Welcome to Chicago North Shore Moms Meet a Mom series where we feature local moms; what they’re up to both personally and professionally. From time to time we like to share national stories brought to us by our parent company, The Local Moms Network. Yep, because we think those stories are relevant, too, and well, pretty cool.
Los Angeles mom of two and lifestyle influencer, Kimberly Snyder, is this week’s Meet a Mom! You all know that we love highlighting female founders, especially ones that are in the business of helping other women, and that certainly describes Kimberly. She’s the founder of Solluna, a lifestyle brand which incorporates so many areas of wellness—supplements, skincare, meditation and courses. She’s a bestselling author (her Beauty Detox book series was co-written with Deepak Chopra), currently writing her sixth book, and hosts the Feel Good Podcast. We spoke to Kimberly about tips for postpartum fitness and nutrition, being a mom during the pandemic, growing her brand, and more.
You’ve accomplished so much. What are you most proud of?
What I’m most proud of is creating a lifestyle to teach people how to feel their best and to access their True Beauty. For me, there is not a singular thing that we must do to feel good. It is not just about teaching the importance of nutrition and healthy food practices, per se. My philosophy is really rooted in teaching a Four Cornerstone approach, which consists of Food, Body, Emotional Well-being and Spiritual Growth.
This passion inspired me to write my sixth book, which I am currently working on. My first few books really focused on food and teaching people a different way to look at food, in terms of energy. Now my sixth book is all about showing people how they can reframe their whole lives and look at it in a similar way through the lens of energy. This book really goes beyond food and nutrition. It goes into wellness and spirituality in a much more complete way, so I’m super excited about it!
Sounds great! Travel has always inspired you. How are you finding inspiration during COVID?
Travel has been a huge source of inspiration for me throughout my life. I backpacked for three years around the world to over 50 countries after college, which is where I created the basis of my philosophy. Traveling and learning from other cultures and philosophies is like food for my soul; it has allowed me to learn incredible amounts about myself and what I really believe.
During the pandemic now, I’ve done quite a bit of domestic travel with my family. Before the pandemic, I had always been focused on international travel, so traveling domestically has been a wonderful opportunity and experience, especially with our babies. With our youngest son being five months and our oldest son being four years, we went to Yosemite during the pandemic and we also visited Sequoia National Park. Plus, we’ve driven all around California, and done it really safely, staying in motels. Overall, it’s been really wonderful seeing more of the country, and finding inspiration in the land and the mountains and different deserts in California.
What are your best tips for pregnant women looking to improve their prenatal nutrition?
I think it’s really important for pregnant women to eat a wide variety of foods. It’s essential to still eat colorful foods to help hit your basic nutritional needs, even if you experience cravings. The more colorful your plate, the better! For me, I didn’t really have that many unusual cravings while I was pregnant. I found that I was just eating a lot more of what I usually eat, during the second trimester. I will be releasing a whole course about fertility, pregnancy and postpartum in a few months, where I will be sharing extensive information on this topic.
Overall, I will just say that it’s really important to keep up with fiber and digestion, to make sure you’re not stagnating and not getting overly constipated. Many women do experience constipation or digestive distress during pregnancy, so it’s important to consume plenty of fiber-rich foods including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. A plant-based diet is the best way to ensure you’re consuming enough fiber and getting those colorful, nutrient-rich foods.
Regardless of your dietary preferences, pay special attention to sources of folate, protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids because these are all essential to your growing baby’s health. It’s crucial to hit your basic nutritional requirements, so I recommend taking a good prenatal supplement as insurance. I also recommend taking an algae-based DHA/EPA supplement every day, because omega-3 fatty acids are key for baby’s brain development.
Lastly, I am a huge believer in taking a high-quality probiotic for your gut health while pregnant, like my Feel Good SBO Probiotics+. In pregnant women, the gut microbiome changes along with the body’s immune responses, which must be suppressed to allow an embryo to implant in the uterus and grow. SBO probiotics support the gut microbiome, and consist of soil-based organisms, which are healthy bacteria that most closely resemble the probiotics our ancestors consumed from little bits of dirt left on their food. These organisms perform the same functions on plants as they do on us humans: breaking down plant material and helping to produce necessary vitamins. I took our Solluna SBO Probiotics+ every day of my pregnancy to help aid in my body’s digestion, reduce nausea, bloating and gas. I found it essential!
And how about postpartum—do you have any bits of advice for eating well during this hectic time?
I’m a big fan of one pot meals, which you can make once or twice a week and get several meals out of it. I hope that if you have some help after delivery, you’re able to make easy, nutrition-dense recipes like kitchari, which is believed in Ayurvedic medicine to really important for postpartum mothers, especially in the first 40 days. These one pot meals are a great way to incorporate ingredients like coconut milk, a healthy fat, which is super important to consume while you’re breastfeeding.
I also recommend keeping foods on hand that you can pick up and grab. I certainly eat a lot of wraps, which are really easy to make. I just take a gluten-free wrap, and throw on avocado, tomato and sprouts, and boom! There’s a perfect meal that I can pick up and eat! Additionally, smoothies, like my Power Protein Smoothie, have been a staple in my postpartum period. The key here is seeking out easy but nutrition-packed foods.
How did you prioritize fitness during and after pregnancy?
Fitness-wise, I am a huge fan of walking and natural movement hiking. This type of movement has felt really good for my body, especially postpartum. I also walk now everyday with baby in the carrier. Anytime that you can include baby, where you could take a stroller or carrier hiking or walking, is really wonderful.
I will say that it’s really important that you don’t push yourself too hard. Honor how you feel while you’re pregnant and after delivery. I also don’t recommend trying anything new during this period. This isn’t the moment to be attempting new fitness routines or yoga poses; it’s more important that you maintain or scale back.
Do you have any advice for moms that are going through pregnancy and postpartum during the pandemic?
Try to look at the positive side! Yes, there may not be as many family members around to support you and meet your new baby, but on a good note, it is so quiet and peaceful now. It’s a really wonderful time to nest and to go deeper into your home, into your household, and into your family.
I also think it’s really important to meditate, in order to ground yourself and find safety and security within yourself. For me, I often meditate while the babies are napping. This type of quiet moment where your baby is breastfeeding is also a wonderful time for meditation.
Now is also an important time to stay connected to a tribe or a community online. This might look like FaceTiming family and friends, or connecting on Facebook groups. We have a wonderful Solluna Circle group, where our community stays connected and supported virtually. It is important to have that community time, which may not be as helpful as in-person support, but is still really effective for your emotional and mental health.
Take those moments to just breathe and have that time to meditate and to take care of yourself, even if it’s just your partner holding the baby for a little while. For me, having time for my abhyanga self massages and my soothing showers and baths is really, really important. Savor those sacred moments, which will help you recharge.
What’s next for you?
I’m really excited about our new Solluna app that we’re in the process of building, and my new book, which comes out in just about a year. I’m also excited for the growth of Solluna, as we’re launching some new product categories. We have our pregnancy, fertility and postpartum course coming out in a few months. Plus, we have some cool herbs and other products we’re working on developing.
I also think that while it’s easy and beautiful to get really focused on our inner circles of our families, it’s so fulfilling to expand our circles! We are all one, and we are all connected. Fostering those connections is fuel for our hearts and our souls.
So one last thing I’d love to share is that we are in the midst of launching a super cool organic tee shirt (that has “We Are One” as part of the design!) where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Food Forward, helping to connect surplus food to hungry people. I read a New York Times article about the increase in hunger since the start of the pandemic, and I felt like I had to do something about it.
I will also say that one of the biggest things that helps me staying positive, happy and peaceful is taking it one step at a time. Maybe I don’t know exactly what will happen when Moses starts walking and it’s more energy to watch his every move, maybe I don’t know how I’m going to get through the whole week’s workload with teething happening right now big time and Emerson coming into our bed multiple times a night so my sleep is pretty horrible, but you know what? I just focus on the next breath, and bring it back to my next step.
I’m a huge fan of mini meditations to re-center myself during the day, and I can’t recommend them enough! I lead different ones on my Instagram (@_kimberlysnyder) every week, so come join me!