Holly Paulsen RD, CEDRD-S, LD

Level 2: Gentle Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Holly Paulsen


Individuals at risk for developing diabetes and those already diagnosed are often fearful and discouraged, believing that an overly restrictive, sugar-free, fat-free, pleasure-free way of eating is the only means to stave off or manage disease. This belief can even keep some patients stuck in a cycle of restrictive eating and binge eating. At the same time, many health practitioners are becoming aware of the benefits of a mindful eating or an intuitive eating approach but stop short of recommending their use in patients with diabetes. Is there really a way to maximize blood sugar control while enjoying food? Is there a way to put guidelines into practice without triggering overeating or binge eating? Absolutely! This session will outline the benefits of implementing a “gentle nutrition” perspective to normalize eating, enjoy food, and provide hope to those managing diabetes.

Speaker Bio

Holly Paulsen is Registered Dietitian specializing in, and working nearly exclusively within, the eating disorders and diabetes education fields for the past ten years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and completed her Dietetic Internship at Iowa State University. Early on in her career as a Registered Dietitian she realized that a traditional weight centered approach was counterproductive to clients’ health and well-being.  She uses a non-diet, weight neutral approach in guiding clients and, as a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, is committed to helping others make peace with food.

Holly has focused her efforts on increasing access to nutrition therapy and eating disorder treatment in rural communities.  As a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) she established an outpatient nutrition therapy program for eating disorders at Jones Regional Medical Center and expanded this program to provide telehealth services across the state of Iowa.  In addition, she is a diabetes educator and is currently part of a team initiating the provision of Diabetes Self-Management Training via telehealth services in Iowa.

Holly is passionate about educating other clinicians on weight neutral focused care through a HAES-informed approach. She is an IADEP approved CEDRD-Supervisor, and enjoys mentoring other dietitians interested in working with eating disorders and disordered eating.