Posts Tagged ‘dietary changes’

3 Simple Pre-Conception Preparations

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Congratulations! You are thinking about getting pregnant! ūüôā The period in a couple’s life when they are hoping to expand their family is¬†certainly an exciting time. While it may be a little ways away for your family, there are things you can do in advance to optimally prepare your body for¬†carrying new life¬†and it’s never to early to start!

Make Healthy Food Choices: Nutrition is probably the number one most important thing¬†you can do to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. The awesome part of this is that it is something¬†you can¬†completely control; what¬†you put into¬†your body is 100% yours to decide! Of course eating well is important for everyone no matter what phase of life, but it is especially important for women during their childbearing years. If you want to make changes to your current diet, my suggestion would be to ease into it. Drastic dietary changes are often only temporarily sustainable efforts. Perhaps start by simply adding more whole foods into your diet? One idea might be to start your morning with a green smoothie? It’s a really easy way to get in a ton of nutrients. Another factor¬†that influences¬†healthy food choices and the relationship we have with food, is¬†the common belief/misconception that healthy foods don’t taste good.¬†If you believe that then you are less likely to select a healthy food and go straight for the junk foods¬†which you know tastes good, right? Who woudn’t choose something yummy over something bland and tasteless? Eating is supposed to be a pleasurable experience!¬†However I assure you eating healthy can be delicious, succulent, invigorating, and pure decadence! If what is healthy to you is boring, perhaps experiment more with foods and flavors? You might also try imposing more mindfulness into¬†meals as described in this post. Another mental shift in eating is to focus on how foods make you feel after consuming them; really looking inward and examining how your body responds to foods. You might¬†discover that healthy foods help you feel more vibrant and energetic as well as provide clarity of mind.¬†¬†By attributing those positive qualities to the foods we use to fuel our bodies, we change our relationship with food. No longer does a donut look appealing…it starts to look like something that is going to make¬†you feel heavy, sluggish, and unfulfilled. By changing the way you eat before getting pregnant, you are filling your body with optimum nutrients needed to grow and nourish a healthy baby. And you¬†are setting¬†yourself up for continued healthy food choices during pregnancy and postpartum. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are a lot of work for your body and properly fueling your body can positively impact all three!

Increase water consumption: While this goes¬†hand in hand with¬†healthy eating, it is definitely worthy enough of separate mention. Water is quite healing and restorative to our bodies. Through large consumption of water we can help remove toxins from our body. One great way to start your day is to drink a large glass of water upon awakening. You have likely went 8 hours or so through the night without consuming any water so your body would graciously welcome a large glass of water each morning. Try to figure out a way throughout the day to have water readily available and accessible to you. Often this means carrying a water bottle with you. Investing in a quality water bottle that is easy to fill, clean, and drink from is definitely worthwhile as it is likely to directly impact how¬† much water you consume. By increasing water consumption during the pre-conception period, you are setting the stage to do so during your pregnancy. Staying properly hydrated during pregnancy can actually prevent some pretty serious medical issues. Something as simple as drinking water can change the course of your pregnancy, so¬†bottoms up! ūüôā

Be Active/Exercise: Again when you consider how much work carrying and birthing a baby is on your body, having a healthy strong body becomes even more important. If the idea of exercise means going to the gym and hating every minute of it, then of course you won’t be motivated to do it. However if you open yourself to the idea that there are hundreds of different ways to be active, you might find a type of exercise you actually enjoy such as hiking, biking, roller-blading, skiing, running, dancing, power-walking, yoga, volleyball, softball, tennis, swimming, surfing, etc. If exercise is infused into a recreational hobby, it becomes less of a ‘chore’ and something you are actually passionate about and willingly/happily devote time to. In addition to the direct health benefits of exercise, by engaging in physical activities we become more attune with our bodies which obviously¬†carries great advantages during pregnancy and childbirth.

What are some ways you prepared for pregnancy? Would love to hear your ideas!


Powerhouse Salad Recipe

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Spinach is definitely a favorite of mine! I enjoy it raw, cooked, steamed, or juiced.

I am always looking for tasty ways to increase my intake of greens. I usually do a a green smoothie with breakfast and a salad with dinner. This recipe¬†is my current favorite salad. It incorporates several of the powerhouse foods (meaning high nutritional content) thus I named¬†it “Powerhouse Salad”.


1 bunch (or about two generous handfuls of spinach) of washed, dried, and cut spinach

1/2 of the seeds from a pomegranate (here’s one easy way to remove seeds and here’s another simple method)

1/2 of an apple or pear chopped

1/2 cup of blueberries

1/4 cup chopped walnut

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Sprinkle with hemp seed

Toss with your favorite ‘sweet’ dressing such as a honey mustard, raspberry vinaigrette, or poppy seed and enjoy!

We are fortnate to have an abundance of healthy foods available to us and when we chose to honor our bodies with nutritious foods we have prepared for ourselves, often feelings of joy, delight, and satisfaction follow. While eating your powerhouse salad, chew slowly and deliberately while consciously focusing on the flavors. Try having an awareness, appreciation, or even gratitude for the nourishing foods you are enjoying. I have been trying to slow down (I know this is really, really difficult with small children) when I eat. Not only to savor the flavor and texture, but to create a mental awareness for the nutrients the foods are providing. Creating positive associations with healthy foods can be an important step in dietary changes. By practicing mindfulness, you can significantly influence your food choices. ūüôā

If you make this salad for yourself or your family, let me know what you think or what alterations you make. Also if you practice mindfulness while enjoying, would love to hear your experiences with that.