Okay, so here I am trying to have the healthiest body as possible in preparation of conceiving. Even though I eat a very healthy diet, with tons of fresh, organic, raw foods, I will need extra nutrients when I get pregnant. To make sure I’m getting them, I thought I’d take pre-natal vitamins. In my quest for the perfect pre-natals, I thought back to the many studies I read years ago showing how harmful synthetic vitamins could be. I learned that you should be able to read and comprehend the ingredients without needing a PhD in chemistry. So, I was on the hunt for a completely whole-food, non-synthetic multi, pre-natal vitamin.
I went to Whole Foods and asked for a recommendation for pre-natal vitamins, because once I was there, I saw some bottles labeled as having some organic aspects (but not all…hhhhmmm) as well as some labels claiming they were food-based. I was recommended this brand, Super Nutrition, which I bought because I saw the words “food-based” on the label and figured I’d trust the “oh so sure these are the best you can buy sales girl.”
I started taking them for a couple weeks. I had a stomach ache a few times because I didn’t take them with enough food, although they claim to not upset your stomach (uh-oh – this got me rethinking my choice). Plus, my pee was very yellow, let’s be honest, it glowed in the dark. I mean, think about it, my pee isn’t neon yellow no matter how many bananas or greens or fruit I eat. So, neon pee after taking a supplement…Double uh-oh.
I immediately became curious and put on my detective hat. For starters, I emailed the Super Nutrition Vitamin company that I had been taking to inquire as to whether they had any synthetic ingredients. Here is their response:
Thank you for your interest in SuperNutrition. Our PreNatal multi-vitamins use USP nutrients, in a food-based tablet.
By law, all vitamins manufactured in the United States, including SuperNutrition’s, are made with U.S.P. (United States Pharmacopoeia) grade nutrients, the majority of which (with only one or two nutrients excepted) are always synthetic in every company, no matter the subsequent processing of the tablet or the terms used to describe the processing.
U.S.P. nutrients are bioidentical to the vitamins found in food, and have been shown by over 200,000 published, independent, and peer reviewed scientific studies to be well-absorbed and beneficial for the body.
Our vegetarian, hypoallergenic, food-based tablets are made up of plant vegetable fibers and green foods such as, alfalfa, chlorella, dulce and spirulina. These plant fibers aid in disintegration of the tablet and the green food blend, contain various, and valuable micronutrients. We use no artificial fillers or binders in any of our products, everything in our tablets contribute to the nutritional whole of the product. Please contact us with any other questions.
WTF? U.S.P.? By law? Pharmacopoeia? I don’t even like those words!
I was immediately skeptical since I knew from past research that there were whole food-based vitamins out there. By law, my ass.
The problem was that it had been a long time since I researched vitamin supplements because I never felt the need to supplement with how great my diet was. And, I figured the label was enough if it claimed they were food-based. And their reply with over 200,00 studies
, well, it only takes one study showing me a link with dangerous problems resulting from synthetic vitamins to get me scared (examples on that below). Plus, I knew there had to be totally food-based vitamins out there, so the option was available, meaning, to me, that there was a reason they were available. I just had to find them.
Needless to say, I’m a little fired up. You always have to do double research and get recommendations from people you trust, not just someone who works in a reputed health food store, even when you ask if they’re whole food based.
I was pretty upset when I realized I’d been taking synthetics, knowing how harmful they can be. Just because they contained some organic greens (and such) doesn’t mean squat if they also have synthetics. For example, Synthetic Vitamin C linked to the thickening of the arterial walls of the heart by as much as 2.5 times. Synthetic Vitamin A linked to birth defects in pregnant women who took it. Synthetic Vitamin E linked to lung cancer.
Therefore, I will be returning the vitamins I bought (I had stocked up and bought 2 bottles).
I have been looking at New Chapter PreNatals and it looks like those might be the answer.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
We’ve been spending the week at my mom’s house and it’s so much fun. I know I’ve written before about times such as these, but I can’t help but share again. She only lives about 40 minutes away, but I swear, we feel like we’re at a retreat when we’re here. We bring our laptops, books, dvds, dog, tennis shoes for long walks, swimsuits for late night swimming under the stars, and mom provides the rest…
She stocks up her refrigerator with our favorite foods and we all just relax, hang out, and graze on yummy food all day. I especially love spending time in her backyard because it’s very zen…with wind chimes, shady trees, flowers, bunnies and birds (they love eating up her organic scraps), big fluffy cushioned chairs, and warm sunshine. I feel like I’m transported away to a special garden with only the sounds of nature floating around me.
Most of you know that my mom and I are very close. So, you can imagine her excitement with all of my baby talk. Let’s just say…huge! It’s going to be such a beautiful time in my life to share with my mom, just like she shared with her mom when I was born.
This week we made some refreshing and phyto-nutrient packed coleslaw. We made a gigantic batch of it and have been eating it for a few days now. We’ve also been drinking lots of Plant Blood and smoothies made from The Ultimate Meal. But, that’s not all, of course…we’ve also had our share of fun treats (we are, after all, at mom’s).
I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has been posting comments on my blog with respect to my plans for pregnancy. All of you are saying how great of a mom I’m going to be and it feels so lovely, warm, and encouraging to read those. Y’all are just like family and I love it. Thank you again and again for all of your support. I’m sending you a huge right now…feel it? Nice and big!
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
Did you realize that there is a difference between organic farming and vegan organic farming? Who knew?! It seems to be an emerging trend, so be on the lookout for this to become more popular, like it is in England and Europe (of course).
What exactly is vegan organic farming (a.k.a. veganic farming)? It’s farming without any animal fertilizers or byproducts, which takes healthy farming to the next level. Here is a great article about it (click here to read)
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
It’s been a fun day so far. I’m filled with so much energy and happiness :)
I’m not doing anything in particular, and sometimes those days are just the best. I’ve been instant messaging a ton with my bud, Malynda, as well as eating lots of Raw Vegan purple cabbage slaw (cabbage is filled with vitamins and phytonutrients!), drinking green smoothies (gotta get my chlorophyll), dancing around my dining room like no one is watching (to some old school Janet Jackson), and working online. Oh yes, I also played with some more chocolate recipes.
Later today, I’ll be going to the gym of course:
Strength Training: Triceps
bench dips, v-bar pushdown, tricep kick backs
heavy weight, low reps, 4 straight sets
Daily Conversation Question:
What are the most important qualities you look for in friends?
I craved a big, fresh, organic salad today, but I wanted to put a different twist on it for some extra fun and added health benefits.
My inspiration was to make something that was easy on digestion, and since chewing is such an important part for healthy digestion (breaking down the food into small enough pieces), I decided to make my big, fresh salad truly chopped to facilitate that.
Basically, I used my food processor to chop all the different components of the my salad into tiny pieces (carrots, red bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, parsley, romaine lettuce). Using my food process, fitted with the “S” blade, I processed the different produce one-by-one until it was in tiny pieces and then transferred it to a bowl. (I didn’t throw everything into the food processor all at once because the foods have differing water contents, and if you, for example, chop up cucumber with carrot, the carrot takes longer to chop, thereby turning the cucumber to mush by the time the carrot gets small enough).
Then, I added dried cranberries to the bowl of chopped goodies, and tossed in a simple dressing (hemp oil, lemon juice, salt, agave nectar). Voila… Truly Chopped Salad. Great for digestion, fun to eat, and delicious. Just imagine all of the other possibilities… fennel, olives, herbs, cilantro, spinach, pineapple, zucchini, beets, prunes, currants, celery, etc. Yum!
My Organic Raw Food Intake (so far):
Green Smoothie (apple, orange, spinach)
2 large servings Truly Chopped Salad
Summer Strawberry Cobbler (recipe will be posted by tomorrow)
20 minutes on the treadmill (walk/run)
Back strength training (wide-grip pull down, close grip row, hyperextensions)
Jumping jacks between weight lifting sets
Daily Conversation Question
How will our culture change in the next 100 years?
It’s been a busy Friday so far. I played in the kitchen with new raw vegan chocolate recipes and right now I’m catching up on business, emails, etc. I still have to get to the gym and get a solid workout. I think I really need it…feeling the need to pound it out on the treadmill or something.
Is there a full moon coming in the next few days? Is it me or is everyone feeling a little weird-ish today. Oh wait! Maybe it has something to do with Fri/13th? Hhhmmm….That has to be it (and it explains a lot – haha).
Isn’t this dog adorable? If only I could train my dog to carry my organic produce – yeah, that’ll be the day – haha :)
Thanks to everyone for all the love after receiving my latest email newsletter (sign up here). I love hearing from you.
Daily Conversation Question (doing a twofer today):
What’s the most significant problem facing the world?
What does your perfect day look like?
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
With summer fast approaching, I was in search of yet another way to enjoy green smoothies, so I decided to make Green Smoothie Popsicles. The extra cool thing about these is that kids LOVE them! They’re so easy, cute, and refreshing…just what we need in hot temperatures. And, the varieties are endless…making watermelon popsicles with a touch of rind is on tomorrow’s menu for me. They’re going to be so pretty – I’m such a girl! I’m going to call those Princess Popsicles. Here are the ingredients for the Green Smoothie Popsicles featured in the picture:
splash lemon juice
Blueberry Ginger Affair
splash lemon juice
Simply blend the ingredients together for the recipe you choose and pour into popsicle molds and freeze. If you don’t have popsicle molds, then you can freeze them in an ice cube tray and have Green Smoothie Popsicle Bites.
I’ll be at Whole Foods this Saturday featuring my recipe for Summer Strawberry Cobbler. With Father’s Day coming up, this is the PERFECT dessert to take (or to any summer party). I promise…people will be begging you for the recipe :) If you’re interested in trying it, stop by Whole Foods (Raintree/101 location) between 11am-1pm.
Ten-hut (the full version: a-ten-hut) is the abbreviated military term for “Come to attention!” And, that’s exactly what this smoothie does…gets my attention! It’s sweetly delicious, reminds me of the army green color, and attention getting with great nutrition. Can you imagine if we fed our military with green smoothies? (They deserve the best after-all!)
I had it for lunch today (I love drinking smoothies and juices for breakfast and lunch because they’re easy to make, loaded with superior nutrition, fill me with unstoppable energy, and taste so dang great).
Sweet Army Green Smoothie
Yield 1 quart
1 1/2 cups water
3 frozen bananas
2 medium leaves lacinato kale
big handful cilantro
1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green Powder (y’all know this is my fave!)
Blend it up and feel your body ten-hut!
PS…Oprah update. She’s still rockin’ it out vegan style – boohyah!
I’m getting together the goods for my next email newsletter (sign up here), and one of the featured recipes is this delicious dip (or it can be used as a salad dressing like I did here). I promise…the next time you’re jonesing for a ranch style dip or dressing that is so satisfying and keeps you coming back for more, make this! It’s amazing.
Kristen’s Raw – Twitter Style
I’ve been having a lot of fun using Twitter to stay connected and meet new people around the world. Follow along with me here.
I was born and raised in Michigan and the humid summertime in Michigan (as a kid) just wasn’t the same if you didn’t indulge in a slurpee from a 7-Eleven convenience store. Well, today I was taking a stroll down memory lane as I slurped on a delicious concoction that transported me back to childhood days. Granted, it certainly didn’t look or taste exactly like the all-too-sugary-sweet experience of the past. But! The texture was the same and with my transformed vegan crudivore taste buds and desires, I loved the “green, raw, organic” version so much more. It was so great that I’m headed back to the kitchen to make another one when I finish this post. I can tell this is going to be a staple all summer long here in the dry Arizona desert heat. I can’t wait to make a bunch of other combinations…just frozen fruit and green powder…that’s the trick to making it just like a slurpee’s texture!
Yield 3 cups
1 cup water
1 cup frozen organic mango
1 cup frozen organic peaches
1 heaping spoonful Vitamineral Green Powder (this stuff kicks butt and takes names!)
Give it all a whirl in your blender and enjoy fresh, pure energy when your body’s cells jump for joy as they swim in nutrition.
Daily Conversation Question:
What one question would you ask a psychic about the future?