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:
Hi Jaime, 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.
To keep my nutrition up for both Kamea and myself while breastfeeding, I’m working on a number of things.
1) Taking my prenatal vitamin daily (I’m switching between New Chapter and Vitamin Code that I have on hand) along with other supplements such as wheat grass tablets, vegan DHA, B12, (and iron on occasion right now because my numbers after birth showed they were on the low side). There are some other things, but I take them maybe 1-2 times a week (K2, spirulina, chlorella, etc). I’m also making sure I get vitamin D (I just had my blood levels tested and I’m waiting for the results).
2) Trying to get in enough calories. A breastfeeding mom needs about 500 more calories than pre-pregnancy is my understanding. I haven’t had the biggest appetite, so I’m trying to get extra calories down through heavy shakes and smoothies that I load up with things like: hemp seeds, protein powder, flax or chia meal, fruit, greens, sunflower lecithin, and sometimes things like avocado, prunes, goji berries, raw carob, etc.
3) Staying hydrated!!! I’m drinking lots of water, eating water rich foods like watermelon, and plenty of Raw organic young Thai coconut water is being enjoyed. I haven’t had any green juices yet, but I need to get going with that! I’ve been so busy working on breastfeeding and getting enough rest. I’ll get green juices back into my diet soon though.
4) I want to make sure I’m getting enough calcium in my diet so I’m adding more foods that are rich in calcium such as dark leafy greens, almonds, wakame, tempeh, etc.
I might be missing some things, but that’s off the top of this mommy’s loopy brain right now. :)
Do you have any other suggestions for great breastfeeding nutrition?
Hhmmm YUMMMY! I made another neat, unique, and awesome smoothie. It’s filled with mostly Caribbean flavors (how fun is that!). It was easy. It was delicious. And, I’m on fire with energy because of the nutrition it’s fueling into my cells. Uumm… I loved the color of it, too. It was pretty with lovely speckles of the colors red, green, and brown (I’m such a girl!). BUT! Before I dive into sharing this scrumptious recipe with you… let me share a few words on why smoothies and shakes friggin’ rock the house of diet and healthy eating goodness!
As you can see from the many smoothie and shake recipes I share on my blog, I’m obviously a raving fan of them. That’s mainly because…
Smoothies and shakes solve a few big problems that people encounter
when dieting or trying to eat healthier:
Lack of time
Lack of nutrition
Lack of diversity / excitement
No more excuses though!Smoothies to the rescue!
Lack of time in your life? No problem! A fabulous, high energy, and mega nutritious and delicious smoothie (or shake) can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes. (That can include clean up time!) And, you can make enough to enjoy it as a whole meal or make extra to save for a later meal or snack. Smoothies offer a 5-minute meal. Awesome!
Lack of nutrition in your life? No problem! Fresh smoothies and shakes can be filled with the healthiest nutrition on the planet (all plant-powered, of course!)… from nutrient dense organic ingredients to alkalizing greens to high energy fruits to superhero superfoods to body building proteins. Plus – smoothies are blended which means your giving your body something that is easy to digest. That’s a great thing! Smoothies offer phenomenal nutrition and energy. Whoo hoo!
Bored with dieting or healthy eating? Lacking diversity? No problem! The variations you can make with smoothies and shakes are literally endless. The flavor combos based on your cravings while you’re shopping, or simply what you have on hand in your kitchen, can vary with every single smoothie – making it an entirely different flavor explosion in your mouth with each creation. That’s exciting! Take the recipe I’m going to share with you below, for example. I thought up the flavors while falling asleep based on what I had in my cupboard and refrigerator. I knew I wanted to use my pineapple and bananas before they went bad… I had a bottle of raw coconut water thawing… I wanted alkalizing greens in it and I had romaine lettuce on hand… I’ve been on a ginger kick lately… goji berries are reputed for supporting healthy eyes… I love the pure raw vanilla powder I’ve been playing with (I bought it Whole Foods Market)… etc… and voila – I enjoyed an awesome smoothie full of unique and fun flavors! Smoothies offer massive variety so it’s impossible to get bored. Booyah!
Jeweled Caribbean-ish Smoothie Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com Yield 1 quart
1 cup young Thai coconut water 2 bananas, peeled 2 cups pineapple, diced (I include the core) 2 handfuls romaine lettuce 2 heaping tablespoons hemp protein powder 2 tablespoons goji berries knob of ginger 1/4 teaspoon pure raw vanilla powder 1/4 teaspoon allspice
Having green juice (a.k.a. Plant Blood) on a regular basis is very important for my family. We love it! It’s invigorating. It’s filled with easy-to-assimilate nutrients. It’s powerful. It makes the cells in my body boogie-down as if they were listening to Earth, Wind, & Fire! Like the vegan version of being a vampire, I feel absolutely super-human when I’m drinking it.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can do wonders for your body, spirit and mind. They can help cleanse your body and detox. They can fill you up with energy because you’re giving your digestion a rest with the removal of the fiber. They can help make you feel like you’re on top of the world (at least that’s what they do to me when I drink them). And for sure… a number of people use fresh organic juices as a part of their weight loss routine. I know that after I give birth, and breast feeding is done, I’ll be using a green juice weight loss program to help me lose the pregnancy weight.
A while back I posted about the two juicers that I have in this post. But, I have a new addition to my family that is worthy of discussion. In the following videos I discuss the pros and cons of each juicer (Green Star, Breville, and Hurom), from my perspective. And, I show you one of the juicers in action.
I love fresh green juice (y’all know I love calling it Plant Blood because it’s extra spirited)! Plant Blood is a staple in my husband’s and my diet. And… it’s been too long since we’ve had it! GASP!!! What? I’ve slacked in my Plant Blood consumption. It’s true. Where did the week go? It slipped by that’s for sure and now I’m going crazy for my fresh Plant Blood fix. I just don’t feel the same without it. The benefits are so many… alkalizing, energizing, nutrient packed (big time), delicious, and so much more. I’m confident that I have super powers when I drink Plant Blood… I’m tempted to wear a cape when drinking it.
On to other things to distract me from my craving… I have another awesome giveaway coming up this month (Check out last month’s here). Hint about the prize… something to do with chocolate.
And… my iMac arrives Friday. My new baby is coming home. Yeehaw!!!
I had a fun interview with Revvell of Rawkin Radio, which is now available here.
Just a few of the things we chatted about…
~my bodybuilding experience and how I found vegan and then Raw ~tips for eating Raw in the winter ~getting kids and family into Raw ~supplements… are they important? who should take them? ~exercise and my latest endeavor ~changing one’s mindset ~digestion (poop is important!) and more!
Oh! And if you haven’t entered for your chance to win the Lexen Healthy Juicer, you can do so here.
I'm Kristen, and welcome to my blog. I'm a wife, mom, author, and I love to eat so food is usually the topic of my blog posts. I'm a former (almost decade long) vegan turned back omnivore who enjoys reading, rebounding, coffee, and dark chocolate. More...