A Collaboration

 

This February we officially announced my collaboration with Princeton Nassau Pediatric Group here in Princeton, New Jersey. The venture is one that started to take shape this past October and I am beyond thrilled to have now been consistently seeing patients twice a week.

My desire to work in a pediatric setting has been long before this year. Ever since attending University of Michigan's School of Public Health I have believed in the power of collaboration between physicians and dietitians. And having the opportunity to do nutrition education with children at Michigan really opened my eyes to the importance of supporting and helping and educating our future generations.

The reality is, we are in the midst of a chronic disease epidemic with scary incidence rates. Diabetes has increased 40% in the last 5 decades and over 75% of our health care efforts and costs are linked to chronic disease. What scares me even more than those stats are that one third of today's children ages 10 - 17 are classified overweight / obese, over 50% of our food is processed, and chronic illness is starting to become a new normal for children. 

I  deeply believe in the power of food to both treat and/or reverse disease. And I don't believe that diet alone is always the answer. I feel so fortunate to live in a time where we can rely on good doctors and strong effective medicine. But I very much think that integration between physician care and integrative, functional nutritional therapy, can really shape our long term health and longevity. 

How powerful it is to be able to work with a young, impressionable group, educating them on how food functions in our bodies, helping them to overcome already developed food struggles and fears, and guiding them towards a relationship with food that will hopefully lead them to a long healthful live preventative of later onset disease, such as diabetes or heart disease.

The time is now to support on children on how to lead long, healthy lives and I am so honored  - so lucky - to be able to be part of this education initiative here in Princeton. 

[If you are looking for a consult or more information please contact me kim.d.mcdevitt@gmail.com or 443-310-4456]

"5 Dietitian - Approved Spring Detox Tips"

I often see an influx of consults as the seasons change - people are looking to shift their diets, make better choices, and feel better as they dive into changing weather and different clothes. Recently I wrote an article for US NEWS Eat + Run Blog giving my 5 go-to tips on how to usher in the warm weather feeling your very best. 

 

When the snow finally melts and the sun and air suddenly feel warm, you may get the urge to buy a juice cleanse or commit to an intense detox in order to get ready for bathing suit season. But resist: Spring is the perfect time to find seasonal and sweet produce, cook at home and prepare lighter and fresher dishes. In other words, it’s easier than ever to detox your diet the dietitian-approved way.

Read more of the article here

Why I Don't Count Calories

 

Calories in = calories out. It's simple math for weight loss and good health right? 

5 years ago I actually would have probably agreed with you. And today, while there's a place for calorie counting for specific medical nutrition therapy, on a whole I think it's an antiquated and unrealistic way to live a healthy life. 

In fact, i think counting calories and wellness are not synonymous at all.. and would argue to you that if you spend multiple minutes of multiple days spending time counting calories than you're pulling that energy from a place where it could be more positively spent. 

When we only look at calories, we overlook the fact that each macro and micronutrient is metabolized differently and used differently in our bodies. Hormonal response, or lack there of, depends on the type of food moreso then the energy amount. And the biggest worry, especially for women, is that calorie counters often shy away from high fat - healthy fat - foods because of their inherent nature of being higher calorie. And there's a lot of danger in that (We will save that for another post). 

You will not maintain wellness, you will not feel good inside and out, by eating low calorie packaged foods versus real, whole, high calorie foods / meals. You might be able to manage a diet like this for a short period of time but over time it will break you down and manifest itself in a myriad of health issues. 

So I encourage you to stop looking at the calories and start looking at the ingredients. Start omitting packaged foods from your diet and focusing on the real foods - the leafy greens, the whole grains, the healthy fats, the wild, pasture-raised and grass-fed proteins. In doing so i'm willing to bet you'll find peace with food, balance in life and a set happy, healthy weight. 

Kids With Food Allergies

If your child has recently been diagnosed with one (or multiple) food allergies or sensitivities, it can feel like a completely overwhelming and scary thing. How will you adapt to fit the needs of your child and feed the rest of your family? Will your kid feel deprived, left out, etc. from not being involved in eating foods we may have grown up with and have deep emotional and social ties to? 

The good news is that today more and more food-allergy-friendly -- i like to call them "free from" companies -- are coming to market and offering foods that look and pretty much taste identical to the brands you might commonly be purchasing. A few I like are: 

  • Simple Mills
  • Enjoy Life Foods
  • Freedom Foods

There are also LOADS of resources out there, and you can pretty seamlessly swap out a common ingredient, like milk, for a non-dairy option. Here's a complete list of cooking and baking food swaps for the most common allergies, including peanut, dairy, soy and gluten. 

If your child does have an allergy, and you're feeling overwhelmed or just don't know where to start, reach out! A quick 30minute consultation might be all you need to feeling more confident in feeding your littles. 

If you're on Instagram visit @betterbitesforbabe for more food and nutrition tips

15mo. Postpartum Check In

Nora w her cousin Thomas (1yr)

Nora w her cousin Thomas (1yr)

My baby (note, now a full blow toddler) turns 15 mo. on Friday. HOW? I can't tell if it's been the longest year + 3 mo. of my life or the shortest. Regardless, it has been both the hardest and the most rewarding. 

For the most part I feel like my "old self" again. We're even sleeping through *most* nights. But every now and again I get a good ole twinge deep in that pelvic floor when working out. Or, I notice the lingering pregnancy-acne redness that is still deep beneath the surface of my face. 

I wouldn't trade these battle wounds for anything. Actually, I think i'm about ready to start thinking about doing it all over again. But I will say I've worked super hard in the last 6-9 mo. focusing on how to live a cleaner, more holistic life that nourishes  my body from both food and beyond. And it has made a huge difference for me. 

Read more with my friends at WithinUs, where i've shared what i'm doing these days. Maybe some of my tips will resonate with you

 

Traveling this Holiday Season? Healthy Tips on Huff Po CA

If you're like my family you are on a traveling frenzy through the holiday season. It's a time for celebrating and loving with friends and family, typically around festive food and drink.

It can be both easy to indulge as well as easy to obsess over overindulging.

There are ways to celebrate the season both feeling good physically and enjoying yourself. 

Read my interview with the Huffington Post for ways to travel this season and not get bogged down by bad nutrition decisions.

Cheers to you and yours

Kim

 

 

 

Low Sugar Lactation Cookies

There are 3 key ingredients that make these lactation- friendly: ground flax, brewers yeast & oats. 

While these 3 ingredients have been shown to increase supply, what really ensures your milk continues to flow are calories and FAT! Lots of healthy fats from nuts and seeds, coconut and avocado should be incorporated into all of your meals. 

Lactation cookies were a real life-savor during my first year with my babe. I kept a stash in the freezer because all current mama's know when you need food you need it fast, and these tasted amazing frozen or thawed. I also knew they were filling me with healthy fats and whole grains and satisfied my raging hunger / sweet tooth.

A note on that raging sweet tooth... I'm confident we crave all-the-sugar and all-the-bad-things when nursing because our body is screaming for calories and we're exhausted - a perfect storm for making bad eating choices. I purposely focused on sugar type and amount in these because I wanted something that did satisfy that sweet craving but also made me feel good about what I was putting in my (and inevitably my babes) body.  

 

Low Sugar Lactation Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 c oat flour, spelt flour or whole wheat flour
  • 4 Tbs ground flax combined w 1/4 c water
  • 1/3 c coconut oil, liquid & room temperature
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar* (or sugar of your choice)
  • 3 Tbs Brewers Yeast 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 c rolled oats
  • optional stir-ins equaling 1 1/2 cups: semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins or chopped dates, unsweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl combine flax & water mixture, coconut oil, sugar,  brewer's yeast, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and stir again until well combined.
  3. Gradually stir in the oat flour until a dough is formed, then fold in the rolled oats and other optional add-ins
  4. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet. You can leave them like this or flatten them (they will not flatten when baked)
  5. Bake for ~10 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges.
  6. Allow  to cool on the baking sheet initially and then transfer to a wire rack 

These will stay very soft at room temperature (may crumble) or store in refrigerator or freezer for a firmer cookie.

*i like coconut sugar because it is unrefined and low glycemic.