Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #4

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #4

Remember when fat-free and low-fat was all the rage?  In an effort to save a few calories, you'd opt for the versions that cut out some or all of the fat, chowing down on low fat peanut butter and tossing all the egg yolks.  Thankfully, fats (especially the healthy, unsaturated fats) have made a comeback.  And in a healthy diet, 20-35% of your total calories should come from fats.  The key lies in choosing the right types of fat so that you consume essential fatty acids (those your body can't make on its own) and feel satiated without increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.  

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Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #3

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #3

Eating healthy shouldn't equate to feeling hungry all the time.  In addition to consuming adequate calories (read: make sure you're eating enough food!), including fiber and protein in every meal (strategy #3!) will help keep that hunger at bay.  And that's hugely important in maintaining healthy eating habits!  If you're consistently hungry, you'll likely feel sluggish and deprived.  The goal is to actually feel healthier (think energy, clarity, satisfaction!) as opposed to suffering through a diet in the name of "better health." 

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Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #2

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #2

Just like the earth, our bodies primarily consist of water.  It's such an important nutrient that we literally cannot survive more than about a week without it.  Think about that.  You can survive a week without food, without sleep, without [insert any other item that seems necessary for your survival] except water.  And while our bodies do an incredible job of regulating the amount of water that leaves the body based on our hydration status, we can benefit from prioritizing hydration on daily basis.  Which leads me to strategy #2...

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Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #1

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. || Strategy #1

Ever "save up" your calories for a giant celebratory dinner?  Or stay on a strict diet all week only to indulge all day long on a designated cheat day?  Now think back to those times and imagine how you felt that night or the next day.  Were you happy, energized, and perfectly satiated or did you feel sad, sluggish, and stuffed?  High quantity + low quality options often lead to the latter.  So, healthy + happy eating strategy number one is...

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Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.

Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.

Welcome to Palate Theory's guide to healthy + happy eating coming at you through the blog series "Eat. Enjoy. Repeat."  At the heart of the series is a focus on inclusion.  Forget forbidden foods or forgoing dessert + alcohol for the rest of your life (or even for the rest of the week!).  Palate Theory is all about gaining an appreciation for high-quality, flavorful food.  It's combining your tastes + preferences with nutrition science to find a way forward that's both pleasurable and nutritious.  It's making a commitment to eat good food, feel great about yourself, and enjoy the journey.  

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The Fourth Trimester: Round Two

The Fourth Trimester: Round Two

With my first pregnancy, I feared labor and delivery.  How painful would it be? How long would it last? Could I actually handle it?  (It hurts. It doesn't last forever. I could handle it. And, of course, regardless of those answers, it's all worthwhile.)  With my second pregnancy, I feared the fourth trimester.  The lack of sleep, the demands and challenges of nursing, the physical recovery - and doing it all with a toddler!  To say I struggled the first time around would be an understatement, so I expected the same struggle (potentially multiplied) for round two.  But after a successful VBAC and a smooth transition into breastfeeding with my second baby, my confidence increased.  Of course, it bottomed out when we moved three days later with a newborn and a toddler, but that's pretty much how life with kids goes - they keep you humble!  Here are a few new challenges (aside from the poorly timed move) that I encountered during the fourth trimester (second time around) along with strategies to overcome them.  

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The first month: Staying healthy through the postpartum blur

The first month: Staying healthy through the postpartum blur

Baby #2 has arrived, and what a whirlwind the first month has been!  After being induced on a Saturday and delivering a healthy baby on Sunday morning, we packed up our apartment and moved a few states away that Wednesday.  As I sat on the floor of our new, empty house nursing my newborn and watching my toddler eat cake for dinner using a cardboard box as a table, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry (both, I did both... and often).  Screw thriving.  Those initial days are all about surviving.  And I'm happy to say that I survived (thanks to family, friends, and a well-timed cake delivery).  Here are a few nutrition tips to help you do the same.

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Accepting deliveries: Babies, groceries + takeout

Accepting deliveries: Babies, groceries + takeout

As my due date approached and then passed (yup, still pregnant), thoughtful friends and family have reached out to offer their assistance.  They've provided advice to naturally induce labor (from long walks, squats, and spicy foods to the doctor-recommended "romantic evenings"), offered to baby (+ dog) sit, and inquired about stocking our fridge.  While the natural induction techniques haven't proven effective (yet!), I've been so appreciative of the multiple offers to help.  And it got me thinking about what I'd actually value most once baby #2 arrives (I believe the answer is sleep, although I don't think you can offer "sleep" as a gift - c'mon science, catch up!).  Pre-babies, I was absolutely clueless regarding how to simplify life with a newborn, so I compiled a few food-related ideas for those in the same boat.  Here's how to show the new parents you care (because the way to anyone's heart is through their stomach, right?).     

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"Your belly is huge!" (And all the joyful commentary that accompanies pregnancy)

"Your belly is huge!" (And all the joyful commentary that accompanies pregnancy)

You look HUGE!  You're so petite.  You haven't dropped yet.  You're carrying high.  Look at that basketball you're smuggling.  Your belly sticks straight out.  I'm going to take a picture of it, so you can see how far it sticks out.  Woah, she's really pregnant.  How much weight have you gained?  (Yup, all things I've heard in the past couple months). 

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Hello beach weekends, goodbye belly bloat

Hello beach weekends, goodbye belly bloat

Ready for the unofficial start of summer? I feel like we skipped spring here in Boston, but the streak of warmer days this week has me dreaming of swinging sundresses, fresh farmers' market finds, and cool, crisp glasses of wine (and it has me sweating profusely...because 9 months pregnant and 95 degree days simply do not mix well).  As warmer weather calls for fewer layers, you may start to worry about that "food baby" you've been working on all winter.  No need to delve into a deep detox or subsist only on fruit+ veggie-filled juices.  Follow these quick tips to feel slimmer + more energized without going off the deep end.

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Hospital Stay

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Hospital Stay

In the days leading up to my due date (and then leading up to the actual delivery 10 days later), I dreamed about all the delicious, not-safe-for-pregnancy foods that I would eat.  Think raw sushi, potentially unpasteurized soft cheeses, and drippy eggs.  Fast forward to day 1 postpartum - I can't remember if I ate (surely I must have), what I ate (breakfast, maybe?), or if I enjoyed it (doubtful, as it was most likely hospital food).  While eating was at the forefront of my mind, it wasn't my eating with which I was concerned.  I imagine that's usually the case, especially with baby #1 when you're faced with a steep learning curve (or maybe that was just me?) and extreme sleep deprivation.  While I'm expecting sleep deprivation again, I'm hoping the learning curve with #2 isn't quite as steep (wishful thinking?).  Here's my plan for thriving (ok, surviving) during the whirlwind that is the first couple days postpartum.  

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: Labor + Delivery

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: Labor + Delivery

During my first pregnancy, I ate a big slice of angel food cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries...for breakfast...on the morning I was induced.  Twelve hours after my "last meal" and still in labor, I wished I had at least tossed a little protein onto my delicious (but not so nutritious) dessert-for-breakfast (a peanut butter drizzle, perhaps?).  I think my logic at the time went something like "well, I'm nearly 42 weeks pregnant, and there's leftover birthday cake in the house!"  That's it.  No further justification needed.  Hours later as I drank water and enviously watched my husband eat solid foods, I made a mental note to avoid pre-labor birthday cake if I ever became pregnant again (coincidentally, my due date with #2 falls very close to my birthday, so there's a very real chance there will be birthday cake in the house!).  Of course circumstances surrounding planned versus spontaneous labor + delivery vary, but here are some healthy eating tips for the periods preceding the birth of your baby. 

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Fourth Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Fourth Trimester

The Fourth Trimester (also known as: wait, I thought pregnancy ended after the third trimester)

The term "fourth trimester" was coined to describe the first few months of the baby's life outside the womb.  It's that time when your baby is no longer physically attached to you, but basically still attached to you.  While I haven't hit that point in my second pregnancy, I feel like it's the time I remember most vividly from my first.

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Third Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Third Trimester

The Third Trimester (also known as: the home stretch)

As I write this, I'm in the thick of the third trimester (read: no rose-colored glasses here!).  Accompanied by a basketball-sized belly and an increasingly noticeable waddle, the third trimester promises a tinge of heartburn, a few (dozen) restless nights, and a flood of emotions, followed, of course, by the arrival of your sweet baby!  With an increase in backache, bathroom trips, and inexplicable (yet oh so explicable) fatigue, I'm working my way towards the light (baby!) while doing my best to remain mindful and appreciative of these last few weeks of pregnancy.    

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Second Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The Second Trimester

The second trimester (also known as: the sweet spot)

For most pregnant women, the second trimester marks the emergence of a recognizable baby bump along with the return of energy and appetite.  Time to take advantage of the golden trimester by doing "all the things" (eat, travel, socialize, exercise!), right?  Of course!  Optimism in tow, I set out to do just that.  Here's how I fared.  

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Decoding Popular Diets: Intermittent Fasting

Decoding Popular Diets: Intermittent Fasting

If fasting seems like an extreme and unhealthy approach to weight loss, that's because it generally is.  Depriving yourself of food also deprives you of beneficial nutrients on which the body relies to function.  But what about intermittent fasting, which promotes short bouts of fasting or limited eating interspersed between days of regular eating?  Is it possible to promote health and lose weight (preferably fat!) while engaging in such a program?  In short, we don't know yet, but there's a growing body of research looking into it!  Here's the breakdown so far. 

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Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The First Trimester

Nutrition in Pregnancy + Beyond: The First Trimester

When I excitedly discovered that I was pregnant with my second child, I quickly realized that the details of my first pregnancy, although recent, were fairly fuzzy.  Did I feel this nauseated/bloated/tired/constipated/[insert undesirable side effect here] last time?  What steps did I take to combat those ailments, and did any of them actually work?  Now that I'm less than 2 months from my due date, I'm reflecting on the stages of pregnancy and the corresponding nutrition and wellness strategies I utilized for each phase, beginning with the first trimester.  For my fellow pregnant mamas and mamas-to-be, congratulations and good luck!  It's a wondrous ride.     

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Decoding Popular Diets: Clean Eating

Decoding Popular Diets: Clean Eating

With clean eating magazines, restaurants, and blogs along with countless clean eating devotees, the buzz around the popular program is likely here to stay.  And for good reason.  It's less of a fad diet than it is a simplified approach to healthy eating.  Choose whole foods, skip most processed foods, and quickly evaluate labeled foods with a short set of rules.  But can eating healthy really be that easy?  Time to evaluate!    

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Decoding Popular Diets: Cleansing

Decoding Popular Diets: Cleansing

Big event coming up? Or feeling lethargic and bloated from indulging a little too much?  Time for a quick fix!  Right?  We've all been there - grasping for that miracle food, drink, supplement or diet that will whip us into shape in a few short days.  Whatever you desire - weight loss, energy, clear skin - there's probably a cleanse out there boasting that it can make those dreams come true...and in only 3 days!  Before you get started, let's review what cleanses entail along with their actual detox potential.  

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Decoding Popular Diets: Whole30

Decoding Popular Diets: Whole30

Years before I became a Registered Dietitian, I tried Whole30 (gasp!).  Full disclosure, I didn't last 30 days.  Details are fuzzy (probably from removing so many foods!), but I doubt I lasted longer than a week.  My decision to begin the program stemmed from lingering eating-triggered pain that I experienced following my gallbladder removal.  It wasn't the right program for me at the time, and now as a dietitian, I'd caution others venturing into it - but not based on my personal experience (sample size of 1 wouldn't hold up in the science journals!).  Let's dig into the details along with my reservations about the program.  

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