Thriving on Real Food in Pregnancy
If you couldn’t buy any food or storage items – no flour, no jars, nothing – what would you eat? You would rely heavily on wild foods. The food that grows where God naturally nourishes its seeds… where they grow without our placement, nurturing, weeding, or sprays. What foods would be the most abundant? What foods would be more seasonally found?
Of course, clean air is the most important thing we put in our body. Then, clean mineral-rich water that is infused with the forest’s stone minerals, leaves, and vines as it filters through the mountains. Then, we would be foraging for dark leafy greens. Out of all the colors of the food rainbow, edible dark greens (high in nutrients and low in simple carbohydrates) are the food color available outside in nature at all times of the year. The other colors you would see would change by the seasons with hearty roots in the winter, vibrant flowers and berries in the spring and summer, and minimal seeds and grains in the fall, all requiring a lot of outside varied movement to gather and use. The other colors and types of foods will change, and you would either move to follow the warmer weather or spend many hours storing these foods in an earthen cellar.
The foods that you would have the least of would be the ones that require a large quantity, and a lot of energy, or fermented, to make edible, including seeds and grains for cereals and meal, flour, breads, and pasta, as well as sweetened foods which would need boiled sap for a shelf-stable sugar.
While different parts of the world will have different types of foods in different amounts, the region you live in reflects the kind of foods you need to survive when you are using your body to gather, process, and prepare these foods in those places. A northern ice-filled climate is going to need a lot of high-fat fish, where a very hot Mediterranean climate is going to need spices to aid digestion of the starchy roots that grow there. A tropical humid climate requires a lot of energy and there you will need sweeter foods like tropical fruit. Yet, all these climates still need ample dark leafy greens.
You and your baby need an incredible amount of dark leafy greens. Very minimally processed and sugary foods are needed, especially if you aren’t walking at least 5 miles a day. Greens give you energy, help your body detox, build your blood supply, and balance your hormones. Slow cooked bone-in meats, organ meats, and fish give your body nutrient-dense healthy fats, collagen, and high proteins for optimal function, cell growth, and energy. Eggs provide nutrients difficult to get in any other food or supplement.
Wellness is whole body health from physical to emotional. Supplements, although helpful at times, are a temporary fix. Nutrition should come from real, whole, properly prepared foods for a healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. You, and your family, also need to make necessary lifestyle changes that reduce cravings for unnatural foods.
Most complications in pregnancy can be avoided with nourishment. Most symptoms can be alleviated by choosing balanced real-food nutrition, and supplementation when necessary. This is your most important responsibility in pregnancy.
- 100 grams of protein daily (about 20 grams, or a fist-size portion, every 3 hours) for a singleton pregnancy (+30 grams for each additional baby)
- 90-150 grams of carbohydrates daily
- 3, 1-cup servings of dark leafy greens daily
- A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day, making sure you get all the colors of the rainbow every week
- Limited or no added sugar of any kind
- No alcohol or tobacco during conception or throughout pregnancy
This type of eating is not just important for pregnancy, but for the whole family! When we are able, it is good to choose fresh and organic foods. When we need supplements, consider organic whole-food supplements. It takes just one generation of eating processed high-carb or high-sugar foods to change bone structure and increase rates of other short and long-term dis-ease and contributes to pregnancy and birth complications. Even if you can’t buy all organic or all real food, make it a priority to read labels and only choose items that only have real-food ingredients. Let’s choose to reduce pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, hemorrhage, depression, and allow ourselves, and our babies, the opportunity to THRIVE in the childbearing years!
What can 100 g of protein and less than 150 g of carbohydrates look like in a day?
2-Egg Scramble bowl with chopped nettles or spinach, peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, & 1 Tblsp nutritional yeast (without any added folic acid). 1/4 C melon slices.
16 g + colorful fruit/veggies
½ C mixed nuts. 1 medium fruit.
1 C Nourishing herbal tea
17 g + colorful fruits & veggies
3/4 C roasted sprouted kidney beans served with 1 C bone stock and sautéed greens & squash.
40 g + colorful fruits & veggies
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain. ¼ C Berries. 1 C Nourishing herbal tea
10 g + colorful fruits & fats
Mixed greens & veggies with 3 oz tuna in a whole grain sourdough wrap. Fresh berries topped with unsweetened whipped coconut or raw cream.
24 g + greens, fruit, & fats
+2 quarts water
1 quart nourishing tea
Mineral salt & seasoning to taste