Answers to Professional Women’s Most Asked Nutrition Questions

I was recently invited to speak on a panel of health professionals in Atlanta. The audience was a group of incredibly talented female boss babes. Think: working long hours, running from meeting to meeting, but committed to eating well and being healthy.

Here are the questions they had - covering everything from intermittent fasting to organic produce to my favorite on-the-go smoothie for fall. Enjoy!

 
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Do I need to stop eating at 7 PM to maintain a healthy diet?

Many health professionals recommend giving your body time to digest food at night while you sleep. When we sleep, our systems repair and metabolism slows down, so digesting food isn’t exactly on our body’s top priority list! Because of this, intermittent fasting (known as “IF”) has become trendy in the wellness scene.

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting, such as allowing the body to detoxify. However, fasting isn’t for everyone due to varying lifestyles and conditions. For younger women in their 20’s and 30’s, fasting for more than 12 hours isn’t recommended.

My recommendation is to give yourself 8 to 12 hours between your last meal and the next day’s breakfast. For example, if you usually work until 7:30 PM and can’t eat dinner until 8 PM, then you might consider waiting until 8 AM to have breakfast so that you can give your body some time to digest and repair.

I believe in the concept of bioindividuality (one person’s food is another person’s poison!) so remember: just because your best friend or coworker is doing intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you have to, too! This is why it’s important to listen to your body and get guidance from an expert.

Can you explain the distinctions between Fat Free, Reduced Fat, and Lite?

Fat free means the product has less than 0.5 grams of fat and no added oil or fat. Reduced fat means the product has less fat compared to its regular counterpart. “Lite” means half the fat of the regular counterpart.

One point of caution: If you’re purchasing a product that boasts being low in fat, Reduced Fat, or Lite, it’s likely that the product has added sugar or chemicals. Unless it’s a fruit or veggie, of course! :)

The biggest myth that I find my new clients believe is that they need to avoid eating fat so that they can lose fat or weight. Once we uncover what she’s eating, I usually find that she’s either not eating enough fat, or eating the wrong kinds of fat.

Women need fat for optimal hormone function, glowing skin, beating cravings and helping our body to burn fat.

Some healthy sources of fat include avocados, olives, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds. Try a tablespoon of chopped walnuts or slice a 1/4 of an avocado onto your usual lunch.

You’ll be amazed at how adding in just a little bit of healthy fat will drastically change your energy, curb cravings and keep you full until the next meal (no more snacking at your desk!).

What are easy go to smoothie recipes?

Smoothies are the ultimate working woman's way of getting nutrients for the body. Here’s my go-to formula for any smoothie recipe.

  • Protein: Try a plant-based protein powder, a nut butter, or a seed like pumpkin seeds.

  • Fat: A healthy source of fat will keep you satisfied until your next meal. Try half of an avocado or a tablespoon of coconut oil or MCT oil.

  • Fiber: Helps your body remove toxins and digest easily. Try a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia seeds.

  • Greens! The ultimate detoxifier and overall superfood for the body. Try spinach, kale, frozen cauliflower rice, or frozen broccoli rice for nutrients that don’t sacrifice taste. Leafy greens are especially great for women’s hormones.

  • Then I love adding a liquid such as coconut milk or almond milk.

Here is a recent smoothie recipe I shared with the subscribers to my newsletter! This smoothie is great for an AM breakfast on-the-go or for an afternoon snack before dinner. You can also enjoy this while you’re baking your Thanksgiving meal all day! The collagen peptides give you enough protein for blood sugar stability, the flax and cauliflower are good sources of fiber to help your digestion moving, and the coconut oil is a great source of healthy fat to keep you full until your next meal without snacking. Plus, what’s better than a smoothie that tastes like pumpkin pie filling? Well, real pumpkin pie - obviously! This one is a close second, though. :)

 

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  • 1 scoop collagen peptides

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

  • 1/4 cup frozen cauliflower rice

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice (or just use cinnamon and nutmeg)

  • Pinch of cayenne

  • 2 ice cubes

Add all ingredients together and blend in a blender. Enjoy!

 
 
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How do you make a green smoothie taste good without adding sugar? 

I like to add low glycemic fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Tropical fruits (banana, papaya, mango) are super high in sugar, so while they’re great in moderation, berries will keep your blood sugar from spiking then crashing!

You could also add a nut butter such as almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter which will be a good source of fat and balance the taste of greens.

Lastly, you could try a little bit of stevia which is a plant-based sweetener that doesn’t have a drastic effect on blood sugar!

Organic is expensive. If there were only a few items to buy organic, what do you recommend?

Completely agree. Despite popular opinions and the many benefits for going organic, it’s not realistic for clients who are on a budget.

The easiest rule of thumb is to look at the outside skin of the fruit or vegetable. Does it have a thick skin such as an avocado or a melon? If so, the skin protects the fruit from pesticides relatively well. Does it not have any skin or a very thin skin like spinach or strawberries? Definitely purchase these organic.

If you’d like an additional resource, I recommend that my reference the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) clean fifteen and dirty dozen to find out which produce items have the highest amounts of pesticides.

Share with me below - What questions do you have about eating healthy while balancing a professional career?