Pregnancy Foods & Supplements

 

1) Hawaii 4 mo pregnant. Pierce was 8 mo old. 2) Christmas - 3 mo preg & Pierce was 7 mo old. 3) 7 mo pregnant in Prague. 4) euro train with Pierce 5) More Prague {Pierce was asleep} 6) Paris - top of Empire State Building 7 mo pregnant 7) airplane to Hawaii - only 4 mo preg 8) Switzerland - 7 mo preg 9) at home with Pierce at about 8 mo preg 10) 8 month preg at hotel near our house - Pierce was 10 mo old 11) Last day of being Preg

Somebody recently asked me about Eidon supplements and which supplements I took during pregnancy? She suggested I write a post about it, and I think she's right, it would make a great one. So here goes...

Let me first say that I didn't do much in the area of prenatals. I focused more on diet and nutrition than I did a supplement program. I do NOT recommend not taking your prenatals, ask your doctor or midwife before stopping any of your vitamins. I'm just being honest about what I did during my pregnancies. 

I was very sick during the first trimesters of both pregnancies, so neither food nor prenatals went down all that well. 

DIET

But I clearly remember finding out I was pregnant and getting VERY excited to have a clean, toxin-free diet. I thought if there was EVER a time to eat 100% right, it would be NOW! Some women see pregnancy as just the opposite: a time to indulge and not feel guilty!? I highly disagree and don't understand this at all. note: I would highly recommend ANYBODY that sees pregnancy in this way should FOR SURE take their prenatals religiously!

+ I immediately cut out sugar {for my child but also for my health - it would only add excess pounds and could contribute to gestational diabetes} and any dessert of any kind. I did however eat raw cookies {sweetened with agave and dates} and fruit.

+ I went to my local raw food store {at the time it was Ranchos - no longer there} and stocked up on meals. I was in heaven drinking milkshakes and green juices and rawviolis, etc. mmmmmm. I felt GREAT. 

+ For breakfast I would make Manna Bread with almond butter and dates and basil. 

+ My hunger was insatiable so I would fill up on smoothies {frozen fruit, brown rice protein, almond milk, agave or honey, flax oil, and bananas} before bed and during the day. 

+ I took my food-based prenatals and Eidon multi-mineral {and the immune support as well if you're getting sick}. 

+ Added protein powder to everything. Because eating it became impossible. 

I started both pregnancies eating raw like this...until...morning sickness kicked in! During this awful time I just ate the best that I could {smoothies were about all I could stomach and at night maybe potatoes with lots of salt} or bland cereal. Greasy potatoes chips {from Whole Foods} were another must have {with salt and vinegar} during the first three months as well. Not saying this was a healthy choice, but boy did I crave it. 

note: my midwife, Andrea, will explain this further in an upcoming post but protein and salt are VERY important during first trimester and throughout pregnancy

GREENS & FIRST TRIMESTER

I clearly remember my friend Kimberlie telling me "EAT YOUR GREENS" pretty much every SINGLE day {because I complained to her over and over about my queasy stomach} and me saying back to her pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY: "I just can't!" But she never gave up on me and didn't stop promising me that if I did that, I would feel better. So finally I threw some romaine in with my morning mango smoothie...and...unfortunately, immediately ran to the bathroom. 

The theory though is that if you can stomach them {or force yourself to}, consuming your GREENS will do wonders for the health of your baby and your own stomach issues during this trimester. Greens can give you all the micronutrients you need if you throw them in your blender with fresh fruits and nut milks.

FOOD BASED PRENATALS

But if you honestly can't stomach even a good smoothie {with lots of EFAs and protein and carbs} then take a food based prenatal like Rainbow Light. {my midwife suggested I take my prenatals every day but when she found out about my raw diet, she told me that it was okay to stop - but that was her! and most likely not the case with most of them}

FOLIC ACID & OJ

I drank OJ and ate tangerines like they were going out of style {my body was craving folic acid and also vit C and iron} in the first {and during all three} trimesters. Taking a folic acid supplement is a great idea. 

IRON

MANY MANY women are iron deficient during pregnant. I'm not just talking about raw food women or vegan or veg women, I'm talking ALL women! 

I took a non-constipating {this is key} liquid iron supplement that was super easy to take. 

Of course even more natural is seaweed and ocean supplements. Eating lots of seaweed will help up your iron stores for sure. 

VITAMIN D

Sunshine is very very important during this wonderful 9 months. As is fresh air. If you live where it's sunny, like I do, go ahead and get outside. I used to walk twice a day during my second pregnancy. It was VERY hard to be sick during this time because I had a 5 month old to take care of. Walks helped me get some fresh air and also distract me from the tiredness and the nausea. 

Of course people always suggest that Vit D and Calcium are most abundant in dairy products. I don't necessarily agree with this because the adult digestive system doesn't absorb the nutrients in dairy as well as it does in say raw spinach. So therefore, the source is poor. 

note: Some studies show that taking Vit D supplements during pregnancy is not recommended. I would suggest 10 - 15 minutes a day in the sunshine - barefoot and no sunscreen. 

PROTEIN

Protein is a HUGE deal when you're pregnant. And by protein I don't meant it has to be meat. But just good quality, organic protein rich foods.

You can definitely make morning shakes or green drinks or smoothies full of sprouted rice protein or whey or even hemp. I do a combination and switch if up every so often.

Sprouted beans, grains and nuts are amazing for protein. Nut milks and just plain old organic veggies and fruits have protein. 

The more fresh organic plant-based foods you're eating, and the less packaged starchy junk foods, the more protein you will be consuming just by pure default. 

Desserts and packaged chips and snacks are usually pretty low in protein, high in empty carbohydrates and full of the low-quality fats you don't want to be consuming. 

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS 

I love love love EFAs. Flax oil and fish oils are a great addition to the diet. I would take fish oil by the spoonful but use flax oil in recipes like on top of oatmeal or museli and in smoothies and dressings. You can use it like butter on toast. NOTE: DO NOT HEAT THESE FATS or use in cooking.

During pregnancy a combination of flax and fish oils {that are free from contaminants} are a good idea. Flax is the least processed and vegan alternative but it lacks the DHA necessary for areas of brain development. 

PROBIOTICS

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about probiotics if you are eating a high raw diet. Probiotics aren't just found in animal products. In fact plants and soils are FULL of these beneficial bacteria and microbes. 

FERMENTED FOODS are a great source as well! Kim Chi, naturally pickled foods, etc. 

Probiotics can help with pregnancy inflammation, bowel irregularities, immune system function, yeast infections and vaginal health, UTIs and urinary tract health and so on. A great way to help keep yourself feeling somewhat normal during this time when things like "puffiness", "weight gain", "constipation", "edema", "hemorrhoids", "varicose vains," "stretch marks" and so can, be a common worry. 

THIRD TRIMESTER & THE GARDEN DIET

In my third trimester and during the end of my second trimester I went back on my raw food lifestyle. Of course, if you read my blog, you know that doesn't mean 100% raw all the time. It means, pretty much every day all day unless I go out with friends or our with my kids to a restaurant or on a vacation. I still live and maintain a very normal life and I like it that way. I like being social, I like to feel normal at times, I like a glass of red wine, I like chips and I even like eggs. I ate quite a few eggs during my non-raw end of first/ middle of second trimester. It helped me feel grounded for some reason. Maybe it's because I was RAVENOUSLY hungry?!{so much in fact that had I not been SO grossed out by meat I would have probably eaten a human being during that time}. 

During the end of my second trimester, Kimberlie told me about the Garden Diet. I'm not sure if you know about this, but I had never been to this web site before this day. It turns out that the main woman/mother was pretty much raw during 3 of her pregnancies. In fact her whole family is raw now as well. They are a beautiful family that sells an eBook online that is filled with super inspirational stories, wonderful pregnancy tips, and raw recipes and even the birth stories. I read and read and read and got so inspired everyday just reading about their healthy lives.  

The natural birth of my second child was SO short {1 hour} and with minor pain. I attribute that to 1) it being my second birth and 2) my raw diet. 

FOOD AS MEDICINE

In my eRecipe Book launching next month, I discuss food as medicine. I believe supplements can do wonders for people but also believe that they come second to nutrition through food. Vitamins and minerals and enzymes and probiotics are best absorbed by the body through food. The matrix in which they naturally occur is the most recognized by our bodies.

Nowadays there seems to be more and more SUPERfoods - those which are like supplements because they are high in certain nutrients. i.e. maca or pomegranate powder. These are SUPERfoods not capsulated supplements. So they still have that "matrix" that I was talking about and therefore make GREAT foods for pregnant women. {again, ask midwife and/or doctor prior to using these foods}

Often times foods can be depleted of certain minerals and vitamins do to poor farming techniques, and therefore supplementing becomes crucial. Farmer's Markets are a GREAT way to get local, fresh, non-sprayed foods for a decent price that are high in mineral and vitamin content. 

note: thanks Sue for suggesting this great post topic!