BIGGEST CONTEST EVER! Colleen’s Story.

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!

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