Moms don’t get the recognition they deserve! As a business run BY local moms FOR local moms, Boston Moms is excited to showcase the hard work local moms are doing — both at home and in their professions.
Meet Heidi Schauster, author and nutritional therapist.
Boston Moms is proud to feature Heidi for this “Meet a Boston Mom Monday!” Heidi is an award-winning author and nutritional therapist/registered dietitian.
We asked Heidi to share a bit about herself. Get to know her here!
Full Name: Heidi Schauster
Business Name: Nourishing Words Nutrition Therapy in Somerville
Children: Ava and Kyla Davidson — they are 16-year-old fraternal twins!
Hometown: Arlington, MA
Favorite local business or brand: Curio Spice Company in Cambridge
Tell us a bit about your job: I’m a nutrition therapist/registered dietitian who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and body image concerns. Each week, I see individual clients, run groups, and do consultation and supervision for other dietitians who treat clients with disordered eating. I’m also the author of the award-winning book “Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self.” I am currently writing a second book, which may not be published until my daughters go to college in a few years.
What part of your work is the most fulfilling? I enjoy watching my clients blossom and find meaning in their lives after disordered eating and body preoccupation deprive them of it. And when I hear from a reader that my book “changed their life,” I feel I’m doing the work I’ve been called to do.
What inspired you to write your book? I had been working in the field of disordered eating for a couple of decades, following my own recovery in my late teens and early 20s. I felt I had some perspective to share after hearing so many stories. Furthermore, clients always asked me if I had a good general nutrition book to recommend, and I couldn’t recommend one in good conscience since so many have a diet-oriented angle that can be triggering for someone who has a complicated relationship with food.
So, I set out to write something that filled that void — a book for a general audience about how to nourish yourself fully. The book is appropriate for someone recovering from an eating disorder, as well as anyone who wants to know how to feed themselves well. Ultimately, I think the book wanted to be written, and I was just the vehicle. That’s truly what it felt like during the writing process.
What is the biggest takeaway you want moms to get from reading it? The best way to encourage your children to have a healthy relationship with food, body, and self is to not tell them what and how to eat. Instead, teach them to trust their bodies’ appetites and teach them how to love and appreciate their unique bodies. Moms can do this by example as well as directly.
What is one thing that surprised you about motherhood? I had no idea that being a mother would teach me so much about myself and foster so much humility and personal growth. Kyla and Ava have been my greatest spiritual teachers.
What is a piece of advice you’d offer another working mom? I have been a working single mom for many years. If you think you can do it all, think again. Know your limits. Say “no” to things that aren’t meaningful to you, and take time away from your family for your own self-care.
What is your favorite kind of self-care? Now that I have teenagers who sleep in, I love my morning routine of meditation, sometimes dancing, and writing. But my truest favorite self-care practice is the way I (now) lighten my workload in the summer so I have more spontaneous day trips to the beach to surf with my daughters.
Tell us about your book club! I facilitate the No Diet Book Clubs. These are therapeutic book clubs where the members read books together about mindful eating and living and support each other in their recovery journeys. I truly appreciate witnessing the way individuals in the groups “get” how hard it is to recover from disordered eating and body shaming in this culture and truly support one another.
What is one unique fact about you? I’m a lifelong dancer and professional side-hustle stilt performer. I’m looking forward to when we can gather again in groups. We’ll need dancing, music, and parades more than ever!
What other women inspire you? I’m inspired by my teen daughters, Ava and Kyla, who are becoming strong, independent young women who care about social justice as well as their friends.