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Sunny Side Up Nutrition

Jun 20, 2022

Anna Lutz and Elizabeth Davenport have a conversation with Erin Bowers, a Presbyterian pastor, and Leslie Schilling, a Registered Dietitian, about diet culture in churches. They explore the ties between the culture we are raised in and how that affects the way we interpret religion.

They discuss:

  • How diet culture is not congruent with Christian theology, and how privilege is often not acknowledged in the church.
  • The difference between spiritual fasting and fasting with the intention of weight loss, and how fasting can so easily trigger disordered behaviors.
  • How the spiritual undertone in diet culture messaging in the church is particularly harmful because it is often tied to one’s worthiness.
  • Advice for making changes in your own church, and ways to navigate negative food or body related commentary while attending church, or at church functions that involve food.


Erin Kesterson Bowers, PhD is the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of High Point, NC, where she has served in parish ministry for the last 13 years. Prior to returning to North Carolina (her home state!) she was in New Jersey, where she earned both her MDiv and her PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Leslie Schilling, MA, RDN, CSCS, CEDRD-S, owns a Las Vegas-based coaching practice specializing in nutrition counseling for families, those of all ages with disordered eating concerns, professional athletes, and performers. In addition to running her practice, Leslie serves as the performance nutrition consultant for Cirque du Soleil® and as an expert contributor to U.S. News & World Report, sharing advice on parenting and health.