Friday, February 18th, 2011
I was emailed the following questions, and thought I’d share my response for everyone…
I just found your blog after googling and I have a question I was hoping you could answer. I just found out I’m 5 weeks pregnant and my diet is mostly raw, no dairy, no meat, and I always start my day with 2-3 organic raw (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery, cucumber, and apple) green juices I buy from an organic juice press shop that uses the Norwalk press. I would like to know if it is safe to continue to drink my beloved juices daily and my Sunwarrior Ormus Supergreens? Everyone says something differant and I’m confused. I would like to keep my mostly raw healthy lifestyle because it is what works best for me. I also was wondering which were the best supplement suggestions you can offer, … chorella, spirulina etc. Are these safe during pregnancy? Please help! All the best, G
Great question! For starters, you know I’m not a doctor or midwife. I’m a chef who reads a lot – lol – and has a passion for nutrition and health. That being written, here is how I handled the situation when I was pregnant.
There is indeed a risk of contamination when consuming raw foods while pregnant (well, anytime really, but for pregnancy it has its own dangerous implications). However, I wasn’t about to give up my raw foods. Therefore, while I was pregnant, I did not consume any fresh juices unless I made them myself (except on perhaps three or four different occasions while traveling). It wasn’t worth the risk in my opinion. In fact, even making them myself was not risk-free, but I believe it was greatly reduced because I thoroughly washed and scrubbed my ORGANIC produce. To wash them, I often used food grade hydrogen peroxide (this is the not the stuff you buy in the drugstore). The same rules applied for salads and other fresh foods that I didn’t prepare. I had them on occasion at a restaurant, but I knew the possible risk of doing it, so I didn’t do it often. And, for the times I did do it, they were usually vegan or raw places that didn’t serve meat products which is helpful (exception - the veg burritos with fresh salsa and guacamole from Chipotle – lol – I had those a few times).
Overall, my pregnancy was mostly high raw with some times that were all raw and some times that were moderately raw. I stayed away from green powders because they (at the time) had an ingredient or two that just didn’t seem good to me in a pregnant state after researching all the ingredients. That being said, I have read about a number of women drinking green powders while pregnant. If I were to become pregnant again, I would probably consume Greener Grasses because that is a powder that seems both nourishing and gentle (I am drinking this now while breastfeeding and it’s wonderful). Again though, this is just how I would do it. There are many others who might differ in their successful and healthy pregnant experiences.
As for supplements, I wrote about them in a previous blog post here. I can’t claim their safety because as you’ll notice they probably have labels warning against taking while pregnant or lactating. However, I was excited to take chlorella because of its recognized ability to take toxins out of breastmilk according to one study (details here). I also took wheat grass tablets, probiotics, prenatal, and others. My most important supplement suggestion would be to take Vitamin D. I encourage you to get your levels tested. I would read The Vitamin D Solution for recommendations on how much to take while pregnant. The amount in your prenatal are not enough in many professionals’ opinions. (I highly recommend that book to everyone reading this post.)
Thanks for your question!
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
I received the following on one of my posts about pregnancy but thought I’d also include the information here.
I’m newly preggo for the second time (first time being 4 years ago). My diet and knowledge have changed a lot since. I’ve been researching your blog and have a couple of questions. First what prenatal vit did you end up liking the best? Why did you stop taking vitamineral green and fruits powders while you were pregnant? And, just out of curiosity, why do you use both hemp powder AND seeds in your smoothies and not flax?
Love your blog, you rock.
Here is my response:
Congrats on your pregnancy.
You ask great questions….
1) I was partial to Vitamin Code’s prenatal in spite of the controversial vitamin D3 being/not being vegan, especially for people who couldn’t get enough vitamin D from sun exposure due to where they live. However, I have since learned that vitamin D2 (vegan) is just as effective as vitamin D3, so supplementing with extra vitamin D2 and taking a truly vegan prenatal is an option. The high amount of vitamin D in Vitamin Code is great - they are way ahead of the curve with respect to this. I don’t know of any other prenatals doing that and it’s so important while pregnant. I also like that Vitamin Code uses capsules instead of tablets…. usually means less processing. However, New Chapter is still great. They’ve been around a while and have many happy customers. :)
2) I stopped Vitamineral Green and Fruits of Earth while pregnant because of ingredients that could be questionable during pregnancy. I know of women who took VG during pregnancy, but I opted not to. You could consider their other product Greener Grasses though – good stuff! I’m taking it now while breastfeeding. (I think they might’ve changed their VG formula since then because I don’t see one of the questionable ingredients in there. There is parsley juice in it though, and parsley is known for affecting breastmilk, so it still might be better to go with Greener Grasses. If you decide to go with VG, you might want to double check with your midwife or physician.)
3) Hemp has a more ideal ratio of omegas than flax (read more about this here). I also like the higher protein in it which is why sometimes I used both hemp powder and hemp seeds.
Thanks for reading,
Friday, September 3rd, 2010
|Kamea with new pink boots!
Chef Steph from Excalibur Dehydrators was so super sweet to send Kamea these adorable pink boots. She can’t wait to wear them when we take her in the stroller when the weather gets chillier (and I think this also warrants a trip up to Flagstaff when the snow falls). How friggin’ cute are those?!?!?!
Raw Vegan Snacks
Here is a sampling of snacks I’ve been having this week…
Veggie Crackers N Miso Cashew Spread (recipes below)
Protein Greens Fix (recipe below) Not particularly super tasty, but you know me… when I want some fast and quick protein, I shake up some Sun Warrior Raw Sprouted Rice protein powder with water and chug it down. The difference this time is that I’m adding a couple of extra things to it.
Goji Raisin Mix This is simply goji berries and raisins mixed up. I like this combo because I like to sweeten up goji berries a bit and the raisins are perfect for this. I keep a bowl of this on our counter.
|Veggie Cracker w/ Miso Cashew Spread
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 16 crackers
2 cups zucchini, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
3/4 cup beet, chopped
3/4 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato powder*
1 teaspoon coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic, pressed
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
Process everything in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade until pureed. Spread out on a dehydrator tray lined with a ParaFlexx non stick sheet (I use one tray for a thicker cracker, but you can make them thinner and use two trays). Dehydrate for one hour at 130-140 degrees F. Score into desired shape and size. Reduce temperature to 105-115 degrees F and continue dehydrating another 10 hours. Flip, peel off ParaFlexx, and continue dehydrating until you reach desired dryness.
* To make sun-dried tomato powder, grind sun-dried tomatoes in a blender until you get a powder consistency (or close to it).
Miso Cashew Spread
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield about 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
3-4 teaspoons organic miso*
Stir the ingredients together in a bowl and spread on top of a couple Veggie Crackers.
* I LOVE this Garlic Red Pepper miso from SouthRiverMiso.com and use it in many recipes.
Protein Greens Fix
I put 1-2 cups of water in a shaker bottle and add 1 scoop of Sun Warrior’s protein powder along with a teaspoon of Greener Grasses and 1-2 teaspoons ground Wakame flakes. I would use more Greener Grasses but it increases my milk supply too much.
Friday, August 27th, 2010
Kristen in alfalfa
, barley grass
, greener grasses
, healthforce nutritionals
, oat grass
, ormus supergreens
, vitamineral green
, wheat grass
Now that I’m breastfeeding, I check all the ingredients of a product to make sure it’s safe, gentle enough for Kamea, and won’t mess with my milk supply. As a result, I’ve taken a close look at a few different green powders. Because my diet is on the bland side to prevent digestive upset for Kamea (I’m not even sure this is entirely necessary, but I’m playing it safe just in case), I’m not getting as many greens as I’d like, so I wanted to add a green powder to my life. However, the two former favorites of mine, Vitamineral Green and Ormus SuperGreens, might not be good choices. These are great products (my husband still uses both!), but I’ve decided not to use them while breastfeeding. They both contain parsley which can reduce milk supply.
But! I “think” found one that fits the breastfeeding bill:
HealthForce Nutritionals Greener Grasses™ For the most part*, it seems that the handful of ingredients Greener Grasses contains are fine to consume while breastfeeding, and, in fact, some are even considered galactagogues (promotes lactation)! After I researched the ingredients online, I checked with both my (and Kamea’s) naturopath, and then I checked with my midwife. They both agreed that it was fine to take while breastfeeding.
According to HealthForce Nutritionals’ website:
Greener Grasses™ is an incredible combination of green grasses. It provides healthy alkaline elements and a large amount of 100% whole food nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace minerals including those that are naturally colloidal and better, chlorophyll, fiber, phytonutrients, and more)! Incredible Value, Nutrient Dense, 100% Pesticide free, Nutritional Grass Complex
It contains 5 different forms of 100% pesticide free grown grasses:
Whole leaf : Wheat Grass, Barley Grass (naturally occurring fiber)
How does it taste? It tastes like most green powders… it’s not something that I want for dessert - haha - but it’s nice and mild in flavor. I usually just drink it down with a 1/2 cup of water.
*As with many things… you find some info supporting and some info not supporting a couple of these ingredients as safe for breastfeeding, barley grass and wheat grass specifically. While many websites said barley grass was good while breastfeeding, this site claimed otherwise. A similar situation occurred for wheat grass. Perhaps the milk-supply-increasing ingredients balance out the ones that might reduce it? I’m not sure. I decided to go along with my naturopath and midwife and give it a try for a few days. My results since taking it? My milk supply seems to have increased - I didn’t actually need that – but Kamea isn’t complaining – lol. Still… I wonder. Since it doesn’t seem to be reducing my milk supply, I’ll keep taking it but not every day. I’ll keep a watch on things and go from there. Meanwhile, I will keep researching, too. I wish I could find a definitive answer… any lactation specialists out there know?
UPDATE: According to the book, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal, green drinks and super green foods that include barley and alfalfa greens have traditionally been used to increase milk. I just bought the book for my Kindle last night and I like it a lot! Very informative so far.