Happy FriYAY loves! Today we have an amazing woman as our feature, and we promise you will benefit from her knowledge:)
Her name is Chanel, and she is a certified nutrition coach! She has given us a healthy food guide to go by, which is perfect for the new year! We know this time of year everyone is trying to get healthy and fit for Summer and Spring Break so this is the PERFECT woman for the job:)
Learn more about Chanel and her story below!
1). Chanel tell us about yourself and the food you are starting to make Ali to help her as well
Hello there! I am certified nutrition coach and dietetics (clinical nutrition) student helping people improve their diets and achieve their health goals. I love the Science of nutrition, which is why I decided to go the clincal route and be in school for a million years! Basically, I nerd out all day on research articles…when I’m not in class or working with a client.
For Ali, I created the “Balanced Pregnancy Care Package.” A mix of easy-to-make at home options and a lot of healthy, packaged foods, for the busy lady on the go! You can pack these in a freezer bag and take on the road with you everywhere, so regardless of the location or occasion, you can always keep baby and mama well-nourished.
- Justin’s (Brand) peanut butter packets— these are essential! Individually wrapped, single-serving. Opt for the plain packets without honey or other sweet things added to keep sugar low. A serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of potassium. It’s a healthy monounsaturated fat that can help satisfy a healthy pregnancy appetite.
- Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips— I put these on literally everything– Greek Yogurt, smoothies– sometimes right out of the bag! You reap all the antioxidant, blood pressure and blood sugar balancing benefits of Dark chocolate without added sugar that cancels them out.
- Unreal (Brand) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups— For the chocolate lover (notice a theme?). They contain only 80 calories and 5 grams of sugar per serving, so definitely a good replacement for Reece’s when you have a chocolate craving.
- Greek Yogurt— Opt for plain and non or lowfat. The flavored options have lots of sugar added (another theme– I aim to empower clients to be more aware of added sugars and minimize intake wherever possible). Greek Yogurt is a great probiotic source, which keeps our guts happy and healthy and aids in digestion, and it’s also a fantastic protein source. Fage non-fat packs 18g protein in one little 6 oz cup.
- Organic Applesauce— Apples are a good source of insoluble fiber- The type that dissolves into a gel-like substance and helps maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Applesauce is easier to pack and eat on the go.
- Purely Elizabeth Granola— These make a great snack topping (or snack in their own right). Every granola flavor is gluten and refined-sugar free, making it a much healthier alternative to more mainstream options.
- Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds– Why sprouted? These seeds undergo a special soaking process that releases important enzymes that help us digest food and absorb nutrients more effectively. Digestion slows down quite a bit during pregnancy, so we need to eat foods high in fiber and helpful enzymes to help things move along (and prevent dreaded constipation!). Pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of magnesium and zinc.
- Thrive Market Turkey and Beef Protein Sticks— They look like a Slim Jim, but they’re so much healthier for you. Such a great protein source to eat on the road. No added sugars, just the protein. The American Pregnancy Association suggests pregnant women eat 75 to 100 grams of protein every day.
- Grain-Free Ground Turkey Taco with spinach and guacamole (pictured is the Salmon alternative). I make these with ground turkey or salmon. It is so important for pregnant women to consume more Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, and salmon is a great source of this. So if you’re a taco lover, give salmon a try within your weekly rotation. Ground turkey is a good source of B-complex vitamins– important while pregnant and when not.
Recipe: Siete (brand) almond flour tortillas (higher in fiber than other options), ground turkey cooked in Coconut Aminos (gives it a nice marinated flavor), or 6 oz can of wild-caught Salmon (mix with Primal Kitchen mayo). Fill the taco with a handful of washed Organic Spinach and top with Guacamole and salsa. Super simple meal.
2). What made you get into this line of work, and why are you so passionate?
Nutrition education was/is the last stop on my personal health journey. I was a competitive figure skater for nearly a decade growing up, as well as a dancer, so athletics was always a huge part of my life. I stayed very fit throughout most of my twenties, but by the end of that decade into my early thirties, I gained quite a bit of weight on a small frame due to inconsistent fitness and poor eating habits. The first step for me was getting back into fitness, and I got really into distance running, then strength training…and when my body wasn’t changing despite how active I was, I started researching what a healthy diet looks like because that was the missing piece. What started as a diet evolved into a lifestyle. I found that I love the science of nutrition MUCH more than dieting (because diets suck), and fell more and more in love with it. As my focus shifted more and more towards a health/longevity approach, so did my professional interests. Helping people achieve their goals has always been at the core of what drives me as a person, and nutrition coaching/dietetics fits my personality, passion, and fulfills me in a way nothing I have done professionally ever has. It was like a lightbulb went off when I turned 32. I had finally found my purpose and calling.
3). We know you’re pregnant too and close to Ali’s due date! Congrats! How has your pregnancy affected you personally and with your blog and practices etc
Yay! Thank you, and right back atcha! Our babies are going to be Zodiac twins and friends obviously. Oh man, where do I begin? Pregnancy has changed me in SO many ways. I’ve had to develop a thicker skin– I am still working on this one. It is very hard to do things “right” in the eyes of others because when it comes to pregnancy, EVERYONE, has an opinion. I bite my tongue when receiving nutrition advice, and try to laugh off comments about my bump being small (but I have a big baby, go figure!), but it does get to me sometimes. I try to channel this into promoting body-positive messaging on social media because I think every mom-to-be should feel proud regardless of their size. Creating a human is no easy task! I am a little preggo-share obsessed because this is an exciting time, and I make no apologies for it. However, my goal is to figure out how to channel everything I do into something more cohesive on the public-facing side of things after the baby is born. My coaching business is very well-structured and that’s one piece of it, but figuring out how to promote the mom and Nutrition aspects socially is a big task. I want everything to be a bit more structured.
4). What else do you want to tell us about you?
I am obsessed with buffalo sauce. Literally obsessed. And it’s not just a pregnancy thing. I treat myself at least once a week to some good buffalo wings. Cauliflower or chicken.
5). What’s your favorite style and bump style to wear?
Leggings! haha. I am not a pregnant fashionista, so I’m always looking at your Instagram for inspo, Ali! You rock pregnancy like no one else! I’m in school 4 days a week, so most days I really am slumming it in sweats and leggings. But when I do go out, I’ll put on a jumpsuit or maternity dress– I never wore a bodycon dress until I was pregnant! I also love my maternity jeans from Target. I think this all screams “I need your help!” How should I better style my bump?
6). Where we can follow and find you?!
vegetarian burrito bowl
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 cup corn
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 bags pre-washed spring mix lettuce (organic)
- 1/2 cup salsa, divided
- 3 avocados, halved (need 5 halves)
- Lime slivers (optional)
- Cook Quinoa according to package instructions
- Prepare the quinoa salad by combining the quinoa, beans, corn, cilantro, spices and lime juice in a large bowl. Stir together until combined.
- Using 5 glass containers, add two cups of lettuce, 1½ cups of quinoa mixture, 1 – 2 tablespoons of salsa and ½ an avocado.*
- Garnish with lime wedges and a sprinkle more cilantro if desired. Seal containers and place in fridge for up to 5 days.