Nine years ago…(a reflection)

Happy June! Midwesterners, we made it to SUMMER! Let the festivities commence.

This morning, Facebook reminded me that nine years ago I completed my first half marathon with my husband and my brother.

Immediately I thought, wowza, so much has changed in nine years, which leads me to this reflection….

Nine years ago:

  • Dana and I were one year into our marriage.
  • Settled into our first sweet home.
  • Mom and dad to our pup, Moose.
  • I was settled into my job as a registered dietitian in public health.
  • My ulcerative colitis was in a flare and I wasn’t able to get it under control.
  • Dana and I spent hours training for the half marathon.
  • No children.
  • I cried half way through the half-marathon because I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it.


  • Dana and I will be celebrating our ten year anniversary this October!
  • We are settling into our THIRD home together.
  • Our Moose pup passed away to pup heaven, but we now have our sweet Jasmine who we believe is a mix of husky and German Shepherd we believe.
  • I am working part-time from home (for now) as a dietitian in public health.
  • I am building a business that can improve the lives and health of others.
  • I am managing my gut health through diet–eating plant-based, mostly whole foods, limiting processed foods, sugars, alcohol, gluten and dairy. Taking extra plant capsules daily. Managing my stress. Exercising with joyful movements. Staying hydrated. Prioritizing my health.
  • I still like to run but it’s not for speed or time, and it’s while pushing two little ones in a stroller with my other kids biking along side of me!
  • I have four incredible, healthy, strong, beautiful babies: 6.5 year old Bode, 4.5 yo Ben, 2.5 yo Blake, and 10 month old Ava! Four unmedicated, natural births which taught me about how strong not only my body is, but how strong my mind is.
  • I completed a second half marathon which felt completely different than the first. My body felt strong, and I had so much gratitude towards my body and it’s capabilities.
  • I am more confident as a woman, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, health advocate, and human in general.


It is so wild to reflect on how much has changed, and how much I have changed over the last nine years. I am the healthiest I have ever been. I am the happiest I have ever been. I count my blessings daily.

I am confident that I am on the road to finding my true passion in helping others reach their optimal health and to be confident in themselves too.

Thanks for continuing to follow with me as we journey through this life together!



Continue Reading Nine years ago…(a reflection)

A Quick HELLO!

Goals. My goal is to fix the layout of my blog so that it doesn’t drive me nuts every time I view it on a computer! Some day, my friends. Some day.

Hiiiii btw! It’s me, Melanie. It’s been a while. The last time I checked in appears to be when I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had intentions of posting an announcement here but instead went the lazy route and posted on my Instagram page! I also shared the birth story on there but I am still wanting to type that one out so I can reference it in writing too whenever I’m feeling nostalgic.

One of my last pics while pregnant:

pregnancy 4

I am now a mama to three boys and a baby GIRL! Beautiful Ava joined our circus on July 31st, 2020. This was my longest pregnancy. She was born at 38 weeks and 4 days. She made her entrance fast and fierce just like her brothers. She was 6 lbs 15oz and 20 perfect inches. My experience at Willow Birth Center in Minneapolis (shout out!) was beyond amazing. I am so blessed to be able to say my fourth and final birth was everything I dreamt it would be.

Minutes before she was born:

Being surprised by the gender was the best decision. Not that meeting your baby for the very first time isn’t motivating enough when you’re in labor, but not knowing the gender just amplifies the anticipation and excitement! I was, and still am in disbelief that I have a girl. History repeats itself…I am the youngest of four children in my family. I have three older brothers. Now I have a fun fact to share when someone asks!

Adapting to a life with four littles has been a little nuts. Blake is freshly two and definitely acts like it. He adores his baby sis as do all of the boys, but he doesn’t quite understand that he is much bigger than her and that she is so fragile. I have to keep my eye on him more so than I ever did with the boys. But man is he cute.

The boys are all adjusting well to having Ava in the house. When they are away from me and her they tell me that they missed me, but that they missed her the most. Thanks guys. I love that love though so I am okay with it.

We are in the final days before moving into our new home. We are so gracious to my in-laws for letting us stay here, but it’s getting pretty cramped especially now that Bode is distance learning three days a week and Dana home-offices. Ava’s naps have been tricky because there’s a lot of tiny humans interrupting her slumber, so I’m hoping we can get her into a better routine once we move in to the new digs.

Cliff’s notes today but man it feels good to check in. I hope you are all well!



Continue Reading A Quick HELLO!

28 Weeks Pregnant and Feeling GOOOOOOOOOD

It’s about time for a little check-in now that I am in my THIRD TRIMESTER. Are you kidding me? Each week is flying by in a blink of an eye.

28 weeks pregnant

How am I feeling?

Pretty darn amazing. My ulcerative colitis is finally starting to settle down, my energy level is improving hugely, and I am getting SO excited about meeting this baby. I am having quite a bit of heartburn and seasonal allergy symptoms, but besides that I am fairly comfortable!

I am staying super active with strength training, cardio, HIIT, and walks which makes me feel strong both physically and mentally.


My appetite has been funky. In the morning I don’t feel ready to eat breakfast until a couple of hours after I wake up (and after I’ve had my cup of coffee). That isn’t strange for me, but what is, is that I can never figure out what sounds good to eat. I have to pretty much force something down at breakfast time because I know I need energy. It’s totally unlike me as I’ve always been a breakfast person. Also, I’ve been preferring savory breakfasts which is new to me!

Typical breakfasts: bean burritos, salad and eggs, or egg burritos. If I go for a sweet breakfast it looks something like a smoothie, or Greek yogurt, or a banana with pb, but I generally have to choke those down.

When lunch time rolls around, I am usually ready for whatever and most everything sounds good. I’ve been all over the board with my lunches too: spring rolls, kale wraps, and salads have been my main go-to’s lately.

I have been eating small meals and snacks frequently throughout the day. It is what makes me feel best.

I haven’t had any really weird cravings that I can think of; just a very different appetite for a variety of foods that weren’t typically in my diet pre-pregnancy or even at the beginning of pregnancy. I have definitely been into ice cream as my go-to sweet treat!

Prenatal care during Covid 19

At the beginning of this Covid stuff, I was pretty down about the changes in prenatal care. This is my last pregnancy and I wanted everything to be as it always has been. But it has definitely been different, and I am trying to make the most of it. It broke my heart that Dana couldn’t be in on the ultrasound appointments with me. We made the most of it by FaceTiming during the entire thing. It’s strange that I meet virtually with the midwives and I don’t get to go in and hear that most incredible heart beat sound from my sweet little peanut like I typically would in the clinic every month or so. No weight checks, no measurements…it’s weird.

Mentally I’m continuing to prepare for labor and delivery, and am praying for another successful unmedicated birth!

28 weeks pregnant with each baby: Bode, Ben, Blake, and baby #4

Just for fun! Left to right: pregnancy with Bode, Ben, Blake and baby numero quatro!

All in all, my pregnancy has been wonderful. I am so fortunate to have such easy pregnancies!


Continue Reading 28 Weeks Pregnant and Feeling GOOOOOOOOOD

What I’m Looking Forward to…

Before I dive into this post, I realize my blog is kinda funky to read on desktops these days. Apparently I messed up the coding and have spent WAY too much time trying to figure out how to fix it. I need to hire someone who can help! Thanks for your patience as I navigate my way through that; it may be a little while.

Now onto the good stuff. The words I need to write for myself to get through a challenging time and I will totally encourage you to do the same.

What I’m looking forward to after the pandemic has calmed down:

  1. Hugging. Even just typing the word I get teary-eyed. Thinking about hugging my family and friends makes my heart want to both break and leap out of my chest at the same time. I am such an affectionate person so not being able to hug and touch right now is SO very hard for me.
  2. Being with my family. I haven’t seen my family in THREE weeks. I miss them all so DANG much. Our parents are used to seeing my kids on a weekly basis. I can’t wait until we can all just be together again.
  3. Social gatherings with friends. Even hanging outside with the neighbors right now is challenging because the kids          don’t understand the 6-foot concept. How are we supposed to manage that? Anyone have tips? The little ones just don’t  get it.
  4. The GYM. Three days a week I would take the littles to the childcare at the gym and I would have “me” time for two          hours; workout, emails, work, etc. This played a huge role in my mental health. I am still trying to find the new balance      and somehow work some mental health time into my days. I have been waking up early to either let my creative juices      flow on the blog, or walk on the treadmill, but I could a use little more as could Dana.
  5. Not being fearful of going places. We legit have to avoid each other like the plague, because, well. For friendly                midwesterners this one is tough. We are nice people. We like to hold the doors for each other, knock around a weather      joke, and just be friendly. We can still be friendly of course, just from a safe distance. I know it will be a while before we      can chill a bit on the anti-bacterial and wipes, but it doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to that day! I have my anatomy  scan next week and I am honestly pretty nervous to have to be out in public, something I never thought I would say.
  6. Travel. I am in denial that my long-awaited trip to go see my GF Diane in Arizona is more than likely going to have to be    canceled. It is at the end of April and I still haven’t been able to face it. I guess I’m hoping for a miracle. I have been            looking forward to seeing my girl and spending the weekend with her in the sun. I even bought a new swimsuit.
  7. The boys (and myself) getting back to a normal routine. School, gym with mom, going to grandma and grandpa’s, and just having the freedom to go ANYWHERE! The zoo, the library, the parks…oh it will be so incredibly amazing.

I realize this list could go on for a while. I am going to hang on to all of these thoughts about what I am looking forward to after this nightmare has boiled over. I have to. You have to. I was listening to a video from Mel Robbins (if you don’t follow her yet, you absolutely should), and her words are what inspired this post. She said to think about the future, and even a date if you can, and imagine what you will be doing at that time.

We can’t change what is happening now, but we can make the most of the situation. It has been inspiring to see people reaching out to one another and trying to life each other up; helping where they can, even if that is simply a positive comment or hearts in the window.

Being home with my babies 24/7 has been totally exhausting, but when I feel frustrated I remind myself of how lucky I am to get to spend this extra time with them. This reminder comes into play alllllll day long because I have lots of tough moments.

I am enjoying getting creative with dinners. My neighbors and I have been sharing our dinner ideas with each other via snapchat and it makes me SO happy.

I am so thankful for Facetime and Zoom, keeping us all connected on a more intimate level.

I am thankful that my job is allowing me to work from home, something that was pretty much a “not a chance” in the past.

I am thankful for all of my family and friends who keep me smiling on a daily basis.

I am thankful I have a safe home, with clean water, food, warmth, and internet. =)

I am thankful for my favorite fitness instructor at the gym, who is providing fitness classes to her people via Zoom.

I am thankful that I can let my emotions out.

And of course, I am thankful for all of the people who are keeping our world up and running and who put themselves at risk every day to help us all get through this.

This post boils down to this: focus on gratitude, positivity, and making the most of this situation. I will continue to do it for myself as hard as it may be some days, and I think you should too. We are in this together, and we will get through this together.

I love you all.


Continue Reading What I’m Looking Forward to…

First Pregnancy Versus Fourth Pregnancy

This will be fun.

First of all, I’m pregnant?! It seems I forget pretty often because there is little time to think about it! The three little people that are dependent on me don’t seem to understand that I am growing a human and expect me to keep up with them as if nothing has changed. The blessing of this is that it keeps me active and it has definitely made this pregnancy fly by.


Throughout this pregnancy I have been dealing with an Ulcerative Colitis flare. With past pregnancies, pregnancy hormones (or something) put my body into remission at about week nine. Not this time. Typically I would dive straight into my supplemental regime and kick this to the curb, but alas, adequate studies have not been conducted with supplements enough to make me feel comfortable with the “risk”. My symptoms have improved but I am still dealing with it today. That being said, this could attribute to some of my exhaustion, but mostly I would attribute it to the little people honestly. I’d say I’m a pretty tough little lady.

At the beginning of pregnancy, I dealt with mild nausea, but nothing that ever sent me to the toilet. I thank God often that I have had four pregnancies without extreme nausea. I experienced fatigue in the first three months, making sure I was tucked into bed by 8 pm at the latest.

Round ligament “discomfort”. I won’t call it pain because it’s nothing compared to labor, but the uterine growth and round ligament stretching has been way more intense this time around. This one doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t my body just know what to do? It’s been stretched many a times already so why is it screaming at me so much this time?! Oh yes….I don’t sit still very often. That could be part of it.


I’m a dietitian as you are all aware. That being said, I can tell you that my diet has been far from optimal lately. The beginning of the pregnancy was mostly white carb focused: gluten free bread, cream of wheat, crackers, cereal, but I was able to get a whole buncha healthy stuff in there too. When the nausea subsided, it was back to the usual nutrient-rich meals. Then COVID-19 hit. I’m at home with all of the boys. As much as I aim to focus on nutrition for myself and my family, we are in a bit of survival mode as we all are. There are a lot of baked goods going down around here, let’s just leave it at that. =) In all fairness, I know I am still doing a heckuva job trying to feed us all with nutrition as BEST as I possibly can given the circumstances. So there’s that.


I’d say my cravings this pregnancy around are more intensified. As I mentioned, the Pop Tart craving wouldn’t leave me alone. There has been a lot of pizza yearned for and consumed this time around. I was really into fruit at the beginning of pregnancy but that has now normalized. I guess it was most intense in the beginning of pregnancy. I feel pretty normal now. Kind of boring compared to my first pregnancy.

Weekly Bump Pics?!

I was religious about taking weekly bump pics for all three of the boys’ pregnancies. This time around, I’ve gotten maybe five, three of which I took as selfies.

19 week pic. I have seriously BUMPED since this picture was taken.

When will it feel real?

In lieu of our current life situation, my mind is heavily focused on remaining positive, keeping my family and loved ones safe, and making the most of our home life situation. There is nothing that really needs to be done to prepare for the arrival of baby except to buy some super teeny tiny diapers. Because we aren’t finding out the gender, I would like to sort through the newborn baby clothes bin to find some gender neutral clothes to hold us over, JUST in case a little girl decides to join the family. If it is a girl, there will be a whole lot of pink flowing in this house, you better believe it. So I guess there’s that too.

My appointments with the midwives have been every five weeks. Everything is looking perfect. I have my anatomy scan next week. My first one was canceled due to the virus. As of now, Dana will be able to join me for that appointment. My following prenatal appointments will be completed over the phone which is going to be so weird and sad because I won’t be able to hear my favorite little heartbeat noise that I so look forward to at those in-clinic appointments.

I’m thinking that maybe the ultrasound will make this pregnancy feel more real?

When I was pregnant with Bode, I remember spending so much time planning for the nursery. The amount of hours I spent looking for a rug and wall decor seems completely unreal at this point. For goodness sake I even sewed him a baby blanket! I remember sitting in the nursery once it was completed, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sweet boy.

I am equally as excited about baby number four, there is just less time to think about it. I am planning on diving into the childbirth books in the next couple of months so I can begin to mentally prepare for labor and delivery, something that I seem to keep putting off in my mind.

I think I’m going to wrap this post up although I feel like I could go on and on. It’s becoming a bit of a doozy.


I pray that everyone is staying healthy and safe. Take care, friends.




Continue Reading First Pregnancy Versus Fourth Pregnancy


On most mornings, I like to wake up at 5:00 am so that I can have about an hour to myself before the kids wake up. I either walk on the treadmill, catch up on emails, read a nutrition article, etc. I notice that on those mornings when I take a little time to myself, that it  tends to set the pace for a more positive day.

I’m writing this post at 6:22 am, right after finishing up a walk on the treadmill. Unbelievably the house is still asleep (jk I just heard the boys upstairs).

I have a rainy day ahead of me, with three boys five and under, quarantined to our house. I am setting the intention right now that I will make the best of this day and this time. I will remind myself to be patient. I will take mommy time outs when necessary. I will remember to smile with my family. I will try not to be too hard on myself.

I need to limit my exposure to negativity. We ALL need to limit our exposure to negativity. I want to stay informed but I don’t want to feel suffocated with the current situation like I have been feeling lately.

I miss normalcy as we all do.

I pray that everyone is being safe, being smart, and staying positive. We believe what we tell ourselves which is why I continue to post about positivity even if I may be struggling with it some days.

Make the most of this day and this time. I will if you will. Set an intention.


Continue Reading Intentions

How to Find Your Hunger Cues

You’ve heard me say that a big part of owning a heathy relationship with food and our bodies is that we need to listen to our bodies and the cues that they gives us. When we are hungry, eat. When we are satisfied, stop. When we are tired, sleep. When we are thirsty, drink water…

So what do you do when you have spent such a long time ignoring the hunger cues that you can’t even recognize them anymore? 

Don’t worry, we can find the those cues again.

1. First of all, stop counting calories and tracking your every food move.

I understand if you want to track your intake for a few days because you’re interested in “seeing where you are at”; that’s okay. But remember, the counters are generally off by quite a bit so it’s only giving you a very general idea of what your body is actually taking in. Do it for a short while if that is what you feel you need to do, but then STOP after a few days.

With tracking, instead of listening to what your body is asking for, you are often letting external factors dictate your decisions. For example, you’ve been tracking your food and beverage intake all day, and it’s now 7:30 pm and you are starvin’ Marvin. But shoot, you’ve already hit your calorie “limit” and you don’t dare go over. By all means, grab a glass of water first and make sure you’re not just thirsty. After you’ve had some water, if you’re still hungry, don’t ignore your body! That’s a cue! Eat something. Remember, some days are appetites are greater than other days. LISTEN.

Our bodies stop giving us hunger cues after years of ignoring them due to external factors. Many times, instead of feeling hungry, people who have “lost” the hunger cues may start feeling lethargic, low energy, and well, hangry. Even though their stomach may not be growling, they need to eat to reenergize.

2.  Give your body consistent energy.

Feed your body with enough food throughout the day to keep it adequately energized. Fuel the fire. When we go for long periods of time without eating, our body begins to go into starvation mode, and eventually shuts off the hunger cues. It’s main focus then turns to hanging on to every last bit of energy it can because it doesn’t know when the next meal or snack will be coming in. This one can be especially tough for those that have been dieting for any amount of time or if you’ve been a breakfast skipper your whole life. Starting your day with a fruit and vegetable smoothie is a great place to start!

3. Pulling it all together and being mindful of the hunger scale.

Okay, you’re working on listening to your internal hunger cues, you are feeding yourself with consistent, adequate energy, now let’s gear our attention towards the hunger scale. Understanding where you are at on the hunger scale, will help you to decide when you need something to eat, especially as you are working on building that trust back with your body.

Try and eat when you are at a 3 or a 4 on the hunger scale. Waiting until you are at a one can often lead to poor food choices and/or over-eating.

Print this graphic off and put it on your fridge so you can start to familiarize yourself with it and practice, practice, practice.

More questions? NEVER hesitate to contact me at, or on Facebook, Instagram, wherever. I am here for YOU.


Continue Reading How to Find Your Hunger Cues

Preggo But I’m Still Doin’ Moves Like Beyonce

If you haven’t seen the baby mama dance, you can check it out at the end of this post (this is where the post title came from btw)! In case you missed it in my last post, yes, I am indeed pregnant with baby number FOUR! Wow, that sure sounds like craziness sometimes when I say it. I know I personally love to read about women’s pregnancies, so I decided I want to share a little bit about mine! Details:
  • Estimated Due Date: August 10, 2020. I am 17.5 weeks pregnant. Fact: all of my boys have made their presence 2-4 weeks early. Also, I have been uber pregnant in the summer for all of them so this will be nothing new! Thank God for AC.
  • I am feeling pretty darn great, all things considered. Minimal symptoms. Energy is starting to come back again. It’s hard to say if I’m actually more tired in this pregnancy or if it’s just the fact that I have three little boys that I am keeping alive on a daily basis? Who knows! Anyway, my bedtime has been around 8:30 pm, wake up around 5 am.
  • My appetite is fab. Three meals, snacks, chugging water.
  • Cravings? Mostly healthy foods—salads, fruit, whole grains, cheese of some sort, but also some totally randoms. Enter: Blueberry Pop Tarts. I couldn’t get them out of my head, so finally after three weeks, I gave in and bought some. They taste as good as I remember from childhood. I ate a half a tart a day until the box was gone and enjoyed every single bite. In a perfect world I would have just made some from scratch at home but guess what? It’s not a perfect world! =)
Image result for blueberry pop tart
  • Feelings of content. I have always wondered how women know when it’s going to be their last pregnancy, their last baby. When I was pregnant with Blake I questioned this all of the time. Well, now that I am pregnant with number four, I most definitely know. This is it. This is the last one. I am trying to soak up this pregnancy with every ounce of my being. I am so excited to have an even numbered family! What a weirdo I know.
  • What do my boys think? Bode is 5.5 so he gets it and he is SO excited. Ben is 3.5 and kinda gets it but doesn’t really. He understands that Daniel Tiger’s mom had a baby so he kind of knows what’s going to happen. Blake (19 months) obviously has no clue.
  • Not finding out the gender. This girl loves a good surprise and although it’s going to be SO hard for me not to know, not to plan, we are not finding out the gender of this baby. We found out with the other three boys and I told Dana if we were to have a fourth, that it was going to be a surprise. Fourth and final = go big or go home. My little boys think it’s a girl. I can’t imagine that to be honest.
  • Planning for natural birth. I birthed all three boys naturally, unmedicated. They were all smooth deliveries minus they were all sunny side up so gave me excruciating back labor. The plan going in is unmedicated again however, I have done my pain management research and want to have that in my back pocket this time around. It will definitely be a game time decision. Also, I always go in to labor and deliveries with an open mind because you just never know what’s going to happen.
  What else do you want to know? I’m an open book for the most part so ask away!   As promised, the Baby Mama Dance with Shay Mitchell (I’m a Pretty Little Liars fan!)… *Beware, the song is super catchy!!  
Continue Reading Preggo But I’m Still Doin’ Moves Like Beyonce

As I scroll through old blog posts…

Holy moly…

was my thought as I scrolled through very old blog posts. All the changes that have happened over the span of the past nine years since I started this blog. Not knowing who I truly was, but wanting to find out. Just at the beginning of my nutrition career. Trying to find balance in life and health. Posting about daily eats and taking awful photos. After making an update to the blog recently, I lost a lot of the photos from old posts. I’m kind of sad about it, but also kind of okay with it (if I really want to dig up the photos, I could–it would just take a while).

For fun. My very first blog post: The Beginning of Beautifully Nutty

(MOOOOOSEeerrrr Bear! We miss you!!)


Fast-forward to now.

I have found myself. I am more confident. I surround myself with positivity.

I am still working on my career. I have three beautiful boys and one more baby on the way! My husband and family continue to support me through my career endeavors, health endeavors, LIFE, and crazy ideas. I write blog posts with more purpose but less often.  I continue to worry less about what others think and focus on my own wellness and the wellness of my family.

Although still unsure of where the next part of my journey may lead me, I feel excitement in knowing that grand motions and changes are in my future.

I am always tempted to erase my old blog posts because they are so far from who I am today, but then I stop. That old version of me is still a part of who I am and has helped to shape the path to who I am today. So although embarrassing, they are a good reminder to me of how far I’ve come.

Cheers to the past, to the present, and to the future!


Continue Reading As I scroll through old blog posts…

Mindful Eating Versus Intuitive Eating

Mindful eating versus intuitive eating. Although very similar, these two concepts have different meanings.


Mindful Eating:

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  • Using your senses when choosing food.
  • Really paying attention to what your body is asking for.
  • Honoring hunger and fullness.
  • Taking time to taste food and slow down, realizing when your body is satisfied.
  • Paying attention to how your body responds to food.
  • Being aware of external factors that may interfere with listening to your body’s cues.
  • You can take vitamins based on your biological data


Intuitive Eating: Intuitive eating includes mindful eating, however there is more to it. 

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  • Being aware of the diet ideas that have been instilled in us over the years, and learning how to reject the diet mentality.
  • Self-love.
  • Self-care.
  • Body acceptance.
  • Find pleasure in food.
  • Drop food guilt.
  • Build a healthy relationship with food.
  • Learning how to manage negative self-talk.
  • Finding exercise that YOU love. Not what someone else tells you to enjoy.

Both mindful eating and intuitive are useful tools that can help you build a healthy relationship with food AND your body, and help you to hone in on your body’s internal cues!


Continue Reading Mindful Eating Versus Intuitive Eating