Care Through Culinary™:

Nourishing the Mind, Body, and Soul

All Foods Fit and Intuitive Eating Principles

We believe that all foods fit into a nutritionally balanced meal plan featuring a variety of foods consumed in moderation. Our definition of variety incorporates many different foods which create therapeutic menu, including various flavors, textures, and colors.

At Magnolia Creek, we help clients move toward Intuitive Eating by helping them become more comfortable with the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. Through the process of having a variety of different meals, clients learn about why they make certain choices around eating and then learn to adjust those choices as needed for recovery. By providing nutritious and satisfying meals, as well as experiential learning in the kitchen, we help our clients gain the necessary skills to make peace with food.

The Care Through Culinary Difference

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Nutrition: A Vital Part of Our Care

At Magnolia Creek, we’ve found that serving high-quality, thoughtfully prepared meals has a direct impact on how clients approach their confidence in care. Learning how to prepare meals, balance exposures, and trust in the therapeutic process is highly important in rebalancing clients’ relationships with meal planning. Nourishing the mind, body, and soul is part of our whole-person approach as it helps to accelerate each client’s path to sustained recovery.

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Care Through Culinary™: Helping Our Clients Progress In Their Recoveries

Our nutritional and culinary teams are dedicated to preparing nutritious food and by doing so, extending real-time care to our clients. Culinary excellence involves nourishing the mind, body, and soul and our clinical team collaborates with each client in four key areas to help them achieve life-long recovery by:

  • Teaching them how to plan, shop, and prepare meals
  • Helping them build supportive communities during meals with others
  • Supporting them as they actively explore culinary options
  • Providing welcoming therapeutic environments to help them change behaviors and overcome fears

This culinary collaboration builds the foundation of recovery by instilling clients with the knowledge, trust, and confidence they need to make choices that support sustainable freedom.

Meet the Nutritional and Culinary Staff

Chef Clif Holt

Chef Clif has over 25 years of experience as chef, caterer, restaurateur, and instructor in the world of culinary. Chef Clif’s philosophy on food and nutrition revolves around local, sustainable, and healthy eating. Chef Clif’s favorite aspect of culinary is not only creating art with food but also teaching individuals the skills needed to be comfortable in the kitchen creating and preparing meals of their own.

Leigh-Ann. Bamberg, MS, RDN, LD – Director of Nutrition Services

As the Director of Nutrition Services and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) at Magnolia Creek, Leigh-Ann is responsible for the overall food and nutrition program at Magnolia Creek. Upon admission, Leigh-Ann evaluates clients for nutritional deficiencies as well as unhealthy food, exercise, and weight-related behaviors. Leigh-Ann provides nutrition therapy and education to promote recovery and restoration of health by implementing the principles of both Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size. Leigh-Ann utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities including exposure therapy, CBT, and DBT to challenge food fears and negative thought patterns in order to take steps towards full recovery.

Leigh-Ann graduated from The University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Exercise Science with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. She then continued her education at The University of Alabama and earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Food and Nutrition. Leigh-Ann has extensive experience in the areas of behavioral and mental health and more specifically, eating disorder treatment. As someone who has gone through the treatment and recovery process, Leigh-Ann desires to help others discover true food freedom and body acceptance in the same way that she was able. She is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) as well as the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD).

Alex Aerni, MS, RD, LD – Registered Dietitian

Alex knew she wanted to study and help others learn about nutrition from sophomore year of high school onwards. Alex completed both her undergraduate education in Nutrition and Dietetics as well as her graduate degree through Samford University. Alex had the opportunity to rotate at Magnolia Creek as part of her dietetic internship, and during this time, reconfirmed her passion for counseling. In her nutrition counseling sessions, Alex incorporates motivational interviewing and intuitive eating principles to help guide clients in their recovery.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Care Through Culinary™ program, contact us today.

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