3 Essentials For Successful Nutritional Entrepreneurship

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Whether you're just starting your health coaching business or have been in it for years, learning from fellow practitioners can offer valuable insight. 

Here are a few tips that Meal Garden Professional Kim from NutritionPro Consulting cares to enlighten us with...

Kim has been in the health and wellness business for several years and she has a true passion for what she does. 

"I love helping people improve their lives and health by coaching clients on how to make wise choices with food.  From cooking at home to smart shopping at the grocery store, these are a couple of areas we work on." 

There a few things that I have learned by being a nutrition entrepreneur:

Visit NutritionPro Consulting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Visit NutritionPro Consulting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Give clients the very best and go over and above what they ask for. 

This is important.  I want them to know their health is important to me and is something that deserves time and attention.  Each person is an individual with unique needs. 

Never stop learning. 

Research in the nutrition field is always changing and improving. I make it a point to educate myself so I can deliver the most scientifically sound advice to my clients and in my writing.

Incorporate good products and services into your business. 

I use Meal Garden because I love the recipes  and the ease of use of the program.  It also helps clients to cook more at home without having to search for healthy recipes.  Making simple, healthy meals  is something we work on when people want to start eating a more high quality diet. 

How to Build a Successful Nutrition Practice - Tips & Tricks from an [Entrepreneurial] Nutritional Practitioner

Recently graduated from Nutritional studies and feel excited about your new career ahead - but still a little lost as to how to really "start"?

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You're not alone. Here at Meal Garden, I work with a wide array of nutritional practitioners at various stages in their wellness business.

I've noticed an interesting commonality among all of them - from holistic nutritionists to registered dieticians to health coaches to naturopathic doctors and everything in-between: they all think they lack an element of "business-savviness"

"I'm good at 'X', but I need help with all the 'marketing', 'social media', 'financial', and/or 'tech' stuff."

Often times, they give themselves less credit then they deserve, and dare I say: their fear or insecurity about not being "savvy-enough" actually prevents them really garnering up the confidence to just going for it - what it takes to really build a business and a brand for yourself from the ground up.

In a few special cases, though, I'm delightfully taken-aback by how quickly and effortlessly some recent nutrition grads seem to do it. While I've picked up on a thing or two watching fellow wellness influencers market and create a successful name for themselves - I think it's best if I let them explain in their own words...

That's why I'm excited to have Ivana Locke, from her name branded Nutrition + Wellness business, share her insights...

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"When starting out owning your own practice as a nutritional practitioner, there are a lot of things that can distract you as you are trying different ways to get clients.  But the desire to help people and wanting to see them succeed is the key ingredient of a great practitioner and a solid foundation for your new business. This will help to build a successful referral-based business.

From Day 1 of starting my business, I came in with the mentality and mindset of:

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  • How can I help my clients to the best of my ability.
  • How can I help them achieve their goals and make them successful.

By continuing to focus on one client at a time and helping them get results and guide them through to their success, I was able to work with more clients and build my business through word of mouth and referrals.  It just takes a little patience and time. 

When your clients know, like and trust you, the rapport and referral base is easy to build. A good marker for me to know how well I am doing is if I am continually getting referrals.

Having a large online presence is not something that I really focus on. 

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I basically use the online social media platform to build an audience to try to show potential clients what I am about and what kind of knowledge I have to offer.  If it resonates with them, then I am just pre-educating them and already building that rapport for when we work together."


I had the pleasure of connecting with Ivana as she was one of our first Meal Garden Professionals, and she quickly navigated the tool to suit her coaching needs with clients (both in-person and one-on-one as well as through online group programs). 


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"Meal Garden acts as a host where I can house recipes and meal plans to assist my clients in my nutrition business. I like to share a lot of the fantastic recipes that already exist on there and I also like to add/modify a few of my own. Therefore, its a great platform for organizing my recipe collections that I like to share with my clients.

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My clients can easily utilize Meal Garden to help them organize their meals for the week and even generates a grocery shopping list with the nutritional analysis of the recipes. It’s a real time-saver for them."


It's rewarding to see successful and entrepreneurial nutrition practitioners take advantage of the resources out there to advance and optimize what they already do so well - help people eat and live better! 

I look forward to watching Ivana's business continue to thrive and will stay tuned for many more positive testimonials and referrals in her future...

From Blogger to Holistic Food Entrepreneur...

Are you a foodie blogger looking to expand your horizons, but your path to fame and success unclear?

You may very likely be inspired by one of our fellow Meal Garden users - turned Professional...in both Meal Garden, as well as with her very own business. Angela Argentina is a talented entrepreneur, and wears many different hats, from graphic designer, to yoga teacher, to Reiki Master, to retreat host, to meditation teacher - any many more!

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With that said, her passion for healthy recipes and inspiring others to join her adventures in food forever fuelled her personal mandate. While the path to Kindred Kitchens - Angela's self-run community dedicated to helping others create a holistic, happy and healthy lifestyle - was not always clear or easy, she has never lost sight of her end goal of sharing her love of a "holistic foodie" lifestyle.

We're excited to have Angela as one of our very first Meal Garden Professional users, after over a year of using the tool as a regular user herself.  

It will be interesting to see where her entrepreneurial and enthusiastic mindset takes advantage of it...

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"I have been using Meal Garden for over a year now and it's great for meeting particular dietary requests of my clients.

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I also find it a great platform to store and record my recipes, and it's also wonderful for inspiration.

The Holistic Hub, curated by Kiki, offers a variety of meal plans and information showcasing different themes and food trends; meal garden really makes the whole 'meal planning' process look quite easy.

As I'm producing more recipes and growing my food business, Kindred Kitchens, I am particularly interested in using the meal planning feature as many people ask me for ready-made templates and plans.

There is a library of tutorials and a live chat option, so when I get to planning meals for clients in the new year, I'm confident it will be a breeze."


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"I recommend Meal Garden for any food blogger or foodie interested in making healthier choices easy, and who want some creative inspiration to feed their needs."

- Angela Argentina of Kindred Kitchens


Thanks Angela for your continued involvement in our growing community!

What's a "Wellness Influencer" and How to Become One...

In my past 2 years in a Marketing, turned Customer Success, turned "Growth-Hacker" position here at Meal Garden, I've learned a thing or two about what it takes to become truly "influential" in this crowded - yet growing - health & wellness industry.

My journey started with a desperate desire to "get people talking" about Meal Garden...

We're a health-tech company helping people eat better, with a fully developed and incredibly advanced tool - hype should be easy. Or so I thought.

Getting the word out requires strategy.

So I turned to "influencers" - health & wellness thought-leaders with a following. That would surely be the way. Or so I thought.

Turns out asking people to take a spin at your super cool new app isn't a super cool new ask - they're used to it, and folks that are "big enough" to matter, send you a "big enough" press kit.

Unfortunately, as a bootstrapped startup, forking out thousands on a "feature blog post" or "social media mention" just didn't seem worthwhile...nor financially feasible.

Moreover, I wanted these Media Nutritionists and RDs to genuinely use and love our tool. I wasn't looking for a one-hit mention.

So instead, I turned to up-and-comers, while building my own brand, Mindfully Edible, on the side.

Taking inspiration from Toronto's big names in nutrition, like Joyous Health, Abbey's Kitchen, and Julie Daniluk, while working closely with recent grads from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) and the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN), I began to piece together what it takes to be truly "influential" in this space.

I've come to realize that an "influencer", especially in this space, is someone that people not only look up to, but wholeheartedly trust and resonate with.

What do all of these "nutrition stars" have in common? They are inspirational, informative, and have impeccable brands (in other words - beautiful aesthetics is vital).

Working with a select group of entrepreneurial nutritionists, dieticians, and health coaches, I can immediately pick out those that "get it" and are going places, and those that still need to find their footing in the space. Some of the nutritional influencers and advocates I'm most excited about who have already begun to shape our Meal Garden Professional community include Ivana Locke, Kristine Peacock, Paula Yolles, Ana-Maria Janes, and many more.

They have each and collectively taught me the importance of becoming an expert in serving your particular niche - whether it's busy new moms, women with digestive issues, or parents struggling with picky-eaters - and furthermore, becoming a relatable "friend" to your followers.

While my passion for food and nutrition grew as I learned and developed at Meal Garden, meanwhile pursuing continued studies in holistic and alternative medicine, I was inspired to create my very own health & wellness community, Mindfully Edible.

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The tool has provided me with the resources, support, and confidence I needed to become a "wellness expert" myself, and continues to opens up new and exciting doors for me today.

Here are a few examples of what I mean…

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  • It's been the platform in which I host my own online channel, The Holistic Health Hub, where I connect with people all across the world looking to improve their eating habits.

  • I use my Recipe Collections + Meal Plans as a value-add on my personal blog. This is the page that consistently gets the most traffic on a monthly basis and helps to boost my website SEO.

  • I can quickly and easily find and dissect any recipe to assess it's nutritional composition, offer scientific dietary analysis on menu plans, and quickly and easily create custom meal plans to suit the individual dietary needs of a wide variety of my followers.

All of this, and I'm not even a "Nutritionist". Yup, I said it. Just a Rotman Commerce grad with a passion in food & nutrition, a desire to help people eat and feel better, and a continuous thirst for progressive information in the ever-advancing wellness world.

While I've struggled with my own insecurities of not going to "nutrition school" or being a certified "Dietician", I've realized that's not a barrier to my success as a Wellness Influencer in the slightest. Without sounding TOO conceited, I can confidently state that I am one of the most informed people I know on almost any dietary-related topic, and that's all thanks to literally living and breathing in this space. Everyday, all day.

Naveen Jain, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Viome, explained on a recent podcast on Bulletproof radio that his advice for becoming a successful entrepreneur is as follows:

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"First of all, start dreaming big. Really start to think about what are the biggest problems. Don’t be afraid that you know nothing about it. If you look at the most successful entrepreneurs, they are not the experts in their field. They all started because they saw a big problem. When you see a big problem, you essentially start to take a small, small slice, and then start executing."

Thank you Meal Garden for fuelling and supporting my journey becoming a "Wellness Influencer" in this crazy yet exciting "wellness world".  

New To The Wellness Business World? Get the Help To Support Your Health as a Health Coach

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I still remember the day Paula Yolles, Digestive Wellness Expert at FoodTastic Health joined us here at Meal Garden

She took a leap of faith any reached out via email: "I coach women with digestive health challenges & I'm looking for a way to share with ease recipes & meal plans to my clients."

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Paula was only just starting her business at the time, and it was about getting comfortable with the basics of getting the word out about her services and finding clients - but first, she needed a way to reach people and also garner their trust. "I already have a lot of personal recipes written up on my computer and I need to get them accessible to people.". 

While she was a "newbie" to the health coaching world, she wasn't afraid to network and put herself out there in order to explore available opportunities and resources within her reach. 

"I've know of Meal Garden from Kristine Peacock as we were in Megan Telpner's Biz Rockin' course together." 

*Note: she's referring to The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, which many of our current Meal Garden Professionals have graduated from and speak very highly of!

 

Today, just a few short months after her initial cold reach-out email - Paula's clients' aren't the only ones thriving, so is her FoodTastic Health business!

Thus, I thought it would be worthwhile for her to share her insights and experiences with the aim of inspiring others just starting their journey as "wellpreneurs"...

"Get support to help you through the ups & downs (oh & there will be downs!). Support will keep you moving & thriving forward.  
The wisest advice I’ve received as a business entrepreneur is... “Celebrate all the success from the big ones to the little ones.”  I say, “Stand up and do a happy dance!”
When I first started my FoodTastic Health Digestive Wellness business, on many occasions I’d be working away and then all of the sudden I realized dinner time was upon us and I forgot to cook us dinner.  This is part that makes me laugh at myself, as a Digestive Wellness Expert I know the importance of eating high quality home cooked meals.  I’ve learned quickly one must take care of herself in order to best serve her clients.
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Action with ease & joy is the key to success and the foundation of my business both personally & with my clients.  
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As health practitioners the place we shine as bright as the sun is, well, health.  I knew from the start that when it came to the business end of running a health practice the clouds quickly rolled in and blocked my shining sun. So I found myself a business coach, who I deeply adore and trust, & enrolled in her year long business program for holistic practitioners. This was the a wise investment I made in my business as it provided me with the emotional support, plus the practical foundation with a clear path of actions I used to build my FoodTastic Health Digestive Wellness practice.  
What comes easy and natural to you?  Use these areas to build your business upon and things will flow easier.  Ask for help or hire help for the areas that feel like a struggle so you can stay focused on supporting your clients and enrolling new clients."
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While our Meal Garden Professional software has come a LONG way since Paula first joined us, Paula navigated the tool like a pro from day 1, and took advantage of many of the different capabilities it has to offer.

I never tire of seeing Paula share some of her wonderfully curated recipe collections and specially designed meal plans on Facebook. Without fail, we always get an influx of new users signing up, on the hunt for some more of the content she's sharing within a few hours of her posting. [Thank you Paula!]

"Meal Garden has saved me hours & hours of time and it will for you too.  Trust me, I know since I started out creating meal plans by myself and that literally took me days & days.  Now I hop on Meal Garden and can efficiently create a meal plan.
Meal Garden is the place where I store recipes I personally created and have access to hundreds of other recipes so I can easily design a recipe collection or meal plan to best serve each clients personal digestive health needs.
Meal Garden has a ton of healthy & tasty recipes, including my personal FoodTastic Health recipes which I can add at any moment.
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Meal Garden is designed so a health practitioner or coach can share meaningful content like articles or dietary guidelines for individual clients (of course) and even share them without a glitch onto social media like Facebook."

So what's the major take-away here? Hopefully you'll walk away with a few valuable and actionable tips, alongside some healthy inspiration. Mostly, I want to drive home how very capable you are of starting a nutritional coaching business - as long as that's where your heart lies. While it can be daunting, and needless to say it can feel risky and lonesome at times - it's important to remember you are NOT alone. There is help and support out there - you just have to reach out and ask for it!


Paula Yolles

FoodTastic Health© Digestive Wellness Expert

 

 

 


Women hire Paula to help them overcome digestive issues, bathroom struggles & weight gain.

She’s really passionate about helping women feel Vibrantly Healthy and Pain Free.  

She rejoices when her clients gain crystal clarity on knowing how to Eat Just Right for Her Body™.

Paula’s nutrition philosophy for her clients & herself, is eat whole, organic, unprocessed foods (without counting calories) that are Just Right for Her Body™ to create Optimal Digestive Health, Increased Energy, Weight Loss (if desired) & To Be Pain Free.

For 20+ years (& still going) Paula personally lives and breathes holistic health & digestive wellness.

She wholeheartedly invests her time in learning about digestion & nutrition from a wide variety of courses.  Plus, Paula is a bookworm of holistic health research.  

Paula is trained in EFT Tapping, Macrobiotics, the Tom Monte's Healer's Program, the Goldthread Apothecary Community Herbalist Program,  & is a Meal Garden Recipe & Meal Planning Professional.

Just starting your nutritional practice? 3 life lessons you can learn now or later.

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It's hard to believe Ana-Maria, RHN from Nourished Little Munchkins reached out only a few months back - sharing that she was just starting her nutritional practice but was looking for ways to scale her efforts and in particular a way to quickly curate client meal plans. 

Today, Ana-Maria's business of helping moms nourish their babies and kids - from teaching how to introduce solids, helping with picky eating, addressing mealtime challenges, teaching mom’s how to navigate their kid’s allergies, or how to deal with frequent cold and flus - her passion has now become a financially successful venture. 

As one of our first Meal Garden Professional users, it's my pleasure to have Ana-Maria share the life-lessons she's gained through the ups and downs of building her wellness business. I hope they'll guide you to make smart decisions fast - and perhaps save you from making some (understandable) "mistakes". Eagerness is valuable and important. Efficiency and marketing intelligence is absolutely necessary to stand out in this saturated market and truly help the people you know you can - at large!

Here are 3 essential learnings to grow a healthy practice from Ana-Maria herself...

#1: FIND YOUR TRIBE.

I remember after graduating, I was so excited and I knew I can help anyone that came my way.  And while it is true that we can help individuals from all walks of life, the first lesson I learned is that when it comes to your marketing communication:  If you try to talk to everyone, you talk to no one.  The most important thing you can do is choose a niche to specialize in. It took me a good year to figure out what I love talking about.  What could I talk about all day everyday.  Or better put, what I could talk about for free and still be very happy.  But I needed that year to venture out and try different things.  The big take away, is to not be afraid to start somewhere and give yourself time to explore. Make a natural pivot into a niche when it feels right. 

#2: FIND YOUR STORY.

My second take away is to embrace your own story. The backstory you share in your business is an important element which can serve to further connect with your audience.  The second tip I can share revolves around taking the time to craft that story. 

  • Why did you choose this career path? 
  • Why do you like to help others with their nutrition needs? 
  • What discomforts did nutrition help you overcome? 

Once I got the courage to be comfortable enough to put my story out there, I literally felt like there was this huge burden lifted from my shoulders. Everyone struggles with one aspect or another when it comes to their health, and connecting with this truth will help you attract an audience who resonates with you and your message. 

#3: FIND THE PROBLEM FIRST (THEN SOLVE IT).

The third lesson I learned is also one that was a huge game-changer for me.  Always think in terms of "problem --> solution".  When you start talking about and advertising your programs, focus on the emotional struggle that comes with having problem xyz.  Regardless if a client is struggling with weight loss, cancer, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, endometriosis, or how to feed their family allergy-friendly foods - each of those problems come with an emotional burden your client has to work through.  Make sure you tap into how it's like to live day-in and day-out with the problem your program solves.  The more emotional you can get, the more you will show your audience that you get them.  That you understand what's it's like to walk in their shoes and you know how to pull them out of that pain and into a solution.

How Ana-Maria Uses Meal Garden...

Besides the fact that I can create customized meal plans, entire programs, home pages for each of my clients, the main reason I love it is because it's a tool that actually adds value to my Clients. I was never able to use any other meal planner tool because most stop at adding recipes in designated meal slots during the week.  Meal Garden knocks it out of the park with the flexibility yet simplicity of their design.  

Let me give you an example of a typical wild week in a family's household...

If mom is on a "balance-your-hormones-after-baby" diet, she can import her weekly menu and assign it to herself.  If baby needs pureed foods, Meal Garden lets you add (essentially overlapping) this meal plan and assign it to your baby while still giving you the option make extra portions to freeze. If dad only needs a few modifications to the elimination diet mom is on, for dinners only, we can easily double the dinner portions of the elimination diet and add a few extra foods for him. Wait! Triple those dinners because their toddler also needs to eat!  If Saturday is little Jimmy's 4th birthday, either individual foods or entire dishes for the event can be quickly added in the weekly plan.  And of course, while mom is at home with the baby, her lunches might look different than the lunchbox lunches little Jimmy gets.  And yes you can totally add lunches specific for Jimmy to the weekly menu plan. 

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See the best part?  If mom is following the homorne balancing diet, all she has to do is import it into her weekly schedule and plan her family's meal around it.  Visually, it's incredibly easy to see everyone's meals at a glance, and takes the burden off of your clients trying to piece together the rest of the family's meals (which are otherwise scattered in baby food recipe books or in Pinterest Pins).

Let's face it: We are asking our clients to make changes to their diets and lifestyles and that's not easy.  I love how Meal Garden is the closest tool I've ever come across that actually mimics how real-life really happens. For our clients this is golden!  I can't recommend Meal Garden enough. 

Self-Care and the Prevention of PPD


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The following is a guest post by Isabel F. William, Body&Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, runner, and Tai Chi master. She believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.


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Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common mood disorder among women after giving birth. Although many women experience sadness and moodiness after childbirth, this period of “baby blues” passes after several days. PPD, on the other hand, is characterized by feelings of anxiety, despair, sadness and exhaustion that interfere with a woman’s ability to perform everyday tasks and take care of her baby and herself. In order for a woman to be diagnosed with PPD, the symptoms need to last at least for two consecutive weeks. Since this is a serious disorder that can result even in suicide, it’s of the utmost importance that mothers educate themselves about PPD and its prevention. It’s important to stress that some women are at greater risk of developing PPD, especially if they’ve already experienced it during their first pregnancy or had a traumatic experience during pregnancy. In such cases, it’s essential that these women take all the necessary measures to ensure their well-being.

Nurture your relationship with your partner

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Staying connected with your partner is crucial for your mental, physical and emotional health. A strong, affectionate and open relationship with your partner will give you a sense of security and support that will help both of you enter parenthood prepared and emotionally stable. It has been shown that a poor relationship with a partner is a major factor in antenatal anxiety which is connected to postnatal mood disorders. Thus, it’s essential that you nurture and strengthen your relationship, talk openly or even try couple’s counselling if you’re experiencing serious relationships issues. Remember – you’re stronger as a couple.

Try to get more sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the factors that can cause PPD, so it’s essential that you get enough quality sleep, especially after giving birth. Being sleep-deprived and exhausted will only intensify your negative feelings. You should take naps throughout the day and try to go to bed early. Don’t hesitate to ask your family and friends to look after your baby while you get some rest. You need to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of your baby.

Do some light exercises

Exercise is proven to relieve stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins and putting you in a more positive mood, which is why you should try to be as active as possible. You can start by taking walks with your baby and soaking in the fresh air. Later on, you can gradually start jogging, cycling or doing yoga. Not only will this help you relieve stress, but it will also help you get in shape, which will boost your self-confidence. Studies have found that exercising regularly for 16 weeks is as effective as antidepressant treatment in inactive adults who suffer from mild to moderate depression.

Have a healthy diet

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A healthy diet is crucial for your well-being, especially after giving birth when you can barely find time to eat. However, this is the time when you need to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients in order to eliminate the risk of depression or anxiety. In addition, unhealthy diet can weaken your immune system and, consequently, make you more susceptible to diseases. You should stay hydrated throughout the day and eat healthy and balanced meals. There are super foods for moms that are easy to make yet rich in nutrients. You should always have a healthy recipe within your reach and make time to prepare healthy meals.

Consult professionals

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If you feel more depressed and negative than usual, or you believe that you have certain risk factors for developing PPD, you should consider consulting a professional counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist. They can suggest different books you can read to learn more about PPD, its symptoms and treatment. A mental health professional may even suggest a specific type of therapy depending on the general practice in a particular country, such as psychodynamic therapy in Sydney or supportive psychotherapy in Spain.

Another possible method of depression treatment is the application of antidepressants. While studies have been researching the effectiveness of antidepressants in the prevention of postpartum depression, the results are still inconclusive. Antidepressants might be effective in preventing PPD if the same type of medication has previously proven to be successful in treating depression episodes, but there’s no firm evidence. In addition, there are certain concerns regarding the effects of antidepressants on a new-born baby, which is why many mothers refuse to take them while breastfeeding.

Educating yourself about PPD and taking these preventive measures can help you ensure your and your baby’s well-being.  

 

Nutrient Rich Vegan Foods for Physical Health

The following is a guest post by life coach Jane Sandwood.


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According to statistics, veganism has seen a surge in popularity over the last two years and, as of 2016, 25 percent of Canadians were trying to reduce the amount of red meat they eat. In fact, the rise in veganism is thought to be behind the overall decline in the consumption of milk in Canada. Why has veganism risen in popularity? It may be due to the scrumptious recipes and cleaner lifestyle that it provides. So which foods or recipes should you include to reap the full benefits of a vegan diet?

Cardiovascular Foods

According to studies, vegan diets tend to be richer in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folic acid and fiber but lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. A leading cause of cardiovascular disease is obesity, therefore a vegan diet could help combat this. Research shows that vegans had 44 percent lower levels of cholesterol than their meat-eating counterparts as well as a lower Body Mass Index. Adding grains, soy, nuts and lots of fruit and vegetables to your diet can provide protection against heart problems in later life.

Blood Sugar

Research shows that veganism could have potential benefits for those with Type 2 diabetes. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine showed that half of patients with diabetes no longer required insulin after changing to a full vegan diet. Some did not need insulin at all and most did not experience the sharp, painful symptoms of the condition. The patients were also required to participate in frequent exercise. Regular activity will help combat obesity, a leading cause of diabetes. Stock up on foods rich in magnesium, a blood sugar reducing agent to help prevent diabetes. Lots of leafy vegetables, avocados, nuts and seeds will provide this nutrient.

Bone Health

A 2015 study published in Arthritis showed that the bone health of several patients with osteoarthritis significantly improved with a change to a plant-based diet. The energy levels and physical abilities were greatly improved after weekly self-assessments. Traditional omnivores commonly obtain their source of calcium from dairy products but vegans are able to obtain calcium via kale, okra, spring greens,chia seeds and almonds. Alternatively, a calcium fortified plant milk can provide calcium for healthier bones.

It appears that veganism is the way to go for those who are considering changing to a healthier, cleaner lifestyle. Although the diet provides lots of nutritional benefits, remember to supplement your diet with sources which normally come from meat such as iron and Vitamin B12 for blood health.   

How to Build a Meal Plan That "Goes Both Ways"

The following post was originally published on Mindfully Edible.


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Eating a plant-based diet while living with omnivores can be...challenging.

Putting the politics aside, one of the obvious difficulties is the need to make completely separate meals - often that means double prep and cook time, more time stressing in the grocery store, and way too many dishes to clean afterwards.

BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

Actually, veggie-friendly folks can happily live amongst omnivores - if you know how to build the right kind of meal plan. I'm about to show you how, and then give you a recipe collection + dinner meal plan to get you off to a successful start living with that disgusting meat-hungry murderer of a partner of yours! (Ha...sorry - couldn't resist, and I'm just kidding!) #EatWhatMakesYouThrive

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF "DIY" MEALS

I'm taking about tacos, collard wraps, cabbage leaf bowls, and other delicious creations you make on the spot at the table - immediately before indulgence. It's easy to separate the "protein" (meat vs. not) filling in this sort of set-up. For instance, I love these vegan eggplant tacos which make use of a deliciously unique walnut taco meat (but of course you can use "regular" ground beef as the taco meat instead).

'SALADS IN A JAR' ARE AN EASY BASE MEAL FOR ALL

I loveeee the convenience of having a few mason jar salads prepped in the fridge for a quick and easy 'just shake and go' meal - to take to the office or if you're in a hurry and on the go after work. Simply top with a protein of choice the morning of - this can be a boiled egg, some pulled chicken, marinated tofu cubes, or anything else your head and heart fancies!

SNEAKY SOUP STIR-IN'S...

Have you ever considered stirring a scoop of protein powder into a savoury soup to take it to the next "main course" level? Now you will. I like mixing in fermented vegan proteins+ (unflavoured) from Genuine Health - making sure the soup is only just slightly warm and not hot, as too much heat will kill all the probiotic benefits that this rad protein powder offers! 

Of course, boring-poring meat-eaters could just top with like...chicken or something. 

STIR-FRY'S ARE CUSTOMIZABLE (AT THE LAST SECOND)

This is an easy one. Make the full veggie-packed vegan recipe and then feel free to throw in some additional protein - vegetarian or not, in the final moments of cooking. This cabbage fried quinoa is a complete meal on it's own, or you can top it with bacon or some baked edamame for a bit of crunch.

 

WHO DOESN'T LOVE SOME GOOD OLD ZA?!

Pizza. No matter how you top it (literally) - it's the best ever, and makes everyone happy. #Truth

How about you encourage your meat-eating partner-in-crime to dabble in the art of going dairy-free by trying the following vegan pizza? If pepperoni is their vice, then it can quickly & easily be added on top of this already delicious creation. 

STUFF IT

Similar to the DIY taco idea, stuffing things like sweet peppers or potatoes are a great way to create a delicious meal (or two) that SEEMS that same for both eaters alike - all you have to mix twice are the fillings. Beans or TVP can be swapped out for pulled or minced meats, keeping the rest of the seasonings and ingredients identical. Of course, whatever you "stuff" remains the same as well (so you can feel like total #twinsies).

TRICK THOSE BUGGERS WITH A GOOD-DAMN PLANT BASED BURGER

Tasteless bean burgers need to step aside and not insult our meat-loving friends...but rather we need to welcome them into our heavenly plant based world with juicy tasty patties that don't suck. Here are my top 3 recommendations that won't induce a lecture on why "there's a reason we've eaten meat for 'X' number of years"...bla bla bla #shutup.

Zucchini Powerhouse Burger

Zucchini Powerhouse Burger

Umami Chickpea Burger

Umami Chickpea Burger

World's Best Veggie Burger

World's Best Veggie Burger

And with that, I invite you to leave your differences at the doorstep. While it was hard for me to suggest "top with bacon" (I LOVE PIGS!) on some of the meals I suggest in the following meal plan, let's face it: you can't change the world overnight. Sometimes circumstances call for eating with folks that are simply stuck-in-their-ways. My first choice and recommendation is to offer and encourage them to join you in a delicious plant powered dish, but if they are absolutely NOT having it, then let's still be friends and eat together!

I hope the following resources I share from Meal Garden help to make that your reality :)

And here's the recipe collection to go alongside it...

And here's the recipe collection to go alongside it...

Meal Garden Celebrates Going Channel-Forward

Digital health & meal management app moves from static to constantly updating content inspired by users.

Release date: Sept 13th, 2017

Toronto, ON:  Charging forward towards its goal of simplifying the complex world of healthy eating, this month marks the launch of ‘Channels’ - a new and refined way to access healthy eating information through the Meal Garden platform.

After spending years working directly with thousands of customers and health experts to optimize the way users interact with Meal Garden core capabilities: automatic health analysis, recipe management, meal planning, automated grocery lists and customized notifications, they have launched the most ambitious components of the system yet: full practitioner support and ‘Channels’ - a new way to simply healthy eating for the busy world.

The drivers behind these components were simple, says Kiki Athanassoulias, Vice President, Customer Success at Meal Garden: "What I’ve realized through my conversations with people is they really want coaching and direction in addition to choice and flexibility, so we set to work on making that a reality in Meal Garden."

Coincidentally, years of partnering with Dieticians, Naturopathic Doctors, Nutritionists, and other Health Coaching Experts made fulfilling such requests the next logical step in Meal Garden’s development path. In order to match the needs of a diverse user base (from new moms to people living with Diabetes, to fitness-focused millennials), specially curated 'Channels' were launched. Each of these separately managed hubs include daily content updates like new recipes, videos, articles, and of course, nutritionally-optimized meal plans.

With less than five thousand users, the Meal Garden community has a ways to go to fulfill its goal as the ‘go-to’ marketplace for healthy eating, but consistent growth and the fact that no real efforts to market the tool have been executed yet, give the team confidence that they are on the right track.

"I’m very happy with the success stories being shared by our users," said Vlad Chernenko, Co-Founder of Meal Garden. "Some have saved hundreds a month on groceries, others have lost weight in a healthy way, many are able to easily feed children with dietary restrictions - certainly better than having to resort to buying pizza on the way home from work!"

Using September (the new “start of the year”) as the perfect month to introduce capabilities to the platform that connects those who want to eat better with those that are qualified to help, Meal Garden continues to be the digital marketplace for all things diet and nutrition.

About Meal Garden: Meal Garden is a mobile-optimized web-based tool that empowers users to easily find and create recipes and meal plans. All of this comes with full nutritional analysis thanks to its comprehensive health algorithm.  Meal Garden looks forward to participating on the ALPHA startup track at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal this November, 2017