Today we're talking to Mel Harris! She is mama of 2, almost 3 tiny humans, 2 dogs, 2 fish, one horse and wife to best friend Cale. They are currently building their dream farm house in the middle of all the 2020 chaos. She's a holistic dietitian for moms. Using science-backed, personalized nutrition & lifestyle plans and relatable accountability, to help mama's finally find the energy they didn’t think they had to give life to the person they truly want to be. Follow along on her site and instagram. Watch our live interview here!
- Who are you a mom to? Kennedy (5) girl, Houston (3) boy, and surprise gender baby due December 9th!
- Tell us about your life outside of motherhood. Hobbies- does kids count? I enjoy yoga, running, all things food and a good book favorite things- time to myself, being creative, getting lost in target, stalking good interior design, farm fresh food, and a good coffee or tea from a local barista favorite travel destination- anywhere on a beach. I lived in Italy one summer in college and can't wait to get back there. My husband and I say we are going on our 10 year wedding anniversary that will take place in 2022.
- How has becoming a mother changed your life? I always say motherhood took me from Type A to Type B personality really quickly. I had to learn to let things go (so long clean house) and accept help (hello babysitters and house cleaners). Becoming a mother changes every single fiber of your being. It's like your genetic makeup gets an overhaul on every level. Your time and body now have different demands. Everything isn't always in your "control" any more. Being a mother is the best and hardest thing I have ever done. It requires sheer magic to coordinate all the things and still feel like a human on the other side of the chaos. Being a mama is beautiful, but I think we could all do a better job of sharing/showing/normalizing the hard stuff. So we could feel a little more sane and a little less like a failure.
- If you started your business after you became a mother, how did it influence the start of your business? Or if you started your blog/instagram message before you became a mom, how did it change the direction of your content. I started Mel Harris Nutrition after becoming a mama, but my mission to start a Functional Medicine Nutrition practice started before I had my first daughter. In short I had ruined my metabolism, was dealing with endometriosis and fears I would never get pregnant, and lost my passion for my current job and felt stressed all the time. I started seeking alternative healing through diet and lifestyle and I found it. While I had a degree in Nutrition Science and a masters in Biomedical Science, I was not a licensed dietitian and could not legally practice nutrition in Georgia. I wanted to go back, get my license and help other women down the same path that I had found. 3 months into that journey I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The journey to becoming an RD took me 3 years and I had two children while pursuing this goal. My health journey to heal my body for my first pregnancy looked a lot different from showing up for my health consistently as a busy mom of two trying to start a business. When talking to friends and other women I saw how hard "staying healthy" was for them. I also felt like I had all these hacks and tips on how they could simplify their health and stay consistent with their goals in a realistic and approachable way. I wanted a way to give mama's a functional medicine approach that felt doable and not restrictive. Where they could get results and stick with them. That's why I created my Be-Well method that I use with my 1:1 clients and my Mama Reboot course coming out in January of 2020. Life shifts and so must we. I help mama's build health foundations that feel shiftable to whatever curveball life is throwing them in that season.
- How do you balance the constant chaos of motherhood and or work? I don't really believe in balance. I approach life more from a "harmony" perspective. Sometimes things sing louder or softer than others, but the thing that matters is that they are beautiful to listen to. I feel like striving for balance in motherhood is unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Sometimes my work is "singing louder" than my kids and sometimes my kids are singing louder than my work (and so on). The important thing with motherhood is orchestrating it all to work together. I do this by having reliable systems, boundaries, clear priorities and constantly checking in with myself. I'm often evaluating my "wheel" to see how I'm doing in the categories of stress, sleep, nutrition, relationships, movement. Your life has to align with the story you tell yourself or you will always feel behind or sold short. For example I only pick one focus per day, so I can actually win at something with my time. I schedule my to-do list in my calendar to keep me productive and on task while protecting my energy. I keep all my systems at home and at work flexible (because things never go according to plan). For me I always run the chaos through these filtering questions. "What if this wasn't hard, what if it were easy" and "Does this "thing" I'm stressing/worried about fit in my top three priorities?" This leads to progress over perfection.
- Tell me about your "life's Messy Moment" story. To only pick one here is hard, considering today as I was putting fresh sourdough bread to proof in the oven, my son decided to take all the flour from the counter and place it on the floor. BUT I feel like every "messy mom moment" involves poop. I'll never forget when my daughter was just a few weeks old, my sister called and was in a pinch. My niece, her daughter was just 6 months old and she needed someone to watch her for a few. I agreed thinking how hard it could be. As I was laying there admiring all the girls' cuteness (my daughter and my niece) they both decided to have a blowout on me at the same time in my bed. Think poop bomb everywhere! I'm not sure exactly how I cleaned it all up but after lots of screaming, everyone changing their clothing at least once (including myself), an entire pack of baby wipes, half a box of diapers, and a change of sheets later the span of poop between the master bedroom and the nursery and both babies were finally cleaned up.
- How did you hear about the Ayla Bag? From a fellow friend Jess Durando- She is a health and mindset coach for moms. (Read our interview with her here!)
- What are you most excited for about the bag? It checks off all my boxes. This will be my third baby and my third diaper bag. None of the others made the cut enough to continue with the next child. I need something that was functional + stylish. This bag has it all (a mommy pocket on the outside so you can easily get to all of your stuff. Folds open practically so you don't have to dig to the bottom to find all the things. literally they have thought of everything from a vacuum to a snack bag.
- Tell us one place where you would use the Ayla Vac! Do I have to just pick one? Car seats, your friends house who doesn't have kids when a puffs explosion occurs, late pop-corn snacking in the bed with the kiddos on "camp out" nights.
Get caught up with the rest of our interviews and see special deals, more photos, product info and more by following us on instagram!