Hello, friends and to some of you, CONGRATS also to you mamas!
As most of you know, I am expecting my second child this summer. Hip hip hooray!! Our first sweetie pie, Adelynn is 2 years old now and we are anxious to see her as an older sister. With that said, many people ask me how do I keep up with my healthy lifestyle, raise a toddler, run MULTIPLE businesses (the restaurant, my personal clients for coaching and naturopathic services) and keep a smile on my face? Well, I will tell you it is NOT easy to keep up with just LIFE in general, (as you all know,) let alone keep up with it with still focusing on the importance of health in my own personal life along with my family's. Honestly, just owning and operating a restaurant is enough to make anyone lose their marbles! It is by far no easy task, and there is NEVER a break. There's not enough time in the day for ordering, scheduling, payroll, managing staff, cooking, emails, etc etc (the list goes on and on) BUT I must say that by the grace of God, I do it...and I love it. This year we will be celebrating 6 years (WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!) and because I have such a passion for what I do, there isn't a day where I'm not excited to work. Granted, I will admit that I've had MANY times of tribulation and had to ask God to re-ignite the spark and inspire me, but every time I ask, He does just that! That type of God-given passion is the only way to be successful in running your own business and for that, I am extremely thankful for.
To me, living a healthy lifestyle, 100% of the time, is the only way to live. So, it's not even an option for me to consider settling for less than what I know to be good for me or my family. Some may view this as "snobby" or "extreme" but honestly it is FAR from that to me. It's just me. It's who I am. It's what I believe in and when you experience firsthand what it's like to be able to reverse sickness within your own body through food and lifestyle choices, there's no turning back. I experienced extreme sickness and almost death to the point that I was determined to educate myself to get well and to help as many people do the same so they don't have to suffer. I don't judge others around me for not choosing to live the way I do, because they have not all had my same experiences. Everyone is free to live the way they choose, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and advice with others that ask for it! Either way, when you believe in healthy living as much as I do, it just becomes your way of life - everyday, whether you are busy or not, traveling or home. It isn't cumbersome or a hassle because it's my normal. (It definitely took years to become the new normal, but anyone can do it with determination!)
I choose health over everything, so this means all my meals for myself are 100% pure and yes, even if I'm tired, I still make dinner every night. Sure, it would be GREAT if I could order out, but that just doesn't exist to accommodate my food choices...(unless it's from Moringa Tree, of course!) So, I do take steps to make this easier by making things in bulk for the week like chicken meat or soups so dinner can be fast if necessary. Eating right is important always, but during pregnancy especially because you are GROWING a new human! That human deserves the very best start, and it takes a lot of nutrients for that baby to grow so mamma needs to get extra to take care of herself!
Sooooo with all that said, here are some things I do and recommend during pregnancy to try to care for that growing baby and my own body at the same time:
* I never miss breakfast! For me, I make a smoothie first thing so I make sure I get my Moringa. For all pregnant women, I recommend 1 tsp of Moringa powder daily as a prenatal. Some women at certain stages need more than that. For an additional nutrient boost, I like New Chapter's Prenatal vitamin.
* Besides a prenatal, other supplements I take regularly during pregnancy are Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil Butter Blend and NSP food enzymes. The enzymes usually are needed after a large meal like dinner for me, and just to give me some assistance as things get a little squished in there! I also occasionally take a probiotic (Garden of Life for Women is a good one) when I am not eating enough fermented foods in my diet. During stages in the pregnancy, if I need extra support, I take an herbal iron tincture or herbal minerals tincture that we make with vegetable glycerin to help get through. You can tell if you need more iron if you are getting short of breath or dizzy, and minerals when you wake up with a Charlie Horse in the night! These tinctures are available at The Moringa Tree :)
*Snack on healthy bites throughout the day. I try to eat small bites throughout the day to keep my energy and blood sugar consistent, with a few "main meals". This means things like apples and almond or peanut butter, a sprouted toast with raw honey, cinnamon and butter, a handful of organic raw nuts, a cup of soup, or a few GF crackers with organic, raw cheese. (My fav crackers are Simple Mills and you can get them at Costco, Whole Foods, Meijer and most major stores.) I also like that Aldi has organic cheese slices available that makes it easy. If you can get raw cheese from a farmer or health store, that's great for you! (I don't listen to those warnings about eating raw cheese during pregnancy because I know it's safe and digests easier than some pasteurized cheeses.) If I'm craving something sweet, I enjoy one of my homemade brownies or cookies made with whole ingredients and no processed sugar. (You can find a few recipes in my blog and soon my cookbook!) I also find sometimes just a piece of fruit cuts the sweet cravings or I even enjoy a glass of chocolate milk. If you do well with milk products, I recommend getting raw goat milk from a local farm, otherwise you can use unsweetened almond or coconut milk, cocoa, raw honey or maple syrup and a pinch of pink salt - blend and enjoy!
For meals, I have a nice salad for lunch with a good amount of clean protein like organic chicken, sometimes quinoa and cheese, avocado, and my homemade vinaigrette - apple cider vinegar, olive oil or avocado oil, pink salt, raw honey, garlic and Italian spices. My dinner consists of a healthy protein - organic chicken or grass-fed beef, a small salad and some sort of veggies. I usually crave soups at the beginning stages because the bone broth is so nutrient-dense so these are a good staple and easy to make in the Insta-Pot! Other times during the pregnancy, I crave more carbs and do brown rice pasta or potatoes. Listen to your body! I also make sure I am getting in the right amount of fats so this means preparing meals with a good amount of grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
* Exercise! I keep on the move everyday throughout pregnancy because it helps me feel better all around, and keep my body strong - which you need for that hard labor and those sleepless nights ahead! Of course you don't want to start a heavy exercise routine if you haven't been exercising prior to pregnancy, but it's so important to not allow yourself to become sedimentary. I enjoy going to barre class and other group exercise classes that are not impact, but when I can't do that, I try to make sure I'm walking at least 15-30 min a day and even do some home workouts whether its just a video on YouTube or my own routine. I try to keep moving all day and only sit for short periods at a time. (This is best for me so I don't swell or get stiff, but may not be the same for you.) Listening to your body is crucial because some days require more rest than others. I skip an exercise routine on days that my body is just too exhausted and I have no guilt about it because it takes a lot of energy to grow a baby and rest is crucial also. If my body needs all that energy to build a baby that day, I don't want to take away from that to exercise.
* Which leads me to my next point...REST! I try to get a good night's sleep every night, which was A LOT easier to do before I had a 2 year old to care for! During my first pregnancy, I found that 8-10 hours of sleep every night was what my body required, with naps as needed. This pregnancy, I don't have that luxury...with some nights still interrupted if Adelynn needs me. But I do strive for 6-8 hours of sleep at night and if my body tells me to lay down after work, I have to try and listen to it. The first trimester I had to opt for resting after work instead of running my usual errands...and remind myself that IT'S OK! That new human growing inside is way more important than getting my groceries or getting that load of laundry done. Give yourself a break! You deserve it! :)
* Stay hydrated! I make sure to drink plenty of filtered water throughout each day and recommend 5 cups of organic red raspberry tea everyday to help strengthen and tone the reproductive system, as well as provide necessary minerals for a healthy pregnancy. I also make a pregnancy blend tea that I find to be more well-rounded than just red raspberry that consists of different supportive herbs such as nettles, spearmint and alfalfa. We sell this tea combination at the Moringa Tree for any mothers that are interested in trying some, along with just bulk loose-leaf red raspberry tea.
Well mamas, I hope this helps you feel encouraged to take some steps towards a healthy pregnancy. For more personalized information and advice, I am always happy to set up a one-on-one consultation to help you formulate a plan that fits into your life. Taking care of yourself is so important always, but especially during this precious time of developing a new life! Lastly, don't forget to be THANKFUL. God has blessed us women with such an amazing ability to create life and an out-of-this-world level of STRENGTH!!! I mean, it's painful to go through getting larger, and more uncomfortable, and things are growing and stretching and itching and pulling...then comes the labor part, and the recovery...but WOW. Seriously, what a miracle to be able to do this! There is nothing that blows my mind more than how beautifully God created us to be able to bring a child into the world. Focus on this blessing and every second of discomfort and pain will be forgotten once you are holding your tiny miracle in your arms.
Congratulations to any of you women that are expecting your miracle - sending love and blessings your way!
**Also, a THANK you going out to all the mamas out there that are doing their best to care for their little ones and themselves. You don't hear that enough. One little "shout out" especially to a few super-moms in my life...my mother, of course. She has shown me what it means to truly be selfless and give pure love. And lastly, to my sister, Gina...the SUPERWOMEN of all mothers...mother of 10 beautiful and intelligent children. (Today is her birthday so seemed fitting to post this blog today!) She upholds the highest standard of health all the time, teaches me and others around her everyday how to be healthy, and gives of herself always to help those around her. I thank God for these mamas in my life everyday!