Tired of focusing on your weight? Want to improve your health but sick of feeling shamed about your body from medical providers? I want to introduce you to a passionate San Diego eating disorder dietitian, Sammi Montag, RD, who works both for Kaiser and in her private practice. Sammi specializes in incorporating intuitive eating and positive body image development into her treatment. She really loves helping people identify their unique health goals by providing evidence-based nutrition care. Sammi takes a health-focused (rather than weight-focused) approach with emphasis on normalized eating and behavior change. Her nutrition philosophy incorporates an “all foods fit” mentality. Sammi is doing some amazing work helping people recover from eating disorders in San Diego!
Why did you choose to become an eating disorder specialist in San Diego?
I stumbled upon eating disorder treatment when a job opened up at University of California San Diego (UCSD) in their eating disorder program. I fell in love with the work and found a lot of fulfillment interacting with this specific population. After being in San Diego for the past decade, I truly call this place home. I now work as an eating disorder dietitian for Kaiser, and I have a private practice in San Diego.
What kind of treatment do you provide?
I provide medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling, not only to patients with eating disorders but also to people with a variety of other medical and mental health conditions. I value getting to work with a wide variety of ages (peds, adolescents, adults) as well as individual and family work. I also provide hands-on treatment options with grocery store tours, food/restaurant exposures, and virtual cooking sessions.
Do you only work with eating disorders?
No, I work with a variety of different medical and mental health conditions. Through my work at Kaiser and in my private practice, I have the opportunity to work with clients who have diverse nutritional needs, ranging from diabetes and heart conditions to intuitive eating and body image work.
How long have you been working with eating disorders overall, and how long have you been in San Diego?
This year will be my 10-year anniversary in San Diego! I have consistently been working with eating disorders since 2014, when I stumbled into this line of work.
Who are your favorite types of clients to work with?
I love the variety that working with eating disorder entails. I also feel very passionate getting to work on Intuitive eating and body image with my clients. I believe these are both important aspects of long-term, eating disorder recovery. I feel very fortunate that I get to walk through this journey with my clients toward greater freedom.
What happens during a first appointment with you?
The first appointment is a chance for us to get to know one another. I value having a detailed history of the client (both medical and social) so that I can approach treatment and recommendations from a holistic perspective. I also focus on providing education about eating disorders, as well as an overview of what outpatient treatment might look like. This meeting is also a chance for me to understand the goals of the client, which helps in focusing our sessions.
You work both at the eating disorder treatment center at Kaiser and in a private practice. Would you explain the difference between your work as a dietitian in that program versus your outpatient work in private practice?
The work that I am currently doing at Kaiser is at the outpatient level of care, so it is similar to what I do in private practice, but it gives people the opportunity to use their insurance benefits to receive care. There are more limitations at Kaiser, as I am not able to do a lot of the experiential work that I love doing in my private practice. At Kaiser, I also co-lead a two-hour outpatient intensive group twice a week (includes meal support and education groups) that allows for patients to receive extra support during the week if that is supportive with where they are at in their recovery.
What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for eating disorders?
I think it can be helpful for people to know that treatment for eating disorders is not one-size-fits-all and can be adjusted to support the individual client. That is the beauty of outpatient care and getting to engage in the work that targets each individual eating disorder. The idea of treatment can be overwhelming, so knowing that it doesn’t look the same for each client can help ease some of this anxiety.
How can people learn more and contact you?
People can visit my website for more information: www.sammimontagRD.comor contact me via phone (480-227-0225) or email (sammimontagRD@gmail.com) to schedule a complimentary discovery call to learn more.
Share one fun fact about you that most people don’t know.
In my free time I enjoy tap dancing! I have been dancing since a kid and have been fortunate enough to find a group of adults in San Diego that still love to tap.
Hey everyone, I really appreciate you reading my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)
If you are struggling to find eating disorder treatment in San Diego, give me a call for your free 15-minute phone consultation at (858) 699-3754, and I will help you get where you need to be!