Last time we discussed how important nutrition is to prepare your body before you get pregnant. Now you and your partner know what foods to avoid and what foods to add to your diet. Let’s talk about snacks and drinks. And, yes, I will reveal the #1 question I get from moms-to-be!
Yep, you can have snacks—in fact I encourage it, when done properly.
For healthy snacking, turn to nuts and seeds for additional fiber, fats, and nutrients. You’ll want to avoid the commercially roasted nuts and seeds. Commercial roasters use too high a temperature making the healthy, fragile fats rancid and inflammatory.
You can read my recipe blog here on how to make your own crispy nuts and seeds from the raw ones you buy at the store.
I don’t recommend eating raw nuts and seeds. Phytates are found in nuts (and grains and some other vegetables) and can block the absorption of naturally occurring minerals. By soaking and dehydrating nuts, you maximize the nutrient density in the food and in YOU.
Make a large batch of crispy nuts and store them in the freezer so you always have a healthy snack on hand. Be sure to let them thaw before eating them. You could break a tooth on a frozen nut!
What to Drink When Preparing for Pregnancy
I know giving up coffee can be hard. There seems to be an emotional component to coffee addiction, at least there is for me. However, I have found that my clients find it easier to put the coffee cup down when they know it will help their baby have the best start. So, when the urge hits, remind yourself that you are preparing your body to support another life, and that coffee will impact him or her as well.
Instead of coffee, I recommend drinking plenty of filtered water, green tea (no more than 4 cups/day) and herbal teas. However, not all herbs are safe for pregnancy. Stick to the ones recommended here: Burdock root, Chamomile, Dandelion Lemon Balm, Nettle Leaf, Oat Straw, Red Raspberry, or Squaw Vine.
Detoxification for Maternal Health
OK–here is the mystery question revealed, and answered: Pregnant moms frequently ask how they can detoxify safely.
Never detoxify while pregnant. We used to think that the placenta protected the growing baby from harmful chemicals, heavy metals, and xenoestrogens. Now, we know that not true.
The best approach is to begin an earnest detoxification program months before becoming pregnant to be a toxin free as possible.
Don’t just detoxify your diet. I wrote a 6-part series on detoxification that provides more details, but below is a great summary.
First... take steps to eliminate your exposure to toxins by using natural cleaning products, using natural personal care products, and removing plastics from your kitchen. All these products contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that can make getting pregnant difficult.
Second... implement a nutrient dense diet by following my advice above.
Third... support detoxification with appropriate supplements. If possible, assess your heavy metal or toxic chemical load before detoxifying. This information will help guide how long you need to detoxify before attempting to get pregnant.
If you find a significant need for detoxification, you’ll want to dedicate more time to prepare for pregnancy. I know it is hard to wait when your arms are aching for a baby, but the wait will be worth it. Your body will be better prepared to support a tiny new life, and that new life will be healthier, too.