Boss Mom of the Week: Lindsay Stenovec
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, eating disorder specialist and lactation educator, Lindsay Stenovec is an established leader in the field of nutrition for women and families. She owns a private practice, Nutrition Instincts(r), where she leads and trains a team of dietitians specializing in eating disorders, intuitive eating, pregnancy and postpartum wellness and family feeding coaching. In 2015, she founded The Nurtured Mama(r), an online community for mothers that promotes self-care, non-diet nutrition and positive body image. Lindsay offers clear and practical eating and feeding advice that empowers parents to reduce stress around feeding, while also nurturing healthy relationships with food and body alike. She is an adjunct faculty professor for a local community college, on the Wellness Advisory Panel for Plum Organics, an advisory board member for Registered Dietitians for Body Confidence (RD4BC) and is a featured expert on podcasts like the New Mommy Media, Love, Food and Savor. She regularly speaks to professionals and parents on the topics of eating disorders, child feeding and postpartum wellness. Lindsay lives in San Diego with her husband and young son. Affiliate links present in this post.
Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
My boss mom journey started out way before I had children. I’m a total planner! Three years before having children, I quit my full time job at an eating disorder treatment center and set out to start my nutrition counseling private practice, Nutrition Instincts (R), with my future family in mind. It was growing slowly but surely and I was excited about what this could mean for my future family life. I envisioned mom-life bliss – flexible hours, lots of money and working while being with my kids most of the week. Sound familiar? Fast forward to 2015 – I returned to work when my son was 4 months old and squished a good 4 days of work into one day of childcare – which was miserable. I was drained and losing my mind. I couldn’t appreciate the time with my son because I was always trying to manage my business on the side. On paper, I had a dream life but I felt anything but dreamy. I actually later learned I was dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety and my work/life situation was a primary trigger. I remember thinking, “I started my business so that this part of my life would be ideal. How did I get here??” So in 2016, I decided to take back my life. I realized that if I was going to run a business improving the lives of women and mothers, I should probably start with my own. That process began with seeking the support of a therapist and psychiatrist and, after a lot of hard work, I began to feel much better. Throughout the entire experience, my business was my saving grace despite the fact that it contributed to the stress. It was the only area in my life I felt like I knew what I was doing. I realized I needed to OWN the fact that I LOVE what I do and that didn’t take away from how much I loved my son. The passion for what I do is part of who I am – just as much as being a mom is part of who I am now. Denying that was ultimately hurting me AND my family.
Halfway through 2016, I gave myself permission to let go of the mom guilt, get 4 days of childcare and save Fridays as my special days with my son. Boy has life changed since I did that! I get to be present whether I’m at work or with my family. I don’t have to live for the weekend or for when my husband gets home from work. I have the energy and focus to provide even better services to my clients and dream up new and creative ways to support my clients and grow my business. I never want to live through the pain of PPD/PPA or inadequate childcare again BUT, I will say that this year taught me more about myself and my own wellness than any class or profession ever could. Turns out teaching others about self-care is not the same thing as practicing your own – a mistake I won’t let myself make again.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
Staying true to my Italian roots, I love defaulting to pasta when we’re in a dinner pinch. We create a “pasta hodgepodge” with whatever we have available – usually some combination of spinach, olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, goat or feta cheese, slivered almonds, and chicken or sausage. We always keep Trader Joe’s bruschetta mix around and use that as our sauce. It’s delicious! I’m also obsessed with PlantoEat.com. Highly recommend it
Where do you go for inspiration?
I get the best inspiration when I’m moving and away from my computer so I’ll usually head out on a walk around my neighborhood. This year I’ve also made an effort to include artistic activities in my life. It doesn’t happen often but, when it does, I’ve found having an artistic outlet like making a collage or coloring helps me feel calm and really gets my creative ideas flowing.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
Currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Dietland by Sarai Walker. Both = AMAZING. My favorite podcasts are Boss Moms (duh), Being Boss, Food Blogger Pro and The Love, Food Podcast. I highly recommend Love, Food for anyone looking to improve their relationship with food and their body.
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Get adequate childcare! Whether it be a mother’s helper, in-home nanny or a childcare center, having someone care for your children while you work can be incredibly helpful. Some moms are able to work just fine with their kiddos around. If that’s you, that’s awesome. I’ve found most of us need to separate the two in one way or another and that’s perfectly fine.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
“Life is tough my darling, but so are you.”
“In matters of taste, consider nutrition and, in matters of nutrition, consider taste.” – Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
–Ellyn Satter Institute
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.Growth
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
- Body Trust
- Realistic Expectations
I work with women and mothers who are ready to heal their relationship with food and their bodies. This requires a nutrition counseling style that supports women with accepting their bodies RIGHT NOW, exactly how they are, to trust that their bodies are capable of communicating needs and to be realistic with the expectations they have in their own wellness journey.
Becoming a mother taught me that self-care is non-negotiable. Lack of self-care can be somewhat managed and hidden when you aren’t a mom but poo poo is definitely going to hit the fan once that baby arrives. I also learned that helping others to find self-acceptance, trust in themselves and their wisdom and maintain realistic expectations is not the same as believing these things for yourself. Being immersed in this self-care cultural professionally was a catalyst for reaching out and getting support in my own journey to self-acceptance in my new mom identity.
Connect with Lindsay!
Free Nurtured Mama Club Membership – A body positive community for mothers.
Tired of spending your precious time, energy and money on hating your body and feeling obsessed with food? We are too. It’s time for a wellness focus that helps you feel better about the body you are in right now. Yes, that’s possible. Immersing yourself in a community of positive body talk and genuine conversations about the struggles of body image is crucial to body acceptance.
Learn more here.
Also, Lindsay has a program launching! Learn more about Intuitive Eating Total Wellness Program!