I’ve been having a Question & Answer session going on over on my Facebook fan page… Check it out and become a fan.
I received this question via email about nursing with protein and supplement needs. I thought I’d share my answer with everyone…
I would like to say I really enjoy your blog! I am very interested in the raw food diet. I have made a few changes over the last 2-3 weeks to eat more raw food. About 3 weeks ago I bought a juicer and my husband and I juice everyday…so much fun. I started making almond milk this past week and love it with my protein powder every morning instead of cow’s milk.
I am not vegan or vegetarian, which is slowly changing one day at a time but in reality I don’t really have that much animal products, and if I do its from organc-grassfed-sustainable-local farms. I have been eating organic food for the last 2 years. My question is, I am nursing my 3 month old little girl and of course need protein, where do I get protein if I consume less if any animal products? Also, I do supplement with ‘juice plus’ capsules and vitamin D everyday. Are there other vitamins, minerals or supplements I need to take?
I still take my prenatal newchapter pills. Thank you so much in advance. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for following my blog, Stephanie, and for taking the time to ask this great question! And, congrats on eating healthier for you and your family. :) That’s awesome!
Regarding protein, what I’ve read suggests lactating moms should get somewhere between 50-65g of protein per day. Honestly, I don’t usually count my grams but I’m confident that most days I accomplish that amount, and on a few days I might be light, but that’s okay to me – I don’t stress about it. As a general rule, for most adults, protein needs do not need to be high. It’s a common misconception. However, when it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding, I tend to support getting a little extra protein because in both situations my body is doing extra work and I’m feeding both my baby and myself. It makes sense to me to increase my protein levels.
So, where do I get it?
Well, on days when I have some cooked vegan, organic food, I’m getting higher protein levels from things like oats, lentils, black beans, tofu, tempeh, whole grains, etc. For the raw foods I eat, I get protein from leafy greens, green juice, green smoothies, fruit, nut (or seed) milk, nut (or seed) butter, and nuts (or seeds). But… what really helps ensure I get higher amounts of protein while breastfeeding (or if I were pregnant) would be hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, and Sun Warrior protein powder (chocolate is my favorite flavor but if you’re avoiding chocolate they offer “natural” and “vanilla.” I can drink a quick shake made with water and 2 scoops of Sun Warrior’s protein powder and have half of my day’s protein needs satisfied. I also sometimes take supplements like chlorella, wheat grass tablets, and green powders. These are concentrated sources of protein, even if a small amount, they pack a punch.
Regarding supplements.. According to The Vitamin D Solution (a book I highly recommend! I plan to write a review on it soon), a breastfeeding mom can take 4000-6000 IUs of vitamin D (but this is still being studied), even more (it’s important to ensure there is enough in breastmilk). You might want to get your levels tested and remember that I’m not a doctor so I’m not suggesting how much someone should take, but want to give you a data point based on the book I read. Personally, I take Deva’s Vitamin D2 and I usually end up with 3000-6000 IUs a day depending on other supplements I’m taking which might include it) – UPDATE – Dr. Holick’s overall recommendation is around 2000 IU a day. If you’re not consuming animal products be sure to get a Vitamin B12 supplement – very important (and make sure it’s a sublingual and the methylcobalamin variety. This is the one I take). Also, get your omegas. I take a daily vegan DHA supplement – there are a few good brands out there (NuTru, Deva, and Udos).
OK… I officially like Ryan now. Gotta LOVE this!!!!! Ryan Seacrest sharing his green smoothie (he calls it Brazilian Thunder – very cool) and talking about how it gives him the energy to take on his busy day. Go Ryan!
And, here’s a past post I wrote about 3 Problems Smoothies Solve. Green smoothies ROCK! I’m going to go make one now.
Before I begin this food journal that I tracked for the past several days, I wanted to take a moment and let you know that it’s not just me who eats this way in my family. When I started the raw journey I was a sassy single gal, but it wasn’t long before I met my boyfriend (via eHarmony – deets here on how he was an omnivore when we met but converted to an herbivore after 8 months) who later became my husband. So, for the most part, when I post these food journals, my husband is eating along with me. He doesn’t usually eat the single pieces of fruit as much or the granola for example (although he does take bites of mine – lol); rather he gets his “snacks” in the form of protein grenades.
Green juice: broccoli, lime, celery, cucumber, zucchini
Cooked oat groats with raisins and raw almond milk
Sprouted Protein Bar (recipe will be posted soon on my facebook fan page – exclusive to fans only!)
Large Salad loaded with homegrown sprouts, red bell pepper, minneola, romaine, and an awesome 4-ingredient dressing I’m now calling 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing because it’s so magical it’ll make anyone you give salad to LOVE IT!
1 quart Purple Passion Smoothie with a twist. Frozen blueberries, 2 oranges, 3 purple kale leaves, almond milk, stevia, chia powder
Cooked oat groats with raisins and raw almond milk
Part of a small decaf soy latte (we met up at Starbucks with my former doula and had a blast!) It’s NOT my habit to get a drink at Starbucks when we go there, not so much because it’s “cooked” but because it’s not organic coffee. I rarely drink coffee these days, but on occasion when I brew it at home, I use organic and fair trade coffee. Read how to kick the caffeine addiction here.
Salad: romaine, broccoli, red bell pepper, sprouts, apple, carrot, 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing
1 small spoonful Rawtella (Read my praising review of Rawtella here)
Green Juice: bok choy, celery, zucchini, cucumber, basil, romaine
Cooked oat groats with raw almond milk and raisins
1 quart Purple Passion Smoothie with a twist. Frozen blueberries, 2 oranges, 3 purple kale leaves, raw almond milk, stevia, chia powder
Giant Salad: romaine, orange bell pepper, tomato, apple, sprouts, olives, and you know the dressing… 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing
Raw granola cereal with raw almond milk
Cheezy Kale chips
Green Juice – I made the same recipe as I made in the morning
Herbal tea brewed in the sun
Green juice – broccoli, kale, celery, cucumber, zucchini, pear
Pure Bar – Trail Mix flavor
Cheezy Kale chips (I buy Blue Mountain Organics – read about my love for them here along with directions on how to make your own!)
Giant salad with sprouts, romaine, cabbage, carrots, tomato, raisins, green onion and 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing (this dressing makes you WANT TO EAT SALAD!)
Banana Blueberry Chocolate Nut Butter Soft Serve (Mmmm big ol’ bowl)
Protein shake (1 serving Sun Warrior and 1 serving hemp) with cinnamon, plus 1T hemp seeds, and 2t Greener Grasses) with 1.5 cups almond milk. At the end of drinking this and I had one gulp left, I added about 1/2t dulse granules.
Grapefruit – I had this in the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep. Too much energy from the all raw diet! I went downstairs, had a pink grapefruit (rich with lycopene by the way), and watched Jon Stewart.
Sunday’s food was all raw, too, but I forgot to write it all down.
Red raspberry leaf tea
Sprouted Protein Bar with raw almond butter and sliced banana
Quart green juice: kale, cucumber, celery, kiwi
2 giant salads: I loved it so much that I at two of them back to back. It had my 4-Ingredient Magic Dressing… Will share recipe soon! Romaine, red bell pepper, purple cabbage, and a few raisins. I had my step-dad taste the recipe and he asked if he could just eat it like a soup he loved it so much – lol. Mom and Greg are raving fans, too.
Blue Mountain Organics Cacao Crunch Brownie
1 quart Green Smoothie: 2 small bananas, raw almond milk, 2 big leaves red rainbow chard, 1 small orange, 1 serving hemp protein powder
Dinner: I haven’t eaten yet, but I’m going to make raw pizza. I made the crusts a couple of days ago and made the cheese Saturday night. I’m going to also top them with fresh sliced tomatoes and basil. Yum!
Dessert: Banana soft serve!
PS. Check out my Green Mommy Blog’s latest post about Cognitive Development and Homeschooling. :)
For the past few years, I’ve basically lived a “high raw” life and I’ve enjoyed it. Some days were all raw and some were mostly raw with a sprinkling of days that were only moderately raw (they’re always vegan though). I’m a big believer in listening to your body, taking it easy, and not stressing about food choices so long as you’re feeling good and more often than not doing the right thing.
At the end of December, though, my tune changed a bit. My diet had been quite clean, but my body told me to eat more raw and kick it up a notch. I felt drawn to it and excited about it.
So, it’s been a month now and I’ve been pretty much 100% Raw with exception to 4 meals (which were still partly raw) in addition to the oats I’m going to eat a few days a week that I mentioned in my last post to help with my breastmilk supply if I feel it’s necessary.
What do I think? Well. I feel amazing, as you might expect. I feel euphoric, on top of the world, extra lean, and I’m running on all cylinders with ease. It’s a great feeling. My cells are dancing. I’ve got my groove on and it feeeeeeeels awesome.
I wrote in my last email newsletter (sign up here) about a couple of different ways that you can successfully stick to the raw diet with ease. I’m doing the method now where I constantly load up on fresh produce and raw foods so that my kitchen is always stocked with just about anything I could want to make a recipe. I am loving this method. Every night I think about what I might make the next day and I write down all of the possibilities, whether I stick to the plan or not. It’s a guide. Not set in stone and it gives me ideas to help me stick to the goal of raw while still allowing flexibility for changing tastes or if Kamea decides that making a raw lasagna is not in the cards that day.
I’m staying stocked with food. I have bags of granola, jars of all different nuts and seeds, kale chips galore, nut butters up the wazoo, stashes of different snack bars (some bought, some homemade), protein powders by the case, my dehydrator has been humming non-stop for the past month, I’m loaded with different kinds of crackers and trail mix, my counters and refrigerators are bursting with fresh produce, and my freezers have frozen fruit, chocolate truffles, and other stocked foods (sprouting seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds – oh my!). And. I just ordered a bunch of jars of Rawtella because I don’t ever want to be caught without it. It’s the PERFECT fix when I need my chocolate. How do I stay stocked like this? Well, I go to the store 1-2 times a week plus get a weekly food delivery for my produce. For most of the other stuff (nuts, seeds, packaged foods) I usually go online for good deals.
It’s really cool. I wake up and think…. “Wow, I can’t wait to start my day!” As my friend, Lauren, might say, “Nerd alert.” lol
Maybe I feel like raw pizza? No problem… I have cracker crusts in my pantry. I have nuts I can quickly soak to make cheese. I have fresh tomatoes and basil to chop and spread on top. Voila! Pizza. Oh.. I want soup? Easy…. Load my blender up with fresh produce along with some homemade nut milk and I’m good to go. Perhaps I want to take it easy and sip on some green juice – awesome… grab some kale, celery, and cukes. Done. Can’t decide what to have? Ok… get started with a salad and go from there…. sprouts, bell pepper, carrots, olives, avocado… yum! Or maybe I want a hearty collard green bad-ass wrap – cool – I have all the fixin’s for that, too… sprouts, chopped lettuce, shredded beet, lime juice, olives, whip up some cashew cheese or spread some miso on it, add more veggies and a sprinkling of Himalayan crystal salt. Mmmmm mmmmm. Or how about some of that fancy, certified organic coconut water that is $10 bucks a bottle? Give me a case so I’m stocked (and you get a discount when buying by the case) and I’ll take that treat all day long! I get slap happy just thinking about it stocked up in my freezer.
|This is my big freezer.|
I know some people ask me how I keep a kitchen stocked with the cost of some raw foods. Well, here is the thing. I’ve said this before. I gladly put my money into my health with raw foods. All organic. I really don’t think twice about it. Ok, maybe sometimes I think twice, but then I slap myself (not really) and say, “Snap out of it, Kristen, you are worth it. This is your health!” I don’t really do a lot of shopping for things that maybe others shop for… instead I use my money for my kitchen and raw lifestyle. I buy appliances that keep my excitement running high for food prep. I get happy shivers down my spine when I snag lots of orange bell peppers at Whole Foods. I don’t drink fancy coffee drinks that many people spend hundreds of dollars on a month… instead I spend that money on goji berries, pine nuts, fancy raw sprouted almond and cashew butters, raw cacao, and other dazzling raw goodies.
|This is the door to the freezer.|
Also… I buy in bulk. This cuts down on the cost. You can also split the foods with friends if getting in bulk is too much. I look for things on sale. We rarely eat out, too. In Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she calculates the cost of eating fast food for the day and it amounts to about $20 a person. That’s not cheap – and that’s fast food! By making my meals at home, even when I use more expensive products because they’re organic, it’s not unreasonable. Oh, and by the way, I rarely get sick. I don’t take prescriptions. That saves money in the long run!
Plus. When it comes to the holidays and my birthday, I am not shy about telling people exactly what I want whether it’s a shiny new juicer, a gift card to Amazon to help me save for an appliance or get this… I ask for gift cards to Whole Foods. I know… some people want to scream LAME! Heck no – I love it! I’ve also redeemed credit card rewards for Amazon.com gift cards and then used those on raw food appliances and supplies.
Bottom line – I want to live until I’m at least 100 years of age. I want to be healthy for Kamea all my years. I want my husband to be there with me every step of the way. How do we reach that goal? EATING HEALTHY! It’s our priority and we live it.