Last Friday we had the class that is dedicated to Nutrition in Pregnancy. We decided to switch it up a little bit. Instead of showing the video of Dr. Brewer addressing one of Marjie and Jay Hathaway’s classes in California (yes, they still teach and if you are in the Sherman Oaks area, they can be your teachers!), we invited one of our students who has an avocation for nutrition to share her knowledge with the class.
R. is fully committed to providing the best nutrition for her family, and she is also married to a CPA. She knows how to buy quality organic food at the best prices!! She shops across town. I am encouraging her to write us a shopping list for the Phoenix area.
Here are some of the “new” things that we heard about outside of the Brewer Diet that we teach. Dr. Brewer’s foundation is good and as reliable as ever. Now there is a new consciousness about organic and alternative sources that adds a new layer to a healthy and low-risk pregnancy. We want to make our students aware that there are options to conventional foods: for example, eating meat and dairy products that are hormone and anti-biotic free, looking for non-genetically modified crops, and ancient foods that are "new" to our Western diet.
If you have watched any of the food documentaries like Food, Inc., or Forks Over Knives, you know that what we call food and what is really food are two different things. If you haven’t watched them, here is a quick synopsis: unless you know and/or trust the source, there is no guarantee that what you are eating is actually wholesome.
I am going to break down some of the food groups on our “pink sheets” that she expanded on. She shared some additional considerations for pregnant mothers. I wanted to write about her presentation as a reminder for our students who were in class and for any mamas that are interested in a high protein, whole food diet during their pregnancy.
As a baseline, HERE are the recommendations from The Bradley Method® that every Bradley™ instructor should be sharing with their students. These nutritional guidelines are taken from Dr. Brewer’s information on how to reduce toxemia of pregnancy by increasing protein and eating a well-balanced diet.
Dairy: Four serving per day
The main goal for consuming four servings of protein per day is to add calcium for bone building and protein for brain building to the diet. If you don’t like milk or are allergic to milk, R.’s favorite alternative is almond milk since almonds are not typically a genetically modified crop. She also provided our students with THIS list of the Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods.
If you do eat dairy, she suggested to stay away from the DHA-fortified varieties since there is not enough in there to make a difference, and a lot of processing has to happen in order to infuse the milk with DHA. As an example, you can explore THIS article.
“Good” dairy choices include greek yogurt and organic cheeses.
Eggs: Two per day
The benefits of eggs are many. You can click HERE for a breakdown of nutrients from A to Zinc. If you are allergic to eggs, that post list alternatives for getting those nutrients through other foods. R. offered links for our students to learn more about LUTEIN and CHOLINE, two nutrients found in eggs that are super-important for that ever-developing baby brain. If you just can’t stomach eggs, read away and maybe you will be motivated to find at least a couple of egg dishes you can tolerate so that baby has all the brain-building advantages available to him or her.
Protein: Two Servings Per Day
R.’s recommendation was to find protein sources that were either free-range and eating what nature intended (i.e., cows are supposed to eat grass, not corn), or to eat alternative sources that are not genetically modified. Many people gravitate to tofu if they don’t eat meat. Unfortunately, soy is one of the most likely crops to be genetically modified. Legumes and quinoa are two alternative sources that her family uses if she is not preparing free-range poultry or beef.
Another way she adds protein to her family’s diet is by making her own chicken broth. She boils a whole chicken for two hours. Then she removes the chicken and strips the meat from the bones. Next, she returns the bones to the stock along with two tablespoons of vinegar to maximize the calcium leaching from the bones. She simmers this for 12 hours, and this stock is the base for all her cooking for the rest of the week. You can use stock for soups and as the liquid when cooking your legumes and grains.
Green Vegetables: Two servings per day
The main nutrient Dr. Brewer intended for mamas to get from leafy greens was folate, which is required for many of the body’s functions: DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth. In pregnancy, folate is very important for proper fetal development. Leafy greens are also rich in iron. Iron is also important for fetal growth and maternal health.
HERE is the list R. shared for the Top 10 Foods Highest in Folate.
Other highlights from her talk:
One of the best sources for lutein & choline: Animal liver, especially the beef and chicken varieties. Liver does have a checkbox on our Dr. Brewer “pink sheets”. It is not a very common menu item these days, so it was neat to hear her expound on the benefits of adding it into the pregnancy diet and beyond.
Chia seeds: Easy to add to drinks, smoothies, sprinkle on oatmeal or salads for extra protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Egg shells: You can boil them for five minutes to kill any germs. Let them cool and then pulverize them in your blender. Once you have egg powder, it can also be added to smoothies or broths.
Broccoli tips: what to do with the broccoli stalks that are plain and rarely served? You can finely dice them and sprinkle them onto salads or into your sandwich.
Goji berries: These little powerhouses are packed with phytonutrients, zinc, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, antioxidants, iron and B-complex. You can eat them plain as a snack, put them in a shake or smoothie, or add it to trail mix.
Lastly, HERE is a link to some of the local area Farmer's Markets in the Phoenix for you to explore and meet your local growers and foodies.
What are some alternative sources or “new” foods that you like?
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Dr. Brewer/ The Bradley Method® Pregnancy Nutrition
More information about Dr. Brewer’s
Top 10 Foods Highest in Calcium
Challenge to Horizon Organic’s DHA Fortified Milk
Arizona Community Farmers Markets
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It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.