As we continue our little series of getting to know the moms that put together Baby FoodE, I want to welcome our star baby nutritionist Sara Peternell, who has pretty much been with me from the very beginning of this blog. I found her contact information through a pre-natal yoga studio that she had done some work with and when I randomly floated the idea that she help me with the nutritional side of the blog, didn’t even blink an eye. She was in! Over the last year, she has been beyond supportive, patient and helpful to both me and my dreams for this blog. So a big thank you to Sara for being here now and always and letting us take a peak into her life!


What do your little one(s) like to eat?

Clay is a meat kid.  He loves all things meat, from bacon to lamb burgers to baby back ribs.  Being from Memphis, my husband’s hobby is to smoke meats on his Traeger smoker all year long, and now Clay is the official assistant smoker.  He even has his own set of grill tools!  As a true carnivore and lover of animals, one thing that Clay has been interested in learning about is where animal foods come from.  We have watched some Youtube videos together about the ethical treatment of animals.  Now, when faced with a choice (like ordering at a restaurant), Clay will ask the server if the cheeseburger is “factory meat” and if they answer yes or I don’t know, he will order a grilled cheese instead (on gluten-free bread).  I hope he always remains curious and passionate about where food comes from and the importance of the quality of food. 

Molly is my smoothie lover.  I can seriously put just about anything in to the Vitamix and blend it up and she will drink it in about 13 seconds.  She loves what we call “almond smoothies” – basically any fruit or vegetable combo mixed with almond milk, almond butter and honey.  I love knowing that she gets so many phytonutrients from the plant-based smoothies and healthy fats too.  Molly also loves seaweed snacks, making our own hummus which we do together every week, and homemade granola bars.  I love our tradition of cooking together while she is still home with me most of the time, and I will miss that special time when she goes to school full time in the fall.

What is on their better-not-come-in-contact-with-my-plate list?

Being the meat eater, Clay has a hard time interacting with “green things.”  Molly is a little less fond of different meats and therefore, when we are smoking or grilling unique or strongly flavored meats, we usually have to throw a chicken breast on the grill just for her!  They are pretty much complete opposites in this regard!

What is your go to meal when you are tight on time?

Breakfast for dinner!  I can whip up scrambled pasture-raised eggs, gluten-free pancakes and a fresh fruit salad in about 12 minutes.  It’s a dinner I know my kids will always eat and everyone is satisfied!

What are some of your favorite foods? Least favorite?

My favorite foods are definitely vegetables of all kinds.  It hasn’t always been that way.  Growing up, I wasn’t much of a veggie lover, but today, honestly, it’s my total go-to.  Even if I am craving “comfort food” I will end up making a huge batch of spicy coconut-curried chickpeas with various veggies from the fridge.  I love ethnic foods, but nowadays, I want to make exotic recipes at home (when I have time!).  I am getting picky about restaurants knowing the use of rancid oils, GMOs and pesticide laden food is so prevalent.  I try not to be a Debbie Downer, so I do my research before we go out.  At the same time, I live by the 80/20 rule – I like to have fun and eat treats just like everyone else!  Little Man Ice Cream in the summer is by far my favorite indulgence! 

I don’t dislike too many foods.  Although, given what I just said above, I guess my least favorite foods are those that have been genetically adulterated, overly-processed, un-cared for, inhumanely raised and/or slaughtered, or are chemically exposed or grown. 

What is your favorite mommy beverage?

My favorite summertime beverage these days is Prosecco, St. Germain and a lemon wedge.  It’s very festive and refreshing and relatively low alcohol content, since I am not a big fan of most hard liquors.  Wine is probably my go-to drink on special occasions.  I also love my one cup of organic coffee every morning.  I will never give that up!

What are a couple things your rock at?

I guess I am pretty organized.  I can multi-task with the best, and I like to have a lot of balls in the air at one time.  Sometimes that keeps me on my toes, and other times it makes me crazy.  Finding the balance between rest and pursuing my passions is my goal!

What are a couple things you are working on?

I am an instructor at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. I am always working on becoming a better teacher, and developing more interesting content for the classroom.  Right now, I am really excited because I am working on growing my business in the fall of 2014.  Both of my kids will soon be in school full time!  I am excited to launch some new partnerships with local fitness and moms’ clubs, reinvigorate some old stand-by programs like the Clear Change detox, and also my clients have been asking for a weight loss club.  So, stay tuned!

How do you balance everything in your life?

I balance my life by making time for self-care. I try to practice what I preach.  I see so many clients who have adrenal burn-out and hormonal imbalance, and most of that is attributed to stress and trying to do or have it all.  I tell my clients (especially those who are mothers) that they need to devote at least four hours per week to taking care of themselves.  Now, that doesn’t mean doing the laundry in a quiet room, or even squeezing in an exercise class!  That means getting a massage!  Or having lunch with a girlfriend!  Shopping!  Taking a bubble bath!  It feels indulgent, even selfish, for moms to pamper themselves even just a little bit.  I am telling moms to take four full hours per week just for them.  The kids and house and husband will survive!  Self –care is critically important to maintaining our health and happiness.

What do you do in those precious hours after the kiddos go to bed?
Ha!  I go to bed!  Just kidding.  I have a pretty regimented bed-time routine when it’s just me (my husband travels for work often).  So once the kids are in bed, I tidy up, get ready for the next day, check emails, do a chore or two.  Then, I start my own winding down process – this involves skin care (I never used to wash my face, but now I see the wrinkles creeping in!), doing some gentle stretching, and applying essential oils for whatever ails me (lavender is my favorite!).  In the summer, when the days are longer and we have more time together, my favorite thing to do after the kids go to bed is sit on our front porch listening to music with my husband.

What are some of your family’s favorite activities?

We love to do outdoor activities.  Riding bikes is something we can all do together now and we are excited to be able to ride bikes to school in the fall.  Hiking, skiing, swimming and kids’ sports and activities year-round keep us busy.  Cooking and eating together is also a big part of our everyday routine. If we make time to cook something fun together, it’s less of a chore.  Eating delicious food is a big part of our family culture.

What is your family’s typical routine for the day?

I don’t think we have a typical routine, except for maybe during the school year.  I love our mornings, though, which are pretty standard all the time.  My kids are early risers, which I guess is a good thing because I love morning time, but I also love to sleep in!  Clay is allowed to wake us up only if it’s after 6:30.  Molly loves to sleep in also and she is always the last one up.  We come downstairs and I have my coffee and check emails or texts on my phone (because I turn off my phone pretty early most evenings).  Clay has an old iphone that he got for his 6th birthday that he looks at every morning, and gives us the day’s weather report.  We look forward to hearing his funny interpretation of the graphics.  Our rule is “no more screens” after 8:00 am. That allows everyone to feel like they get their fill, but we know when to turn the electronics off and get on with the day.

What is one thing you said you would never do before you had kids and now do all the time?

Sponge Bob Square Pants.  Before kids, I used to think that cartoon was the devil incarnate!  I read a study one time about how x amount of minutes watching that show actually made people dumb or something.  But, guess what?  Surprise!  My kids love it and I actually think it’s funny now too.  Saturday mornings are Sponge Bob time in my house now and I really could care less.  Pick your battles, right?!

Learn more about Sara’s business here

Thanks Sara for letting us take a peek into your amazing life!!! 
xoxo Michele