Nourishing You, Nourishing Your Baby: 5 Simple Tips for Eating Greens, by Robinby Your Midwives on 11/04/16
Have you ever had chickens or eaten farm-fresh eggs? You know how, when chickens have access to green grass, weeds and bugs, the yolks are a vibrant yellow/orange, compared to that pale yellow from a chicken who has access to just dirt and grain-based chicken feed? Yes, eating greens makes yolks brighter and healthier. Now think on that and imagine you are the chicken and your “yolk” is your baby’s placenta, and thus your baby’s available nutrients…Healthier babies from moms who eat greens? Yes, indeed. And healthier pregnancies, too. Leafy greens are a great source of folic acid (you knew that) and even minerals like iron. Did you know that leafy greens are anti-inflammatory? That is great in pregnancy, because high levels of inflammation can lead to a more shallow implantation of the placenta, high blood pressure, more aches and pains, and the list goes on. Also, as you may know, pregnancy alters your chemistry to make vaginal yeast infections more common. How to prevent/fight yeast? Don’t invite it to live in your gut! Sugar feeds yeast, leafy greens feed your healthy flora. We want our insides to be feeding and welcoming the good flora so there is no room for the yeast. Okay, so are you with me that leafy greens are important for your pregnancy health? Great!
Here are 5 ways for you to easily get more greens into your day. Oh, and this goes for mamas making milk as well. You know how grass-fed cows are all the rage for their healthy milk, yogurt and butter? Right. You don’t need me to spell that out. Eat greens! Aim for at least two servings of leafy greens per day in addition to 2 other colorful veggies (carrots, beets, winter squash, celery sticks, red pepper, sweet potatoes, mushrooms…).
1. The breakfast salad. Along with whatever else you are having for breakfast, pair it with a side salad. This can be as simple as a handful from a big box of baby greens you have in your fridge (buy a BIG box, then eat it before it goes bad!) plus some salsa as dressing, or olive oil and apple cider vinegar, or your favorite healthy dressing. This goes great with scrambled eggs, salsa and avocado. Or, in a hurry, fry two eggs, put them on top of your bed of greens. Boom, protein and greens, staples for a pregnant mama’s breakfast. Now, you just have to get one more servings of greens in today…
2. Kale salad. Make a big kale salad and keep it in the fridge to use, one serving at a time. This could be your breakfast salad or a side at lunch. It travels well. This one is very simple, I like to massage the avocado into the kale instead of keeping it in chunks https://www.gatheredtable.com/recipes/196
3. Kale chips. If you have kids, this is an easy way to get kale into their diet. Salty, crispy, green! Here’s a simple recipe https://elanaspantry.com/lemon-kale-chips/
4. Smoothie. A good way to sneak greens into your snack. Buy a bag of frozen spinach or kale (organic) as an easy way to pour a cup of greens into the blender; add banana, a milk of your choice, a handful of frozen blueberries and a tablespoon of some kind of protein (nut butter, hemps seeds, protein powder).
5. Dinner greens! If you haven’t had anything green since your breakfast salad, make sure you get your dinner greens in. That bag of frozen kale or spinach means it’s so easy to add to any soup you are making. Or, having a pasta night? Use an immersion blender to puree half of that bag of frozen spinach into your sauce. If you don’t have picky kids, no need to puree/blend it in. Toss some broccoli into the last 5 minutes of your boiling pasta pot and drain with the pasta. Or, did you buy some beets? Sautee up those beet greens (or chard) with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt for a quick and yummy side.
Just because winter is coming, it does not mean it’s time to stop eating greens. If you are pregnant or nursing, have a little gratitude for our ability to get out of season produce like lettuce, and thank the farmers who are doing baby greens in the greenhouse, or take advantage of your freezer storage space and use those frozen greens! Please, be sure to make sure your collard greens and kale are organic, as the pesticide/herbicides that are used on the non-organic variety are especially toxic to our little ones. Also, spinach and lettuce are on the “dirty dozen” list of especially high pesticide residue. Check it out here https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
Wishing you a healthy, “bright yolk” pregnancy!