February 12, 2010

Testimony -this stuff really works!

I have to say that I am pretty excited here as I get closer to my due date. I am due in 5 days, and she could certainly come sooner. I feel great! This pregnancy has been such a journey and I’ve learned so much. I am most encouraged by my Doctor’s response to my pregnancy. At my appointment last week, she stared at me and my file, and flat out told me she couldn’t believe how great I looked, and how impressed she was at my “perfect pregnancy.” I am not telling you this to toot my own horn, but simply as a testimony to what I believe pregnancy should be for every woman. My Doctor jokingly asked if I’d be her “spokesperson for pregnancy” and go talk to the dozen or miserably pregnant women in the waiting room and at home who had gained tons of weight, were miserably bloated, lethargic, sleepless, achy with pinched nerves and worse. I laughed and just told her, “superfoods, alkaline smoothies/foods, and exercise, exercise, exercise.”

At this point, she said, “OK, tell me about these superfoods and smoothies, and will you write it down for me?” So as briefly as I could manage I dove into the top 10 superfoods discussed in depth in David Wolfe’s book, and then told her the ingredients of the basic alkaline smoothies I make. She couldn’t believe that 5 days before delivery I am still doing my 90 minute Bikram yoga sessions daily, and my 100/100/100, walking my dog and deep cleaning my house. I told her I simply couldn’t help it, I had so much energy!

She commented on how white and clear my eyes were, how radiant, clear and “perfect” my complexion was, and how she couldn’t believe that without eating all kinds of meat and dairy I had perfect blood work, and had only gained a “perfect” 24 pounds my entire pregnancy. I am not even slightly bloated, and honestly feel like I’ve never been in better shape in my life. My core is strong, especially my oblique’s, my legs are rock solid and my rear has never been so hard and small, even before pregnancy! My arms are strong, my triceps more defined than ever, and I have never been so flexible and stretched out in all my 9+ years of Bikram yoga (I am sure this has a LOT to do with all the relaxin hormone in my system!)

I wrote down for my Doctor the basic smoothie recipe, the top ten superfoods and the name of David Wolfe’s book, Superfoods. I didn’t really know how serious she was in her inquiry until two days later I was at Whole Foods with my sister purchasing ingredients to make a boat load of superfood together, and all of a sudden I hear a “Hey!” and there was my Doctor, with a shopping cart ½ full of the ingredients I’d written down for her, and holding the piece of paper I’d given her with all the information. I was thrilled that she was earnest, and saw the value and change this could mean not only for her own health but the health of countless other pregnant women she could directly affect and/or influence through her practice. She told me she’d ordered the book, and was really excited. I told her I was thrilled, and to let me know if she had any questions at all.

As much as I’ve loved having her as my Doctor, I love it even more now knowing that a medical professional like her is truly open and sincerely interested in the truth out there about food and diet, and how it directly affects every aspects of our lives and health, whether or not we choose to believe so.

So again ladies, I’m not sharing any of this to pat myself on the back, or blow my own horn, but to STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU to challenge yourself through your pregnancy and beyond to make changes that will positively affect your entire life. Pregnancy isn’t a time to sit back and apathetically let the days go by with junk food snacking, lethargy and all the other temptations that go along with being pregnant, like doing nothing. This is the time to take control of your own health, the way you feel and look at yourself, and most importantly the health of your unborn child.

Kick your butt into high gear, get moving, and get some good superfoods into your system… you will feel amazing immediately, I promise!!!

February 3, 2010

Krazy Kombucha

I’m not going to say much about this, because the arguments are fierce and many regarding the topic of kombucha, especially recently. I will say this however. Kombucha SAVED ME during my first trimester (and beyond) of icky-sicky-nausea and other pregnancy pains.

Kombucha seemed to be the only thing that settled my stomach, and made me feel like I was 5 years old again with the flu and my Mom poured me a fizzy ice cold glass of ginger ale that made everything “all better.”
The ingredients in Kombucha are simple: Black Tea, the Kombucha “mother” or “mushroom”, and sugar (plus any other herbs or fruit that each individual company adds, see each bottle for details). Some brands like GT’s Kombuch and High Country Kombucha (see websites at bottom).

I love this stuff. I’ve been drinking it for ten years, and my OB/GYN had no problem with it whatsoever (brought in a bottle of it to give to her, she examined it, and said it was fine). There are “trace amounts of alcohol” in the kombucha due to the naturally occurring fermentation process, but it is truly so trace, that it is nothing that I personally feel will cause harm to you or your fetus. But do NOT take my word for it if you are concerned; do your own research and/or discuss with your own doctor.
Drinking kombucha is similar to those who drink apple cider vinegar for health purposes, which is also fermented (check out the website, I’ve been drinking this stuff for years as well: http://bragg.com/products/acv.html?gclid=CPLI-a_bt6MCFQE_bAoddyDdbg).

What is Kombucha? Kombucha a living culture of beneficial microorganisms (including Lactobacillus Bacterium and S. Boulardii), cultured and/or fermented to bring out all the amazing properties that benefit our bodies. Kombucha contains billions of beneficial probiotic flora (good bacteria) that helps our digestive system and therefore our immune system greatly. Because of all the pesticides, antibiotics, pollution and more in the environment, it is even more important than ever to enhance beneficial micro-organisims in our bodies to replace the ones that are wiped out on a regular basis. We must replenish our supply via kombucha, or other sources such as kefir, yogurt, etc. There is a great product I like as well, called Bio K: http://www.biokplus.com/en/

Whether or not you decide to drink kombucha, make sure that you are supporting your immune system and digestive system throughout your pregnancy and during lactation. You will 100% better, I promise.

Some things found in Kombucha are:
Active Enzymes are generally only found in foods that have not been cooked, processed, or refined. That is why Kombucha is raw and unpasteurized.
Polyphenols which fight off the free-radicals that stress the body and your immune system

Organic Acids which can promote tissue and blood alkalinity and help normalize the natural process of homeostasis throughout the body. Some organic acids are:

  • Lactic acid helps maintain healthy digestive action (through the probiotic lactobacilli) and for energy production by the liver
  • Acetic acid which acts as an antiseptic and inhibitor of pathogenic bacteria.
  • Glucuronic acid, normally produced by a healthy liver, is a powerful detoxifier and can readily be converted into glucosamines, the foundation of our skeletal system.
  • Usnic acid has selective antibiotic qualities which can partly deactivate viruses.
  • Oxalic acid encourages the intercellular production of energy, and is a preservative.
  • Malic acid also helps the liver to detoxify.
  • Butyric acid protects human cellular membranes, and combined with Gluconic acid strengthens the walls of the stomach and digestive tract in order to combat yeast infections such as Candida.
  • Nucleic acids, like RNA and DNA, transmit information to the cells on how to perform correctly and regenerate.

This same information and more can be found on http://www.synergydrinks.com/home.aspx (GT’s Kombucha website) as well as http://www.hckombu.com/ (High Country Kombucha’s website).

As I always say, make your own decision, but based on my own personal experience, kombucha can be a great “feel better” tool to support you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Enjoy!

***P.S. Several months after writing/posting this blog, the controversy of kombucha came up in the news: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/whole-foods-pulls-kombucha-teas-citing-alcohol-content/19522361/ Which I thought was ridiculous (thanks A LOT Lindsey Lohan). It is still widely unavailable, so don’t be afraid to look into making it on your own! It is so easy and delightful to have around (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Kombucha-Tea).

I also LOVED seeing Bethenny Frankel (on her hit Bravo TV show, “Bethenny Getting Married?”) drink GT’s Synergy Kombucha throughout her pregnancy, exactly as I did. =)