VEGAN PREGNANCY

Wow. What an extremely lucky child to have a parent reading this. Can you believe you are creating life?! This is HUGE! I am so glad that you are here. Educating yourself for not only an incredibly healthy and happy you, but the best future for your magnificently blessed kiddo as well ❤

YES as a matter of fact there is nothing missing in a vegan diet to raise an EXTREMELY  healthy happy successful, talented, bright, beautiful, and alive child. AND you are dramatically reducing your risk for complications, pain, sickness, and beyond.

Resources:

Vegetarian Diet Pregnancy PDF – Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dr. McDougall Vegan Pregnancy Newsletter PDF

Vegetarian Infants PDF // Vegetarian Diets Pregnancy – Academy of Nutrition + Dietetics

Vegan Pregnancy Brochure // Pregnancy + Vegan Diet – Vegetarian Resource Group

Nutrition During Pregnancy – Cleveland Clinic

Top 10 Tips:

  1. Educate yourself with all of the material on this post! In general, pregnant women only require about 300 extra calories per day from starch. This video is very informative!
  2. Emphasize beans and greens combined with a source of vitamin C like lemon or orange juice for peak iron absorption. (great recipes)
  3. Incorporate omega-3s daily: ground flax, chia, walnut, hemp, and leafy greens daily for omega-3s (vegan algael oil DHA supplement if you’d like) for a super smart baby 😀
  4.  Incorporate calcium rich foods: kale, broccoli, collards, okra, oranges, figs or calcium-set tofu, fortified plant based milk, etc. daily
  5. Get iodine from a dulse or kelp shaker, nori, Eden’s brand beans, or sea palm. Iodized salt is not the best source of iodine as concentrated sodium like that in salt + high sodium foods has been shown to increase blood pressure and may lead to preeclampsia.
  6. Take a B12 supplement 2-6x / week if not already in your multi / fortified foods
  7. Avoid seafood!!! Heavy metals cross placenta as they detox from mom’s body into baby while pregnant and breastfeeding.  Mercury, antibiotics, and other additives and heavy metals in seafood and other animal products should be avoided.
  8. Spend at least 20 minutes / day in nature if you can. Relax! Take it easy! Get some natural sunshine vitamin D or make sure it is in you multi or be sure to take a supplement 2000IU/ day should do the trick 🙂
  9. Emphasize whole plant foods like veggies, whole grains, fruit, beans, seeds, and nuts and minimize processed foods like added sugars, processed oils, white and refined flours and flour products, and added sodium and salt.
  10. Practice Intuition: what do you feel like eating? An entire watermelon? Fantastic! 3 whole heads of lettuce with an avocado?! Amazing. Our bodies are incredible. Meditate, listen to what it wants, stay calm, and have so much fun!

Some mama inspo + info for ya:

DR. MICHAEL GREGER of nutritionfacts.org:

HEALTHY PREGNANCY PLAYLIST MUST WATCH

Mr. and Mrs. Vegan:

  1. How to Make a BABY! [Healthy Pregnancy Diet]
  2. USDA Guidelines for Vegans + Meal Plan that Meets Needs
  3. What Eat in A Day While Pregnant // Two Recipes

Ellen Fisher:

  1. Pregnant with 3rd Vegan Child
  2. VEGAN MOMS TALK: Tips for Raising Healthy Vegan Kids
  3. What my vegan 4 year old ate today

Supplementation:

MyKind Organics Prenatal:

Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Multivitamin Supplement with Folate – mykind Whole Food Prenatal Vitamin, Vegan, 180 Tablets

Iron supplement I recommend:

MegaFood – Blood Builder, Energy Boosting Iron Supplement, 90 Tablets (FFP)

More Resources:

Books:

The Kind Mama: Book and Website by Alicia Silverstone


The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning

The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: All you need to know for a healthy pregnancy that fits your lifestyle (Everything Series)

Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven: A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot (and Healthy) Mother!

Websites + more PDFs:

Feeding Vegan Kids. The Vegetarian Resource Group. http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.htm. Practical information for parents of children from infancy through adolescence.

Vegetarian Nutrition for Teenagers. The Vegetarian Resource Group. Available at: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/teen_veg.pdf. Brochure designed for teen vegetarians. Covers key nutrients, body weight issues, and simple snacks.

Raising Vegetarian Children. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Available at:http://vegetariannutrition.net/vegetarian-kids/ Blog written by registered dietitians with suggestions for vegetarian families.

Teen FAQs. Vegetarian Resource Group. Available at: http://www.vrg.org/teen/. Questions and answers about nutrition, social situations, family issues, foods and cooking for vegetarian teens.

Vegetarian Teens. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Available at: http://vegetariannutrition.net/vegetarian-teens/Blog written by registered dietitians with a focus on vegetarian teens.

Vegan Lunch Box Blog. Available at: http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/. Blog includes many ideas for healthy packed lunches for vegetarian and vegan children.

Vegetarian Diet: How to Get the Best Nutrition. Mayo Clinic. Available at: http://mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596. Includes information on substitutes for milk, butter, cheese, and eggs.

Becoming a Vegetarian. Nemours Foundation. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/nutrition/diets/vegetarian.html. Article aimed at teenagers who are interested in becoming vegetarian.

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Why I will NEVER recommend DAIRY + Tips to Bone Health

One in every two women and one in every four men over the age of 50 are going to break a bone due to osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It is up to you to take control of your bone health!

Eating a wide variety of plant foods in sufficient calories should supply the body with the calcium it needs sufficiently, without supplementation necessary.

According to the Academy’s Nutrition Care Manual:

Vegans can obtain calcium from a variety of foods, including (USDA, 2007; Manufacturer’s information):

  • Low-oxalate vegetables (see below for calcium content)
  • Calcium-set tofu (120 to 430 mg per half cup)
  • Figs (68 mg per five dried figs)
  • Soybeans (88 mg per half cup)
  • Tempeh (92 mg per half cup)
  • Calcium-fortified foods (300 to 350 mg per cup orange juice; 200 to 350 mg per cup soymilk; 55 to 1,000 mg per ounce ready-to-eat breakfast cereal)screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-24-54-pm

My Top 5 Tips for Bone Health?

  1. Exercise: Resistance training and impact activities like running and jumping improve bone mineral density, so be sure to incorporate these activities into your daily life. Recommendations are to resistance train at least 2-3 days a week for 30 minutes / day and to train aerobically at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes with moderate effort.
  2. Eat Plants: As shown in the video, antioxidants in plant foods have been shown to help bone health. The more the merrier.  Animal foods and animal protein have been shown to cause an acidic effect on the body that may interfere with calcium absorption and retention and could be associated with high rates of hip fracture in Western civilization where high amounts of animal protein from meat and dairy are consumed.
  3. Incorporate These Foods: Low-oxalate veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, as well as okra, figs, calcium set tofu, and fortified plant milk.
  4. Sunshine: Let your skin see the sun at least 15 minutes / day of direct sunlight. If you live in a darker, cooler area, I would recommend supplementing about 10,000 IU vitamin D and maybe even include mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods like cereals and plant milks to cover the vitamin D necessity.
  5. Take it WITHOUT A Grain Of Salt: Eat less sodium. Sodium effects our calcium retention. Try bringing flavor to dishes with lemon, lime, or even orange juice. Also, try fresh herbs and flavorful veggies that you like, like thyme, garlic, sage, cilantro, basil, or onion.

I hope this blog post helps to bring you closer to the optimal health and happy life of your dreams.  Much love! Reines and SHINE, it is wake up time.

References:

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, et al. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. British Medical Journal. Oct 28, 2014.; 349 http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015

Z Dai, LM Butler, RM van Dam, et al. Adherence to a Vegetable-Fruit-Soy Dietary Pattern or the Alternative Healthy Eating Index Ss Associated with Lower Hip Fracture Risk among Singapore Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition. April 1, 2014. vol 144 no. 4 511-518. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/4/511.full

V Benetou, P Orfanos, U Pattersson-Kymmer et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of hip fractures in a European cohort. Osteoporosis Int. May 2013. 24(5): 1587-1598. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23085859

E de Jonge, F Rivadeneira, N Erler, et al. Dietary Patterns in an elderly population and their relation with bone mineral density: the Rotterdam Study. European Journal of Nutrition. August 24, 2016. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-016-1297-7

M Hassan, A Rezabakhsh. Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health- Narrative Review Article. Iran Journal Public Health. June 2015. 44(6): 742-758. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4524299/

BC Melnik, SM John, P Carrera-Bastos, et al. The impact of cow’s milk-mediated mTORC1-signaling in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. Nutr Metab (Lond). Aug 14, 2012. 9(1): 74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891897

Light? Low? Free? What Does the Packaging Really Tell Us?

There is a lot of lingo thrown at us in the grocery store.  From oatmeal magically lowering cholesterol to fat-free peanut butter? Can this be?! These explanations will help you to discover what the labels mean so you can choose the best option. >> I highly recommend going to http://www.fooducate.com/ or downloading the app- you can look up products and see how healthy they are, quick and easy!

don't be fooled

Descriptions of Nutrient Claims

  • Free – no amount of or a trivial amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium; calorie-free is defined as less than 5 calories per serving
  • Good source – is defined as 10-19% of daily value of a certain nutrient per serving
  • High – is defined as more than 20% of daily value of a certain nutrient per serving
  • Less – is defined as containing 25% less of a certain nutrient than a standard food
  • Light – is defined as containing 1/3 less calories or 1/2 fat of a standard food (is this a good thing!? beware of crazy ingredients on the label that you don’t recognize, it is likely a fake sweetener that is illegal in other countries and linked to cancer!)
  • Low – is defined in certain nutrient terms
  • low fat – 3 grams or less per serving
  • low saturated fat – 1 gram or less per serving
  • low sodium – 140 mg or less per serving
  • low calorie – 40 calories or less per serving
  • more – is defined as containing 10% of nutrient daily value when compared to a standard food

Beware of TRANS FAT

Aka hydrogenated oils or mono or diglycerides on the ingredients label. Food labels are allowed to say that they have 0g trans fat per serving if there is less than 0.5g trans fat per serving. However, it is likely that the serving size is ridiculously small (like on non-stick cooking spray). If you see hydrogenated oil or mono or di glycerides I would not recommend purchasing the product.

hydrogenated oils
Find a brand with zero hydrogenated oils!

Organic Or Natural?

Organic-vs-Natural03

  • Natural: a product that has no artificial ingredient or added color and is minimally processed. Although consumers purchasing “natural” meat, poultry, and eggs can be happy that there are no artificial ingredients or colors added, it’s important to remember “natural” does not mean hormone-free or antibiotic-free; these are separate labels, also regulated by the USDA.
  • Organic: certified organic and contain at least 95% organic content. Organic food is produced using approved organic farming methods “that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Specifically, “synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used” to produce organic food, meaning that organic food products are not genetically modified and have not been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers

PLU Codes:

gmo 8

You know, those numbers that every food in the produce department has? They mean something!

  • 4 digit codes: conventionally grown
  • 5 digit code that starts with a ‘9’ : organically grown
  • 5 digit code that starts with a ‘8’ : Genetically Modified Organism *avoid* unfortunately, I have never seen this used.  GMOs are secretive and discretely used in packaged items as corn and soy oil.  Good luck to us Americans! Hope GMOs are clearly labeled soon!

Food Label Health Claims – those foods making health claims must follow the following criteria:

  1. must be a naturally good source of at least one of the following nutrients – vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, protein, or fiber
  2. foods containing more than 20% daily value of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium cannot carry health claims

oatmeal-helps-reduce-cholesterol

  • Calcium and osteoporosis
  • Fat and cancer
  • Fiber containing products such as vegetables, fruits, grains and cancer
  • Fiber containing products and heart disease
  • Fruits and vegetables and cancer
  • Folic acid and neural tube defects
  • Saturated fat and cholesterol and heart disease
  • Sodium and hypertension
  • Whole grains and heart disease & cancer
  • Sugar alcohols and tooth decay
  • Soluble fiber and heart disease
  • Soy protein and heart disease
  • Plant sterol and heart disease
  • Potassium and hypertension & stroke