Empowering you to let go of food rules & reconnect with your body’s internal wisdom

Discover how working with a dietitian can be an integral part of your
eating disorder recovery.

shelby santin nutrition counseling md va dc

Imagine having a space to talk about food struggles without fear of judgment and having a supportive guide to help map the way forward towards food freedom.

Food is more than just fuel

Food is more than just fuel. It is a way to take care of yourself and connect with community, culture and life. Those who struggle with disordered eating report spending a large majority of their day thinking about food decisions. Struggling with food decisions and negative thoughts can take up so much mental time and energy that makes it difficult to maintain relationships or practice self-care. 

The goal of nutrition counseling is to nourish yourself in a way that is aligned with your values and doesn’t cause stress and anxiety.

Focusing on self-care and connection rather than restriction or obsessions allows you to begin to make peace with food and live your life fully again.

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How nutrition counseling can help

Working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is an important part of eating disorder recovery. An eating disorder dietitian can help you become more aware of disordered food patterns and how they make you feel emotionally and physically. You will be able to move away from disordered eating behaviors and towards a more compassionate relationship with yourself and food.

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Nourish your body

You will discover how to make decisions around food that are more in line with your individual needs without feeling guilt or judgement. During your nutrition sessions you take steps towards feeling less overwhelmed by food. 

Eat with confidence

Nutrition counseling sessions will help you learn how to eat with more confidence. You’ll gain knowledge and skills on choosing foods that align with your personal values while also providing the fuel your body needs. You will also learn how to listen to your body instead of extrenal messages to determine what to eat. 

Recognize diet culture messages

Diet culture messages are everywhere and often center around weight loss and labeling what foods are considered “good vs. bad.” This can lead to restrictive eating and feelings of guilt and shame when making food choices. Recognizing these messages can help you make more informed decisions about your nutrition and understand how they may be impacting your behavior.

How it works

Schedule your free intro call

During this free call, we will chat for 15 minutes to learn more about your nutrition needs, how the nutrition counseling process works, and whether I am the best fit for your specific needs.

Attend your 1st session

During this 1-hour session, we will talk about your history with food and body image. We will also start discussing what nutrition counseling will look like for you as we move forward.

Follow-up sessions

We will meet for 50 minutes at follow-ups. We may discuss what you have been eating, and what feelings or difficult situations have come up since we last met. Ultimately, you get to decide what topics are helpful to discuss and I can help guide you.

shelby santin virginia dietitian
Hi, I’m Shelby

anI have always been passionate about food and how it connects us to families, culture, and community. Growing up in an Italian family has helped shape my understanding of the important role food plays in our lives. I came to understand that food is more than just a way of survival – it’s a source of comfort and joy, a way of showing love and care to others, and a powerful tool for bringing people together.

When it comes to struggling with an eating disorder, the healing journey isn’t easy or straightforward. However, I’m convinced that by restoring a healthy relationship with food and our bodies can help pave the way for transformation in all aspects of life.

That’s why I became a dietitian – to help people break free from the cycle of guilt and anxiety surrounding food choices so they can live their best life.

Nutrition counseling will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to make informed decisions about your diet without judgment or shame. Together we’ll work on making sense of your individual nutrition needs while addressing any underlying beliefs and past experiences that may be making it hard to have a peaceful relationship with food. 


Eating Disorder diagnoses I work with:

✔️ Anorexia nervosa

✔️ Bulimia nervosa

✔️ Binge Eating Disorder


✔️ Disordered eating


shelby santin nutrition counseling
Common questions
Do you take insurance?

I do not participate with any insurance plans. I provide a Superbill with all the information necessary to be submitted to insurance for out-of-network reimbursement. I recommend calling your insurance company and asking about out-of-network coverage for dietitian visits.

What is discussed in each session?

It depends! Some common topics that may be covered include: what patterns you are noticing about your specific food intake and behaviors, challenging food situations, how to navigate diet culture, past experiences that may be currently impacting your food behaviors, strategies to manage compensatory behaviors, what is making it difficult to make changes or recovery-oriented food decisions. This is by no means an exhaustive list! Ultimately, you get to decide what topics are the most helpful to discuss and I can help guide the conversation based on your identified goals and provide feedback when appropriate.

How long do people work with you?

The timeline of our work together is very individualized. There will be frequent check-ins to talk openly about how you feel sessions are going and if they are meeting your current treatment needs.

Do you provide meal plans?

I will not tell you exactly what to eat or limit foods that you love or feel safe with!

I will check in about what kind of guidance would be helpful before providing information or recommendations. Sometimes providing some flexible guidelines for meals and snack structure may be part of our work together. In addition, some clients find it helpful to have guidelines or specific meal or snack ideas to implement throughout the week.

This process is always collaborative. I value providing context about how nutrition recommendations fit into the overall goal of food freedom.

What if I want to lose weight?

I practice from a weight-inclusive vs. weight-centric approach. This means that it is not my philosophy to focus on weight loss as a goal nor will I provide guidance on how to lose weight.

That being said, we live in a society that is very focused on weight and the topic of weight loss is not off limits in our sessions.

As you are working on your relationship with food, the desire for weight loss may arise. We can explore this topic together and discuss how that impacts your relationship with food.

You do not have to be completely on board with weight-inclusive nutrition approach to make an appointment. You may be skeptical and that's ok!

This may be an unfamiliar way of thinking about nutrition and health. It is natural to have hesitancy or be unsure of what is the best approach for you.

Where are sessions held?

I offer both virtual and in person sessions. In person sessions are held in Falls Church, VA.

Ready to get started?

Schedule your free 15 minute call today to see if weight inclusive nutrition counseling with a dietitian is right for you.