NOW THAT I’M IN FULL SWING OF MY SECOND PREGNANCY, I WANTED TO SHARE SOME ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS I’VE BEEN GETTING on my approach to pregnancy and taking care of myself and babe. Thank you for all your great questions! Read on…
Photo by Jace Lumley for Maisonette.com
Do you eat/drink the following while pregnant? Chlorella, kombucha, bee pollen, reishi powder?
My natural source of chlorella is a green juice everyday. I don’t typically have other “superfood supplements” in my day to day life because I feel I don’t need them. When following an alkaline, juicing, food-combining lifestyle, I find all these extras are unnecessary. They can be fun to play with but it’s not something I feel boosts my energy or vitality so that didn’t change while pregnant. I do like the taste of kombucha from time to time but I try to get it fresh from places like East Village Organic of Naturopathica since the bottled kinds are not alive.
How many grams of protein are you striving for per day?
I never count grams of protein. I just make sure I’m having as much raw juices/smoothies, greens and alkaline vegetables as possible. I know the more alkaline my body, the better for me and the babe! My diet includes plenty of leafy greens, grains, quinoa, some legumes and fruits so I know it’s getting the proper nutrients it needs. We need so much less protein than mainstream media suggests!
Still doing dry brush/lymphatic massage and colonics?
Absolutely! Now more than ever. I dry brush every morning, which helps stimulate circulation in the body and activate lymphatic drainage. When pregnant, my hormone levels are all out of whack, particularly in the beginning when my body is adjusting to carrying and growing a baby. The unfortunate result is immediate water retention. Two of the best things that have helped me release that are dry-brushing and lymphatic massage. The lymphatic massage is gentle enough for baby and mama and just helps move the toxins out of the lymph nodes. As for colonics, I’ve followed a regular protocol of colonics monthly and then weekly for over ten years. It’s part of my regimen and my body thrives on the practice of juicing, plant-based food-combining, followed by release. Following my colonic therapist and teacher Gil Jacobs’ suggestion, I waited until my second trimester to return to colonics, which I also did for my first pregnancy. Personally it helped tremendously with digestion as baby got bigger and then with labor. I would only recommend someone do this if they have long-time, regular experience doing colonics and with an extremely experienced therapist who has worked throughout pregnancy.
I would love to know any special routines you adopted in order to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Before both pregnancies, I naturally followed my routine of juices, keeping mostly raw during the day and plant-based food-combining principles. It’s interesting that both times I conceived I was near the ocean and in the sun almost every day. I truly feel this helped not only conceive but also provide the optimal environment for a new baby! The sun and ocean are so alkaline I knew my cells were thriving! That’s not to say you have to go on a tropical vacation before getting pregnant! Things you can do everyday is up your green juices, get tons of massage or dry-brush every am and sweat as much as possible. I was doing a lot of colonics and infrared saunas prior to both to eliminate any toxins that have built up in my system over the years as well. I think your state of mind might be the most important. Meditation, laughing, joy has as much an alkaline effect on your body and green juices and jumping in the sea!
Would love pre conception advice? Fertility, prepping your body for a baby, etc.
What do you eat on a typical day?
I experienced morning sickness for both my pregnancies (my first was much worse) so during the beginning I was very gentle with myself. Luckily during this pregnancy I craved green juices throughout but wanted that tart kick so my typical AM green juice is kale, celery, spinach, romaine, ginger and pineapple. Then I have an oat milk latte, which I haven’t given up.
I tend to eat tons of fruit to keep me going before the gym, which could range from clementines to cherries to melon to Honeycrisp apples.
I’m pretty hungry by 3/4 P.M. (earlier on certain days) and I’ll do a big arugula salad with avocado, grape tomatoes, Persian cucumbers with an olive oil/lemon dressing and cooked quinoa mixed in. I also love a vegetable soup so I’ll do a red lentil or mixed veg, whatever is in the fridge or I can grab out.
Dinner is super big and hearty. Another salad, I’m favoriting light, hydrating greens like romaine, butter lettuce, red leaf with more cucumbers, an easy dressing like my universal dressing. Then I follow my gut and intuition on what I’m craving that day…sometimes it’s a non-starchy meal so I’ll do shaved raw goat cheese in the salad and then baked spaghetti squash with Rao’s marinara and more shaved raw goat cheese or if it’s starch, I’ll do a vat of buttery white Basmati rice with a curried coconut veg situation.
Do you exercise differently in each trimester? I’ve heard the first one is exhausting and later you get a ton of energy.
Exercise has been a savior during both pregnancies. When your hormones are all over the place, the one thing that makes me feel “normal” without fail is a good sweat. My workout of choice is Tracy Anderson Method. I love it. I love to dance in the loud music and pretend I’m in a music video. Luckily I’ve had enough energy to keep up throughout this pregnancy an the last one. I just listen to my body and now I’m doing less cardio, about 20 minutes (sometimes more or less depending) plus a prenatal program they prescribed for me at the studio in Tribeca. It just feels so good to move.
I’m wondering about omega 3 and if you use fish or plant supplements?
Again, I don’t really “think” about where I’m getting what. But I do incorporate Udo’s oil, which has omega 3,6, and 9 in salad dressings sometimes and once I give birth I’ll take an algae omega supplement from Nordic Naturals, which has plant-based DHA to boost my breast milk. My first pregnancy, I could not stomach the idea of fish (which is interesting since my son is allergic) but this one I occasionally have a craving for seafood like grilled sardines, wild salmon or Japanese mackerel so I’ll make sure it’s wild and sustainably sourced and make sure it’s properly paired with a raw salad and non-starch vegetables. My mom also makes me a seaweed soup that in Korea, pregnant women and women who just gave birth have, which is full of minerals.
Every book emphasizes DHA and to get enough of it, which is mainly through fish and fish oil. How do you get enough of this with a plant-based diet?
See above 🙂
What other supplements are you taking?
I take Garden of Life prenatal gummies and Thorne MTHF since I have the MTHFR gene mutation, which means I have trouble absorbing normal B vitamins. I recommend everyone take a prenatal that has methyl-folate, which is better for absorption for everyone. I also take two different probiotics, which I try to alternate every other day: Renew Life Probiotic for Women and Dr. Ohira. I also have been consciously amping up the amount of fermented vegetables in my diet in the form of kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles. When something isn’t sitting right or I’m feeling nauseous, I take two capsules of activated charcoal.
What are your plans for delivery and have they changed from your first labor?
For my first labor, I worked with a doula and a Western medicine OB-GYN who was very laissez-faire throughout my entire pregnancy. I labored for about 15 hours at home with my husband and a yoga ball (on the bed, in the bath and in the shower, the yoga ball came everywhere with me!). When I felt it was time to go, we went to the hospital and I labored another 15 hours at the there. It was at that point I received an epidural. I delivered at Columbia Presbyterian and had an amazing experience from the attentive nurses, my doctor, my doula and my husband. My approach the whole time was to go as natural and intervention-free as possible but to listen to my body and I needed something, then I’d go with it. This go-with-the-flow approach is what I’d like for my next one. So many factors are out of our hand so my approach is to set an intention for how I’d like things to go but if they veer off my path, not to freak out and go with the flow.
Are you craving more carbs and unhealthy food?
Yes! But I always crave carbs 🙂 My go-to carb of choice is hearty sourdough bread from Balthazar, She Wolf, Bread Alone or Le Pain Quotidien. My favorite thing is having a thick piece of bread with a generous schmear of grass-fed butter. Nothing better! I don’t consider that unhealthy food at all. It’s rich, fermented and literally makes my body (and babe) sing. Those are the things I crave versus junk food. I’ve also been interestingly craving more dairy this pregnancy, which for me means raw goat or raw sheep cheese. I rarely have any form of cow’s dairy–the only time is probably Greek yogurt-based tzatziki or Greek yogurt with goney when I’m out at my favorite Greek restaurant. I listen to my body and make sure whenever I have it, it’s paired with some raw vegetables and always non-starch meals.
Have you had an aversion to certain veggies?
Luckily no aversion! I just have been making my juices and salads more light and refreshing versus medicinal with dark kale. I have kale from time to time but my body appreciates more gentle greens. Oh and weirdly cauliflower and sweet potatoes, not that into either right now!
I was wondering about juice fasting. I’m surprised you can do that while pregnant!
I could not juice fast during my first trimester. I always had my morning juice but I would get hungry early in the day. Now that I’m into my second trimester, it feels so good to just juice/fruit for most of the day until a late lunch (around 3pm or 4pm) and then a hearty dinner. It really depends on the day, but if I’m feeling energetic and that I don’t need more than juice or fruit, I go with it!
What type of exercise and how much is ok?
Again, I love Tracy Anderson Method, I either modify the exercises or do the prenatal program they prescribe for me. I want to do more yoga. On vacation, I still love to run outside, I just take more walking breaks. And walking! I think each body is different so listen to your own and just do what feels good. I never force a workout while pregnant whereas before I’d power through. But now, if I’m not feeling it, I’m out.
Would love your natural/safe skin care recommendations!
Over the years I’ve slowly transitioned all my skincare/beauty products to nontoxic versions. I think it was sparked by my first pregnancy and then the cleaner my diet got, the more I understood that I was absorbing toxins through my skin as well. Like Gil Jacobs says, when you get into the “life,” our bodies get snobby! So brands/products that I love are HoneyGirl Organics for face cream, toner mist and masks; epsom salt baths; and coconut oil for after-sun if you go on vacation; Weleda Mother oil or Tata Harper Redefining Body Balm for body/stretch marks; True Botanicals hydrating cleanser and hydrating serum; Osea atmosphere protection cream; fresh aloe and Cocokind Chlorophyll masks and Dr. Bronner’s peppermint body wash. I used to love enzyme peels and resurfacing products before I got pregnant but my skin has been so sensitive so the more hydrating, the better! A big thing I’ve been doing also to boost circulation is using a Korean mitt in the shower. At first it’s harsh but then you crave that feeling.
Any advice on better bread cravings if you don’t eat gluten?
I DO eat gluten! But mainly sourdough or sprouted grain. Sourdough bread is naturally fermented so easier for our bodies to digest (sometimes way better than some of those gluten-free versions on the market) and has the good bacteria like sauerkraut and pickles. I try to avoid processed flour and pastas, so I’ll do a red lentil or brown rice pasta. I have noticed that if I eat too much non-sourdough processed grains, it’s very hard for my body to digest and I get major heartburn and may even throw up so I try to be conscious of avoiding those things.
Was curious about the raw goat cheese and unpasteurized juices during pregnancy?
When it comes to those “rules” on pasteurization, I follow my gut (literally) and go for the raw versions. Pasteurized dairy and juices are dead and have zero nutritional benefits for myself or the baby. I always make sure to get the best quality as possible. Eataly has an amazing selection of high-qualty raw goat and sheep cheeses that I enjoy regularly (always with a raw salad/non-starch meal). As for juices, I typically make my own or get it at my local cafe, which does centrifugal (fresh not pressed). If I’m in a rush and can only get a pressed green juice, I make sure it was made that day and if it looks like it’s separating or tastes/smells not fresh, I don’t do it.
Would love your recipe for green smoothies or juices that help cleanse your skin and keep it glowing! My skin is wrecked from two babies.
My go-to green smoothie is the Bonberi green smoothie! It has raw coconut water in it so the electrolytes are extremely hydrating. And my go-to green juice is the one I described below. The more hydrated/alkaline our bodies are, the more our skin will glow, which essentially is hydration of cells! You’ll glow from the inside out, literally. 🙂