the use of behavioral principles to facilitate change. This treatment blends an emphasis on acceptance (of oneself, of reality) with an emphasis on changing behavior. In other words that sometimes (if not most of the time) we need to slow down and think about how we are reacting and if this is really helping or harming. I like to think of it as being more present which is something I am continuing to work on every day.
One thing I had to laugh about was that they scheduled a snack. I was thinking “These are my kind of people.” They even made a gluten-free dessert so I could have something. I was spoiled this trip for sure.
Gluten-free cupcake and coffee.
After that the shuttle came and picked us up and took us to Nanasteak which was connected to our hotel. We had a social hour before the dinner where Teresa introduced me to Leah Graves the director of the head RD of their nutrition department. Leah reminded me so much of Amy, my favorite professor at Marshall. I joked that I thought Amy must be following me everywhere. Leah was great with answering any questions I had about their nutrition program. Fun fact she went to college in Oklahoma. Teresa had told her I lived in Oklahoma for a while so we chatted about the best coffee shops and how I got into eating disorders. Loved chatting with her! How I got into eating disorders was such a happy accident I think but in reality God had a plan all along.
We then had dinner. Dinner was awesome. I don’t eat red meat super often because of my genetic cholesterol issues but Thursday I had red meat twice in one day – YOLO. I was so hungry all day Thursday. Anyone else get like that when they fly? I ordered the ribeye with collard greens and fries and it was delicious. For dessert they had a flourless soufle. ❤
I was seated between Leah and Teresa which meant there was a TON of good conversation the rest of the evening. I had planned on possibly doing a yoga video when I got back to the room but I was so tired. I have no idea how I did it being up since 3:30 that morning. Called mom, Facetimed Matt and went to bed.
The next morning I packed because I had to check out and then we were picked up by the shuttle to go to breakfast and begin the last day of the professional visit.
On Friday we visited the children’s hospital and had presentations about pediatric psychiatry. We then breaked for lunch where they had a gluten-free sandwich just for me. I failed at taking a picture of lunch but it was so delicious. It was a chicken, mozerella, and basil sandwich. I also got a salad and some butternut squash curry soup.
I have never felt so taken care of at a conference before. Veritas is awesome. Their culinary program that they have is unbelievable. We toured the children’s hospital including the kitchen where they do all kinds of food exposures with the patients. From making home-made pasta to doing cupcake wars with their RD’s and therapists. Count me in for a taste testing!
What is really cool is that the chefs are trained by Veritas to talk/behave a certain way about food so that they don’t trigger the patients. I really think Veritas has thought of everything. With eating disorders, patients a lot of the time love to cook, but they will not eat anything that they cooked. At Veritas patients will eventually have to eat what they cook. Of course this process is handled by their multidisciplinary team. To tell someone to just eat when they have an eating disorder is a joke.
I really loved the way that Veritas did their nutrition program. Instead of having patients measuring food (which I think is not mentally healthy and have heard some of my patients first started measuring food in treatment), they utilize visual coaching. This means that patients put an amount on their plate and a team member tells them if it is enough or not. I could go on and on about the treatment at Veritas but that would probably get boring to you all.
Did I mention the place was beautiful?
They also have each patient make a piece of art upon the end of their treatment that reflects how they feel now exiting treatment. I LOVED THIS. Here are a few pictures!
I learned so much on my trip to Veritas. The learning curve is HUGE when entering an eating disorder job. I always say that I don’t think I had a clue what I was doing when I first started at DECC, but gosh I have truly learned so much. I love my job. Yes it is VERY hard and you have the days when you and your patients cry together but it is SO worth it. My heart felt so full leaving Veritas and being with all my likeminded eating disorder peeps. <333
Oh and Hi from Stella the therapy dog! 🙂
Have a great day!