A Conversation with Emily Magee of Rooted in Love Nutrition & Birth
I was so excited to get to chat with Emily Magee about her business, Rooted in Love Nutrition & Birth. Emily and I used to work together in New York City and it has been wonderful to watch her nutrition career blossom. We share a lot of the same values when it comes to exploring the health of new mothers, so I couldn’t wait to share her perspective on integrative nutrition with you.
There is so much valuable information about postpartum ailments that can be addressed through integrative nutrition, breastfeeding hunger, postpartum weight loss and more in this interview. Plus, she shares a delicious recipe for healthier lactation cookies. Enjoy!
Tell me a little about Rooted in Love.
I have been a practicing nutritionist, most recently Nutrition Response Testing, for about 2 years. It wasn't until I went through the pregnancy and birth process (I had my son in the summer of 2018) that I really found my niche. I realized that the health of our children isn't just about feeding them well, but also the health of the mother before and during pregnancy, the birth process and seemingly little things we can do during the beginning of our babies lives. This is a very critical time for both mom and baby. After having a successful home birth, I went on to get certified to teach childbirth education to add to my repertoire because I felt so passionate about the topic. Rooted in Love is the platform where my two passions and career paths, nutrition and birth, meet. I share all things nutrition and wellness for women, specifically those who are pregnant and postpartum, and their families.
How can integrative nutrition support a new mom's healing process? What are some common ailments that new mamas experience that may be addressed through integrative nutrition?
This is huge! Integrative nutrition involves taking the whole person into consideration, not just their symptoms. When helping a person heal, in addition to looking at their diet, it is important to look at their environment, family and social life, spiritual practices, exercise routine, stress levels and sleep. When a woman becomes a mom, her entire life changes, not just her body. All of these holistic pieces of her life must be addressed. Some common postpartum ailments that can be addressed through integrative nutrition include postpartum depression and anxiety, thyroid and other hormone imbalances and breastfeeding difficulties (such as low supply, mastitis and thrush).
How does nutrition response testing work? What could someone expect from their testing visit? What are some underlying issues that nutrition response testing might bring to light?
Nutrition Response Testing is a noninvasive system of communicating with the body to determine underlying cause of health issues. This is done through muscle testing. Once organ weaknesses are found and the root cause is determined, I use nutrition (mainly whole food supplements and diet changes) to help the body heal.
The first visit is mainly about data gathering and getting to know the patient. I will go over their health history and do various tests, such as body composition, heart rate variability and a Nutrition Response Testing initial exam. Then I will have the patient return for a Report of Findings visit, at which I will give them a comprehensive report of my findings and recommendations for how they should proceed. Once the patient starts a program, they come in regularly for monitoring, consulting and reevaluation.
I help people with a wide range of issues in my practice: autoimmune, digestive issues, anxiety and depression, joint pain, eczema, acne, high blood pressure, immune challenges, hormone imbalances, to name a few. Because I am addressing the root cause rather than treating symptoms, no two people are on the same protocol, even if they have the same exact symptoms and medical diagnosis. For example, two people could have severe migraines, but for one person it could be due to a wheat intolerance and for another it could be a heavy metal toxicity. It's important to remember that every body is different and should be treated individually!
I loved reading about your struggles with breastfeeding hunger (omg, me too!), what are some tips for managing this?
Breastfeeding hunger is so real and so hard! First and foremost, I've learned now more than ever to be grateful for my body and the amazing things it can do. I mean, it fed a human exclusively for over 6 months - that's crazy! Prolactin, which is a hormone that produces milk, also causes the body to store a little extra fat to support breastfeeding. This is why it's so hard to lose the last 5 or so pounds after pregnancy.
I found that the best thing I can do to manage this extreme breastfeeding hunger is to make sure my meals are as nutrient dense and filling as possible. I always make sure to be eating clean protein and healthy fats at every meal (to balance my blood sugar and to actually feel full) and avoiding processed carbs and sugar (to prevent the crash and burn that can lead to excess snacking). I also prep vegetables, protein and snacks in the beginning of the week so I always have ingredients on hand to throw together a healthy meal or grab a snack when I'm short on time.
I have to admit that I am still hanging on to an extra few pounds, so for now I am just eating as healthily as I can, but also forgiving myself, loving my body and trusting that I will lose the weight in good time.
I saw that your recently held a weight loss workshop for new moms at Whole Foods in Lake Grove. Why might a new mom not be losing weight?
There are so many potential reasons why a new mom can't lose weight. I find that a lot of new moms initially lose their sense of self while getting the hang of taking care of another person. This can lead to lack of mindfulness, stress and lack of sleep, all of which may lead to weight gain. In addition, there is less time for new moms to focus on making healthy meals for themselves, so this can lead to grabbing less healthy convenience foods and snacks or skipping meals and then bingeing later on. A lot of it has to do with behaviors and emotional eating rather than knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.
I saw that your recently completed a month of The Whole 30. How did it go? Do you recommend this programs for new moms?
I absolutely loved doing the Whole30. I can't say enough good things about it. Before starting, I had been feeling a little out of control. Due to the aforementioned breastfeeding hunger, I had felt like I was in a spiral of constant snacking and overeating. Doing the Whole30 really helped me to gain control of my eating and put a stop to sugar cravings.
I do recommend the Whole30 for new moms, but at the same time I also think she really needs to want to do it to feel good, not just to lose weight. I had been feeling very badly and uncomfortable in my skin and desperately needed a change. I didn't lose much weight, maybe about 3 pounds. But the way I felt during and afterward made it worth it.
How can people find you / work with you?
To book a Nutrition Response Testing appointment (Long Island, NY): 631-676-3911
Rooted in Love Lactation Cookies
These are a great gift for a new mama! They are full of healthy fats and milk boosting ingredients, such as oats, flax and brewers yeast.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup flour of choice (I've used almond and cassava)
- 2 Tbsp brewer's yeast
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 6 Tbsp grass fed unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or other add-ins (nuts and dried fruit would be great in this)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a medium size bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips or other add ins. Using a spoon, scoop about a tablespoon of dough and pat into a cookie shape on the sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.