I’ll try to keep this one short and sweet for the blog but you can look forward to more detail in my upcoming Holistic Bumps to Babes program. Our main goal during this precious time in life is to consume highly nutrient-dense foods that are supportive to our health. We want to avoid having or aggravating a digestive disorder and/or modern diseases.
Processed “Food” & Fast Food
You know what fast food is. Duh! I don’t need to explain this one.
Processed foods aren’t natural and include the following:
Genetically Modified foods
Foods containing trans fat
Pasteurized or homogenized foods
Foods containing preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavor enhancers (MSG)
Pretty much, if it comes in a package, it’s processed. I know we are all human but really try to avoid these during this time.
Sugar is the devil. It’s also known to be more addictive than cocaine. Sugar causes fatigue, disrupts brain and hormone function and promotes obesity, infertility and birth defects. Nooo! This is what we want to avoid at all costs. We want to keep our insulin levels even and sugar causes too many peaks and valleys. High insulin levels from blood sugar spikes harm the body’s ability to form and nourish neurons and inhibits communication between neurons. Basically, it can inhibit your baby’s brain development. Sugar also makes us fat. Plain and simple. The ovaries are very sensitive to insulin and too much sugar turns off a gene that controls sex hormones. High insulin can cause the ovaries to produce too many male sex hormones like testosterone. Maybe even be linked to PCOS. Sugar also causes oxidative stress in the body.
Fruits aren’t as safe as you’d think they would be either. Fructose from fruits has been associated with mineral depletion, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, miscarriage, and a decrease in insulin sensitivity. It also causes mineral imbalance and accelerates aging.
Food Additives & Artificial Sweeteners
These include MSG, gums, acesulfame K, saccharin, sucralose, maltodextrin and aspartame. These are only a few of many.
Monosodium glutamate is a chemical flavor enhancer that makes food seem like it tastes better. Glutamate is a excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for sending signals. It helps our nerves fire correctly. MSG makes these neurons get overloaded and causes them to fire over and over until they exhaust or die.
Sweeteners like aspartame is a health risk. Aspartame acts like glutamate. It’s also a neurotransmitter and aspartame can exhaust and kill our beloved neurons. Aspartame lowers our serotonin levels which is linked to emotional disorders and depression. Sounds pretty terrible to me! See the picture above for more names that sugar goes by.
Gluten Containing Grains
Some of these gluten containing grains include barley, rye and wheat. Keep in mind that other grains can be contaminated with gluten because many grains are processed and stored in the same facilities. All grains contain high levels of anti-nutrients in the form of phytic acid and lectins. These make it hard for our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals from the food.
Limit Other Grains & Legumes
Other grains that you may not have a problem with are white rice, non-gmo corn and some legumes. These can be very individual so you’ll have to eliminate them and add them back in one by one to see if they cause you a reaction. Avoid all beans and legumes for a while and add them back in one by one as well to find what works best for you. Sugar snap peas, snow peas and green beans don’t have as many anti-nutrients and your body is able to absorb more from these so have these in moderation.
Bad Oils and Fats
These include cooking oils like canola, corn, cottonseed, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower and vegetable oil. These oils promote inflammation and disease inside the body. When oxidized, they do even more damage. Use saturated fats to cook with because they don’t oxidize. Don’t cook with olive oil. It should remain cold because it has a very low smoke point. Most restaurants use these oils to cook in and many processed foods contain these oils. Diane with Balanced Bites made this handy dandy chart to reference for smoke points. Check it out.
Conventional Dairy & Meats
If you have access to raw dairy or a cow/goat/sheep share, consider yourself lucky. The conventional dairy in our local supermarkets is not what we want to be feeding our bodies and building our babes with. It’s full of growth hormones and antibiotics. Not to mention loads of artificial sweeteners. Dairy is one of the top allergens and many people who LOVE dairy actually have an allergy or sensitivity to it. This is another thing you may want to try eliminating and adding back in after a few weeks. You may be surprised.
We don’t want to support the CAFO farmers so avoid conventional meats. They are loaded with growth hormones, antibiotics and eat a grain diet to fatten them up faster than their bodies can support. This could be an entire blog post. Find a local farmer and buy a half or whole animal. It’s cheaper and healthier!
This can be a hot topic but I believe if you’re reading this, you want the healthiest baby possible. It’s best to avoid caffeine. Especially if you have a history of overdoing it or have had any HPA disregulation/Adrenal fatigue. A lot of people say one cup a day is fine. If you just can’t give it up, have decaf or herba mate’ tea. It’s best to just cut it out completely and support your body with some nice herbal teas. Some of my favorites are dandelion, rooibos, chamomile and fruity teas from Teavana. Be careful if you’re breastfeeding because some herbs can reduce your supply like peppermint.
What is a genetically modified organism? When a food is genetically engineered, the source plant or animal’s genes have been directly altered. Some examples of GMO’s are canola, corn, cottonseed, soybeans and products made from these crops. Some zucchini, yellow squash, papaya, aspartame, rennet (cheese) and sugar beets are also GMO’s. GMO’s are linked to autoimmune disorders, inflammation, and severe food allergies. It most likely has a lot to do with why so many people are sensitive to gluten. The only for sure way to avoid GMO’s is to eat USDA Organic foods. It’s not required for companies to label GMO foods here in the USA. If the product sticker at the grocery store begins with an 8 and is a 5 digit number, it is a GMO food. You want the foods that start with a 9.
Ok. That’s all I have for you for now. I will write a separate post for supplements during this time. I hope you found this information useful. Time for me to go feed and cuddle my baby. Have a great weekend, folks.