Community Highlight: Brittany Forman

Community Highlight: Brittany Forman

Brittany Forman is a nutritionist, community builder, wife, and mother. As a health coach at Parsley Health, she empowers patients with the building blocks to successfully optimize their health through nutrition and lifestyle changes. Recently, she founded CircleMoms, a neighborhood community of mothers and babies. She lives in San Francisco and is passionate about creating an environment for her family and herself that fosters wellness physically, socially and mentally. 

How did your nutrition journey start?

My nutrition journey started in college when I was going through all sorts of diets to manage my weight. Skinny was always the goal. For several years, I would practice calorie restriction for a few weeks, and then I would quickly get completely off track. On one visit home during college, I arrived to my entire family looking and feeling amazing after adopting a new way of eating. They had read the book Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman, which promotes a vegan diet with lots and lots of plants and absolutely no processed foods. I started to integrate these principles into my own life, and began to see results not only physically, but, more importantly, mentally and emotionally. After feeling crappy for far too long, I had finally found a healthy living plan that I could stick with. I stopped pouring so much energy into working to keep myself at such a restrictive weight. 

 Later, I realized that I needed to incorporate high quality proteins and fats for my particular body, but I still do make veggies the dominant food on my plate. 

What do you find the most rewarding and the most challenging about being in charge of your family’s nutrition?

I’ve always supported my parents, siblings, and husband with their nutrition. My dad was able to reduce his cholesterol numbers significantly with supplements and diet, and I’ve helped my mom with her bone health in this way, as well. I love that nutrition and supplements typically don’t have the negative side effects that a more traditional pharmaceutical can have on the body. My husband, baby, and I are generally able to stay healthy throughout the year by eating well, doing things we love, and being active. 

The most challenging thing for me as a newish mom is getting food on the table for the family. There is endless work to be done! If you can get the right support in place and/or be super organized about your time, it is doable. I definitely outsource certain things, so I can prioritize feeding my family. 

 Of course, there is no magic food that will address all of the nutrition needs of your children, but what are some of your go-tos and why?

Garlic and onion are anti-bacterial and immune-boosting foods (and add in the flavor element!), so I always make sure to add them to eggs and veggie dishes for my baby. 

 What role do supplements play in your approach to nutrition?

I view supplements as a way to fill in the gaps and address deficiencies. For example, I’ve tested low in magnesium and Vitamin D (most people are low), so I supplement with these. I also have a gene mutation that impacts my ability to methylate, so I take a B complex. 

 What are your go-to daily supplements?

Prenatal Seeking Health Protein Powder, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D/K, B Complex, DHA, and NAC.

 We are interested in exploring nourishment at the intersection of food, family, community. Can you tell us a story about an especially nourishing meal that you had alone or shared with others?

Now that I have a young baby, I cherish my date nights with my husband. Our favorite meal to share is Japanese omakase. We close our eyes when we take each bite, and we really enjoy each raw piece of fish. We share such a love for the entire experience, and there is no one else I would rather enjoy it with. Sitting next to my husband, alone, at the sushi bar, sharing good conversation, and watching the chef meticulously prepare Japanese food are all big winners for me right now. 

 Having said that, I do love watching my sweet baby boy try new foods. We recently gave him salmon roe, and watching his face when the roe popped in his mouth was truly epic! It is fun to re-experience new tastes and flavors through my baby. 

 What books have influenced your personal nutrition education the most?

Eat to Live by Joel Furhman was the first nutrition book that had a lasting impact on me. It helped me learn how to eat for optimal nutrition and also weight management.
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