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February 24, 2016

Congratulations to all the Mamas-to-be out there! We are so happy to be apart of your journey to motherhood. Our goal with this post is to provide you with nutrition information that will help you feel confident in creating a healthy + sustainable nutrition practice for you + your baby throughout your pregnancy and beyond! If you have additional questions or concerns after this post, we would be happy to schedule an individual appointment or another group session to further explore your needs.

Things to think about: 

  • Weight gain/loss
  • Exercising while pregnant: do or don’t?
  • Important vitamins/minerals during pregnancy/post pregnancy
  • Sustainable nutrition for you and your family

Key Nutrients for Pregnancy:

Folic Acid: Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects that affect the spinal cord. All women of childbearing age and pregnant women should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Natural food sources of folate, including legumes, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

Iron: Maternal iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency during pregnancy. Pregnant women need at least 27 milligrams of iron a day. Foods with high and moderate amounts of iron include red meat, chicken and fish, fortified cereals, spinach, some leafy greens and beans. For vegetarians and women who do not eat a lot of meat, increase iron absorption by combining plant-based sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods. For example, try spinach salad with mandarin oranges.

Calcium: During pregnancy, calcium is needed for the healthy development of a baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves and muscles. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, it is taken from her bones for the baby. It is important to consume adequate amounts of calcium daily before, during and after pregnancy. The recommended amount of calcium during pregnancy is 1,000 milligrams per day for adolescents 14 to 18 years old and 1,300 milligrams per day for women aged 19 to 50. That means at least three daily servings of calcium-rich foods such yogurt, collard greens, broccoli, figs, cheese and fortified cereals. 

{Practice Nutrition}

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water everyday
  • Eat Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks & Dinner to avoid high + low blood sugars
  • Make sure breakfast includes a Protein + Grain + Fruit
  • All snacks should include a Protein + Fiber 
  • Aim for at least 3 – 4 cups of vegetables everyday 

{Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy}

Since pregnancy affects your immune system, you and your unborn baby are more susceptible to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illness. Even if you don’t feel sick, your baby may be effected by these “bugs” which can cause serious health problems. This checklist provides an overview of foods you should avoid during your pregnancy to ensure that you and your unborn baby stay healthy + safe!

  • Soft CHEESES made from unpasteurized milk, including Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, and queso fresco.
  • Certain kinds of FISH, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (golden or white snapper).
  • Raw or undercooked FISH (sushi).
  • SALADS made in a store, such as ham salad, chicken salad, and seafood salad.
  • Raw SHELLFISH, such as oysters and clams.
  • Hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented or dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry.

{Weight Gain + Weight Loss During Pregnancy}

Often there is the misconception that when you’re pregnant you are “eating for two” although you technically are eating for two human beings, it is important to keep in mind that you are not eating for two fully grown adults. During your first trimester, your baby is only the size of a walnut, therefore you only need to increase your intake by about 300 extra calories per day in order to support the growth + development of your baby. Weight gain at a rate of 1 to 4lbs total in the first trimester and then 2 to 4lbs each month in the second and third trimesters is recommended. Gaining too much or too little weight can be harmful to you and your baby, therefore it is important to consume nutrient dense foods and the appropriate amount of calories for a healthy pregnancy. To determine the amount of weight that is ideal for you to sustain a healthy pregnancy is determined by calculating your BMI (Body Mass Index) based on your pre-pregnancy weight.

If you are … You should gain about …

  • underweight (BMI* less than 18.5) 28 to 40 pounds
  • normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to 35 pounds
  • overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) 15 to 25 pounds
  • obese (BMI of 30+) 11 to 20 pounds


{Exercise Do’s + Don’ts during Pregnancy}

Staying active during your pregnancy is good for you, especially if you have maintained an active lifestyle pre-pregnancy. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before you start any exercise program. Exercise is not always recommended, as there are specific health conditions that make it unsafe for some pregnant women to exercise. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider what activities are safe for you to do. If you get the okay from your healthcare provider, then it is recommended that you exercise at least 2 to 3 hours/week or 30 minutes/day. As your belly continues to grow, you may need to adjust or change some activities in your workout. Be sure to start off slowly and build your fitness little by little if you did not exercise prior to your pregnancy. Remember to drink lots of water, take breaks often, and be aware of how your body feels.

Safe Activities to try during Pregnancy:

  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Walking/Jogging
  • Dancing

Activities to Avoid during Pregnancy:

Avoid any activity that can cause you to get hurt, has a lot of jerking or bouncing movements, can cause you to fall or where you can get hit in the stomach. Avoid activities outside when it is hot and humid, and at high altitudes above 6,000 feet.

Nicole & Dianna





You can also check out Nicole’s Book 201 Organic Smoothies & Juices for a Healthy Pregnancy. Email us for your own copy.

201 Organic Smoothies and Juices



(1) Top Tips for Eating Right During Pregnancy. Reviewed by Jill Kohn, MS, RDN, LDN. Published December 07, 2015.

(2) Checklist of Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.

(3) Healthy Eating & Physical Activity Across Your Lifespan. Fit for Two: Tips for Pregnancy. National Institute of Health & National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. NIH Publication No. 06-5130. November 2009. Updated June 2013.

(4) March of Dimes: A Fighting Chance for Every Baby.

Featured Lifestyle Uncategorized

Spreading the Love: Amanda Converse

February 8, 2016

This month, I’m happy to share my first interview with one of several of my teachers (gurus). There are so many teachers out there that help us understand ourselves, grow our spiritual practices and cultivate our lives. This series is to share with you a few of my own personal teachers that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world. 

teach·er : a person or thing that teaches something. 

gu·ru : teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern. 

A little about how the amazing Amanda Converse, owner of Shift, an eco-conscious clothing store, came into my journey. I was on a new venture in my nutrition practice, opening a brand new office on Cape Cod. I had no idea why I was here or what my big goals were at the time. I just had an intuition, I had to “go for it.” Go for what? A very important question for an entrepreneur in her twenties. My nutrition counseling company was the tool that rooted me into a very unique and inspiring community on Cape Cod that I soon found would change (grow) my life forever. One of the first inspiring individuals that crossed my path, was Amanda, a clothing eco-educator. Right off the bat, I caught myself thinking about where my clothes came from, who made them, what where all these materials, and the questions continued and are still continuing. I am proud to say, I now know how to be mindful of my food choices AND my clothing choices. 

Meet Amanda: Amanda Converse

-What has been your journey into what you do? 

“It’s interesting to look back and contemplate this. As a kid growing up on the Cape, I was very attached to the natural environment and was concerned about how humans were impacting it. I also loved fashion and writing. And today I own Shift, an eco boutique  and publish a local fashion magazine, The Current Quarterly, as well as co-produce LoveLiveLocal‘s written content and events. The journey wasn’t seamless or direct. I went to school for environmental policy, and fully expected to work for the government in some capacity. But I have found that I can have more of an impact on my local community as an advocate for the environment and local business.” 

Amanda Converse

-What have you cultivated along the way? 

“I’d like to think I cultivated self awareness, trust in myself, patience, and genuine connections. I’d also like to think I have helped cultivate other people’s love and appreciation for Cape Cod and its natural environment.”

-What inspires you?

“Nature. Strong women. Hard workers. People on their own journey to self discovery.”

-What are the biggest things youve learned? 

“I have learned (the somewhat hard way) that self care is essential to being successful, grounded, and loving. I have also learned how to identify and trust my instincts and intuition.”

-What are your intentions? 

“My biggest intention right now is to find balance in my work and leisure time. It is difficult as an accidental entrepreneur to do this, but that’s where the instincts and intuition come in. I want to feel good every day. So, I am cultivating a yoga, meditation, fitness and eating practice that helps me do this.” 

-How do you feel about your energy? 

“I get frustrated that I need so much sleep! I always think that if I only needed 4 hours of sleep I could get so much more done. But I am who I am and my body needs what it needs, so I honor that, so I can have energy to show up to every day ready for whatever it brings.”

Amanda Converse

-What is your relationship with food? 

“My relationship with food has always been complicated. Because of various influences in my life, I have always struggled with judgement around food – good and bad – and (with your help) I am working on letting go of that. Instead focusing on how food makes my body feel, not feeding my emotions. It is a work in progress, and I am trying to cultivate compassion for myself as I go through this difficult journey.”

-What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both? Tell the background story please and share your recipe if there is one. 

“I have always loved breakfast for dinner. I love making my special scrambled eggs (it’s a family recipe), roasted sweet potatoes, with a side of stir fried kale. I could eat it every day!”

-Who are your favorite teachers? why? 

“I have had so many in various times of my life. Right now I am surrounded by such amazing women and each of them offer me so much insight into the world and myself. I think the important thing is to remain open to learning, and there will always be someone there to teach you – including yourself.”

-What is your vision board for 2016? 

“I don’t really connect with the vision board concept. But I’d like to continue to grow my businesses and myself, and take some time off!”

-What’s your favorite book and why?

“Oh gosh! Just one?? Over the past year, I have read a ton of Pema Chodron’s work. I have also always treasured my copy of Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke. My favorite quote is from that work: “I beg you to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves…do not now seek the answers , which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live with them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.”

-How do you balance your life? 

“I haven’t quite mastered that, but I am really good at making sure I get to yoga and exercise, because I love how both practices make me feel. I would like to work less, but right now I am taking that one day at a time.”

Amanda Converse

-How do you practice mindfulness?

“Yoga has taught me how to breathe – I “take my yoga off the mat” as much as I can. I also try to get outside as much as possible, and I have also started to incorporate meditation into my wellness practice. I think mindfulness can be as simple as taking a beat every once in a while to become aware of and appreciate of your present moment.”

Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Kate Scott, a hair stylist + health educator helping others look and feel their best. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other! 

with love


Featured Lifestyle Uncategorized

Gardening: grow your nutrition practice

January 20, 2016

Growing your own food can be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and tasty projects you take on this season, big or small! January is a perfect time to start thinking about what you want to grow. You can browse through a variety of seeds at Johnny’s Seeds from Maine. 
{NOTE:} Look for Seed Libraries in your area. Each year many people save seeds and share the love.

When you make the decision to garden, you are allowing yourself to have a new relationship with your food. The act of gardening adds more than just future nutrition on your plate. It gives you the experience of opening your heart to the plant, a living thing with lots of beautiful energy to share with you in return. The process of caring for the plants support a grounding opportunity, as you place your hands and your feet into the soil, rich with nutrients.  The air, water and nature are also forms of nutrition for you, because they create a positive energy that will be absorbed through all of your senses. This is a tool that may help with stress and anxiety in your life.

{NOTE} Gardening is a tool for growing your nutrition practice. (That’s why I do it!)

Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN

Sustainable gardening tips.

1. Start composting: food waste, grass clippings, leaves, charcoal, and manure.
2. Select size and location for your garden – remember a couple plants is all it takes! 
3. Select your seeds: annual and perennials OR purchase plants from a local farmer.
4. Gather tools and supplies – keep it simple! Plan on getting your hands dirty. 
5. Build your garden: lay your tarp, turn soil, lay compost, cover with leaves.
6. Start seeds in flats and trays – place them in a sunny spot inside your house or greenhouse. 
7. Clear garden and plant crops – use a row sequence OR follow instructions on your seed packet. 
8. Fertilize and cultivate (the weeds) – nourish the plants with water + nutrients if needed. 
9. Harvest crop – Be grateful for what nature as provided. 
10. Cover garden at the end of season and reflect on your experience. 

{Most importantly! Enjoy what you grew.}

Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN

Benefits of growing your own food:

1. Nutrition – Increasing your nutrients + flavor of food in your life. 
2. Sustainable – Sustaining your life, food and happiness. 
3. Education – Learning about the plants, food + even yourself. 
4. Connection to food – Cultivating healthy relationships with food. Releasing old unhealthy ones.
5. Environment – Less carbon footprint. 

Compost is the heart of the organic or traditional farm. Composting is a thoughtful, deliberate act and requires diligence, but its rewards are ever-so-dear to our health and soil.  By collecting plant debris and allowing it to decompose over time, we create a soil that is rich and full of nutrients. When we give back to the land, the vitamins and minerals present in the compost, make their way through the roots and the stems of the plants we grow, and eventually onto our plates.


Get going with some start-up plants with these easy steps:

Collect the following materials from your local gardening store:

1. Organic soil and some stones
2. Small pots or trays
3. Seeds
4. Water

1. Lay some stones in the bottom for drainage. 
2. Fill the pot about 2/3’s with soil
3. Make finger-tip deep holes in the soil
4. Sprinkle in the seeds, amount will depend on plant variety
5. Cover the seeds up with the soil, water, and place in the sun.  
6. Now just wait for the seeds to sprout, continue to water & move to a larger pot if needed!