Ask a Nutritionist: Is coffee OK during pregnancy?

Of all the pregnancy-related questions we get from our pregnant clients, “Do I have to give up coffee?” is one of the most common. And we totally get it — coffee isn’t only an energy booster in the morning, it’s also part of a self-care ritual related to how we start the day for many of us. So, the good news is that no, you don’t need to completely give up coffee when you’re pregnant. But, you might need to make a few adjustments.

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Turn Your Kitchen into a Medicine Cabinet with These 5 Foods

Another great post from my friends, Willow and Steph of C & J Nutrition.

One of the many reasons we love being Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists is that we get to help our clients feel the power of food as medicine. Our new cookbook takes this to another level, helping to decrease discomforts during pregnancy using food. Since so many pregnancy symptoms are ones that everyone experiences, even when not pregnant, we’ve put together a list of our favorite “food as medicine” ingredients that we can all use, pregnant or not!

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Feel like you overdid it on the sweets and alcohol and sat on the couch way more than planned to this holiday season? It’s time to get your healthy habits back into full swing. Not because you’ve been “bad”, but because kicking your nutrition up a notch (or seven) makes you feel awesome so you can take on the new year like a boss. We’re all about starting 2017 with habits that you can keep using all year long. Reseting with sustainability in mind. Here goes…

1. Include THE breakfast power couple. Fiber and protein help to create more even blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel a spike (and the resulting crash). Starting your day with a breakfast that packs in high fiber carbs (think rolled oats and fruit), along with a boost of protein, sets you up to have steady, even energy all morning long. Try this Blueberry Sunflower Overnight Oats for a make-ahead way to power up on busy mornings. The milk (or soy milk) and sunflower seeds provide a good source of protein, while blueberries and oats contribute fiber.

2. Focus on now. What you ate or drank last month, last week, or even last night isn’t as important as what you’re currently choosing. Sure, learning from the past and using that knowledge to move forward in a more healthy, positive way is great. But, dwelling on choices from the past and beating yourself up about them prevents you from moving forward in a positive way. You’re most powerful choice is the one you’re about to make.

3. Have drinks with your phone. If you have trouble sipping water throughout the day, set your phone timer to remind you to drink up each hour. Every system in our bodies needs to be hydrated to function at peak. This includes vital detoxification organs like the skin, liver, and kidneys; muscles; and even your metabolism. The best way to tell if you’re hydrated is to make sure your urine is pale yellow or clear all day long (hint: if it looks like apple juice, you need more).

4. Think of your plate as real estate. If you fill half your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner, you naturally constrain the space left for carbs and protein (the foods it’s often easy to go overboard with). Add a fiber-rich less processed carb choice to fill a quarter of your plate and a protein-rich food to take up the remaining quarter. Finally, add healthy fats like olive oil and nuts as accessories to your meal. This method  ensures you get plenty of fiber and antioxidants via veggies, and enough protein and healthy fat to keep you satisfied, so you’re not hungry an hour later.

5. Be particular with your carbs. Less processed carb options like cooked whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, bulgur wheat), starchy veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, corn), and beans/lentils not only provide more fiber and nutrition than their processed counterparts (white bread, white pasta, etc.) but they provide more volume, too. So when it comes to that real estate space we talked about above, being choosy with your carbs means they take up more space for fewer calories while packing a meal with satisfying fiber and nourishing nutrients.

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