When you read through this week’s #FeatureFriday mama’s list of credentials, the word ‘supermom’ springs to mind. She is a nutritionist, lawyer, mother to her adorable son Ellington and the brains behind her wellness brand, Gheeful.
This mama left behind big time law two years ago to pursue her passion for educating people about wellness. She shares tips on all things motherhood, nutrition, wellness and non-toxic living. We are in complete awe of this inspiring mama, and we can’t wait for you to take a dive into her answers below.
Meet Danielle Hinton. . .
You wear many hats from your day job as an employment lawyer, also nutritionist, blogger and now new mama! Can you tell us a little about the work you do and how the hell you manage to fit it all in?
I left the full-time practice of law about three years ago to become a nutritionist and became pregnant shortly thereafter. I have always wanted to spend as much time with my babies in their early years, but I also find fulfillment in pursuits outside of motherhood! Frankly, I am making this up as I go, but I am trying to carve out a career that is flexible and allows me to work from home.
Right now, everything is part-time and that helps me fit it all in! I am home with my son two days per week, and he is with my parents for the other three. I am so grateful and fortunate to have the help of my parents! On the days he is with them, I work as a lawyer, nutritionist and blogger, all from home. Sometimes, I also work in the evenings and on the weekends, but it is a tradeoff that works for us.
Your instagram makes us so hungry, with gorgeous pictures of wholesome meals you’ve cooked for your family. Any tips for our busy mamas on how you prioritize this even when short on time?
Thank you! My biggest tip is to keep things simple! Pinterest and Instagram are full of beautiful pictures of complicated meals, but I find the best (and most readily eaten) meals are made with few ingredients.
Did your diet change at all while pregnant or after having your son, Ellington? Were there certain foods you prioritized then and now due to nutritional benefits?
While studying nutrition, I learned so much about the importance of pre-conception and pre-natal care. Prior to becoming pregnant, I included certain foods in my diet because of their nutritional benefits to creating and growing a baby. I prioritized low-mercury fish such as salmon and sardines, eggs, greens and vegetables, and healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, and avocados. I also choose grassfed, pastured and organic as much as possible. Even now, 15 months postpartum, prioritizing these foods make me feel my best!
What does your theoretic ‘food diary’ look like on a typical day for you? Meals, snacks, beverages, supplements, etc.
When I first wake up at 5:30 a.m., I drink a glass of water and my matcha latte with MCT oil, water and a splash of oat milk. I continue to drink water throughout the day and aim for 60-80oz/day.
After my son wakes up, we make breakfast around 7:30 a.m. With the warmer weather, I have been having a Fab4 Smoothie with pea milk, spinach, blueberries, protein powder, avocado, chia seeds and vitamin D drops.
If I workout or have a late lunch, I usually have ½ a protein bar around 11am, but otherwise, I skip a morning snack.
For lunch, I have either eggs scrambled with veggies, two handfuls of greens and a slice of toast or sweet potatoes, or a bowl with greens, quinoa, avocado and protein (chicken or fish).
I often have an afternoon snack around 3:30 before I go pick up my son. My go-tos include a maca latte with protein powder, beet chips with guacamole or a slice of avocado toast.
We are working on having dinner as a family, but I often don’t get around to making my dinner until 8pm after my son goes to bed. If I had eggs for lunch, I will do a bowl for dinner, and if I had a bowl for lunch, I do eggs for dinner - like I said: keep it simple! After dinner, I have a few squares of dark chocolate.
Can you share with us your exercise journey throughout pregnancy and postpartum? What are your go-to workouts? Do you have weekly routine?
During pregnancy, I was working from home and made home workouts a priority. I did strength training 2-3x/week and walks 3-5x/week. Postpartum, I decided to exclusively pump after Ellington would not latch. This meant I pumped before he woke up, during every nap and after he went to bed. I made this a priority over working out, so I am just starting to get back into it after weaning at 13 months!
I love in-person studio workouts, but they aren’t right for the season of life I am in. Instead of resisting it, I am embracing workouts at home. I find that even 10-15 minutes per day is better than nothing. I usually make up my own workouts based on programs I have done in the past, like Dailey Method, and suggestions from a pelvic floor specialist (I have DR).
For me, learning to overcome my perfectionism has been the biggest lesson. As a perfectionist, I often allow my pursuit of the unimportant overshadow, delay and distract me from what really matters.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since becoming a mother? Motherhood has forced me to confront all of my flaws and shortcomings. Suddenly, all of the unhealthy habits and limiting thought patterns I have aren’t hurting only me, but my whole family. For me, learning to overcome my perfectionism has been the biggest lesson. As a perfectionist, I often allow my pursuit of the unimportant overshadow, delay and distract me from what really matters. I am learning to prioritize only a few things and really let go of the rest.
We ask all our moms this question… if you could give one gift to all the mothers in the world, what would that be?
One year of paid maternity leave with job protection. There is a plethora of articles summarizing the benefits to women, children, partners, the workforce and society from providing extended paid leave. From my own personal experience, even after an emergency C-section, the first 3 months were relatively easy compared to months 3-9. My son had a difficult four-month sleep regression and it wasn’t until after 12 weeks that I experienced postpartum depression. I cannot imagine what it would’ve been like to also need to return to work full-time at that point.
Finally, if you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
One of my favorite bowls: two handfuls of greens, with shredded chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, beet sauerkraut, avocado and lemon tahini sauce!