Holly is a registered nutritionist that believes gut health is everything. Gut health plays a role in everything from IBS, hormone imbalances, pregnancy, chronic pain, and mental health issues.
With degrees in Applied Human Nutrition and Psychology, Holly creates customized, science-based healing protocols to get to the root of your health issues. She also uses accountability and health behavior change to motivate her clients to reach their health goals.
Holly is passionate about women’s health, which is why she works to educate and empower women to optimize their health in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy and postpartum experience.
Here are Holly’s Top Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy:
Optimize Gut Health
Mom’s gut and vaginal health (her bacteria) directly affect the baby. When you eat to optimize your gut health you’re:
- Reducing your risk of pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension (high blood pressure) and preeclampsia) and postpartum complications
- Improving baby’s chance of healthy development, reduced risk of allergies and a healthy immune system after birth
- Reducing your risk of postpartum depression
To do so:
- Eat fermented foods: yogurt is your best bet when it comes to fermented foods. Greek yogurt is great, but vegan options are also fine, just watch the sugar content with both. Avoid kombucha as it contains trace amounts of alcohol and avoid homemade ferments of any kind as they could be contaminated with harmful bacteria
- Fibre: We know soluble fibre is important because it helps us poop, and constipation is all too real in pregnancy! But soluble fibre (found in fruits, veggies, and legumes) is even more important as it’s prebiotic – it’s food for probiotics which allows them to thrive and keep your gut healthy
- Healthy Fats – Omega 3: You may know that omega 3 is important for baby’s brain development, and for Mom’s brain and inflammation, but did you know it also helps improve Mom’s gut health? It helps keep intestinal cells nice and tight and healthy so no food particles leak into the bloodstream. This means reduced inflammation which has a positive impact on the baby’s development.
Combat Pregnancy Fatigue
It’s normal to feel tired during pregnancy, but the way you eat, and the nutrients you take in can have a huge impact on your level of fatigue, which is important especially if you’re still working up until the end of your pregnancy!
- Get your iron levels checked: it’s extremely common for women to become iron deficient as the baby develops, and low iron means less oxygen getting to your tissues. If your healthcare provider tells you your iron is low, try including iron-rich foods such as red meat, lentils and beans, tofu, cashews, and leafy greens.
- If you’re told to start taking an iron supplement be sure to ask exactly how much you should take, as too much iron can be toxic.
- Balance your blood sugar: during pregnancy you need more calories, but you also have to make them count – pregnancy isn’t an excuse to go nuts on the junk food, (although you can enjoy treats in moderation). Eating for energy means eating balanced meals with snacks in between and making sure to have the power trio at each meal and snack: PROTEIN + FIBRE + FAT.
- The fibre comes from complex carbs, and when you combine this powerful trio it helps you feel full longer and keeps your blood sugar balanced. Balanced blood sugar means high energy, but also reduces your risk for gestational diabetes.