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  • Writer's pictureElise Johnson

Haven, Home to Well-Fed Mamas and their Babies

Updated: Apr 16

HAven logo is a light blue background with Haven written in white letters. The letter H is made with leaves.

Understanding the importance of nourishing our bodes at any age, but particularly before, during, and after pregnancy, we are committed to educating, guiding, and supporting each woman who enters Haven. Nourishment goes beyond what's on your plate. What we eat absolutely affects us at a cellular level, but so too, does how we think and whom we surround ourselves with.

At Haven, "the focus is on a holistic, family approach distinguished by an unwavering commitment to natural, informed, and respectful care practices."

I am elated to be a part of this exciting adventure and amazing group of dedicated individuals! As Haven's integrative nutrition health coach, it will be my joy to work with each mother as she embraces the changing landscape of her body and mind.

And now, we'd like to welcome you in joining us for an exciting few days! The Haven Women's Health and Birth Center is officially opening its' doors and we can't wait to welcome you!

Come say hello, join in the fun, and try some of the healthy food we are preparing especially for our guests! Haven has put so much love into every detail, it is difficult to put into words, so you'll just have to come and see for yourselves! This is not your average women's health and birth center.

To kick off the grand opening, Haven is hosting a Dedication and Blessing of the Hands on Saturday, April 13th for those who will be working with our sweet patients and their families. Also welcomed to join in the ceremony are those doulas and midwives in our Raleigh/Cary, NC area, so please help us by sharing this blog post with others.

I have never been a part of a ceremony such as this and am so looking forward to the literal blessing I know it will be. Haven is hosting two open houses as well: one for our community on Monday, April 15th and one on Wednesday, April 17th for healthcare colleagues.

Haven providers anticipating welcome all to the upcoming open house!
Rejoicing with, Sara, Founder of Haven Women's Health and Birth Center

In preparation for the open houses, the Haven providers will be preparing an array of healthy and delicious foods to sample at the open houses! This is what's on the menu:

Minty Peach Tea

Asparagus Quiche with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta

Super Salad

Fruit and Nut Shortbread

(aka Healthy Pecan Sandies)

Fudgy Brownies

Guilt-free Blondies

I'm sharing these recipes with you so that you can make them for your families!

An asparagus quiche is plated on a bed of mixed greens on a pretty white platter.
Asparagus quiche filled with sun-dried tomatoes and feta


Avocado spray

2 bunches asparagus spears

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Sprinkle of black pepper

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp ground turmeric

One dozen eggs

1 cup half and half, whole milk, or nut milk

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup Parmesan or pasteurized feta cheese (if pregnant hard cheeses are best, only eat feta if made from pasteurized sheep's milk, and avoid soft cheeses like goat cheese)

Preheat your oven to 400F. Prepare a 9x13-in baking pan with avocado spray and set aside. Cut the bottoms of your asparagus spears by approximately two inches. Place on a baking sheet or use the bottom of your broiler pan like I do (this makes vegetables so nice and caramelized). Toss the spears in a drizzle of olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly cooked. They will continue to cook in your quiche.

In the meantime, let's begin building the egg mixture:

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and add remaining ingredients. Once the asparagus is ready, take half and cut into bite-size pieces. Fold into your egg mixture and mix. Pour into your prepared pan. Place the pan in front of you horizontally and lay the remaining whole asparagus on top of egg mixture alternating vertically the top and bottom direction of each piece (it looks so pretty!). Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This quiche can be served warm or at room temperature. And, what goes better with a beautiful quiche? That's right - a beautiful salad!

A colorful kale salad in a white bowl adorned with dried cranberries and cherries.
A powerhouse of nutrients, protein and fiber, this super salad is sure to please!



2 cups chopped kale

1 cup arugula

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

6 chopped pitted dates

1 cup cooked black beans

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled

1 cup cubed roasted sweet potatoes*

1 red bell pepper, sliced


3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, optional

1 tsp agave nectar or honey

Freshly ground black pepper

Follow my “just one more rule” by always looking for one more fresh vegetable or fruit to add to your dish or plate!

*For more flavor, roast your cubed sweet potatoes in a dark roasting pan drizzled with just a touch of extra virgin olive or avocado oil. Now sprinkle a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a bit of ground cumin, and chili powder! Roast for about 25 min at 400F. or until cooked through and a little crispy on all sides (tossing once or twice helps with this! )

Also known as pecan sandies, this healthy version is sitting on a plate with the name of the recipe in the picture. Cookies are filled with nuts and fruits.
Feed your body all the good things it needs with this super delicious version of a pecan sandie!

2-1/2 cups blanched almond


1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

5 tbsp pure maple syrup

1tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

6 dates, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll a tablespoon of cookie dough into your hands and place one inch apart onto your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently flatten and bake for 8 minutes or until edges become lightly browned.

Tip: Slightly wetting your hands helps the dough not stick to your fingers. Allow the cookies to cool before transferring. You can see that these cookies will hold their shape.

Sometimes I create heart-shaped cookies as a gentle reminder that self-love is crucial to your mental health, self-esteem, and overall life satisfaction or just because a heart lets others know how much you love them!

A stack of healthy and delicious fudge brownies are stacked on a counter ready for consumption!
Fudgy Brownies


1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1-1/3 cup almond butter (should contain nuts only and maybe a little sea salt)

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond

extract, optional, but so yummy!

1 cup dark chocolate chips, optional

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 9 x 13-inch baking pan

with parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl,

add the applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup,

coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla

extract and almond extract and mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter into the lined pan and top with dark

chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Bake for 30-35

minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. Remove

the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely.

Brownies taste even better when placed in the refrigerator or freezer!


2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup gluten-free, oat, or spelt flour*

1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

1/2 cup 72% dark chocolate chips, or more if desired

Sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional

*Can substitute almond flour, but be sure to increase amount to 1 cup.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x13-in baking pan with avocado spray or a little grass-fed butter. Set chocolate chips aside. Blend all other ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and sprinkle sesame seeds onto. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean! Enjoy!

From left to right: Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Elise, Owner, NP and Midwife, Sara, NP and Midwife, Aleisa, and Midwife, Casey are arm-and-arm as they anticipate the opening of Haven Women's Health and Birth Center!
Part of the Haven Family

We can hardly wait to see those who are able to come out and join us for these very special events! We hope to see you there!


Be sure to follow us at Haven Women's Health and Birth Center and Nourish With Elise to see the monthly workshops being offered beginning in May! Become a member of the Haven family and register for a workshop today!

To learn more about my wellness workshops and to register, please head this way!

My first workshop will be held on May 1st! I would love to see you there!

Unable to join us for these events, but always there in spirit, is the amazing Donna Zubrod. Donna's hands-on workshop helps expecting mothers prepare for a gentler birth experience.

Her first class will be held on June 8th!

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