As a registered dietitian for the past 18 years, Paula Miller is well-attuned to the facets and trends of healthy living.
That experience led her to open Sunrise Nutrition Consulting, 359 N. Old U.S. Highway 81 in Hesston, a business with a new perspective on how to address the health needs of her clients.
"During that time, I recognized that a lot of people don't have peace with food. My business is focused on bringing peace with food and body to people, because most of the media out there encourages mistrust in our bodies and talks about how our bodies are flawed, so I'm using evidence-based messages to help people kind of reframe how they see their food and body," Miller said. "Most people, when they think about food, they look into diet culture, which uses external rules for eating. My focus is bringing people into awareness of their internal reasons for eating; the primary ones are hunger, fullness and satisfaction."
Previously, Miller worked as a dietitian in the Army for three years — helping in outpatient services and seeing people with diabetes and high cholesterol. Additionally, she worked with the Harvey County Health Department for a time when she first moved back to Kansas and has also worked in home care and hospice.
Miller also currently teaches at both Butler Community College and Hesston College. Through all of that work, Miller became a jack of all trades, so to speak, but opening her own business allows her to specialize. Her focus as on disordered eating, eating disorders and helping clients recover from those — something with which she has first-hand experience.
"As a young adult and a teenager, I struggled with my own eating disorder that was never diagnosed. There's such misconceptions around eating disorders, and so I went into this field," Miller said. "Eating disorders in the typical population falls around 10 percent. Among nutrition professionals, eating disorders are in the 40 to 80% ranges. We're trying to figure food out. That's kind of what took me into nutrition in the first place, as it does a lot of professionals who are in this field."
Sunrise Nutrition opened in June 2019 in Hesston and is mainly focused on bringing people peace with food and body, in the words of Miller.
While Miller's unique approach to nutrition is gaining more mainstream attention, she recommends those looking to take the next step in getting some help with their health explore the services she offers and at least start with some form of consultation.
"The model that I use, intuitive eating, there's over 100 studies on this model, so it's really evidence-based. It's becoming more popular in the media, but unfortunately it's becoming a little bit watered down, so it's really important people are looking for a practitioner to find someone who has training in this method. It's not a method to change shape or size, it's a method to make peace with food and body," Miller said. "If people have struggled with their food or their body image for any period of time, it would be really important to look into my services because living a peaceful relationship with food and body allows them to then go out and do what they're really created to do instead of focusing on their food struggles and poor body image."
Miller offers free 15-minute consultations either via phone or video that can be scheduled on the Sunrise Nutrition website. For more information, visit www.sunrisenutritionconsulting.com.