Ep 108: Goodbye Perfection and Hello Balance, with Katie Dewhurst
Fertility Forward Episode 108:
Finding balance and welcoming that balance into your life will help you create a lifestyle that leads to being a healthy person while also having room for the indulgences and other “good” parts of life you don’t want to miss out on. Our guest today is Katie Dewhurst, the founder, and CEO of Hello Balance, a health and wellness company helping millennial women optimize their health through food. She’s a certified functional medicine health coach and nutritionist, a cookbook author, and the founder of the Hello Baby Prenatal Nutrition course. Her health coaching approach is based on the latest science and research and is not about restriction, diets, or rigid lifestyles, but about eating more of the right foods. It doesn’t have to be boring and it will heal the body from the inside out. As listeners tune in to today’s episode, they’ll hear from Katie all about nutrition and lifestyle factors as they relate to fertility, trying to conceive, and pregnancy. We discuss blood sugars and why balancing them is an integral part of finding balance in your health journey. She also shares details about her Prenatal Course and what participants can expect to learn. For all this, and so much more, don’t miss this episode of the Fertility Forward podcast.
Rena: Hi everyone. We are Rena and Dara and welcome to Fertility Forward. We are part of the wellness team at RMA of New York, a fertility clinic affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our Fertility Forward podcast brings together advice from medical professionals, mental health specialists, wellness experts, and patients because knowledge is power and you are your own best advocate.
Dara: Hi everyone. I am so happy today to have Katie Dewhurst on. She is the founder and CEO of Hello Balance, a health and wellness company helping millennial women optimize their health through food. Katie is a certified functional medicine health coach and nutritionist, a cookbook author, and the founder of the Hello Baby Prenatal Nutrition course which thousands of moms have used to optimize their nutrition during pregnancy so they can ensure their baby is getting the nutrients they need to become the healthiest, smartest, strongest little versions of themselves. Her health coaching approach is based on the latest science and research and is not about restriction, diets, or rigid lifestyles, but about eating more of the right foods which don't have to be boring to heal and balance the body from the inside out. Katie, thanks so much for being here today.
Katie: Yeah, I'm really excited.
Dara: Happy New Year. It's the new year!
Katie: Yeah, happy New Year. Yeah, it's been a crazy 2022, so I'm excited for a fresh start. Yeah, and definitely talking with clients a lot about that as far as starting the new year on that with that fresh blank slate and having those routines and healthy habits really come forward and leaning into that motivation that a lot of people have at the new year.
Rena: oh I love that! Dara and I always talk about, we're not super into New Year's resolutions, but we love goals and just sort of overall health and and wellness mindset. You know, that should be something that we do all the time. You know, I think in New Year is a great time for people to really look at their goals and reset and refresh, but we love sort of goal setting cause we feel, you know, that you know the resolution that can often set people up to kind of fail and there's no failing here, it's just you pick yourself up.
Katie: I agree. I agree. Perfection is kind of the enemy of good in my book and I think if you commit to something and you have to do it perfectly every day, there's no way that's sustainable. So my approach is really all about, where can we find that balance and how do we start to identify with the type of healthy person that these healthy habits are really easy for. So it's all about kind of identity work, goal-based setting work like you said. And I think the resolution part, I think we've been led astray with how to really tackle the new year and so it's really more about who's the type of person you wanna be in 2023.
Dara: That's a nice way of putting it. Who do you wanna be? And I think a lot of times we do get stuck in old patterns or old habits or who we think we are that oftentimes is not really kind to ourselves. And I think it's a nice way to, to see it is like who we want to be in the new year, what are things that we want to do differently. And it's not making, you know, the, I think just the term resolution thing. Sometimes we think like we have to fix something and make it perfect. But yeah, the idea of goal setting where you can, you know, what are a couple things that you want to change and making specific changes, what can I do specifically to reach those goals? So it's so nice that you, you're aligned in that with us. It's great.
Katie: Absolutely. And I don't think it has to start January 1st. I kind of use all of January to think about what I want to happen in the new year and I think going back to what you said, it really is kind of about who you wanna become and that identity shift because if you start blaming and shaming yourself, that's when the negative patterns and behaviors perpetuate. So if you've ever done the thing that you didn't wanna do, a lot of times it stems from a negative place inside and something that, you know, maybe it is a negative identity that's like I'm lazy or I'm not good enough or something. But when we shift that whole perception of like who we are and who we're becoming, it becomes a lot easier to make the right decisions and the healthy decisions that we want to adopt moving forward.
Rena: Yeah. So then I usually do this with all my patients. I have them think about who they were before, who they are now, and who they wanna be. And I let them sort of interpret the before in whatever context they want. Whether it's before starting fertility treatments, before 2023, before becoming a mom, before becoming pregnant. And I think it's a great exercise to really ground people since you know, one of the most beautiful things about being a human is that we should always be evolving and changing and sometimes it's about taking a mindful pause to think about, oh yeah, like I am really different now. I'm not the same person I was before, you know, now I'm going through fertility treatment or now I'm a mom or now I've had a loss. And so that does, you know, cause change. And so to kind of ground yourself in that and kind of go through that thought process to sort of recalibrate yourself.
Katie: Absolutely. I think becoming a mom and going through fertility journey, whatever your journey looks like, it is a time for a new identity and you're taking on new parts of yourself. There's like old parts of you that you might be leaving behind and it's kind of scary and daunting and overwhelming to be honest. I'm in that phase myself. So I'm speaking from kind of my own experience right now. But I just found out I was pregnant like four weeks ago or no maybe two weeks ago. And so the first emotions that you feel it's like, it is kind of that weird feeling of okay, like my whole life is about to change and going through the whole process of trying to get pregnant as well. I can definitely relate to that as well with clients and the work I've done over the years on how that really changes your goals, your identity and there's just so many shifts.
Rena: Sure. Well congratulations first of all. So exciting. And then maybe we can sort of shift into sort of pregnancy and nutrition since that's your specialty. So you know, in terms of what maybe you recommend for, we can back up since most of our audience are people trying to conceive, you know, how nutrition would maybe change for those that are trying to get pregnant?
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Nutrition is one of the biggest factors in actually making positive changes for egg quality, ovulation. I mean a lot of it is out of our control when it comes to fertility and especially age-related infertility, but nutrition and lifestyle choices are like one of the biggest modifiable risk factors that you can start to take control over. And I really like to empower women because there's a lot that you can control when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle choices. So whether that's just learning simply how to balance your blood sugar to increase your odds of ovulating and improve your egg quality and improve your mitochondrial health as well, that little shift can really significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant. There was one study that came out and said women that were eating more of a chronically blood sugar spiking diet with more refined carbohydrates versus whole carbohydrates were 78% more likely to not ovulate than the women that ate more whole carbohydrates. So just making little shifts. They've seen like 10% increases in IVF success rates with just shifting your protein levels up slightly, just a 10% shift. So there's a lot of research out there showing how nutrition can really start to impact your ability to ovulate, the egg quality, and everything that needs to happen for pregnancy to go well. There's so much that needs to happen on the egg and the sperm side so it's not just a female issue. It definitely includes the men in our lives. But yeah, we can definitely dive into like any sort of like niche topics within fertility and planning for pregnancy within nutrition. I think blood sugar balance is a huge one. Nutrient status is another huge one that I really like to hit on because a lot of women aren't hitting their nutrient levels that they need to be at for optimal health for pregnancy. So I would say those are two really key, like, cornerstones of things that I like to talk about and teach women is because that's what, what the research is really showing us.
Dara: Yeah, let's talk about blood sugars because that's, you know, as a dietician it's something that that that I speak about quite often and it really is something that oftentimes is looked at only if you have diabetes. But I, I do feel like whether someone has diabetes, PCOS, underactive thyroid or just coming in for unexplained infertility, I really do feel like one of the most important things in terms of overall health and wellness really does stem with blood sugar stability with you know, preventing insulin resistance or minimizing your chances of having insulin resistance. So I would love for you to help kind of educate our listeners on why that's so important.
Katie: Yeah, I think it's important for every single woman, whether you're trying to conceive or not. 88% of Americans have one biomarker of really like blood sugar dysregulation. So it's really prevalent in the US and everyone's kind of dealing with it with our modern lifestyle and our modern food and nutrition. So I would say if you can learn about how to balance your blood sugar, that's gonna make a huge impact on your overall health, your inflammation levels, your heart health, like it's so systemic and it impacts so many other parts of the body. It's gonna help you feel more energized and focused throughout the day. You won't have as many cravings. So it's great for every woman I think to start to learn about how to balance her blood sugar and what really works for her. When I start with clients I usually look at like okay, where are we starting? If we can get some basic lab work and like understand what's their H, like, hemoglobin a1c? Can we look at their fasting glucose, fasting insulin? That's, like, really good for me to understand and then I can start to see, like, what is like low hanging fruit that we can start to work on to start to improve those numbers. And a lot of times it starts with breakfast. I don't know about you but I find, like, breakfast is like so many sneaky sugars are in breakfast and if we can start the day with balanced blood sugar, it makes it easier throughout the day to make better decisions. So I really like to start with that cause it's like the easiest thing that someone can just kind of start to change and it doesn't really have to include their whole family. It can just be something that they start with a really high quality smoothie or an egg scramble or you know, something savory. That's another thing is, like, finding that savory breakfast option that you can get on board with is a really good idea versus the sweeter option. So you kinda have to find what works for you but if you get enough protein, you get enough fiber, you get enough healthy fats to start your day, that's gonna set you off for an easier time at lunch and at snack time to choose the healthier options cause you're not gonna be riding that blood sugar rollercoaster that makes you crash and crave.
Dara: Yeah, I think you made a good point in terms of how you start your day can set the tone for how you feel the rest of your day. You know, I never even thought about it. When you break it down, breakfast means breaking the fast, that means you haven't eaten in you know, 10 to 12 hours so you're, you're kind of running on empty in many ways. So whatever you have, your body works that much more sensitively.
Katie: Right. And then in pregnancy we're a little bit more insulin resistant just because of what happens during pregnancy and we become more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes. So a lot of times with my clients I see there's a pre-diabetes that hasn't been diagnosed going on or their levels are just starting to creep up and then it manifests in pregnancy and then you're putting the baby at unnecessary risks when ahead of pregnancy you can make changes to get your levels in a healthy range. And I always like to tell people, you know, blood sugar is not just purely like a genetic thing. It responds so well to diet and lifestyle and you can make changes and see changes within days. So it's not like you need to balance your blood sugar for a full year. It's like you can start today, start with breakfast, start your next meal, start to see those changes in how you feel, how your labs look and that's gonna help benefit you throughout your pregnancy and it's also gonna help with your fertility as well.
Rena: So I think, you know, for anyone listening, is this something that you know really needs to be done in tandem with you know, a nutritionist or a dietician? Do you need the labs, do you need, you know, glucose monitors are now sort of a big thing. They're not really just for people with diabetes anymore. You know, I know a lot of athletes that are using glucose monitors just to for fun and to sort of see like, okay right, like how's my blood sugar looking? Is that also something that would be used with this or is it you know, someone who's listening kind of just like, okay let me just try and start my day with you know, an egg scramble or protein shake instead of the you know, muffin I'm having and see if that makes a difference in how I feel?
Katie: Yeah, I think it all depends on the level of support you're really looking for. I think it can really help to work with a nutritionist or a dietician on these things. But that said, there's also so much good information out there that if you find the right resources that are trusted resources and you can rely on those people, that can also be really helpful. That's something that I provide in my course. So if someone was trying to learn about blood sugar, definitely check out the course cause that's a really good foundational resource for you to understand how to balance your blood sugar. I think experimenting with the CGMs can be a really good idea because it helps, it gives you a two week window into how your typical meals are affecting your blood sugar. And everyone is a little bit different. Of course there's, like, certain foods that are, like, well known to spike blood sugar, but everyone can handle a bit different amount of carbs and they respond differently to different things. Like for me, I know stress and sleep are huge triggers for me in blood sugar dysregulation and that's not often thought about but I've experimented with CGMs before and that really was,
Rena: For anyone that doesn't know CGM is a glucose monitor.
Dara: It's a continuous glucose monitor, which I've actually tried. I tried it a couple months ago just because my brother-in-law, you know, he's a kind of a biohacker and he had some extra ones. I tried it, it's really good cause it, it can show you, you know, certain foods that you wouldn't necessarily think would spike. Like something like oatmeal which has a lot of health, you know, potential health benefits for some people, you know, it can be quite sensitive, especially people with PCOS may not respond as favorably. However I do, I think there should be a caveat for anyone with you know, an eating disorder, you have to be careful sometimes with a continuous glucose monitor in that it can sometimes make people hyper-focused, hyper-vigilant and somewhat fearful perhaps of certain foods.
Rena: Yeah, agree. I mean I think you have to be careful, right? Or give yourself a like I'm doing this for two weeks just to sort of see. And then after two weeks like I have to cut myself off of this because it becomes a little too obsessive.
Dara: Obsessive. Yeah.
Katie: They're also pretty expensive so I feel like two weeks for me, I kind of do a check-in like maybe twice a year I'll do it and just get a sense of where I'm at and that I find is really helpful data to have. But I completely agree. If you've kind of had a history of obsessively tracking calories or really restricting your food, this might not be the tool for you and maybe it's better just to learn about what needs to go onto your plate to balance your blood sugar. Because often it's not only about the carbohydrate, it's about what are you adding to that carbohydrate to balance your blood sugar out? So if you're gonna have the oatmeal, how are we gonna add protein to that? How will we add healthy fat and maybe potentially some more fiber in the form of like chia seeds or something like that.
Dara: You make a good point.
Rena: There really is such an art to eating, you know and sort of I'm kind of big on macros and right looking at the balance of carbs, fiber, fat, protein to help balance.
Dara: And then seeing how you feel afterwards cause I think a lot of times you think you might have the right formula and that's where it's, I find so fascinating is what maybe will fill some one someone up on one hand may not do the same for someone else. And you made a great point, Katie, in that sleep and stress also play a role in it all, not just the food component.
Rena: Yeah, I was gonna say totally. I know for myself and I'm tired or stressed, I just wanna eat sugar.
Rena: I, you know, have to really check in with myself and say like, this is not, you don't want sugar, it's actually gonna make you feel worse. You're really tired, you're really stressed, drink some water.
Dara: But even, but for me, even if I'm stressed and eating similar foods that I would eat on other days that may not necessarily be high in sugar, I get hungrier sooner. And so, you know, maybe you know the way you're processing the food is a little bit different and stress does, you know, mess things up a little bit and lack of sleep too.
Katie: For sure it totally disregulates our hunger hormones and it can cause us to consume more calories without actually needing them. So I think that's always good to consider for sure. And yeah, I think it's kind of a, one of those things I think it's up to you if you wanna kind of experiment with, with a continuous glucose monitor, but I don't think you need to religiously do it all the time. Just use it as a two week experiment once a year or something like that and just check in with yourself and, and then you can kind of see how the meals you usually make over a two week period are benefiting you or how you can improve upon them.
Dara: I also think it was great that you mentioned hemoglobin A1C and for those of you who aren't familiar, it's not a test of your blood sugars or your sugars of what you ate yesterday. It's a much longer, it's a test of, of your blood sugars over the past three months. So it kind of can give you a better indicator of you know, how you're processing or utilizing your sugars and I think a better marker overall. So I think that's a great kind of starting point for a lot of people to kind of get their A1C levels checked on an annual basis.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely recommend that cause then you can start to see year over year if you're starting to creep up to pre-diabetic zone, that's when you really wanna start to make some lifestyle changes. And the only thing with the A1C is it doesn't really show you the variability that a continuous glucose monitor would show you. So I think that's why the continuous glucose monitor is kind of nice to see how certain meals affect you. But then having that A1C is just a really good year over year data point to understand where you're falling and how you're improving. I think another important thing is your carbohydrate tolerance is really gonna depend on how active you are and that's gonna, I mean if you're way more active and you're an athlete, you're gonna need a lot more carbohydrates than someone that's completely sedentary. So there's differences in, you know, how someone tolerates carbs and how much they need. So definitely take that into account with your lifestyle.
Dara: That's a great point to make for sure.
Rena: Yeah, and I think it's important to remember too, you know, every day can be different, you know, depending on your activity level or even your hormone level, you know where you're at in your ovulation cycle that can also play a role in sort of what you need. So it's not necessarily that every day is gonna be the same. It really is sort of about checking in with yourself and if you really start to kind of work on this, I think you'll notice patterns over time based on sort of like the month and where you're at, you know, again, ovulating or you'll notice, oh I, I did a ton of cardio yesterday so I'm really hungry today so I need to account for that. My hunger's probably gonna spike. I probably need a little bit more protein, or I was more sedentary so I don't need need to eat that much.
Katie: Completely agree with all that.
Dara: And also listening to yourself. I think a lot of times we go through the motions and I think it's great to to read and do research but deep down we know our bodies more than anyone. So just even the, I think it's great to get support and I think it's also good to sometimes check in with yourself. I know, you know, for health and maybe for weight loss or maybe for something else I need to be doing X, Y, and Z. But sometimes it's like if your body's telling you something, you know, something feels off, I think it's also great to just to check in and listen.
Katie: Yeah. And I think a fertility journey is such an emotional rollercoaster. And then pregnancy, you really do wanna be in tune with your body because your needs will change at every phase. And it is important to listen to your body more than anything else because your body is gonna give you signals, it's going to tell you what it needs and it's great to have all the research but then you have to apply it to what you actually need. And I mean just use some common sense about it, right? Because when they say you just need 300 to 500 calories more during pregnancy, it's like where did that stat actually come from? Right? It's like that is such a generic, like based in, no like actual scientific like research. It's like okay, this is what we think the fetus needs to grow and this is the energy demands of a fetus. But there's so many other parts of growing a human that is not accounted for in that scientific model that they use to come up with 300 to 500 calories. So you have to take the science with a grain of salt and apply it to yourself and be smart about what you actually need. Check in with yourself at like every trimester because first trimester people are nauseous and they can't get anything down. Second trimester they might be feeling better. Then it's like, okay, can we start to make some healthier choices, bring the greens back in, bring some more protein back in. How do we kind of just continue to check in with ourselves and listen to our body at every single phase?
Dara: I think that's a a great point.
Rena: Yeah. And I mean tell us, I know you have a prenatal course. What is that? Does that sort of talk about all of this?
Katie: Exactly, yeah. So I started as a functional medicine health coach and I was working one-on-one with women and then I started to just attract a lot of prenatal clients and when I dug into the research I realized there was just huge gaps between what conventional guidelines were telling us to do versus what I was seeing in current research would be optimal for nutrient status and health during pregnancy. So I decided to create a course where I could teach women exactly what they need to know to optimize their nutrient status for pregnancy. And the course really is meant to hold your hand every step of the way because there's coaching calls, there's interviews, there's like a 23 or 25 video course where it's like all the modules. So you get all those lessons on what you exactly need to do for pregnancy to have optimal health throughout pregnancy. So we go over blood sugar, balance, supplements, nutrients, whatnot to eat what to avoid, all the good stuff. And yeah, so far it's been going really well and it's something that I love talking about because I just think women need that support. There's like no manual once you get pregnant of like what you're supposed to do. So this is really my way of helping fill that gap between current research and conventional guidelines to help women feel like they're doing the best they can for pregnancy.
Rena: I love that. That sounds great. And I think it's so important that people educate themselves. You know, people get pregnant and or try and conceive and you know, it really takes a village, you know, it's not like this is information that you should know or are supposed to know and to get educated about it, you know, so that you can, you know, optimize your health I think is so important.
Dara: And I think it's great, Katie, that you also, I'm definitely in your school of your, your camp in terms of it's okay to question things. A lot of what's out there is somewhat outdated. And so not to say, there's a lot of research has been done so long ago. I still think there needs to be a lot more to be had. But it's great that you're questioning whether some of those old recommendations are still accurate and valid today. And it sounds like you're digging a lot deeper and giving people some really good usable, accessible tools. And also the support. I think that's, as women we're nurturers and we give to others and it's so nice to offer something that you can, you know, that women can get for themselves, like that support. It's great.
Katie: Absolutely. Yeah. I just felt like there was a need in the market. I haven't found that many other resources that are trying to do the same thing that I'm doing. And I wanted to be that resource and that place that women could get access to this information because I know like pregnant women are not going on PubMed, they don't like, we're not like trying to figure out like is this a good study design? Like that's just not something that we're like doing, but it's something I love to do. So this is my way of really consolidating all the research and helping women stay up to date on what is the current research based on, for example, like we've seen like choline needs, B12 needs like DHA needs, like all of the old recommendations I think are like super baseline and they're just preventing severe deficiencies. But can we do better? A lot of the research shows that we can. So it's like recommending better prenatal vitamins, more nutrient dense foods, things like that.
Rena: It sounds like you're so passionate about your work and you really love what you do, which is so wonderful.
Katie: Yeah, I, I really do love it and I think because I'm going through it in my own life, it's definitely so close to my heart because obviously every mom wants to do the very best she can for her baby. So for me now I am, you know, really dedicated to all this research and putting out the best information possible because it's what I want my future baby to reap the benefits up as well. So I always say it's kind of like just stacking the deck for your baby's future because you know, we only get to build our baby's brain once. So this is a really important time to like make sure that the baby's getting all the nutrients they need and you're not falling short or becoming depleted in anything during pregnancy.
Dara: That's why it's so important to really, you know, if you're able to just to get a head start and to start when you're already trying to think about starting a family. And I think there's no perfect time to, to start then, you know, right. Today, you know, whether you're already pregnant or you know, you're thinking about starting a family or in the process. But I think it's, it's great to have, you know, good quality information out there and it's so nice that you provide that for people.
Katie: Yeah, I think you make a good point about starting ahead of time because especially in that first trimester when it's harder to get all the nutrient-dense foods in, you want a good base level nutrient status. So your body is super smart, it can store nutrients for a really long time and your baby will pull on those nutrients that you ate before you even got pregnant. So setting yourself up and having a really strong foundation going into pregnancy will really support you and your baby.
Dara: I feel like I work with so many women first trimester where they like all the great habits that they, you know, that they started doing going into a pregnancy. It's tough. The first trimester for a lot of people can really be, you know, really challenging and and the most common thing I've heard over the years that people crave at some form of bread, bready type of food and then cheese or some form of dairy. And it's interesting how those are the two, and perhaps, who knows, it could be something more biological or it could be, you know, physiological I, I really wonder or hereditary, who knows? It could be a generational thing. I find it so fascinating that those are the two most common things that women typically go for and vegetables usually out the door, you know, fish out the door. It's funny.
Rena: Everyone's so different.
Katie: That's what I've seen too. It's like everyone is so different and we actually don't know why we have certain cravings. There's not really any good research on that. I think as long as you can, the dairy one makes a lot of sense to me cuz you do need more calcium and some of those fat soluble nutrients that you get from dairy. The bread one I think obviously your energy needs increase. You're more tired in that first trimester so that could be like some sort of hypothesis. But if you are gonna lean more into carbs, again, I would just encourage you to how do you put some almond butter on your bread or something like that to help balance the meal out so that you are supporting the baby with extra nutrients, more healthy fats and proteins that can help balance your blood sugar.
Dara: Yeah. And even higher fiber bread. Bread that has more whole grains and less processed grains. So that also can help, you know, make sure that your blood sugars aren't elevating too fast. But of course I think that's great. The, it's the combination - the protein, fats and carbohydrates to really help keep someone going is a great first step. It's also nice that you also talk about, or that you're, you know, you educate your clients about taking prenatal vitamins cause that's also, you know, a safety net to some way, to some degree when you can't necessarily get in all of those nutrients from your food.
Katie: Yeah. I think it is a safety net and a lot of women struggle to get the prenatals down in that first trimester. But I do think that the prenatal vitamins are just that really nice insurance policy that if you can get those in, you know that you're kind of getting the bare minimum. I don't think they ever replace a nutrient-dense diet but that said on the bad days they can be really helpful to have that extra support there for you.
Rena: So I think it's so important, you know, advocate for yourself, you know, use your voice if you're not feeling good during pregnancy, you know, seek help because you don't have to feel that way.
Katie: It's all about finding the people that like this podcast or other podcasts or other resources online that you feel like you can connect with and relate to and finding those communities that feel good for you because it shouldn't be a time where you're not getting the answers you need or you're just Googling by yourself. I think that's the other hard thing about pregnancy is that especially if it's your first time, there's so much that you're trying to find out really quickly. So leaning into those good resources that you can find can really help you feel supported in you know, whatever phase you're in.
Dara: That's a great point. And I think sometimes finding the right person to speak with can help guide you in the right direction in terms of getting good quality resources. Cause that's, it could be really challenging. You can google, you know, nutrition, fertility and, and get a list of, you know, thousands upon thousands of entries and a lot of the information out there is somewhat fear-based or you know, may not look at the big picture. So it's, it's nice to know that there are people out there that can help guide you and I think your course is sounds pretty thorough and intense and it's nice to know that you also have the one-on-one so you can give them some more personalized care and really help make them feel as confident as possible.
Katie: Absolutely. I love the coaching calls cause it's a place where I can answer all of your personal questions cause of course there's really personal things that come up during pregnancy where it's like, well what if this happens or if this happens and if you're still in the fertility phase you can definitely enroll in the the course and get a head start because a lot of the things that you actually have to do or that help support pregnancy also support fertility. So the nutrition principles are very similar and I would say there's only very slight nuances. I think like for fertility, like I would say like really leaning into more anti-inflammatory diet, really increasing your antioxidants for the men and the woman making sure you're taking your fish oils, your vitamin D, like all those good things. But yeah, it's a little bit nuanced but I would say learning those principles for pregnancy ahead of time can really help you just like transition into pregnancy really easily and already have a lot of those good habits in place.
Rena: So tell us, how can our listeners find you?
Katie: So I hang out on Instagram quite a bit. So I'm @hellobabynutrition on Instagram. If you are into pregnancy, infertility, that's definitely the place to find me and, like, find good free information. And then my course, you can find it at www.hellobalance.co in there you'll find my course, my cookbook and all my other free resources that I have.
Dara: I love your name, I love your company name. It's, it says it all, you know in the title. I think it's great.
Katie: Yeah, I came up with it I guess I started my company like seven years ago and I really felt like I was not a rigid diet person because I had done that and it never worked for me. It was never sustainable and I wanted to get me and my clients' results and I was like, it's really all about balance and welcoming that balance back into your life and creating a lifestyle out of being a healthy person but having room for the indulgences and like the good parts of life that you don't wanna miss out on. So that's kind of my nutrition approach is like how do we just balance it? And so I think it's not too daunting for people because I'm, I'm not too strict about stuff.
Dara: I think it's refreshing to find, you know, I'm happy to see the newer generation of people in the nutrition and health world veering away from restriction and the no’s and really going, you know, straight on into the yes’s and the balance, balance lifestyle and, and also not equating whole foods as boring and you know, eating for blood sugar as boring. So it's, it's really refreshing to hear that you are a part of this.
Katie: Yeah. And if you do feel like eating for blood sugar balance is boring, I would definitely urge you to check out my cookbook because I love making like blood sugar balancing recipes super yummy. So I have so many recipes in there like desserts, dinners, breakfast, everything. But it's all meant to help you balance your blood sugar. So I don't think it has to be boring. I think you can be really inclusive and I think for fertility and pregnancy it should never be a time of restriction, dieting, intermittent fasting, I don't think that that is supportive of fertility and pregnancy, especially pregnancy but, so I think pregnancy specifically like being very inclusive but how do we pack more nutrients into your diet and how do we balance your blood sugar? That's the goal.
Rena: This sounds great. And is your cookbook also, would that also be super helpful for anyone going through gestational diabetes in terms of, you know, balancing blood sugar?
Katie: Yeah. Anyone like PCOS, gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, diabetes, like all that like insulin resistance, this is gonna be a really good resource for you because you can use it for your whole family and it doesn't have to be super disruptive. It's just another cookbook but it helps you balance your blood sugar. So that's what's really nice about it is you can just kind of pull on those recipes and know that you're not spiking your blood sugar with them.
Rena: That sounds great. If only I had someone to make the recipes cause that is always my problem. Like oh this looks so good and then I am very lazy and don't cook and there's just not enough hours in the day. So in my next life or this life I'm gonna manifest it thatI am going to have my own personal chef.
Dara: Rena, I'll come over, I'll cook for you. Hello. It's the new year. Maybe that's, you know.
Rena: Oh perfect. Yeah we should have, we should have, we should have a, a blood sugar balanced dinner party.
Katie: That would be fun. I would be in. I think cooking also, like especially if you have a partner or kids or family like, or if it's just yourself like using that time and like changing that identity or perception to be more about like self-care and taking the time to like put on like a nice, like maybe it's a meditation in the background or some nice music or a podcast, but making that time really like sacred and about you and like a ritual versus a chore that can be really helpful to have that shift and then to look forward to it. Cause I feel like I've even had that with the gym like, oh I don't wanna go to the gym, but if it becomes about me and it's like my personal time to just like work on myself and like be the best version of me and take time to care for myself, it feels like, oh I don't wanna like skimp on that for myself.
Dara: I usually listen to like more upbeat music when I cook and so I love to dance and I, I guess you've killed two birds with maybe three birds, you know, listen to music, you, you move around, you're active and I mean you have to be careful chopping and dancing at the same time, but you know, it can bring out that joy with just some songs that you like and it doesn't necessarily seem like work anymore but it's, you made a great point. It's changing your perception. I think a lot of times we associate it if we don't like it, we associate it with not liking it as opposed to how can I find some joy in it and finding another piece to bring in that you already know brings joy.
Rena: I love that. I don't not like it. I actually do find it it quite meditative and I actually listen to podcasts or music too. It's just carving time for it for me. It doesn't, it doesn't get there. But that was actually one of my goals. My daughter and I, we made goals for 2023 and her goal for me was to find time to cook. So,
Dara: Aw it's coming from her. Maybe guys should do it together in the
Rena: I know that's what, yeah, that's what the goal was.
Katie: How old is your daughter?
Rena: She's six.
Katie: See I think that is also such a sweet time to like bring her into the kitchen and like get her excited about it too. And it could be like a family activity. I mean that's something I'm really excited about when I have kids is like teaching them to cook and getting them excited about nutrition and things like that.
Rena: Totally. Yeah, I think it's a great thing to do together. Like I love to be, you know, busy and and use my hands and yeah. And then you can see you know what you've created. Yeah. So I'll report back, get back to me in six months.
Dara: We’ll hold you to it, Rena.
Katie: I love it.
Dara: Well Katie, how we end our podcast are always with words of gratitude. So, Katie, we're putting you on the spot. What are you grateful for at this very moment?
Katie: You know what, I think I'm just so grateful for my husband right now. I have such a supportive partner and I feel like with the new news of being pregnant, I've just felt like he's been extra sweet in nurturing and it just makes me feel super lucky to have found like the right person for me that I just feel so blessed to have him.
Dara: So beautiful.
Rena: So beautiful. Dara, what about you?
Dara: I was reflecting just before we got on and I wanna say being with my family over the holidays, you know I live away from my entire family except for one cousin who lives in Brooklyn here. So I'm just really grateful to have that opportunity to be with my in-laws and to be with my parents, my brother, and all of the little cousins. It's really nice to, you know, I don't get to see them and I take them for granted. So it's so nice that I really had that opportunity in that moment to be with them. What about you Rena?
Rena: I think I'm grateful for my power. I went super outside my comfort zone over the break and took my daughter away by myself for the first time. We've traveled before but you know, I was with my parents to help and I was very nervous but I did it and it was great. She had a great time. It just gave me a lot of confidence, you know, as a mom and as a person that I can do that and it was a real challenge. So I'm really grateful for that and and finding my power.
Dara: How nice. And creating the goal with your daughter to cook.
Rena: To cook. And her other goal is that our next trip is to Paris, so wish me luck on that goal.
Dara: I love that. Well Katie, thank you so much for being on. You are a wealth of information and so lucky for our listeners in the new year to get a taste what you do and how you can help support them. Thank you so much.
Katie: Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Rena: Thank you so much for being on.
Dara: Thank you so much for listening today. And always remember: practice gratitude, give a little love to someone else and yourself, and remember - you are not alone. Find us on Instagram @fertility_forward and if you're looking for more support, visit us at www.rmany.com and tune in next week for more fertility.