I was bored one afternoon a few weeks ago trying to brainstorm some blog post topics. All I really want to write about is pregnancy, but there is only so much to say on the topic! So I turned to Instagram for some topic ideas. You guys had some good questions! Rather than writing long posts on each topic (which I would probably struggle to do) I thought I’d just round them all up in one (or two) Q&A posts. So here they are!
How to know if you need a protein supplement?
Protein is good for satiety and building things in your body – muscles, tissues, enzymes, hormones. But you don’t need to be drinking protein smoothies or eating protein balls everyday to meet you needs (with a very few exceptions). The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. That means if you weigh 130 pounds, you’d need about 47 grams per day to meet basic needs. If you eat most foods and have a balanced, healthy diet, you’ll likely have no problem meeting this goal. Aim for 15 grams per meal and you’re there. In fact, if you eat fish or meat, you’ll probably get there very quickly. Those who are very active might want to increase to 0.5 grams per pound, but that’s still less than 65 grams per day, and still very do-able with real food. I like adding Vega’s protein to smoothies for the taste alone, but since I’m using cow’s milk, oats, chia seeds, and yogurt a lot of the time, it’s purely optional.
How to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when the stuff in the middle is sooooo tempting?
I am mostly a Whole Foods shopper because it’s the closest store to my house, and the middle isn’t at tempting there as it is at other stores! I love to go to Wegmans too, and when I go I do find myself drifting into the middle and staring down things like Poptarts and Oreos! Two things that I do not need in my cart. [#KERF] I think the easiest answer is to stick to a list. When I wander, things jump into the cart without me knowing, but when I have a list and a time constraint, I’m whirling through the perimeter and only hitting the aisles for a quick grab of a canned good or tin of sardines!
How did you combine households with new hubby? Making styles work together and blending your possessions?
This is an interesting question! Thomas and I actually decided to move in together when I went with him to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy the exact same frying pan that I had and loved. “Should I be buying the same one you have?!” he said with a twinkle in his eye. For the smaller stuff, we did a lot of “Whose is best?” questions. His TV, his coffeepot, my furniture, my dishes. I used to have one TV and now we have three 🙂 Luckily he wasn’t too attached to a lot of his furniture, so that made the furniture combining decisions easier, and we were able to incorporate some of his artwork and a rug into our home. He is king of the yard and is the boss outside, and I care a lot more about the decor and organizing inside so that is my domain. We’re still working some things out – like how many house plants to put in one room (he wants 100) and how to contain his shoes (the basket I provided is not working – haha). We generally are very good housemates though!
How to get out of a food rut when you eat the same old, same old.
I tend to get in food ruts from time to time and generally it’s when I get lazy with the meal planning and just revert to the same old staples. So picking out some new recipes, subscribing to a meal planning site like Cook Smarts or Vie, or even doing a box of Blue Apron once a month really shakes things up around here. Not only are dinners better, but I eat the leftovers for lunches so the whole week is more exciting.
Life of a second marriage. What is different?
I don’t want to dig too deep into this one for fear of throwing marriage #1 under the bus (it ended, but on great terms). Plus both guys are so different that I’d be comparing apples to oranges. However, I can say that Brooke Castillo’s podcasts have been life changing for me in terms of how I view love and relationships. If I’m struggling with something in our marriage I ask myself “What would Brooke say?” Check out The Manual #11, Someone To Love #139, and Love 2.0 #164 are BRILLIANTLY stated. And if you hate podcasts, you can read them as transcripts on the post pages.
What’s with mushroom coffee and collagen peptides? Do I need them?
LOL – no you don’t need them. Honestly, I don’t know too much about them and haven’t tried either, but I say just spend your money on real food. If you are sensitive to caffeine, mushroom coffee might be a beverage to try out. And if you have issues with hair, skin, leaky gut, or joints, collagen might be worth researching as a supplement, but it’s not necessary if you’re healthy because you can get it from whole food, like berries and fatty fish (good for you for a million reasons and tasty at the same time!)
How has it been coparenting? Asked x2!
I’d say it’s gone as great as it can go so far. Matt and I trade off frequently because I don’t think Mazen could or should go too many days without seeing one of us. I can’t imagine him spending a week with Matt and not seeing my little boy! So we trade off every 1-2 days and get in lots of quality time. Mazen doesn’t seem to mind the switch too much because we live so close by (on the same street) and so if he needs to pick up a toy or his bike or whatever, he will just stop by after school to get it. I can see when he’s a teenager or if we move to live further apart maybe doing a week at a time or even him living with me most of the time and visiting with Matt when he wants, but we are years from that and will cross that bridge when we get there.
We felt strongly upon splitting up that Mazen was our top priority, and so Matt and I remain friends and see each other quite often. We’re not having tea parties together everyday, but we don’t fight at all and keep in touch almost daily. I cannot imagine coparenting with someone I was feuding with, but I know it happens, and it must be tough on everyone.
What are your thoughts on the non-diet movement?
Coming soon in full post form!
What are your tips for eating out and staying within a budget?
The beauty of budgeting is that you get to be flexible within that budget. I set a certain dollar amount per month for eating out. This includes lunches on my own, date nights, family meals out, and take out. Basically any food that is not from the grocery store and prepared at home. Some months we got on a lot of date nights and so I have to limit my lunches out towards the end of the month, and other months it’s the opposite. We do tend to go out more in the first half of the month while the budget is still on the high side and towards the end we will choose a spot that is less expensive or skip appetizers and drinks to keep the bill lower. I love YNAB because it helps me keep track of everything from dining out to shopping to how much we’re spending on groceries and adapt as the month progresses.
Date night at Maya is a great way to save on $12 Tuesdays!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I really liked this FAQ post! Learned a lot about you, Kath. 🙂 I personally never get into food ruts, in fact, I prefer eating the same meal day after day… my longest streak was a month, haha! 😛
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
I have been wondering if you have done a post on pre natal vitamins or vitamins in general, or if you could speak to that? I asked my doctor and nurse how do I KNOW that they are working, and they were shocked that I’d ask this and didn’t even really understand my question. They told me just to take the vitamins and I’ll be fine. But if they aren’t regulated, how do you know that you’re actually getting what it’s saying on the bottle? And how do I know what a good brand is? I’ve found that it’s a really difficult thing to find solid information about, and no one seems to be asking or to care if what we’re taking is legit and working. What are your thoughts, and what do you take?
You’re smart to question supplements because it’s somewhat of an unregulated industry. This article from Consumer Reports explains what to look for – the USP Verified seal. Keep in mind:
This doesn’t guarantee that “a product has therapeutic value, nor do they test every batch of supplements shipped out. But their seal is a good indication that, for example, the product contains the amount of the ingredient advertised on the label and that it isn’t contaminated with dangerous substances, such as arsenic, bacteria, or lead.”
Well one other thing that bothers me is that a lot of these pills unnecessarily have pork or beef gelatin in them, as well as added colors. Who cares if my pill has a color!! I didn’t like the ingredients in Nature Made and it looks like that’s basically the only brand that has the USP seal. I find this whole thing really frustrating and worrisome, and I don’t understand why more people aren’t asking questions.
Check out labdoor.com! It’s an independent testing agency, and their ratings are super easy to decipher.
“just spend your money on real food” <———- Thank you so much for saying this! Clever marketing leads us to believe we NEED so many different supplements to be healthy. It boggles my mind how much money people are willing to spend on something that usually doesn't have a lot of support behind it or can be obtained by just eating a wide variety of foods! Not to mention, your body just filters out what it doesn't want or need. It can also be dangerous when the mentality becomes "more must be better" like in the case with ingesting too much protein which can lead to kidney issues. I just can't get the image out of my head of literally peeing money down the drain because your body is excreting that $80 tub of protein that it didn't need in the first place (excluding those who choose it infrequently for taste/texture). I'm also very excited about you thoughts on the "non-diet" approach! The latest research on HEAS and diets is very intriguing to me.
*thumbs up emoji*
Linda @ the Fitty says
I think it’s crazy that I eat much more protein than needed, according to the DRI then! I eat about 60g per day and I’m less than 100 lbs! Honestly, they just taste so good and I love bulk in food.
Also, what’s your monthly budget for eating out if you don;t mind sharing?
Houston Electrician says
I’ve never really thought about shopping solely on the edges of the grocery store! Honestly never really occurred to me this idea of the middle being different than the edges but I love it!
For your next Q&A, would love to hear you discuss probiotics vs prebiotics and do we really need any of it. Thanks much
Good suggestion! My short answer is yes, I think probiotics are worth taking unless you eat a ton of yogurt/fermented foods/kombucha!
I don’t think you are qualified, at this point, to give out this kind of information.
and why would that be?
Because it’s years since you went to school and you never practiced clinically. It is extremely irresponsible for you to give out advice about supplements. I’m a registered nurse and unlike you, I took my boards and practiced as a nurse and I wouldn’t dream of giving health advice on my blog.
Writing about general health information is completely different than giving out individualized medical advice over the internet. I have also been doing continuing education, as required, to keep up with my RD credentials. I would not feel comfortable doing someone’s individual TPN at this point (without a refresher course) but anything in the food science, community nutrition, public health, and general nutrition categories I am certainly qualified to discuss, online or in person.
As a fellow RD, I just want to say I totally agree with you. Keeping up with your continuing education and keeping your RD credential up to date, literally gives you the highest qualification there is to give our general nutrition advice! That is what we do!!! Love your blog too 🙂
Also-I bet if you looked at it, you still are pretty qualified/remember more than you think you do about TPN 😉
Thanks Beth 🙂 And yes, you’re right, the clinical stuff would come back to me very quickly!
Totally agree and my nutritionist said the same!
I would love tips on home keeping with childr n and all the stuff they generate if you do another q and a post. I love how organized your house always looks but I feel like I am fighting a losing battle with my children.
That is a good question! The stuff is neverending!
I love that you address protein supplements! I definitely get plenty of protein in my diet without them. My dietetic intern did her one day renal diet & went over on her protein allottment. She & I discussed how it’s strange thag my dialysis patients struggle to even get 0.8 g/kg much less the 1.2 g/kg that they need. Kylie wrote about Culturelle, & while I eat yogurt daily, I went ahead & started to include one to test it out for myself. I love your Q&A informative posts!
Love this post! Your comment what would Brooke say cracks me up because I do that all the time when struggling with lunches/snacks/ what have you. I think what would Kath say!
Oh man- i can’t wait til my LO is old enough for Where’s Waldo? My voice gets SO TIRED by bedtime and being a singer I often have to go perform it rehearse for hours after she goes to bed. I will definitely be trying that out ASAP! Great post, Kath- I need to try that budgeting app! We finally started saving for her college and I need a way to get spending under control ASAP to adjust to the automatic payments we are adding each month! Thx!
Loved this Q&A post! Could you make them regular?
I’ve been reading since Mazen was a baby and you’re still my go-to person for nutrition and fitness advice x
🙂 I enjoyed writing it! I need more questions
Well, here’s another:
For weight loss, can you recommend some methods to stay clear of whats bad for you? Staying mindful? I have so much theoretical knowledge, but get weak too often when chocolate or chips are near to lose weight. Having a toddler in the house and being a working mom doesn’t help…
I am a big fan of food journaling. I don’t mean you have to log every calorie, but start making a list in a pretty notebook of the foods you eat everyday -even if it’s just a handful. This will increase your mindfullness two fold and is very easy to do. It helps with the mommy snacking!
I like your comments on collagen etc. Would love to hear more of your thoughts on all the trendy supplements right now.
Even on a vegan diet it’s easy to meet protein needs eating whole foods!
I am waiting for the day there is research showing long term over consumption of protein is somehow harmful, the way we all once thought low to no fat was a good thing.
I think a post on the difference between a probiotic shelf stable supplement vs refridgerated probiotic supplements vs the probiotics found in fermented foods and yogurts would be helpful for your readers. Actually a post about the benefits of drinking kombucha, coconut water kefeir and cider vingar would be interesting too. (I make my own kombucha now and drink it daily, my stomach has loved me ever since!)