On today's interview, we present to you Jen Molitor, NTP, GAPS from Nutrition Inspirations, LLC.
Her expertise as a professional in the nutrition field revolves around pregnancy, breastfeeding and toddlers. Her biggest experience rolls around birthing, breastfeeding & raising her own 2 children. Her diet with each child was quite different- and it led to very different pregnancies. As Jen said, 'Healthy lifestyle is crucial for any woman, especially those who are growing and nourishing a baby.' She has worked with many women who were either cleaning up their diets to prepare for pregnancy or who were hoping to lose post-baby weight.
We asked, "How can you separate yourself from the others in this field?" She said, "I believe, to really be healthy, we need to nourish our body, mind, and spirit. While healthy foods definitely give us an advantage, we also have to take the time for self-care, for fun, & for quality 'me' time. I heard a speaker once ask the group, 'Who can name 3 people for whom you would do anything for? Now, how many of you thought of yourself?' I felt a hesitation in myself as I heard the 2nd question."
In her thoughts, moms, specifically, tend to put everyone else first, and it seems selfish to say “no” to others in order to take care of their own needs. Some of the first strategies she worked on with women are geared for developing a deeper connection with themselves. Listening to your body’s signals that it needs support, as well as understanding how the body works is an important part of developing that connection. Loving yourself is the key to improve your health, and the side effects of that deeper connection pour over into other relationships and endeavors as well.
In her career as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, she had so many achievements. One of the greatest is caring for both herself and her family in a way that embraces natural, holistic practices. She is so proud of their eating habits and their focus on spending time outdoors. Her son is almost 7 and just recently began eating salads for lunch - really great salads with spinach, cilantro, cucumber, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, some meat, a date, and some dressing! (Keep in mind this did not happen overnight!)
Jen thinks that parents form an incorrect concept of their children's nutrition when she hears parents of picky eaters comment, “at least he’s eating something” as their son eats either a dessert or macaroni for the 6th consecutive meal. We tend to be lax about what our children eat when they’re young because we worry about them starving if they forgo the healthy meal. The truth is, those picky eaters develop unhealthy habits that contribute to big-time issues in the long-run. It would be more beneficial to have a couple of healthy options for children to choose from- without the option of macaroni. It might mean the child misses a meal, but most children will eventually eat the healthy options and the boundaries established will also help foster good behavior.
The trick here is starting small and having quite a few options available. You might try snack foods first and get started on sweet fruits - figs, dates, bananas, and raspberries are healthy, sweet treats that kids (and adults) enjoy. You can then use those fruits as incentives to try other veggies (sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, green beans, spaghetti squash). "Once you’ve added in some healthier options, you can then remove some of the unhealthy foods", she said. Praise any successes and know that the palate can adapt and that we can develop a new appreciation for different foods.
The other misconception she hears a lot are "it’s impossible to be a mom", "have a job, and prepare healthy meals on a consistent basis." Jen then uttered, ' I’m here to tell you, that it IS possible! It’s a process and you may need some support to get you started (meal planning, recipe options, knowing where to shop for healthy food). Start small. Try planning out your meats and veggies for dinners. 50% of success is supported by the planning part".
This year, she is focusing her practice on working with women who are struggling to take care of themselves – both in terms of diet and lifestyle- due to all the confusing information out there. She wants to ultimately lead workshops where women can come and learn how to plan healthy meals, how to take care of themselves, and how to incorporate all this new learning into their busy lives. Her clients inspire her, so she wants to inspire them along the way, too!
Jen has been an elementary school teacher for 15 years and about halfway through, she attended a presentation for parents on the link between the brain and food. Jen was captivated and from that moment on she began learning as much as she could about food and diet. The expert was experimenting with some organic foods while pregnant with her first child, though it was a pretty rough pregnancy. She was on the right track, but didn’t understand the effect proteins, carbs, and fats had on her body. After she gave birth in 2009, she took a leave of absence and became certified in Nutritional Therapy. Since then she's obtained 3 more certifications in the field of holistic nutrition and plan to continue that learning path. Jen also transformed her own diet over the past few years and her 2nd pregnancy was beautiful. She had learned about foods that supported her and her growing baby. She learned how to connect more with her body, and she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. The teaching part of what she does as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is still a big component.
We asked for some expert advice! Her tips are most commonly individualized, taking into consideration the patient's current diet, lifestyle choices, food knowledge, etc. She wants to say, to any woman going through the journey of motherhood is to start listening to your body. Well, she literally means listening - to the symptoms and other signs, and then taking the time to ask your body what it needs. For example, most of us crave sugar or sweet things at some point in our lives. That craving is our body talking! I find that the sweetness we are craving is the sugar found in fruit or even an overall sweetness that we’re lacking in our life. So you might try having some good quality berries (strawberries, wild blueberries, raspberries), apples, pears, cherries, apricots, or dates, etc. and scheduling some time to incorporate more sweetness into your life. She added, "Eat organically - everything you possibly can. Especially meat".
Some last words from our expert, 'The best expert for supporting your body is you! You may need some education and guidance along the way, but really learn to trust your intuition. If you suspect gluten is causing bloating - go with that. If you suspect your baby isn’t tolerating dairy well - go with that. The quality and quantity of what we eat directly affects our daily function, in addition to a nursing baby’s nourishment. There’s not one diet that will be suitable for everyone, so it’s important to learn to listen to your body’s cues and understand what those mean".
For more information about Jen Molitor and Nutrition Inspirations, LLC, please visit her website, www.nutritioninspirations.com, visit her at 6415 Branch-Hill Guinea Road, Ste. 103 Loveland, Ohio 45140, call her office at 513-831-4433 or cell 513-808-4482 or email her at [email protected] and [email protected]