What is RAVES?

RAVES stands for Regularity, Adequacy, Variety, Eating Socially and with Spontaneity.

The process of RAVES provides a format for how to develop an eating pattern that helps support a sustainable disordered eating or eating disorder recovery.

The RAVES™ Eating Model is an evidence informed framework for nutrition rehabilitation in recovery from an Eating Disorder, and was developed by Queensland based Dietitian Shane Jeffrey.

RAVES in Recovery

The establishment of a regular, structured eating pattern that provides adequate nutrition is an important and the first step toward nutrition rehabilitation in recovery from an eating disorder.

For sustainability of recovery in the long term it is fundamental to develop a positive relationship with food.

This involves, with time and practice, the ability to eat a wider variety of foods, to eat in social situations, and to have flexibility in food choices incorporated into the eating pattern.

How do I use it?

RAVES is best worked through with the support of a dietitian familiar with the RAVES framework. With support from your Dietitian you will start with the first step, “R” and work your way through the principals until arriving at “S” where you will begin to recognise increasing confidence and comfort with eating spontaneously.

At times we may step back down the RAVES ladder, or spend a while building confidence in one particular area.

This is a gentle process that takes time, requires patience and self-compassion – we do our very best to guide you through this process and will stand beside you on those days where recovery feels hard or out of reach.

The goal of this model is to provide you with support, knowledge and tools as a foundation to build a positive relationship with food and step toward an enduring recovery from an Eating Disorder.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the components of RAVES.

R- Regularity

The first step is to restore a regular eating pattern that provides your body with consistent nutrition.

Regular eating supports major body systems such as digestion to return to normal functioning. Starting here, provides a foundation for exploring the remaining aspects of RAVES and work toward a positive relationship with food.

A regular eating pattern:

  • provides structure and a daily routine
  • improves metabolism
  • strengthens digestive muscles
  • improves bowel function & regularity (reduces constipation)
  • maintains stable blood sugar levels
  • develops regular hunger & satiety signals, that coincide with meal/snack times
  • offers an opportunity to spread nutrition over the day to meet nutritional requirements

A – Adequacey

Adequacy is about getting enough food and nutrition to meet your individual nutritional requirements through regular and adequate consumption of foods from all food groups.

We explore eating in a way that provides adequate protein, carbohydrate and dietary fat to support nutritional balance.

Adequacy assists with:

  • medical stabilisation
  • nutrition rehabilitation
  • body mass/weight restoration

V – Variety

Variety is important because it plays an important role in the development of a positive relationship with food and lays the foundation for more social eating.

We start to explore and experiment with foods beyond our “safe” foods. Variety provides an opportunity to trust different foods and is the stepping stone to further social eating opportunities with family and friends.

E – EATING SOCIALLY

Eating socially and the ability to eat with others is an important part of working towards, and maintaining recovery.

Social eating provides the ability to eat foods prepared by others in settings such as work or school, café’s or a friend’s home.

Eating socially enhances our social connections and positive food experiences. Social eating also helps to reduce the distraction of eating disorder thoughts at meal and snack times.

S – Spontaneity

Spontaneity is important in eating disorder recovery because it allows your relationship with food to become more “natural”.

Spontaneity means eating foods that you have not planned for or doing things unexpectedly – such as accepting dinner invitations despite not having planned to dine out for dinner.

Spontaneity brings to the eating pattern a greater ability to be socially integrated from a food perspective and to feel confident to respond to unforeseen circumstances.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that this is a stepped process and that the five aspects of RAVES can’t be put in place all at once. The process of developing your eating competency will take time, courage, trust, lots of ups and downs and plenty of self-compassion.

By gradually and gently developing your eating pattern using the principles of RAVES, you build a foundation for a more positive and productive relationship with food.

If you’re concerned or worried about your relationship with food, we can help you to tak ethe first steps towards food and body peace together (you can schedule an assessment over here). With the RAVES approach  we can work towards establishing a quality of life consistent with your personal values and a greater level independence through improved nutrition and recovery/recovered living.

Ambivalence and uncertainty from time to time are part of a normal recovery process. We are here for you on recovery-minded days, entrenched-ED days and the days between. We will walk beside you wherever your recovery journey takes you.