Fall always seems like a bit of a reset, in our opinion. It’s a time to refocus on our goals, whether they be personal or professional. Although this year back-to-school is looking a lot different than in year’s past, we know it’s more important than ever to prioritize self-care, including our own nutrition. As part of that, we spoke with Registered Dietician and Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Nathalie Rhone, about her best, busy mom-approved tips for healthy eating. She has her own CT-based nutrition practice, Nutrition by Nathalie, as well as a popular social media platform, All Good Eats. Here’s what Nathalie eats on her busiest days, her favorite go-to recipes, and why she says it’s more important than ever for moms to prioritize their own nutrition.
Can you please tell us more about yourself?
I am a Registered Dietitian and Functional Medicine Nutritionist and I run my own private nutrition counseling practice, Nutrition by Nathalie. My most important job is being Mama to Stevie, our 3 month-old baby boy! My husband and I moved to Greenwich, CT, last year after living in the city for 8 years. I grew up in town and am so happy to be back!
What is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and how does it differ from being a Registered Dietitian—I know you are both!
Functional Medicine is my niche within the broader role as a Registered Dietitian. Functional Medicine is an approach to health that looks at each person’s unique needs and takes a holistic approach to treating someone—from diet and exercise to sleep patterns and mental health. I really look at “food as medicine,” while also recognizing that there’s more to health than just diet. In addition to diet, I use various techniques with my clients including exercise, supplements, food combining, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, cleansing rituals and stress reduction methods.
Being a mom—and particularly.a new mom like yourself—is hectic. What are your best tips for healthy eating for moms?
Life as a mama is busy! It’s all about being prepared. Keeping basic healthy ingredients in the fridge at all times so you can throw together a quick meal is key. Things like pre-washed greens, healthy dressings, cut up fruits and raw veggies, avocados, cooked grains, and healthy protein sources like eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, and grilled salmon. Have nutritious snacks ready to go – organic whole fruits, carrot sticks and hummus and guacamole, raw nuts, healthy crackers. Healthy frozen meals you can quickly heat up are always a good back up, and when cooking always make extra! Keep leftovers and mix and match prepped ingredients to create healthy meals in no time.
Great tips! What are your go-to meals?
This is a tough one! I like to focus on seasonal produce because it’s easiest to find at the grocery store or farmers market and is also at peak nutrition. For breakfast, I crave cool and hydrating foods that are easy to digest. My go-to is green juice and a bowl of fruit with coconut yogurt and granola. My every day juice combo is kale, cucumber, celery, lemon, lime, mint, parsley, ginger and turmeric. Lunch usually consists of a huge bowl of greens topped with avocado, some sort of protein like eggs, tuna salad, falafel, and whatever leftover veggies I have in the fridge. Dinner for me is typically some sort of preparation of wild fish, chicken or turkey with tons of cooked veggies and a big salad! Throughout the day, my go-to snacks are usually a handful of toasted nuts, healthy crackers and vegan cream cheese, or leftover veggies!
Do you have any favorite recipes?
Picking my favorite recipes is really hard! Some of my favorites are my Miso Chilean Sea Bassmy Spiced Tuna Salad and my Oven Roasted Carrots. Tons of my recipes can be found on my website!
If someone hires you to work with them on their nutrition, what is that process like and what services do you provide?
As your Dietitian, I will act as your nutrition and lifestyle coach to enlighten and empower you on your journey to a healthier, happier life! Together we will create a personalized plan to help you become your best self and develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Every client starts with a 90-Minute Initial Consultation, which consists of a comprehensive nutrition program customized just for you. It includes a three-day kick start menu, a week’s worth of meal and snack ideas, shopping list, supplement plan, fitness plan, coaching on how to reach your goals, and a list of nutrition and health objectives to work on before your next visit. The consultation will also involve an extensive review of your medical history, diet history, eating behaviors and lifestyle, as well as body weight, body fat and total body water measurements. Follow up sessions are used to advance you towards your ultimate level of wellness. Sessions may include medical nutrition therapy, food combining principles, detoxification strategies, functional medicine, cognitive behavioral therapy, customized meal plans, and motivational techniques. I also offer grocery trips, refrigerator makeovers and intolerance testing in a non-COVID world.
Why is prioritizing our nutrition needs so important during these stressful times?
As Mama’s we need to be able to show up as our best selves for our kids, and in order to do that we need to be healthy and energized. The best way to do that is to make sure we’re fueling our bodies with foods that nourish us, keep us strong and on our toes. Our diets can play a huge role in poor sleep quality, stress, anxiety, and depression, which are all things that can actually deplete our nutrient supply. Research is finding that people who are depleted in certain nutrients like vitamins D, A, E, C, zinc, and selenium are at higher risk for COVID complications. So, what’s the headline? Do your best to eat foods that will serve your body! Of course, it’s unrealistic to make “perfect” meals all the time, but a little extra effort to get one more serving of veggies into a meal helps!