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Month: July 2016

How to Make Breastfeeding Badges for Your Pumping Bag: Celebrating 10 months of Breastfeeding

How to Make Breastfeeding Badges for Your Pumping Bag: Celebrating 10 months of Breastfeeding

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Ok, so I am posting this a day early than 10 months, but I hope no one will mind. I am so proud I made it through the low weight gain, exclusively pumping for months, practice nursing, craniosacral therapy, and stuck it out every time I wanted to quit. One of the things that got me through was making “bag tags” with the La Leche League badges and adding one to my pumping bag every month. I would see them on my bag and tell myself “Just make it through this month”. Having that mentality helped keep me going because it was easier to focus on a smaller goal as a success. At 5/6/7 months, it was hard to focus on making it a year and every oz counts.

To make these, I did the following:

  1. Went of LLL’s website or facebook page to find the badges
  2. Copy and pasted the badges into a word doc (formatted them to be the same size)
  3. Print
  4. Cut
  5. Cover badges in contact paper
  6. Hole punch each badge
  7. Attach to bag with a key ring

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Healthy Breakfast Idea for Kids: Fruit Art Recipe

Healthy Breakfast Idea for Kids: Fruit Art Recipe

I felt like making a special breakfast for Brynn this morning, and I want to make it healthy so I try and use flavor, color, and fun to make it special instead of sugar. So, I made her a fruit and yogurt sun since she loves making fruit art. I sliced apples, spread natural peanut butter, and placed a dried cherry on top for the rays. For the body of the sun, I took plain whole Greek yogurt with honey and then topped with fresh blueberries and macadamia nuts. Fat, protein, healthy carbs, vitamins and breakfastartminerals for the day! She ate it right up. 🙂 Also, this is such an easy breakfast recipe for kids, and less work in the mornings is always a plus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another example of the fruit art I have done for her. I like to do this on the weekends so she has time to play. I make sure that it includes yogurt and nuts so there is fat and protein with the sugar from fruit. Kids love variety and fun with their food. It is sometimes hard to find fun breakfast ideas for kids that is also a healthy breakfast. So, try this out with different fruits, and make it fun. You have so many options with each season or holiday! Get creative!

Here are some fun breakfast ideas:

  • Red, white and blue art for 4th of July (berries, nuts, and yogurt)
  • Flower art for Spring (sliced apples or oranges can be the petals)
  • The colors of all (red, orange and yellow fruits)
  • Snowman scene (use bananas for the snowmen circles)

 

fruitart

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Being in a Fat Burning State

Being in a Fat Burning State

Since I was trying to conceive in 2014, I started learning about eating healthy fats. As I went through pregnancy and became a new breastfeeding mom, my diet shifted more and more to higher fat, lower carbohydrate. I have enjoyed having more stable blood sugar and an easier time maintaining my typical weight, which is 130 lb on a 5’7″ frame. This gives me a thin, athletic build with just a touch of curves. Then, in trying to restore my cycles to conceive a second child in combination with nutritional research for Noah, I started to eat even higher fat and lower carbohydrate. I eat mostly grain free and focus on protein and fat in the morning and midday. If I have carbohydrates, it is a serving in the evening to support my adrenals and circadian rhythms.

This has led to severaeggsl batches of Bulletproof ice cream, Bulletproof coffee, veggies cooked in grass-fed butter, and egg and avocado breakfasts. Recently, I have noticed that I can make it 4-5 hours without needing or wanting a snack or having that ‘hangry’ feeling. It has been wonderful. Last Wednesday, I was working hard to get the final stages of a huge project for Willow Tree Family Center done because I am working on launching a nutrition program with them. I was working on recipes, food photography, and finalizing blog posts for both their site and mine. Plus, Wednesday is  my day off with my son, and he is my priority. I treasure those Wednesdays with him, especially since I was mainly using those days to take him to appointments in the early months.

That day, I had gotten up early to do my “Miracle Morning” that consists typically of a 30 minute run, reading my affirmations, looking at my vision board, listening to an audio book, and writing (usually work stuff, 3 things I am grateful for, and to dos for the day). So, I had made some extra coffee, sat out on our deck after the r20160706_121000un, drank 2 cups of Bulletproof coffee, and had an omelette with greens and avocado. I was full and busy while immersed in playing with Noah and having fun cooking, writing and taking pictures. The next thing I knew it was 1 pm, and I felt only a little hungry. I wanted to curb my hunger and keep going since Noah was napping at the time. So, I grabbed the coconut milk hot chocolate I had made for a photo. I had mixed about half a bar of chocolate with a 1/4-1/2 can of coconut milk. I sipped on that for a bit until the cup was gone. I felt energized and completely satisfied. My ideas were flowing, and I was powering through a ton of work. I knew I was totally running on fat. I remembered hearing Dave Asprey make a comment once that he wouldn’t have protein at lunch when he had a presentation in the afternoon to keep his mental focus and prevent brain fog. I now understood the feeling of running on fat through the day and that even having protein, which can go through the process of gluconeogenesis, will cause a dip in blood sugar. then dinner came, and I was somewhat hungry but didn’t want to stuff myself. I had asparagus, a scoop of sweet potato, and a piece of chicken. We went swimming as a family, put the kids to bed, and I finished the last photos I needed. One of these included a photo of Bulletproof ice cream as a custard. I made the custard, divided the batch into two picture worthy bowls, took my pictures, and slowly devoured one of the bowls. Directly after eating the custard, my head starting tingling, I felt insanely happy and energized, and I felt high. It was something I have never felt from food. I also noted that on the scale the next morning, I had lost over 2 lb of weight/bloat.

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My only conclusion was that I assumed my body is getting better at being in a fat burning start when eating healthy fats. These healthy fats are helping to balance 20160706_224531my hormones and give my body the tools to perform all the processes it needs, especially since I am breastfeeding. By consuming healthy fats, this in turn reduces inflammation.

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Success with a Quick, Natural Birth: My Labor Story #1

Success with a Quick, Natural Birth: My Labor Story #1

I spent most of my due date wondering when this baby would come out of me. Then, I sat down to a dinner of chicken alfredo, where Brynn said, “Maybe Noah will be born tonight?”. I said something like “Maybe, but probably not.” We started planning to head out to the Y center to swim for a few minutes. As we headed out the door around 7 pm, I said I had to pee, and as I sat down, I heard and felt a huge pop. My water broke! I shouted to Brendon what happened and told them to go ahead and swim for 20 minutes, while I figured out how to contain the water and get the last few things for the hospital (not my smartest thought). As, my parents and Brendon/Brynn pulled back into the driveway at 7:45 pm, my contractions had progressed to 2 minutes apart, and I was leaning over the kitchen counter, trying to relax and put Brynn’s lunch together for the next day. Brendon and I got to the hospital desk at 8:33 pm, where the nurses quickly saw I would not be able to fill out paperwork. I changed and was checked at triage at over 9 cm. I went through about 45 minutes of transition in triage, and my doula showed up somewhere in the midst of this. Around 9:30 pm, I walked very quickly to the delivery room, while feeling another contraction coming on. Brendon caught me as I got in the room once it hit. I knew I had to push. The resident made some comment, “It’s good you wanted a natural birth because you don’t have a choice anyway.” I started pushing, and my OB showed up probably 15 minutes later. He told me Noah had black hair, and I was able to say “Awww, just like his dad” with some renewed energy after having felt like I had been hit by a train over the last few hours. I was finally told the next push would be my last, and at 10:24 pm, Noah made his way into the world at 8 lb 2 oz and 20 inches long. If how a baby comes into the world is any indication of their personality, we are in for a very exciting ride with our buddy, Noah!

How to Succeed with Breastfeeding – Through Weight Gain Issues, Craniosacral Therapy, Exclusively Pumping, and Nutritious Homemade Baby Food

How to Succeed with Breastfeeding – Through Weight Gain Issues, Craniosacral Therapy, Exclusively Pumping, and Nutritious Homemade Baby Food

Before my son was born, I hadn’t researched breastfeeding that much. I was more concerned with getting through the labor and thought I would figure out breastfeeding later since it looked pretty easy. I also thought I would pump almost exclusively since that seemed time saving and help me to put him on a schedule so I could run and continue doing what I wanted to. All that went out the window pretty quickly.

birthday

Right when he was born, the nurse asked me, “Do you want to feed him?” Without even thinking, I said, “Yes” still in the whirlwind of just surviving a quick 3.5 hour natural birth. He nursed for 90 minutes straight, and it was the sweetest sight to see him gently suck while nuzzling me. We took him home 24 hours later, and I was nursing him every few hours. My doula and lactation consultant came over within the next few days, and we noted that turning his neck seemed uncomfortable for him so he would unlatch frequently. So, my LC suggested I take him to a chiropractor since some babies (or all babies) need to be realigned. So, I took him to the chiropractor I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy since they provide a free adjustment for newborns.

After the adjustment, he seemed temporarily more comfortable, but his doctor’s appointments were not going well from the beginning. When we left the hospital, he had gone from a birth weight of 8 lb 2 oz to 7 lb 9 oz, which is within the normal range expected after birth. However, he still weight 7 lb 9 oz at his first appointment a few days after birth. I was immediately interrogated about breastfeeding, told I needed to get him to gain weight, and handed formula. I dismissed the formula, contacted my LC, and continued to breastfeed on demand. I came back at 12 days after birth, and he still had low weight gain. I was devastated. I asked the doctor what I could do, and she said “Nothing. You just need to feed your baby.” I needed to come back within 48 hours and have him back to birth weight. I was scared. So I was breastfeeding, pumping, and giving him some formula. We went back, and he was at his birth weight. We set up our next appointment, and while I was happy he had gained, I wanted a new doctor. We came back for his one month, and he was gaining an average of 0.5 oz a day instead of the 1 oz that is desired. The new doctor again handed me formula or said I needed to pump and feed because “He is just so active he is burning a third of his calories.” Something wasn’t adding up, but I continued for the next several days by nursing, then pumping, and feeding the rest. But why couldn’t I just nurse him? So, I stopped the pumping since I had determined the milk was there if he wanted it. Wasn’t that the only potential issue?

At this point, I was on the search for a new doctor’s office and found one that was very pro-breastfeeding. I wanted a professional that was going to support my decision to breastfeed, while helping me find answers. Over the next several months, he continued to gain slowly, and at 4 months, he lost a few ounces. His growth had also slowed. Every weight check, I had done around this time consisted of my carrying Noah to the scale with a sick feeling in my stomach and my heart pounding. Then, his weight would come up, and I would leave feeling frustrated, confused, and a failure. I was searching everywhere for answers. I had gone to LLL and my LC, and until this point I had been told some babies are just small. Then, I went to LLL again, and one of the leaders suggested looking into a lip/tongue tie. One leader looked at his mouth and swore he had both. So, I scheduled an appointment to have him evaluated with a special dentist ASAP. We drove an hour and a half for that dentist to tell me he had neither. And what is even more frustrating on top of all of this is everyone up to this point including the dentist said he is a great nurser and has an awesome latch (though it is a little shallow). Finally, the dentist suggested I looked into craniosacral therapy, which had just been suggested to me by a doctor friend the day before. I left the office frustrated but knowing that I had looked into every other option so this had to be it. Around this time, I also did several weighed feeds, per the recommendation of the dentist, and realized that my 4 month old was only transferring 2-2.5 oz. My heart sank, and I was furious that no medical professional or LC had suggested this before.

I quickly googled craniosacral therapy, and it made sense. What I was reading indicated that babies who have hard, long, quick, or traumatic births deal with misalignments that prevent them from nursing effectively. Throughout my research over the past several months, it had popped up in my searches, but it seemed similar to chiropractic care so I dismissed it. I immediately called for a referral to the Michigan State University Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine office. I was put on the calendar with an appointment about 8 weeks out and determined until then I would exclusively pump. Thankfully, they called us within a week and said they had an open appointment for the following Monday. God was really watching over us through everything.

I quickly determined exclusively pumping was a form of martyrdom. I was pumping every 2-3 hours pumpround the clock for 20-30 minutes and just barely producing enough for my son (I was feeding him 5 5oz bottles per day). I also went through a period where I would co-sleep and let him comfort feed throughout the night to use that as his practice nursing time so he could improve. Because of this, I heavily dipped into my freezer stash, but I wanted to keep our nursing relationship going. I worried that he would never become an effective nurser if I didn’t let him practice and keep him close. It meant that we used donor milk for a few weeks to a month, but I only needed to use a few ounces a day to make sure he was getting enough. I made sure each of his bottles had some of my milk in it and then would top off the bottles with the donor milk. I looked at the donor milk almost as a foreign substance in a way and that his main source of nutrients and immunity came from my milk.

We started craniosacral therapy when he was about 5 months old, and the doctor told me that it may take a few months for him to nurse completely effectively. I needed to continue pumping, practice nursing, doing weighed feeds, and weight checks. My life became breastfeeding. We initially went to appointments every two weeks for 3 sessions, and then, we had a final one after a month. I did a few weighed feeds after starting the craniosacral and became discouraged that it wasn’t working fast enough. It was also a hassle to go to doctors’ offices or LC offices, so we bought our own baby scale so I could weigh him or do feeds whenever I wanted.

His weight gain was improving by exclusively pumping, averaging 0.75 oz per day, but it still felt stressful and not enough. Our craniosacral doctor kept using the term “borderline failure to thrive”, and it broke my heart. I am a good mom. I was doing everything I could to take care of my son. How was it not enough? How was my kid getting categorized with kids whose parents dump them on the side of the road? Plus, developmentally he continued to be meeting or exceeding his markers.

Thankfully, at 6 months, he started solid baby food, and as a functional nutrition supporter, I had my plan ready to go for nutritious homemade baby food with natural, organic ingredients. Through concepts that I had researched from The Weston A Price Foundation, the paleo community, and Dave Asprey’s The Better Baby Book, I knew I needed to focus on nutrient dense foods like nourishing fats, easily digestible proteins, and vegetables. I planned on avoiding fruits and grains for the first year. I really latched on to a few concepts:

  1. The Weston A Price Foundation discusses the concept of “sacred foods” from ancient, ancestral cultures, which are packed with fat soluble vitamins and healthy fats for brain development. So, I focused on adding egg yolks, salmon/salmon eggs, avocados, MCT (Brain Octane Oil), grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and animal fats like duck/pork.
  2. All vegetables need to be combined with fats for better nutrient absorption and increased calories.
  3. Collagen is a great source of protein and critical for the growth of hair, skin, teeth and nails.

You can read my full description of my food plan for Noah here.

So, here is what typical options looks like for Noah’s meals. The below are purees and first foods. I have many other posts on finger foods and toddler meals that you can check out too.

Breakfast – Half avocado, egg yolk, sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt, sprinkle of seaweed flakes for iodine, cod liver oil

Check out some of my recipes for homemade baby food –caviar

At 7 months, Noah was able to nurse effectively enough that I only had to pump when I was away from him or to store. We both seemed relieved to go back to nursing, and he thoroughly enjoys comfort nursing. I could see this kid going for years! We just had his 9 month appointment, and that was proof that our hard work had paid off. He had gained 4 lb in 2 months, now weighing 18 lb 2 oz and landing in the 20% for weight (which is honestly where Brendon and I are). He also measures 28.75 inches in length (60%) and an 18 inch head (67%). So thrilled! Plus, he has basically skipped crawling and is now trying to couch surf. He loves talking and is such a happy baby!!! For his first birthday, I even made him a nutritious smash cake. You can find the recipe here.

swimming

I’m so happy that we made it through this struggle and didn’t quit. I am a better person and mother because of this experience, and my son is a thriving baby. I now have a passion to help others on their journey through motherhood with nutrition, and with my deeper nutrition knowledge, my family will benefit because I even more see how nutrition can impact our lives through watching Noah’s supercharged development over the past few months.

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Breastfeeding Supplies: How I Was the Exception to Most Breastfeeding Rules and Why Breastfeeding Wasn’t Cheaper than Formula for Me

Breastfeeding Supplies: How I Was the Exception to Most Breastfeeding Rules and Why Breastfeeding Wasn’t Cheaper than Formula for Me

At 4 months of age, we finally discovered the cause of my son’s weight gain issues. We finally determined through weighed feeds that he was having trouble transferring milk and that he needed to undergo craniosacral therapy to treat the bones and tissues so they could work properly. I not only dedicated countless hours researching and taking my son to appointments, but over the last nine months, I have spent a great deal of money to stay dedicated to breastfeeding and improve his health. My story should also act as a warning that before following the “Commandments of Breastfeeding” that are preached by lactation consultants and La Leche League, it is important to first determine that you have an effectively nursing baby.

Some breastfeeding rules intended to enhance your breastfeeding relationship that did not apply to me were:

  • Nursing your baby often will increase your supply
  • Skin to skin will increase your supply
  • A pump will never be as effective as a baby (I only learned later that the key words were EFFECTIVELY NURSING BABY)

Since my son could not transfer enough milk on his own, following these rules initially was detrimental to his health and my supply. However, these were the answers I was given for months. So, I religiously followed them for months and continued to go  to weight checks feeling like a failure as a mother when my son would gain little weight. No matter how often I nursed him or how much skin touched, the fact was my body wasn’t getting the signal for appropriate demand because he couldn’t drink the milk. For this time period, a pump was more effective than him and drinking from a bottle where we could monitor how much he drank allowed him to get more, and he started gaining more weight.

Many women use “cost” as a benefit of breastfeeding, saying it is cheaper than formula. For me, it was not when I factor in the appointments, treatments, and supplies I spent money on to ensure I could provide milk for him and that he could nurse effectively. Here were some of my costs:

  • Nursing tanks and bras ($100)
  • Galactagues/supplements – Mother’s Milk Tea, Moringa, Coconut Water, Mother Love More Milk Plus, lactation cookies ($10/month)pump
  • Pump supplies ($5-10/month)
  • Hospital grade rental pump ($45/month)
  • Baby scale for weight checks and weighed feeds at home ($40)
  • Appointment to check for potential tongue or lip ties ($100)
  • Craniosacral therapy ($500 for about 5 sessions)
  • Chiropractic appointments ($40 – 1 appointment per month since birth)

I certainly didn’t choose breastfeeding because it was the cheaper option or the easier one. I chose it because it was what I wanted for my son and for our relationship. There are dollar amounts and time commitments I can calculate that could be labeled as a waste of time by some, but to me, this journey has been priceless. My journey as a mother has made me a stronger, more open person, and I would not trade the bond I have with my son for anything.

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Guide to Adrenal Fatigue Treatment and How to Balance Cortisol

Guide to Adrenal Fatigue Treatment and How to Balance Cortisol

Can’t wake up in the morning? Can’t fall asleep at night? Want to nap at your desk at 3 pm? Bloated? Stressed? Losing your mojo?

You probably have adrenal fatigue. In today’s world, it is very hard not too. We sleep too little (and don’t get good quality sleep), we drink too much coffee, we eat too much sugar, we work too much, and then to top it off we feel we need to overexercise to lose weight.

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We can’t always reduce our stress or drastically change our life, but we can “hack” or support our health in our current life. There are many options for adrenal fatigue treatment.

First, I would recommend you completely evaluate things you can control or change like your consumption of sugar, coffee, and alcohol. Also, if you are feeling extreme fatigue you should make sure your exercise is in 20-30 minute segments and not endurance training. HIIT workouts are great for this. For me, I started focusing on short 30 minute runs and 5k races instead of half marathons and marathons after my son was born because the lack of sleep and breastfeeding was too much to tack endurance training on top of. Plus, the time commitment was adding more stress. I would also stress that planning your meals to balance your blood sugar is very important. Start your day with some protein and fat. Do not start your day with just a carbohydrate or just a cup of coffee. I have personally found that I cannot do carbohydrates, except vegetables, in the morning, or I will be hungry soon after and not as focused. If I only have protein and high fat for breakfast, I can go longer without needing food and have high mental clarity to get things done. These lifestyle changes may be all you need in terms of adrenal fatigue treatment.

For some, the lifestyle changes may not be enough to treat their adrenal fatigue. So, there are some other adrenal supporters in the form of supplements. I have heard many other nutrition specialists recommend Ashwaganda, but it isn’t something I have personally tried. I like:

  • Vitamin C (I consume a tsp of Camu Camu powder every morning).
  • Vitamin B complex – Energy!!!
  • Vitex – good adrenal supporter and hormone balancer
  • Rhodiola – good adrenal supporter and hormone balaancer
  • Salt (First thing, I wake up and down 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt in water)

I use this grouping of supplements for several reasons. Vitamin C and salt are food based. Vitex supports my hormonal health and has helped me avoid PMS and postpartum depression. Plus, I used it to balance my hormones when trying to conceive both times. Salt has helped my body with digestion and have a bowel movement first thing in the morning. If you are not having a bowel movement within 20 minutes of opening your eyes, that is a sign of constipation that could indicate a deeper imbalance. This initially cleansed my system and diminished some bloating I had when I started this practice due to stress surrounding starting my business. Salt super charges the adrenals in the morning and helps you wake up just like a cup of coffee does. Vitamin C helped my cycles regulate and boosted my immunity. Vitamin B helped with my energy, especially when my son wakes up through the night to feed.

Aside from supplements, I started thinking about the quality of my sleep. I realized I wasn’t eating enough carbohydrates to support my cortisol regulation, and therefore, I started reducing my fat intake and increased my carbohydrate intake to 40-50% of calories. I tracked my calories for a short time to make sure I was eating enough food and in the right ratios. Also, I discovered I could improve my sleep quality by wearing blue blocking glasses at night when looking at screens.

Have you tried adrenal support? Has anything worked for you?

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Guide of How to Minimize Your Pregnancy Symptoms with Food

Guide of How to Minimize Your Pregnancy Symptoms with Food

Congratulations on your positive pregnancy test! Now, let’s now  talk about those negative aspects of pregnancy like constipation, nausea, swelling, morning sickness, cramping, and stretchmarks! I’m sure these aren’t topics you really want to talk about, but there are easy ways that they can potentially be avoided.

Magnesium is a great place to start. Over 90% of us are magnesium deficient. Taking magnesium is a great way to minimize symptoms of constipation, leg cramping, restless legs, moodiness, sleeplessness, 20160706_131542and potentially nausea. Also, the following recommendations are great to use during the premenstrual phase of your cycle since you may experience similar symptoms during that time. I personally dealt with many of these symptoms in my first trimester and postpartum as my cycles have tried to regulate, and magnesium has helped a great deal. There are products you can mix into water like Natural Calm or a topical spray like Ancient Minerals that can help. Some magnesium-rich foods are cauliflower, dark leafy greens, chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), pumpkin seeds and avocados. For anyone woman craving chocolate during pregnancy, she may want to look into this. My husband and I love making buffalo sauce roasted cauliflower.

Stretchmarks are one thing that women definitely seem to want to avoid in pregnancy. By consuming collagen peptides, you can try to prevent stretch marks. It is the most abundant protein our bodies have. Plus, collagen provides the building blocks for your baby’s bones, skin, nails, hair and teeth. As we lose collagen with age or are under stress (like pregnancy), our skin becomes susceptible to losing elasticity. So, making bone broths or supplementing with collagen peptides such as the one from Vital Proteins is great. Adding other proteins and Vitamin C can support collagen production as well. I love making smoothies with berries that are packed with Vitamin C and adding 1-2 scoops of collagen to them, especially for a late night bananapancakestreat. I also love 100% real fruit powders like Camu Camu for Vitamin C supplementation.as opposed to synthetic pills or drinks. Vitamin C also supports our adrenal glands and energy, which we desperately need while creating another human.

Taking vitamin B6 or ginger can help with nausea. I found having some sugar-free ginger candies were very helpful if I started to feel nauseous on the go, and then, I stocked my desk at work with ginger tea as well. You can either find a high quality Vitamin B6 pill, or you can incorporate more B6 rich foods into your diet. Some great foods are beef, turkey, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and avocados. If you are feeling ill, meat stews, hummus, guacamole, or sunflower seed butter offer some comforting ways to enjoy these nutrient dense foods.

Finally, swelling towards the end of pregnancy can be minimized by eating adequate protein and drinking enough water. Collagen, as suggested above, is a great start, especially if meat or eggs doesn’t carribegreensmoothieseem appealing while you are pregnant. Check out these recipes for a sweet collagen green smoothie or banana collagen pancakes for recipe ideas. Depending on your size and trimester, you will probably need 4-5 servings of protein, and a serving is the size of your palm. Eggs, lentils, meats, full-fat high quality dairy, fish, and nuts are great sources. If you are thinking about consuming protein powders, make sure you read the label for the actual protein content, added sugars, and any preservatives it may contain. With any supplement to your diet, you should consult your healthcare provider. Water is so important as well. Make sure you are getting at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Your body is creating blood and fluids for your baby, and this really helps. Plus, by drinking more, your body can flush out what it doesn’t need instead of feeling like a camel that needs to store up to make it through a drought.

 

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Guide to Having a Healthy Pregnancy

Guide to Having a Healthy Pregnancy

mommyandnoah

You are taking on one of the greatest joys and responsibilities in this world: being a mother. To say, being a mom has changed my life, is a supreme understatement. Just thinking about it as I write this, makes me tear up when I reflect on all the joys and challenges. And my son is only 9 months old! As a pregnant mom, you want to take care of your baby, and that can start now.

The pictures you see are of my son and I. I feel they capture the heart of motherhood for me. They capture, as close as any picture can, that I would do anything for him, as you would for your child. For me, this starts with nutrition and health. Proper nutrition for you and your baby provides the key building blocks to help them become the happy, healthy, smart, and strong children that youbirthday dream of them being.

Ideally, a woman would start to prepare her body for pregnancy through her diet 3-6 months before she tries to conceive. However, it is never too late to start! There are many considerations for a pregnanursingtosleepncy diet. First, and most importantly, consuming nutrients to support the healthy development of your baby is key. You should consume the right amount to gain weight but not allow yourself to “eat for two” where you can gain too much and put your health at risk. The focus should be on consuming enough nutrients to support your baby’s growth and not just calories. Also, food can be a great way to lessen some of the negative symptoms of pregnancy, and eating the right foods can reduce those crazy cravings. See my other blog posts on these topics where we will talk in detail about each of these and look at some delicious, healthy food options for a great pregnancy.

For my guide about pregnancy, click the links below:

 

 

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The Ultimate Guide to a Pregnancy Diet: Nutrients Needed for Pregnancy

The Ultimate Guide to a Pregnancy Diet: Nutrients Needed for Pregnancy

It’s hard enough to know what to eat on a daily basis with all the diet trends out there, and when you are pregnant, it is even harder because you are tired, dealing with pregnancy symptoms, or craving 20 pounds of food. A great place for pregnant women to start with a diet is to start is by just eating real food and trying to avoid processed foods with sugars, preservatives, and 20160706_171857hydrogenated oils. It is important to think about how babies are built through nutrients and not just calories.

Now, let’s look at what nutrients are important in a pregnancy diet, and some foods that offer good sources of them. For any of the supplements listed below, pregnant women should check with their healthcare provider before taking them.

 

  • Protein – meat, seafood, collagen, eggs, lentils, yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds
  • Healthy fat – coconut oil, grass-fed butter, nuts, seeds, avocado
  • Vitamin A – grass-fed butter, kale, carrots, sweet potato, eggs, cod liver oil, liver
  • Vitamin C – fruit, peppers, tomatoes, kale, broccoli
  • Vitamin D – grass-fed dairy, oily fish
  • Vitamin E – grass-fed butter, almonds, greens, sunflower seeds, avocado20160706_083440
  • Vitamin K2 – K2 supplement, grass-fed dairy
  • B vitamins – sunflower seeds, beef, chickpeas, B complex
  • Calcium – dairy, dark leafy greens, broccoli
  • Choline – eggs, Non-GMO sunflower lecithin
  • DHA – wild caught fish, oily fish, cod liver oil
  • Sulfur – cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, garlic
  • Folate – dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, eggs, liver
  • Iodine – seaweed, cod, shrimp, baked potato
  • Iron – red meat, liver, spinach, lentils
  • Potassium – coconut water, bananas, avocados
  • Magnesium – leafy greens, cauliflower, avocados, dark chocolate
  • Zinc – beef, lamb, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds

There are also ways to pair foods to make nutrients more bioavailable. Here are some great combinations:

  • 20160706_125908Foods rich in vitamins A, D, E, K with healthy fats
  • Foods rich in iron with vitamin C foods
  • Foods rich in zinc with sulphur

Most pregnant women subscribe to a pregnancy week by week website to see what is developing each week. But what do these developments mean we need throughout the pregnancy? Folate and Vitamin A are a key focus in the time frame when you are trying to conceive until you get a positive pregnancy test. A great meal would be chicken, mashed sweet potato, and asparagus. For the rest of the first trimester, focus on iron and healthy fats like DHA because your baby’s brain and the placenta are developing rapidly. Try pesto salmon with sauteed spinach and tomatoes. Going into the second trimester, eat beta-carotene for the eyes, and pairing foods rich in beta-carotene, or the plant form precursor to Vitamin A, with healthy fats again allows for better absorption. For the growing and hardening of the ones, consume calcium, collagen, and vitamin K2, and 20160706_125214focus on vitamin D and zinc. A bunless burger with raw cheddar cheese, bacon, and avocado with a side of carrot fries is an indulgent option to get these nutrients. Grass-fed raw cheddar cheese, that has been aged 60 days is safe for consumption and can be found at many local grocery stores. In the last trimester, think vitamin K2, calcium, magnesium, and healthy fats. So, try adding more greens to dishes like chili and top them with avocado. Finally, a delicious, quick meal, for anytime of day that is great for fertility as well as pregnancy is eggs, greens, and avocado! So, start incorporating more of these foods into your diet as you progress on your pregnancy journey.

In creating your diet, keep these principles in mind when determining what will fit in your lifestyle and budget. No one can be perfect, but as moms, we always want to do what we can for our babies!

 

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