Butternut Squash Soup

If you’re into fall cooking and love squash varieties, then this soup is for you! There is just something about a cozy and flavorful bowl of creamy soup in the cooler months, isn’t there? It feels and tastes like a hug in a bowl to me. 😂 Too much? Okay, let’s get straight to the recipe for y’all rolling your eyes at me.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (use per tbsp separately- instructions given when)
  • 1 medium-large butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper (add to taste preference)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (add to taste preference)
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence, or add dried oregano, basil, thyme, etc.
  • Optional: fried sage to top, sriracha to top or blend in, parmesan to top, or better yet- parmesan crisps!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Take your butternut squash and cut off the top and bottom. Then cut in half lengthwise. (See below.) Scoop out the seeds and discard (or clean, dry and roast later to avoid food waste).
  3. Take your yellow onion and cut into 8ths. (See below). Place both the butternut squash, skin-side down, and the onion on the parchment paper. Use 1 Tbsp of olive oil and brush to coat both. Sprinkle the butternut squash with sea salt and cinnamon. Place in oven and set timer for 50 minutes.

4. In the meantime, you may air-fry the red pepper for 15-20 minutes at 400F or add this to your baking sheet with 20 minutes left in the oven. Don’t forget to coat in olive oil! 😉

5. Once roasted, take a fork to pierce and ensure the squash is thoroughly cooked. Once cooked and cooled a bit, scoop out the butternut squash from its skin and add to a large blender or food processor. Add onion and red pepper then puree. Add the next 4 ingredients (garlic, veg broth, beans and nutritional yeast) and puree again until a smooth consistency is formed (about 3-5 minutes, depending on the tool you’re using).

6. If you have enough room in your blender or food processor, add the coconut cream. If not, transfer the puree to a large pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. Warm, add coconut cream and spices, then mix.

7. Once warm- hot, serve in bowls with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Did you enjoy this bowl of warming, fall joy? If so, then please leave a review below and/or treat me to a matcha! 🍵 You can donate one here.

Thank you in advance for your following and support! For more delicious, healthy recipes, follow me @feed.me.happy and join my email list here!

All my love, 💖 Danielle

Tips for Traveling on Your Period 🩸

Yay for your upcoming trip! ✈️ You must be sooo excited 😆, and rightfully so- you deserve to get away. But then again, you just realized your trip coincides with your monthly visit. Wa- waaaaaaaa. 👎🏼😩 Don’t worry, lady. I got you with these 10 tips below! 👇🏼

Our period can entail low energy, cramps, and a desire to curl up on the couch and isolate ourselves from others. When we travel, our period can throw off our regular “flow” of things. Pun intended. I wrote this blog post to help you prepare for traveling while on your period. I hope my tips improve your symptoms, boost your energy levels, and make your trip the best experience it can possibly be- don’t stress boo!

I’m sure that I have before, but I can’t distinctly recall a time that I’ve traveled while on my period. Part of this could be due to having amenorrhea (no period), for 3+ years, but that’s besides the point. This recent 4 1/2 day trip to San Francisco started out on day 1 of my period- of which day 1 and 2 for me are usually accompanied by low energy & fatigue, 1 night of cramps that wake me up in the early morning, temperature changes, and the desire to marry my couch & Netflix it up. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous that air travel, walking 15,000+ steps a day, and drinking and eating different foods than normal would exacerbate these symptoms, but I went ahead and prepared to the best of my ability and chose to remain calm and carry on with a hopeful and positive outlook.

Let me share with you ladies a few things that worked for me and that you can try and prepare for before you travel on your period. ✈️ 🚙 🚂 🩸

1. Pack the Essentials.

Whether you use pads, tampons, menstrual cups or discs, or period panties, pack what you need and then some. I typically use menstrual discs by Flex, and these last for 12 hours without having to change them. FYI: They also claim to reduce cramps for up to 70% of their users. With some of the outfits I wore, I wanted to ensure no leakage, so I also brought tampons as backup. Count what you average per day of your feminine product, then pack that number and some extra for peace of mind that you won’t run out. You can buy more wherever you are (usually), but it’s also nice to not have to worry about finding a nearby drug store. One less thing to worry about.

2. Prepare the defense.

In order to be prepared should symptoms arise, here are some other defense materials to pack:

  • Ibuprofen (this helps with headaches, cramps, and abdominal pain)
  • a heating pad
  • refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go
  • electrolyte tabs
  • Magnesium gummies (to ease cramps, tingling legs, headaches, etc)
  • Turmeric Curcumin capsules (to help fight inflammation)
  • Zinc tablets (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
  • Fish Oil capsules (do not use without RD/PCP approval)
  • tea (raspberry leaf, peppermint, green tea, etc.)

3. Hydrate and preload with electrolytes.

Start hydrating 5 days before you travel. Try to consume more water than you normally would (about half your body weight in lbs in oz). Bonus if you drink coconut water with a pinch of salt and/or electrolyte tabs.

4. Absorb magnesium transdermally.

Another way to preload your body with magnesium is by taking a few Epsom Salt baths leading up to your trip to absorb the magnesium transdermally (through your skin directly into your bloodstream). Magnesium oil can also be used on your feet and tummy before or during your trip to quell cramps, headaches, tingling of the extremities and other symptoms.

5. Be mindful of salt and sugar intake on your trip.

While I didn’t restrict on my trip (because vacay mode-duh!), I was mindful not to consume foods too rich in salt or sugar to avoid fueling my cramps. I did drink, but I opted for lower sugar drinks (usually made with gin).

6. Make sure you’re getting enough omega 3s, B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc!

These specific nutrients can help reduce period symptoms significantly should you be receiving enough of each. Read my article on “5 Nutrients to Support Your Menstrual Phase” here, and let’s chat about needing to supplement if you don’t receive enough of one of these.

7. Engage in light movement.

There was one night (as expected) when I woke up at 5am EST with moderate cramping. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I was lying there wide awake in our hotel bed. My husband got up, turned the lights on, and gave me the okay to do my yoga in bed, so that’s exactly what I did.

Even at home, I do this 35-minute Yoga With Adrienne for Women video, and my cramps are usually gone or incredibly diminished by the time I am through. Truly, she’s THAT good. Even if you’re doubled over in pain, this yoga sequence is so gentle and easy on your body, it feels more like stretching and relaxing on pillows than anything. I did this in bed on day 2, and that was the only time I felt cramps. ✌🏼

In addition, light or moderate movement, such as walking, restorative yoga, stretching, etc. can promote blood flow and ease cramps and symptoms. Do what feels good to you!

8. Try Legs on a Wall to relieve heavy legs and cramping.

Legs on a wall, detailed here, can improve circulation, relieve heavy legs, and improve blood flow to your uterus to minimize cramps, among many other things. It is also very calming and be done nearly everywhere. Give it a go!

9. Remain calm!

Usually, we go on vacation to escape the everyday responsibilities that stress us the F out! Try to embrace this time and let go of everything that is plaguing you. Stressing less and planning/booking things in advance can help make your trip way more enjoyable, not to mention, it can help keep your cortisol and blood sugar levels steady Freddy! This means your symptoms will be easier to manage as well.

10. Have your caffeine with anti-inflammatory support.

Did you know that Midol contains caffeine to help support a woman’s energy levels during her period? It sure does! Look it up. I still need my caffeine to feel good during this time with low energy, but I also don’t want to overdo it…

This wasn’t planned, but I stumbled upon a lovely cafe by our hotel that offered a turmeric honey latte. Days 1 and 2 are usually the worst symptom-wise for me, and excess caffeine can really worsen my cramps and bloating, so I try to be mindful of my intake while still getting my energy boost. When I saw the turmeric latte on the menu, my interest was piqued, so I ordered it with soy milk and a shot of espresso (the best of both worlds!). I was already taking two capsules of turmeric curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) to help with inflammation, but I truly believe this beverage also helped start my morning out right.

If you don’t have a shop nearby that offers a turmeric or golden milk latte, you can make your own at your air bnb or go to a coffee shop and ask for warm milk and add your own turmeric, honey, etc. in there. Here is a recipe, but you can also purchase golden milk latte powder for convenience while traveling. The additional shot of espresso helped my energy without being too much to exacerbate my cramps.

Those are my top 10 tips on how to make the most of traveling while on your period. What did you think? Was this helpful? If so, please leave a good review below and/or treat me to my favorite ➡️ a matcha latte here!

Thank you for your continuous support. For more women’s health info, follow me @feed.me.happy on Instagram.

💖 Danielle

Butter Pecan Latte

Pecans are tree nuts that are very popular in fall baking and cooking. This nut is rich in monounsaturated fats (which is fabulous for heart health), contains 19+ vitamins and minerals, and provides a bit of fiber (3g/ounce) and protein (3g/ounce).

Pecan Milk

Serves: 8 (1/2 cup per serving)

Preparation time: 20 minutes, or 2 hrs if soaking pecans longer (not essential but recommended for better digestion) 

Total time: 20 minutes-2 hours, depending on soaking time

Pecan Milk Ingredients (you can also purchase from Malk Organics)

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Toast pecans on a cookie sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper for 10 minutes. 
  2. Boil water in a 1 ¾ qt pot. Turn the heat off after the water comes to a boil. Add the cup of toasted pecans and soak for 20 minutes-2 hours (and even upwards of 4 hours!). The longer you soak, the easier it will be to blend the pecans into a smooth milk consistency. Plus, soaking equates to easier digestion!
  3. Rinse pecans in a colander under cold water. This removes enzyme inhibitors. Add pecans to a food processor (or blender) with the 3 cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until milk-like. This can take 5-10 minutes, depending on your food processor or blender.

Butter Pecan Latte

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup pecan milk (recipe above)
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (we used Four Sigmatic adaptogenic blend)
  • ½ Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee

Instructions

  1. Brew coffee and add to a mug, mason jar or blender, if blending.
  2. Add grass-fed butter and stir until melted.
  3. Add pecan milk to a saucepan and warm (don’t boil) on the stove top. 
  4. Add pecan milk to coffee/butter and blend with a milk frother or in a blender, or shake vigorously in a jar with a lid until frothy.

There you have it- your Butter Pecan Latte! Cheers!

Did you enjoy these recipes and beverage? Leave a review in the comments below! Thank you for following and supporting DC Nutrition & this Feed Me Happy blog!

Apple Cider Latte

Want to make a fun, fall pick-me-up that’s different from your average PSL? Or maybe you just loathe pumpkin spice in general…

Try this Apple Cider Latte recipe! 🍎☕️

Apple Cider Latte

Ingredients 
🔸1/2 cup no-sugar added apple cider (it already contains a lot of natural sugars so more is unnecessary)
🔸3/4 cup brewed coffee
(I used a @nespresso melozio pod)
🔸1/2 cup milk of choice
🔸cinnamon 
🔸Optional (but necessary 😜) whipped cream
(loving the coconut milk whip rn)

Instructions 
1. Brew coffee.
2. Meanwhile, warm apple cider (shake well first!) and milk in separate containers for 30 seconds in the microwave.
2. Pour apple cider in large mug.
3. Pour coffee on top and mix.
4. Warm milk then froth milk with frother or by shaking vigorously in a jar. Pour on top.
5. Add copious amounts of whip, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

Now you have yourself an easy peasy fall latte ☕️🍁🍂

Pumpkin Sourdough Bagels

Tis the season to pumpkin-fy everything 🎃, including my favorite sourdough bagels! I used The Little Spoon Farm’s basic recipe as a guide and readjusted the recipe to balance the wet to dry ingredient ratio. I hope you enjoy these as a lovely morning breaky or as a vehicle for a sandwich!(my hubby’s favorite).

Pumpkin Sourdough Bagels

Time: 14 hours Yields: 8 medium sized bagels

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/8 cup filtered water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (you can make your own with cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pumpkin spice to top

Directions

  1. Make dough the night before baking (12 hours before forming the bagels). So if you plan to form them at 7am, make the dough at 7pm. To do so, add 1/4 cup sourdough starter to a large bowl, preferably tupperware you can seal/cover.
  2. Warm the water for 20 seconds in the microwave and whisk with the starter.
  3. Whisk in the salt, 2 Tbsp maple syrup (save 1 Tbsp for boiling), pumpkin spice and puree.
  4. Lastly, add the flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Add the dough to a Kitchen Aid mixer with a bread hook and put on setting 4 for 6 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, knead well by hand for 6 minutes. In order to tell if the dough is ready, work a small ball of dough in your hands. Pull the dough apart slowly to form a window. If you can begin to see through the window without it breaking easily, then the dough is ready. If not, keep working the dough. Note: the dough should NOT be sticking to your hands. If it is, add a touch of flour until this resolves. It should feel similar to wet play dough. If it’s too dry, add 1/8 cup water.
  5. Place dough ball in container and cover. Place somewhere warmer, like a proofing drawer, microwave, or oven. Let sit for 12 hours overnight.
  6. It’s baking time! Reference this video on how to shape your bagels. Do so as you desire, and let those bagels rise for another hour.
  7. With 20 minutes to go, bring a large pot to a boil and preheat the oven to 425F.. Right before you add the bagels to the water, add the last Tbsp of maple syrup.
  8. Add bagels to the rolling boiling water and let sit for 1 min 30 sec on each side. Remove with slotted spoon.
  9. Let dry on parchment paper.
  10. Crack 1 egg and remove/discard yolk. add to a small bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt and whisk with a fork until consistent and non-clumpy. Brush bagels with egg white generously. Add sprinkle of pumpkin spice to top.
  11. Line large sheet pan with parchment paper. Add your bagels, and bake for 25 minutes.
  12. Remove bagels and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  13. Enjoy with cream cheese or make a delicious sandwich with them. 😋

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave me your thoughts in the comments below! Happy fall y’all! 🎃

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

It is that time of the year again, folks, and with my current flexibility in schedule, I plan on delivering a brand new collection of fall recipes! 💃🏽🍁🍂🎃🍏🍎

To start, I wanted to provide a simple Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, especially because it isn’t quite full-fledged fall weather yet. Please let me know what you think in the comments below! Thank you for your visit and support. 🧡

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla or pumpkin spice protein powder
  • Optional to sweeten: 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (honey, agave, maple syrup)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon to top!

Directions

1. Blend all ingredients together then serve over ice OR to save yourself from more dishes, shake in a protein shaker.

Cheers and enjoy! 😋

Does eating dietary fat make you fat?

Fat.

What do you think of when you hear this word?

The word fat tends to have a negative connotation attached to it. After years of being exposed to diet culture, I’ll be honest and tell you that my mind used to instantly go to body fat. Now that I have reframed how I perceive dietary fat, I no longer fear it and actually embrace this macronutrient. Now, I tend to think of dietary fat as nutrient-dense energy that fuels and nourishes my body. I also start day dreaming of my favorite foods that contain fat- avocado, nuts and nut butters, and seeds. Yum!

Try reframing in this moment by saying, “Fat is a nutrient that makes food taste good, nourishes my body, and keeps me alive and well!”. Go ahead. Say it out loud. There ya go! 🙌  Because that’s what it does. Just like carbs, fat should NOT be demonized. It is called a macronutrient for a reason. Macro, meaning large, and nutrient meaning nourishing our bodies. We just need to educate ourselves on how much our bodies need and from what sources. Let’s get started!

Starting with the basics, I’m going to break down two types of fat for you: saturated vs. unsaturated fat. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature (think butter, coconut oil, or animal fat). They contain single bonds that make the substance stable, which means it doesn’t oxidize easily. Therefore, this fat also takes longer to decompose. Saturated fat builds up in the blood vessels and arteries over time, especially when consumed in excess, leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that a healthy individual eat <10% saturated fat of their total daily intake, while one at risk for heart disease consumes <7%.

Unsaturated fats are less stable and prone to oxidation and rancidity. So why are unsaturated fats favorable? Unsaturated fats do not clog your arteries like saturated fat does. It breaks down easier, and many monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats actually have heart health protective qualities (in addition to other health benefits). You heard that right!

In short, as long as you stay within the macronutrient range of 20-35% total daily intake of a healthy mix of fats, with <10% of saturated fat (<7% for those at risk for heart disease), your body should utilize that fat for essential bodily processes. So no, consuming fat does not make you fat, as long as you eat a variety of fats in a balanced manner. Note: some athletes or individuals with medical conditions may need MORE fat in their diet. When I was marathon training, my average daily fat intake was up to 40% because I was burning through so much energy.

I think the fear of dietary fat came from misinformation, but also the myth that dietary fat converts directly into stored fat on our body as adipose tissue. This is FALSE!

Other functions of fat include:

  • temperature regulation (insulation)
  • energy storage
  • makes up the lipid membrane of the cell and other bodily structures
  • aids in fat-soluble vitamin absorption
  • neuroprotective
  • cushions and protects our vital organs
  • are precursor to hormone production & secretion
  • omega-3s are anti-inflammatory

The list goes on!

As you can glean from the above, dietary fat is crucial to maintain life and a truly healthy body. There are even minimum amounts of body fat men and women should possess for health, especially women and maintaining their menses monthly (now recognized as the fifth pillar of health). This number varies with gender, age and other factors.

Fat-free diets that were followed by our parents are not the answer or way to go! Sure, some people with medical conditions may need to monitor their fat intake a little more closely than others, but once again, aim to stay within the macro range of 20-35%, and you’re good. Furthermore, the quality of fats you’re consuming DO matter.

Some great dietary fat choices include:

  • avocados
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • tahini (ground sesame that is used in hummus and now many dressings)
  • olive oil
  • olives
  • ghee (not for those limiting saturated fat though)
  • avocado oil
  • fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies)
  • full-fat, organic Greek yogurt or kefir (the reason I recommend organic for full-fat animal products is because toxins can be stored in animal fat)
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • coconut- coconut oil is fine but be mindful of serving size

In fact, you will want to be mindful with most dietary fat servings. It’s easy to overdo it, but that doesn’t mean you have to count the nuts and seeds you consume. That’s an easy road to forming disordered eating patterns. Just be aware and educate yourself (or seek education from me!) on what average portions look like.

I do suggest incorporating fat at most meals and sometimes snacks, for satiation purposes, among other reasons mentioned above. It just depends on what your particular diet and lifestyle look like. Once again, I am happy to help in any way I can, so if you have questions, feel free to reach out or schedule a nutrition consultation with me HERE.

How much protein should I consume?

Another common question in nutrition is: How much protein do I need? Before I break this down for you, let’s start with what protein is.

Protein is one of the three macronutrients, alongside carbohydrates and fat. It is composed of amino acids, it’s building blocks. There are 20 amino acids that we focus on: 9 essential amino acids and 11 nonessential. Essential meaning that we need to get these amino acids from our diet since our body cannot synthesize them like the nonessential ones. Some nonessential amino acids become conditional in times of high stress, illness, or injury.

The nine essential amino acids include:

  1. histidine
  2. isoleucine
  3. leucine
  4. lysine
  5. phenylalanine
  6. valine
  7. tryptophan
  8. threonine
  9. methionine

Complete vs. Complementary Proteins

A protein source is considered complete if it contains all nine essential amino acids. All animal proteins are complete, but plant-based eaters may need to be more mindful of pairing complementary proteins to get their full dose in. A common example of this is rice and beans, since the limiting amino acid in beans is methionine and rice contains methionine.

What does protein do for us besides build muscle?

The main function everyone thinks of for protein is MPS (muscle protein synthesis), but protein contributes much more to our health! Protein also regulates the following physiological processes:

How much protein is currently being consumed?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 2020-2025 suggest that 3/4 of the U.S. population consumes over the recommended amount of protein. However, nearly 90% do not eat enough fish (the recommendation is 2-3 times a week of 4 oz servings), and more than 50% do not consume enough nuts, seeds, and soy products. It is good to differentiate your diet in general, proteins included, since you receive various nutrients from each source and feed certain gut bacteria 🦠 with each food.

How much protein do I need?

The Average Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for protein is 10-35%. That’s a wide range. We can also reference the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 0.8-1.0g/kg. This is the lowest recommendation, for those are sedentary or lightly active. If you are moderately to highly active, you may want to aim for a bit higher, say 1.2-1.5g/kg. Serious or elite athletes are looking at anywhere between 1.5-2.0g/kg. A study was conducted in 2016 to determine the safety and efficacy of the 2.0g/kg dosage. It results in determining that this was safe & healthy for those who engage in intense exercise.

Those who are ill, injured, pregnant, breastfeeding, require increased intake of protein due to increased energy demands.

You can calculate your protein needs yourself or consult with me to determine if you are over- or underestimating. If you are underrating and are not getting enough protein, you may experience:

  • frequent hunger
  • fatigue
  • longer recovery time
  • increased anxiety
  • poor sleep
  • exacerbated depression
  • weakness
  • hair, skin and nail issues
  • compromised gut health

So, where can you get protein from?

Here are some quality food sources:

  • organic, grass-fed beef
  • wild-caught fish
  • shellfish
  • turkey or lean chicken
  • duck
  • lamb
  • pork
  • pasture-raised eggs
  • milk, yogurt, cheese
  • nuts & seeds
  • beans & legumes
  • soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk and edamame
  • seitan
  • protein powders
  • protein bars

In conclusion, every individual is different in terms of needs, activity level, current medical status, etc. that influence their protein needs. You can simply calculate your needs with the guidelines above, but know that they may not be 100% accurate. Feel free to schedule a consultation HERE to determine your macronutrient needs.

Should I go low-carb?

Going low-carb has remained popular over the years and has been around since the late 1800s. I will try my best to lay out the pros and cons of a low-carb diet and who could benefit from this protocol without being TOO biased. 😉

The low-carb diet has cleverly masqueraded as the Atkins diet, Paleo, Dukan Diet, and now the infamous ketogenic diet. All of them primarily condone eating animal protein, healthy fats, and very limited (if any) grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, and anything containing sugar (carbs). While this may appear to be a grand idea at first, especially because society associates sugar with being “bad”, we need to look at the full picture here.

Typically, the Average Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for carbohydrates is from 45-65%. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that amounts to 225-325g. Many studies define a low-carb diet as anything <130g, and a very low-carb diet as anything <20-50g. Below is a chart depicting what the Atkins diet, Paleo Diet, and Ketogenic recommend/require from macronutrient distributions compared to that of the recommended ranges.

So, why do people choose the diets above? Good question. The main motivator is weight loss. When people cut carbs that retain water, minimize their overconsumption of carbs that convert into fat, and focus on their intake of whole food proteins and fat, weight loss is bound to occur in those who have some to lose. However, this weight loss is typically short-term and regained after a period of time because reintroducing carbs has an adverse effect from restricting it for so long…you start to retain that water again, you might even over consume by excess portions, and just feel like you’re losing control again. The list goes on and on.

In addition, if your body is not in a true and constant state of ketosis (using ketones as energy), low-carb diets under the recommended 130g for DIABETICS will ultimately make you crave…you guessed it…carbs! This could partly be why you are craving sweets- because you are not consuming enough carbohydrates or not the right sources of them with protein and fat.

 In a study published in the European Heart Journal in September 2019, researchers concluded that people who ate the least amount of carbs had the highest risk of death from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer.

So who can benefit from a low-carb diet?

THOSE WITH THE FOLLOWING MEDICAL DIAGNOSES!!

  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)- not all need to go low-carb!! Moderate carb intake should work when given the proper nutrition education
  • Epilepsy
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Glycogen Storage Disease
  • Obesity
  • GLUT1 Deficiency Syndrome
  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Other medical conditions that have showed promise with a low-carb diet but need further research on humans (not rats) for application:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • certain autoimmune diseases

To conclude, unless you have the medical conditions listed above and consult with a doctor and dietitian of consuming less than 130g of carbs/day, then there is no need to subscribe to a low-carb diet. Carbohydrates break down into sugar in our bodies (fruit and veggies included!). That sugar is also called glucose that our brain uses as its primary choice for fuel. Fun fact: Our brain needs about 120g on average a day. OUR BRAIN ALONE AND NOT INCLUDING THE REST OF OUR ORGANS! Feed and love on that pretty brain and body of yours. Don’t fret about carbs.

Need further guidance? I got you, boo.

Email me at daniellencahalan@gmail.com or schedule your nutrition consultation HERE.

Where to Start With Nutrition?

I’ve been racking my brain on where to begin with covering my nutrition bases for all of you. There are endless choices to choose from in the nutrition library, but I think that’s the problem, right? It’s easy to get overwhelmed, distracted, confused, and worst of all- misinformed.

We want to be healthier (whatever that means and looks like for you). We want to maintain a sustainable and life-supporting weight, and we want to feel energized, our absolute best, and THRIVE on the day to day. Do you agree?

The issue is that we don’t know where to begin, and instead of allowing medical professionals to be at the forefront of guiding us throughout our health journey, we have been subjected and duped to believe that diet culture is the fast track to health and weight loss success. NEWSFLASH- THIS IS FALSE! Don’t be fooled by diet culture. Furthermore, many randos on TikTok and Instagram are making up their own shit when it comes to nutrition and not following science-based evidence that dietitians and other licensed practitioners do.

Nutrition is SO very individualized. Your allergies, dietary preferences, sensitivities, aversions, medical history, and much more need to be taken into consideration to determine a plan and protocol that is best for YOU. Surely an Instagram post can’t be speaking to the general population at all times….

Instead, dietitians provide you with the nutrition education, exercises, and tools to have full autonomy over your own decisions, health trajectory and WHAT YOU EAT! Imagine that!

So, let’s get back to the original question: Where to begin with nutrition?

The answer is to STOP Googling nutrition “facts” and diets. STOP listening to TikTok videos and non-credentialed influencers, and instead, consult with a dietitian to pursue a healthy approach and relationship to food that is right for you.

Sure, you can start with tracking macros on your own, but do you know why you’re tracking them, the true recommended ratios for you, and what is going to help you reach your health and weight goals?

What about micronutrients? Have you gotten bloodwork done to determine your current nutrition status?

Do you know how to support your vagus nerve, adrenals, and gut microbiome? Ya…the list goes on and on. My point is that there is not a one-size-fits all approach and everyone begins at a different spot in their nutrition journey. If you need help figuring out where to begin, please email me at daniellencahalan.com to schedule a nutrition consultation or book it yourself HERE.

Talk soon. I look forward to helping you along your health journey.

❤️ Danielle