Kale Chips

Who says you can’t have healthy chips?  These chips have a great crunch and lots of yummy natural flavor!  It’s so simple to make, and the garlic adds a nice little punch to your tastebuds.  Did you know garlic is an anti-inflammatory and natural antibiotic?  It can help eliminate toxins from your body and enhance your immune system?  This, plus the calcium and phytonutrients found in kale make this tasty snack a super health booster!

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

4 cups kale, washed and cut or ripped into bite size portions (stems removed)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine olive oil and garlic in a bowl, add kale and mix well.  Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 15 minutes or until kale is crispy.  Let cool and serve.


Colleen is now 21 weeks pregnant.  If you haven’t been following Colleen’s story, or if you would like to read it again, click on “Colleen’s Story” in the blog tag cloud to the right.  This will bring up all blog posts about Colleen.

*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Colleen may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Colleen is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every pregnant woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

rollerblading 1Colleen’s assessments and recommendations are much more detailed than what is in this blog post. Here, I am sharing her most important issues and some random topics. The information that is shared between me and Colleen is extensive and continual.

As a nutritionist, I always recommend food sources of nutrients before supplements.  In fact, with a balanced diet that includes all of the necessary calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, you wouldn’t need supplements at all.  However, realistically not many of us eat a perfect diet.  Sometimes we need to supplement in order to achieve optimal levels.  In Colleen’s case, I have recommended that she take fish oil and a calcium/magnesium blend.  She has not made this a priority and still has not purchased her supplements.  I feel it is important now to explain to her the reasoning for my recommendations, especially fish oil.  Remember, Colleen does not eat seafood.  At all.  Her diet is therefore lower in healthy fats like EPA and DHA, or omega-3’s.  These have both an anti-inflammatory and blood fat lowering effect.  They lower bad cholesterol (LDL), while raising good cholesterol (HDL).  Studies have found that supplementing with fish oil during pregnancy can increase hand-eye coordination and boost brain development in babies, as well as reduce the occurrence of allergies in infants.

I did not ask Colleen for a food log this time.  She feels that her appetite is back and she is eating enough food.  Rather than counting calories, I am encouraging Colleen to listen to her body.  Although it is beneficial to know if you are eating enough, it is also a good practice to learn your body’s signals.  Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.  We are born with this amazing ability to know exactly what we need.  Over time we lose this skill but when we are aware of it and stop to listen, we can re-learn this gift that nature has provided.

Leafy green vegetables are an important part of any diet.  They have a good amount of phytonutrients, which fight disease and promote good health.  They contain a wide range of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and many different vitamins.  They provide a source of chlorophyll, which not only alkalizes the body but detoxifies as well.  Everybody should eat some leafy green vegetables every day.  Good sources of leafy greens are lettuce, spinach, kale, bok choy, swiss chard and parsley.  Colleen has been having some trouble eating salads.  She has said that greens taste like ‘dirt’.  🙂   Ok, I understand prenatal food aversions, and now that the weather is getting colder, I don’t recommend that salads be a big part of any diet anyway.  Instead, she can try to sauté her greens, or add them to soups and stews, etc.  I have provided some recipes for her to try.

Other than some mild heartburn, she is feeling great!  Her headaches have not been an issue lately.  She has some mild hip and lower back pain.  For that she is going to see a massage therapist.  I hope she enjoys her massage!


Denise and I have had our first follow-up visit. I will address the question that I know is on everyone’s mind. No, she is not pregnant. Yet.

She doesn’t want to become consumed with the thought of having a baby. So for now, she and her husband are being relaxed about it. For the quickest way to pregnancy, I do recommend the fertility awareness method. However, Denise is not interested in charting at this time.

If you haven’t read Denise’s introductory blog, you can find it here.

Pink and yellow flower website photo*Every individual is unique and will have different nutritional needs. The recommendations I make for Denise may or may not benefit other women who have similar experiences. The nutritional advice given to Denise is based on a specific, detailed health and lifestyle assessment. They will not apply to every woman. If you are interested in a personal assessment for yourself, please send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

Denise has made some big improvements in her diet since we met! She still drinks coffee, but she is down to one cup a day. Although I suggest that she stop drinking coffee completely, I do understand our nation’s love of coffee. Reducing her intake to one cup a day is a good step in the right direction. More importantly, she has stopped drinking diet pop! Almost. There was one diet drink in her recent food log, along with some beer and nachos. But hey, everything is ok in moderation. Of course, it’s important to understand what moderation means exactly. I am a believer in the 80/20 rule. Meaning, 80% of the time you make good, healthy food choices. The other 20% can be less than perfect.

Let’s talk about nachos for a minute. Because, let’s face it, they’re delicious! You can actually make your own nachos at home that are not so bad for you. You can use baked tortilla chips, home-made salsa, organic cheese, free-range ground beef or chicken and fresh vegetables. This can actually be a good food choice. Unfortunately for Denise, her nachos were from a restaurant or pub. Maybe yummy, but not so healthy.

Denise has started tracking her food intake daily! This is great, because it lets her know exactly how much she is eating in calories, proteins and fats, etc. It will even add up her nutrients and fiber count. Which, she has been maintaining at between 20 and 30 grams a day. At this rate, I suspect she will reverse her signs of hypoglycemia in no time.

Denise’s biggest concern right now, besides getting pregnant, is insomnia. She has recently gone through some significant changes in her lifestyle, so I’m hoping this is temporary caused by stress. Stress can be good and bad. There is such thing as good stress, like getting a new job or getting pregnant. To help her sleep I recommend she increase her food intake of tryptophan, with foods like banana’s, dates, figs, nuts and seeds, nut butters, eggs, tuna, chicken or turkey. Tryptophan can help the body produce serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that regulate sleep patterns. She should develop a bedtime relaxation routine that includes meditation or yoga. Regular exercise and reducing stress can also help.

Denise has made some beneficial changes to her diet and lifestyle. I hope we will be hearing some good news from her very soon!

Mommy Connections Contest!

Mommy Connections is a great way to get out with your baby to meet other new moms or expecting moms.  It’s a way to make new friendships and socialize your new baby, all while learning about things like health and fitness, nutrition and more!

Feel free to visit their website here for more information about their programs.


For THREE DAYS ONLY, expecting moms in Ottawa may enter a draw to win a $50 gift certificate for the Mom-To-Be program with Mommy Connections!  All you have to do is ‘Like’ my Facebook page here, ‘Like’ Mommy Connections Central Ottawa Facebook page here, and answer this question:  WHAT FOOD DO YOU CRAVE THE MOST DURING YOUR CURRENT PREGNANCY?  Please post your answer on my Facebook page or send an e-mail to karen@natureprenatal.com.

This contest closes at 10:00 PM, September 6, 2013!  GOOD LUCK!

Meditation and Nutrition Workshop

I am so excited to have teamed up with Mary Bachat, an amazing medium and inspiring human being, here in my small community of Rockland, Ontario.  For anyone in the area, she has a wonderful little shop that is definitely worth checking out.  You can visit her website here.  I am pleased to announce that she will be joining me for an interactive workshop on meditation and nutrition in October.  If this interests you, do not hesitate to register.  Spaces are limited!



October 22, 2013

7:00 – 9:00 PM

Moonlight Medium

928 rue Laporte Street, Rockland Ontario

613-446-9624 (Mary) or 613-854-9848 (Karen)


 Join Mary Bachat, medium, and myself, for an interactive workshop as we guide you towards a life of inner peace and happiness.  Learn which foods will nourish your body as well as your mind and your soul.  We will discuss holistic nutrition, what it means to eat clean foods and reduce toxins that cause harm to our physical and emotional well-being.  We will begin the evening with a short meditation session followed by a one hour presentation and discussion period.


Some issues that we will discuss are:


  • Menopause, pregnancy, PMS and other hormonal changes.
  • Weight gain and weight loss.
  • Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.
  • Fatigue, headaches and much more!


Cost is $30 (includes a free gift).

Register today.  Seats are limited.

To secure your place, contact Karen at 613-854-9848 or Mary at 613-446-9624.