Amy Goldsmith RDN, LDN (Founder and CEO)Founded Kindred Nutrition in 2010. She became a dietitian in 1999 and although she has worked with many realms of Medical Nutrition Therapy, specializes in Eating Disorders, Digestive Health, and Sports Nutrition. Amy’s specialty in Eating Disorders initiated the HOPE Consortium, helping people with Eating Disorders, which she co-founded with Dr. Albertson. Amy focuses on meeting all her clients where they currently are and focusing on education, re-framing the mind, and using food as fuel for your brain and body. She believes there is a strong connection between the gut and brain and focuses on both with all clients. In addition, as a sports nutritionist and dietitian Amy assists with getting the client to peak performance by incorporating optimal nutrition before, during training, race time, and recovery. Amy also enjoys speaking to many teams in the community such as FOX Swim Club, MAC Swim Club, Hood College Athletics, Mount Saint Mary’s Athletic Teams, Odin Crossfit, and more.
Amy has been featured in multiple media outlets and works directly with Frederick County Schools, Montgomery County Schools, Run Farther and Faster, The Frederick Steeplechasers, Odin Crossfit, Anytime Fitness, Multiple Swim Clubs & Division 1 Collegiate Athletes throughout the United States.
Amy is routinely quoted in the Frederick News Post, has been quoted in SHAPE Magazine and My Fitness Pal forums, and written articles for Frederick Child’s Magazine. She has been interviewed live through Frederick Advice Givers and WUSA-TV.
In her spare time Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and Portuguese Water Dog and Crossfitting, hiking, cooking, and just plain relaxing.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:26] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome back to the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Amy Goldsmith on the show today. Amy, welcome to Nutrition Experts.
Amy Goldsmith: [00:00:54] Thanks so much for having me.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:26] I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe. So, tell my listeners a little bit more about your expertise what you do.
Amy Goldsmith: [00:00:54] Okay. I have been a dietitian for 20 years and about 10 years ago I open to Kindred Nutrition which is a private practice. We specialize in eating disorders treatments, sports nutrition and G.I. health. We also focus on community outreach. And recently I accepted a position on the board of directors with the Maryland American Nutrition and Dietetics as a Consumer Protection Coordinator.
Mathea Ford [00:01:22] Wow! So, that is a lot of stuff. So, you mentioned that you help with eating disorders, sports nutrition, kind of what’s the biggest issue you you usually find your patients need you to help them work on?
Amy Goldsmith [00:01:33] Lots of times, unfortunately, I feel like patients are coming to my practice as a last resort. There’s lots of information out on the website or some quick fixes that are sold. And after trying and not getting the results that they want, clients will come to me for some evidence based help. I really start working with them on the acceptance of their current state of mind putting appropriate goal setting in place providing education and then focusing on accountability.
Mathea Ford [00:02:09] So, regardless of what their problem is you kind of help them get a better understanding of their issues and then like a path that you help them walk down?
Amy Goldsmith [00:02:18] Yes. I feel like it’s really important to help my patients have the right mindset. So, we work on that first and then we focus on the education and then the goal setting.
Mathea Ford [00:02:30] So, you also mentioned eating disorders and their treatment. Can you talk about maybe our audience doesn’t necessarily know exactly what an eating disorder is or what might cause them. Can you talk a little bit about what those are? what you see in your practice and where they come from?
Amy Goldsmith [00:02:47] Sure! There is not a lot of research that can pinpoint exactly what an eating disorder is from but there’s some research that shows there is a genetic predisposition to mental health such as anxiety or depression or OCD and the eating disorder can concur with that and be used as a need to cope or find a way to believe they can control something. I see in my practice too that there’s environmental triggers that can kind of lead to a eating disorder as well. Sometimes depending on the environment my clients feel so out of control. When they start to focus on the black and white it’s a little bit easier for them to distract themselves from that emotion and really say “Okay, let’s make some rules I’m going to eat this amount of calories. I’m good today, I’m bad today” and etc.
Mathea Ford [00:03:36] So, what typical eating disorders do you see?
Amy Goldsmith [00:03:40] So, I would say the typical eating disorders that we see here is Anorexia Nervosa which is more restriction over exercise, we see Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa. We are also starting to see a rise in Orthorexia as well.
Mathea Ford [00:03:57] What is Orthorexia?
Amy Goldsmith [00:03:59] So, Orthorexia is obsession with wanting to eat specific types of food. So, it’s similar to anorexia with restriction and maybe over exercising. But it is that particular individual wants to be very aware of everything that goes in their mouth. I don’t like to pinpoint any. The cause of eating disorders of anything specific. But I would say it’s similar to the person that you might know who will only eat clean or will not have any added sugar or you know they make rules and if they can’t follow that it completely disrupts their day.
Mathea Ford [00:04:40] What are some signs that someone might have an eating disorder or that a professional… Well, we have some dietitians, doctors, nurses that listen to the podcast. What signs would a professional see to indicate that that might be an eating disorder?
Amy Goldsmith [00:04:57] That’s a great question. It’s hard because I think a lot of the colleagues that I work with we’re lucky from a dietitian end because we get 45 minutes to an hour to spend with our clients and we’re trained to motivational interview. So, I think that’s an obstacle sometimes for some of our colleagues since we are really in and out you know in 10 to 15 minutes. So, unfortunately one of the only signs that physicians may see is a change in weight or a change in labs. But you are motivationally interviewing someone you can kind of determine if they are skipping dinner, if they are focusing on healthy eating like in an excessive way, if they are isolating themselves from family and maybe starting to make their own meals, not eating with others or leaving during meals to use the bathroom for example. So, I feel like it’s hard to determine if somebody has a eating disorder if you’re not trained to take the time to really be investigative of that relationship with food.
Mathea Ford [00:06:04] Yeah and I think by the time the weight loss shows or those signs that would be more evident it’s gone on for a while because I think people tend to be able to hide these fairly for a while.
Amy Goldsmith [00:06:18] Absolutely and I would say you know with some of the eating disorders we don’t see weight loss. And so if you’re trained in kind of that black and white thinking it’s easy to say well they’re stable so it’s tricky.
Mathea Ford [00:06:31] Do you usually see eating disorders for women because I know that’s a pretty typical thought that I’ve heard or is it equal men and women? What about athletes or young or old? What type of person is most likely you think?
Amy Goldsmith [00:06:42] I first actually started to train more with eating disorders because I work so much with athletes and I was absolutely in my younger years and early on in training I was absolutely shocked at how many athletes had disordered eating. But as I worked with athletes you know it kind of made sense to me because there’s such pressure on performance. And if you think about it even in the media you hear people say you know that you have to be a certain race weight. Runners have to be a certain race weight or wrestlers have to be a certain weight. I mean we have football players weighing in before season and high jumpers have to weigh in so they’re using the correct pole. So, it surrounds that athletic field. But I would say you know when it comes to my practice, there is a higher percentage of women but I see both males and females and all ages. Matter of fact, one of the things that’s been a little bit troubling is that I’m starting to see disorders at a very young age. So, I have lots of eight, nine year olds and that’s really been a change that I’ve had to get used to.
Mathea Ford [00:07:54] So, would you say with the younger crowd, does it kind of seem to start with picky eating and then go from there? Or is it the athletic stuff they’re trying to do better with that?
Amy Goldsmith [00:08:05] I feel like it’s a perfect storm with the younger kids which is…
Mathea Ford [00:08:10] Social media.
Amy Goldsmith [00:08:13] Right. Social media. You know my clients of eating disorders are very very smart, high achievers and it could be one little trigger that starts a eating disorder. So, maybe it’s maybe that child was bullied believe it or not and they weren’t able to talk to anybody about it and they felt so out of control because of the way that’s making them feel. They start to focus on what they’re putting in their mouths subconsciously but then they lose weight and people are giving them positive feedback. It could be believe it or not this is something that I’ve really tried to get a grasp on but health class believe it or not. If you have a child who is type A and maybe a little bit obsessive compulsive. Imagine what they process when they hear in their health class “if you eat sugar or you’re going to get cancer.” It’s very very scary to the individual and it may make them want to really change their eating patterns. And the picky eater as well, I think the longer picky eating goes on I think it really creates a lot of fear with trying new foods. It’s not necessarily that they have a issue with body image but they just become so fearful from food they can’t move forward.
Mathea Ford [00:09:28] So, I was kind of surprised the first time when I went with my daughter she’s 13 and we went to the doctor and she was mentioning her height and weight chart because it was her annual exam and she was telling her she’s gaining a little too much weight. I was just like “let’s not focus on the weight, let’s focus on activity. We’ve decreased activity so we need to do a little more activity and obviously the eating choices can be better.” I also know that weight her weight fluctuates. I mean so I was kind of disappointed to hear the doctor says like “uh! You just put weight into your her head as an issue.”
Amy Goldsmith [00:10:07] I know and I feel like there’s been such a high intensity training for physicians as you have to identify childhood obesity and we need to squash this. So, you know when there’s pressure like that I think it does kind of create this checklist right.? So, they do the weight, they do the height, they check the BMI. Oh! BMI is too high. But BMI is not the best indicator. It doesn’t take muscle mass into consideration. They didn’t really o enough to really look at children from you know as far as a BMI standard. So, there needs to be a little bit more questions that are asked when they look at weight. Plus lots of times as our kids grow in height. We expect the weight to follow. And I think sometimes that’s forgotten.
Mathea Ford [00:10:54] Yeah. Yeah it’s still very. At 13 still very transitional weight, height time. So, is there any tips or thoughts that you might give other dietitians to help someone who they were just in the way we talk to people to help with addressing kind of that issue if that makes any sense?
Amy Goldsmith [00:11:17] Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. One of my best friends is a dietitian. We met at our first job and cracks me up because she says “Amy, my gosh I see more eating disorders in my practice than I would like to. Right?” And she says “but lots of times it’s confusing because they come to me for weight loss or you know something like constipation or something” and she really will dig down and ask lots of questions but she really doesn’t feel comfortable working with eating disorders. And I try to normalize that and say “yeah. That’s you know I’m not the best with diabetes. Right? Like I’m not up to date on the newest insulin pumps and glucose testing and that sort of thing.” So, she’s gotten to a place where she assesses for the eating disorder. She normalizes it you know and has a pretty good try where she is. So, she says “you know I don’t really think that you have the best relationship with food. I have a great colleague that I think you may be able to work with and you know I am not abandoning you but this would be somebody else I could work on our team.” So she’s not afraid to refer that patient out. And I think sometimes when dietitians are younger and you know they kind of would see that as failure you know if they were. But we all have a specialty. That’s why there’s so many of us. And it’s okay to say “I hear where you are. I hear what you’re saying to me. I’m not the most comfortable with it. It’s my job to get you the help you need. Here’s my recommendation. ”
Mathea Ford [00:12:51] Yeah. I love that because like I’m a specialist in kidney disease, renal nutrition. So, I don’t know a lot about cancer and I have friends who get cancer and they’ll say “What should I eat?” And I say “you should find a cancer dietitian at the cancer center because I have general knowledge” but so I think that’s an excellent point that it’s not a problem to refer somebody especially if you’re helping them. And we have in Oklahoma we have a little group on Facebook that’s just our RDs in the state. And we kind of go in there and I’ll see things people Pediatric dietitian who takes our state sooner care you know for a failure to thrive in Tulsa for example. So they’re trying to find someone to help those people. So, if you have that resource in your area you don’t have it and you want to start building one. I would recommend that because it is the new. Like you said you know somebody and you know that they’re going to help. So they have a specialty. So, talking about consumers a little bit you mentioned you’re going to be the Consumer Protection person for the Maryland… Is it you’re having an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics?
Amy Goldsmith [00:14:04] Yes I am.
Mathea Ford [00:14:04] Yeah. So, talk about being a better consumer, what does that mean?
Amy Goldsmith [00:14:10] We live in such a different time. I’ve been a dietitian for 20 years. So, it was very very different when I became a dietitian and I feel like nowadays you can go on just the computer and Yahoo and Google or you know they have ads running based off of your search engines. Joyce cracks me up because I’m a dietitian and don’t try to sell me you know your magic pill.
Mathea Ford [00:14:32] We have fake Dr. Google.
Amy Goldsmith [00:14:37] Right. But you know we also I would say obesity has risen and there’s a lot of attention paid to health but the nutrition or the pharmaceutical business is a multi-billion dollar business. Their goal is to make profits. And I hate to simplify it like that but it’s true. And they market to the consumer who is desperate or frustrated or sad and they make it a little bit more affordable price because they can get the volume. So, that’s one of the things that I hear a lot is if I don’t take someone’s insurance yes it is a discretionary fund to spend to see a dietitian. And it’s not going to be as cheap as someone’s shakes or some of the you know even the medication that some of the physicians are prescribing. But that’s because there’s a lot of investigative work and it’s individualized. Right? So, these numerous pharmaceuticals they can they can sell something for $19.99 because they’re going to sell it to millions of people. Also I feel like we’re in this new era which I’m really trying to calm myself down a little bit. There are a lot of people who really do get into nutrition. Athletes, you know they really do notice that they have a change of performance when they eat right. Women who have lost a certain amount of weight doing something specific. We’ve even got some pyramid schemes that go on that boast their individual experience. That experience does not give somebody the credentialing to be able to really determine what an individual needs to lose weight. And I know that lots of times people say calories in versus calories out that equals weight loss. I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the truth. There’s a lot that goes into weight loss which is why dietitians have to take biochemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology on and on.
Mathea Ford [00:16:42] So, how can people be a little bit better consumers related to food?
Amy Goldsmith [00:16:47] I feel like if they have an understanding of marketing. If there’s a particular food that’s marketing success, see if there’s a research behind it. And if there’s any research behind it, see who paid for that research to make sure that it’s not biased. I also think that if you’re going to someone who is going to be your nutrition coach or your life coach or nutritionist, even do a little bit more research to see what experience they have. I feel like I’m a great mom but I’m not going to start a business telling everybody how to be a parent. I just think it’s really important to see where that person got their education.
Mathea Ford [00:17:26] How can people be harmed by or not helped by talking to someone who is not necessarily trained but just kind of have this experience of either being part of a multi-level nutrition marketing scheme or even have gone to some some training but not or lost weight. And like you said you’re a great mom but you’re not going to necessarily write books and coach people of being mom, how to be a mom. So, how can how does that affect people what’s the harm in that?
Amy Goldsmith [00:18:01] Well, lots of times some of the programs will have people restrict a completely… A complete group of food so either restrict grains completely I’m just using as an example or cut them and we know as dietitians that there is a better affects the biochemistry within the body and also affects your lean muscle tissue versus your fat muscle tissue which affects your metabolism so you may see the quick fix and the weight loss but long term you may be increasing your fat mass which is more dangerous to your heart health. You may be decreasing your muscle mass which will affect your metabolism in a negative way. You might be you’re removing an entire food group. So, if you’re not checking your labs and that sort of thing you may be creating a deficiency within your body. So, it’s not a one size fits all. You know it’s the same thing with lots of times I work with vegetarians. Vegetarians who are athletes and I’m not against it and I meet all my clients where they are. But every vegetarian should be checked to see if they have an iron deficiency. And they have to go to the right person who knows how to assess that to improve their quality of life and their health.
Mathea Ford [00:19:16] So, I know it’s dietitians were often trained to do some physical exam assessment to look for those nutrition deficiencies. And I think that’s something that when we look at somebody we’re taking into account all their whatever you’d call it comorbid conditions. Maybe they have diabetes and they’re taking insulin and all of a sudden you tell him to not eat grain or flour products. You know that’s a pretty significant change that someone who may have lost weight and doesn’t have those issues may not recognize that the diabetes, the insulin is going to get them too low and they could potentially have a little blood sugar which hypoglycemia which could be very bad.
Amy Goldsmith [00:20:01] Absolutely! We’re trained to look at the whole body. I always tell my clients we’re trained to look at the body from the moment something hits your tongue until it comes out of your body and everything that goes along with that. Which I think is unique.
Mathea Ford [00:20:15] Yeah. I just think people want that quick fix and it can be more expensive to see a dietitian. It can take longer to see results. So, I think that’s what’s hard for consumers because they’re so used to that quick fix and they see these beautiful sculpted bodies on Instagram and they say “I took the supplement. You can too.” So, I was watching this past December the Heisman Trophy win by Kyler Murray who is from Oklahoma and he mentioned the nutrition staff as being part of the reason why he was so successful. And I’m not I was so appreciative of that because I know they have a dietitian and I am so excited that a lot of the colleges are starting to utilize dietitians and realize that like you mentioned they can get eating disorders, they can get other issues, they have dietitians teaching them in all the sports not just football. I’ve talked to the Oklahoma dietitian and she helps with golf. She helps with women’s softball, she helps with baseball. She makes sure they’re hydrated. You know she gets kind of ready and and she also manages their training table you know what they eat. I think that’s great that colleges are starting to recognize that it’s a performance improvement when you have a dietitian helping you with sports nutrition. So, can you talk about kind of what you do with athletes besides the eating disorders that help them with sports nutrition?
Amy Goldsmith [00:21:47] Yes. So, sports interest and they’re really fun because they’re so motivated and they have pretty specific goals usually and you know I think by the time people are athletic. The goals aren’t completely unattainable so they’re pretty realistic which is me. I think a lot of people are surprised with how much nutrition can help performance or recovery because I often think about you know I’m in my 40s and we don’t really talk about nutrition at all as it’s related to performance. So, I assess people’s needs based off of you know their general and the metrics I get but then also really really dig down to their activity which is fun for me I love to do that. And then even break it down even more into “Okay. This is what your needs are. But we can even focus on timing of the meals so you know if you eat this particular food half an hour before you start this activity you’re going to get energy for this long and then within 30 minutes after your activity let’s recover and we look at really key things. So, how do you feel 10 minutes into the workout, 20 minutes into the workout, 45 minutes into the work out, how do your muscles feel? Like are you seeing a decrease in your delayed onset of muscle pain and that sort of thing. So and then I always tell my athletes you know you train for an event so we don’t expect nutrition to be 100 percent correct. Like the prescription that we’re putting in place, you have to train for your nutrition.” But I would say I mean all of my clients are always shocked once they hit that right nutrition kind of prescription and it’s so fun like the Marine Corps Marathon is here every year and my phone is going off like you want to believe with text messages from my clients “Oh my gosh! I got a PR! I felt great! I was hydrated and what’s better than that?” So full!
Mathea Ford [00:23:53] It’s towards the end of January when this is airing. Most people have new year’s resolutions and may have given them up by now but any ideas or tips related to exercise and nutrition to keep from overdoing it and kind of staying the course if you’re like “Okay, I gave up but maybe I could start back in a more reasonable manner?”
Amy Goldsmith [00:24:12] One of the phrases that I always say that I think initially might turn people off is “you can’t exercise a bad diet. You can’t out exercise a bad diet.” So, you know oddly enough people always say to me “are you gearing up for January? You must be really busy.” It’s our slowest month at Kindred Nutrition. I mean everybody’s joining in their gyms and starting their shakes and that sort of thing. April’s our busiest month because by then everybody’s kind of decide that they want to take a new route. You know your goals have to be realistic. I do think there’s something about starting a new year and being positive and I’m going to make this this year great but you don’t have to make the year great by telling yourself you’re going to get up at 5:00 in the morning five days a week to exercise for 45 minutes. If it’s not something that fits in your lifestyle. And also I’m a huge promoter of physical activity but I look at physical activity more as a endorphin producer, stress reducer. You know 45 minutes working out is great but if you’re not eating the right way it’s not enough to help you lose weight and get to that magic number that you’re looking for if that makes sense. So, I’m a fan of SMART Goal I know that’s really really helped with our clients here and we actually even have a sheet. SMART Goal stands for a specific goal that’s measurable that’s attainable and realistic. And then it has a time expectation.
Mathea Ford [00:25:46] Thinking about setting goals and just being reasonable. I also know that we just mentioned people want quick fix. Exercise does take time to kind of see the change. So, does a diet a little bit. But I think you can see it a little quicker with a diet. Maybe you got burned out because you were sore after two weeks of working out every day for 45 minutes and be a little more reasonable find that good place. I know a lot of times we can’t see the benefit of exercise till all of a sudden we stop for like a week on vacation and we’re like “oh my gosh!”
Amy Goldsmith [00:26:19] That’s so true! Coming back to being active after being on vacation. You’re right. That’s a good way to positively reframe it like “wow! I wasn’t in a better shape.” Well, the positive thing about that is you do have muscle memory and you can build a back up.
Mathea Ford [00:26:38] I think that’s absolutely true. You don’t have to give up and fall off the wagon and not get back on it. So, Amy my favorite question to ask everybody is what’s your favorite food? Since we didn’t talk a ton about food but I’d love to hear what you love to eat.
Amy Goldsmith [00:26:51] Okay. So, even though I’m a dietitian my favorite food believe it or not is chicken wings with really good blue cheese and spicy hot and spicy.
Mathea Ford [00:27:03] Yeah! It doesn’t matter that your dietitian. I used to when I was in the army I would be in the grocery store in the commissary on post and I’d be shopping and people come into my cart. “What are you buying?”
Amy Goldsmith [00:27:22] Oh Frederick is a small town that happens to me sometimes in the grocery store it’s funny.
Mathea Ford [00:27:23] Yeah. So, Amy thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners learned a lot about just eating disorders and sports nutrition kind of dealing with that. So, if listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Amy Goldsmith [00:27:38] We have a website www.kindrednutrition.com and we also are on social media and Instagram we’re @kindrednutritionreel and Facebook Kindred Nutrition.
Mathea Ford [00:27:54] Great! Well, guys this has been another great episode of the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that it’s all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.
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