CURRICULUM TOPICS FOR PREGNANCY INCLUDE:
- Common Pregnancy Myths
- Dietary Nuances for the Three Trimesters
- Ideal Daily Diet Ideas and Recipes
- Additional Pregnancy Preparation
In the study of ancient ways, we are reminded that there are many secrets of nurturing and caring for the human body that have been lost over time. The human body, in its purest form, is designed to function perfectly, and pregnancy is one of the most awe-inspiring times to experience that perfection. There is a special, magical way to go through pregnancy and childbirth. This information has been lost over many hundreds of years, but the loss has been accelerated since the Industrial Revolution. All the untruths that we are told by the media and allopathic medicine reflect our post-Industrial Revolution age, and today we are further removed from our naturally intended state that humans have ever been. We want to remind you of the lost traditions of pregnancy and childbirth—to revive information about the most natural of human conditions.
People often talk about buying a house big enough for a family or having enough money in the bank before starting a family. However, taking care of yourself (and this is true for your partner, too) is the biggest gift you could ever give your baby. The perfect Pottery Barn crib, the organized closet of new clothes, and the exact right shade of paint are all fun things to think about, but remember, they are not important in the big picture—and they’re never worth stressing about. So stop worrying about pretty sheets and the pretty clothes. Rather, focus on what is truly important and still largely within your control: a solid foundation of health and vitality for your baby.
Relish the quiet moments and commune with your inner spirit. During this wonderful time, find joy in providing bountiful nourishment to support your baby’s development, and discover ways to envelope yourself with love and gratitude. We women have the honor of carrying life within us, and this should not be thought of as an illness or a burden, but rather a gift worth cherishing with reverence and awe.
COMMON PREGNANCY MYTHS
There are many potentially harmful myths surrounding pregnancy in our culture. We would like to expose several of the myths that pregnant women often tell themselves, and offer alternative perspectives.
This is a time when I can eat whatever I want.
This is one of the most important times in my life to be vigilant about what goes into my body.
The purpose of vigilance here is not to be overly concerned about gaining too much weight, but to protect our bodies and those of our growing children from toxic substances. And we are not talking about the usual substances that people already make a big deal of avoiding during pregnancy, such as alcohol, cigarettes, over-the-counter drugs, and even deli meat and sushi—though we should definitely still avoid them! It is amazing that we are told to be so careful about these substances without mention of other substances that could be even more harmful to the developing fetus, such as fast food, sodas, mainstream meat and dairy products, refined sugars, and white bread and pasta. Because the toxicity in the substances we consume at this time will enter into our bloodstream and thus also the placenta, this is a time to strictly avoid anything in the Toxic and Non-Ideal categories of our Food Chart. Focus exclusively on Ideal and Transition items, and eat these to your heart’s content—with the exception of the wine, of course!
I am eating for two, so I need to double my intake of food.
Burdening my body with over-consumption will divert energy necessary for the growth of my baby to the process of digestion.
The key here is to listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, and not to fall into the trap of overeating just because you are pregnant! Again, this is not because we are overly concerned with gaining weight while pregnant, but because we want to make sure the body has all the energy it needs to create and support the growing baby. “Eating for two” is not necessary for the health of your child and will only force your body to expend unnecessary energy on digestion. Overeating can also lead to constipation, which can be particularly problematic and uncomfortable during pregnancy.
My body will never be the same again after pregnancy.
If I apply the concepts of this lifestyle, I’ll not only be able to get my body back after pregnancy, but I may well have an even better body than I had before!
If you live this lifestyle with consistency, you can have a much better body after pregnancy—no matter how old you are, when you get pregnant, or how many children you have. This will feel effortless for those of you who apply these principles during or before pregnancy, but the same results will also apply for those of you who adopt this way of life after pregnancy. Also, since the outcome of awakening and releasing stored toxicity and waste in the body is accumulative, you will have a better body with every month and every year that you live this way.
You do not have to accept the outcome of a matronly figure, sagging boobs, stretch marks, and aches and pains. If you take care of yourself and follow the principles laid out for you here at Life Force Families, you will easily lose the pregnancy weight, your skin tenacity will come back, and you will look better after pregnancy than you did before!
If I gain more than 35 pounds, I get to keep it.
If I pay attention to the key elements of this cleansing lifestyle, I will gain the right amount of weight that my body needs to create a healthy child, and I’ll shed it when I don’t need it anymore.
As hard as this may be at times, it is important that you not stress about what the scale says during your pregnancy. Some women will put on 40 pounds, and others will put on 15–20 pounds. If you are a real lightweight and you eat according to this philosophy, you may still put on 40 pounds, but in any case, do not get hung up on a number! If you’re doing everything right, trust that the weight gain is necessary, that your body knows what it is doing, and that the weight will leave very easily after your baby is born.
Morning sickness is a natural part of pregnancy.
Morning sickness is another symptom of toxic accumulation in the body, and a clean-celled body will not experience morning sickness.
Morning sickness is another common ailment that we have come to take for granted as “normal.” (Pregnant women in traditional, indigenous cultures do not experience this phenomenon.) Unfortunately, in our culture, our levels of toxicity have become so compounded that morning sickness is no longer confined just to the morning or to the first trimester.
Pre-conception is the ideal place to begin this work, so if you have done the pre-conception cleansing, congratulations! There are a few nuances to consider during each trimester, but for the most part, you will simply continue doing what you’ve been doing to the best of your ability. You will also want to read the Birth to 5 Months section of the parenting curriculum now, in order to educate yourself on the many important and lost practices of childbirth, breastfeeding, and the early days of your child’s life.
Many of you will discover this work while you are already pregnant. Still, this is very lucky for you and for your unborn child! The good news is that you can make gentle changes now that can dramatically affect the health and well-being of your growing child. You do not want to begin an aggressive detox or cleansing program, because during pregnancy everything that goes into the bloodstream goes into the placenta. When we purposefully cleanse our bodies, large amounts of toxins enter the bloodstream. So again, if you have not been practicing the detox lifestyle until now, you should not undertake a dramatic detox program during pregnancy!
The best place to start is with an assessment of your current toxicity level by taking the adult Assessment Survey. Incorporate the transition ideas for your detox level and make sure to stay within your level. For example, if you score as a Crawler, do not try to Run! Use the assessment to determine where you are, make the suggested changes within that level, and wait until post-pregnancy to consider moving up a level.
Note: If you ate animal products twice a day pre-pregnancy, try eating it once every other day during pregnancy. Strictly avoid all mainstream meat products as listed in the Toxic category of our Food Chart and focus more on the goat and sheep cheeses. Remember that mainstream flesh products are laden with hormones and antibiotics and these will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream and will reach your growing baby. If you chose to eat meat, make sure all animal consumption is properly combined, and only consume grass-fed, free-range land animals and the highest-quality wild fish (avoid tuna, mackerel, and swordfish).
THE THREE TRIMESTERS
Although the fundamental principles of this lifestyle remain constant throughout pregnancy, the three trimesters mark significant changes in the development of the fetus, and with these changes there are dietary nuances that you will want to consider.
The First Trimester
If your vegetable juices are putting you off in the first trimester (this can be common)—do not force yourself to drink them. Most likely, you will enjoy your green juice again in the second and third trimesters, so do not worry about this temporary change. In the meantime, you may want to consider taking Sun Chlorella tablets to get your daily dose of “synthesized sunlight.”
A vegetable rendition that many women find appealing in the first trimester is a juice more heavily based on carrots. You can either enjoy carrot juice alone or with additional ingredients like beets, apple, and ginger (add romaine if you can stomach it). The key is to find something you enjoy that sits well. But again, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! Instead, if you are hungry in the morning, enjoy fresh fruit or high-quality grains (see below for more tips and ideas).
Pregnancy is not a time to worry about juicing until lunch, nor is it advisable to juice until dinner. Once you’re ready for something more than juice in the morning, you will probably find fruits very appealing. And if you need something more, consider an organic free-range egg omelet with a green salad or your favorite high-quality, sprouted- or whole-grain bread product. A good option would be Ezekiel’s sprouted-grain bread toasted with butter and honey, or Suzie’s Kamut or spelt rice cake with slices of avocado or topped with raw almond butter and raw honey. Arrowhead Mills offers a great Puffed Kamut cereal that is wonderful with almond milk. See below for more ideas and peruse the Pregnancy Must-Have Shopping List.
If you find that raw salads are not appealing to you in the first trimester, do not stress! You will have plenty of time to eat raw salads later in your pregnancy. For some women, this lack of desire for raw vegetables and juices is the biggest roadblock during the first trimester. However, if you can just focus on the highest-quality root vegetables (e.g., such as baked winter squashes) and the highest-quality grains (e.g.,quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and spelt) you will be doing just fine.
Because the first trimester is such a delicate time, it is extremely important to listen to your body and trust in its wisdom. If you lack interest in raw vegetables at this time, it may be your body’s way of protecting you from potentially harmful microbes in the soil.
Note: As a general rule, take precautions against foot massages in the first trimester. There are pressure points around the Achilles (back of the foot) that are linked to the ovaries and you do not want to trigger any undesirable activity.
Second and Third Trimesters
The keys to a healthy and radiant pregnancy in the second and third trimesters are eating as much hydrating foods as possible (raw fruits and vegetables), juicing, and Quick-Exit Combinations. Incorporating hydrating foods and juicing will be easier during this time; you should start to feel better and you will most likely be able to incorporate your green vegetable juice and raw salads again. The enzymes in your hydrating fruits, vegetables, and juices will help you break down the food and anything else that is stuck in your system.
Constipation is one of the most common events in the body during pregnancy because the growing womb is pushing against the digestive organs, resulting in less space; therefore, food combining becomes especially important during this time. Constipation can be especially problematic during pregnancy because it backs up the whole system—this not only creates discomfort for you, but also creates blockages that make it difficult for your body to deliver nutrients and other substances that are of use to the baby. You need to keep things moving, and the best way to do that is to make sure you’re eating hydrating foods in quick-exit combinations, and that you’re getting plenty of vegetable juices.
However, when faced with a choice between a quick-exit food combination and the quality of the food you consume, quality should take priority. If no other options are available, make the highest-quality choice and then do your best to properly combine that food.
The second and third trimesters are also the time when brain development is at its peak, thus this is the only time (in addition to nursing*) that we recommend consuming oils for therapeutic purposes. These oils are very important for healthy brain growth, and you should make an effort to consume them daily. Remember, if you do not consume the necessary nutrients for your baby’s growth, your baby will leach what it needs from stores in your body. Research studies have shown that women who have many children actually score lower on IQ tests, and this is believed to be the result of fatty matter being leached from the brain during pregnancy. So protect your intelligence and supplement with oils at this time! Your best choices for oil supplementation are cold-pressed extra virgin olive or flaxseed oils. The Udo’s Oil brand is also perfect for pregnancy—so go ahead and put this or any other cold-pressed oil on your salad or mix it in with your meals.
*We also recommend the therapeutic use of oils during nursing, as brain and eye development also peak at this time. A baby’s ability to get this essential oil from mother’s milk is another key reason why mother’s milk is the ideal food for infants. Since 2002, infant formula manufacturers in the United States have produced and sold products fortified with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid (DHA/ARA). These polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important components of the human brain and eyes and are naturally present in human breast milk. Since breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition, the addition of DHA and ARA in infant formula would in theory be beneficial. However, these supplemented oils provide DHA and ARA in forms that are structurally different from those naturally found in human milk. These oils appear to be added to infant formula primarily as a marketing tool designed to convince parents that formula is now “as close as ever to breast milk.” However, their safety has not been affirmed and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that they may be very harmful. Click here for more information on this topic.
IDEAL EATING IDEAS WHILE PREGNANT
We recommend you start your day with pure water instead of jumping right into your juice, because when water is consumed on an empty stomach, it can go directly into the cells. If you are thirsty later in the day, have water later too, but water should be the first thing to enter your body in the morning.
Drink as much pure water as you desire. This is a time to be drinking really high-quality water—ideally, spring water in glass bottles. However, we recognize that pure spring water is difficult to come by these days! Other fine choices include reverse osmosis water like Smartwater or Essentia. Also keep in mind that if you are following this lifestyle, you are consuming water-rich salads, fruits, vegetables and their juices all day long, all of which contain large amounts of water to keep you hydrated.
2. Fresh Vegetable Juice
Have as much fresh vegetable juice as you had during the pre-conception cleanse or as much as your body is used to. If you are new to this lifestyle, you can consume between 12 and 24 ounces per day. If you have been doing the pre-conception cleanse for some time, you can have up to 32 to 64 ounces of juice daily. Again, only do what feels right and do not force anything. It is OK to add fruit to your vegetable juice if you need or want the sweetness.
3. Mid-morning Snack
Between your juice and your lunch, it is fine to consume fresh fruit and, if necessary, a high-quality cereal. As discussed above, and especially in the first trimester, some pregnant women immediately gravitate toward starch. If you are craving starchy foods in the morning, go ahead and consume them, but make sure you keep really high-quality starches on hand, such as Alvarado St. Bakery and Ezekiel sprouted grains. Cereal options include anything by Health Valley, Nature’s Path, Cascadian Farms, New Morning, or Barbara’s Bakery. These cereals are made of all-natural, high-quality grains.
Many pregnant women crave granola, but mainstream granola is normally miscombined, by mixing nuts and grains. However, if it’s granola you crave, you can try raw granola by one of the many raw food companies (we especially like Lydia’s apple-cinnamon granola or Go Raw!) The raw granolas are normally made exclusively with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, so they are properly combined and easier to digest. Enjoy your raw granola with almond milk, agave nectar, and sliced bananas for a fabulous treat!
Remember to use a high-quality nut, brown rice, or coconut milk on your cereal. Pregnancy is a time when it is particularly important to avoid cow’s milk, as it will create constipation and a clogged environment for your growing baby.
4. Midday Meal
If you are already eating a diet that is mainly raw until dinner and that still feels good to you, by all means, continue what you are doing! For those who were not eating raw until dinner during pre-conception, or who no longer feel satisfied eating this way, always begin your daytime meal with a raw salad but follow it with a cooked component. See below for some examples of great foods to enjoy during your daytime meal. Remember, if you eat a neutral salad, you can follow it with any of the options below!
Starch-Based Raw Salad followed by:
- Sprouted-grain bagel with butter and raw organic honey
- Big, thick avocado sandwich on sprouted-grain bread with tomatoes, lettuce, and sprouts (Pregnant women are technically supposed to avoid sprouts, but if you buy them organic and from a trusted source, they are probably OK.)
- Non-soy veggie burger (Sunshine Burgers taste wonderful and are the cleanest veggie burgers that we have found) on a sprouted-grain bun. (Avoid all soy-based veggie burgers.)
- Baked yams or sweet potatoes with organic butter, sea salt, and pepper
Nut/Seed-Based Salad followed by:
- Raw granola – Lydia’s Apple Cinnamon flavor is amazing but any properly combined raw granola will do (we also like Go Raw!)! (If you had a big raw salad with tahini dressing, follow it with granola, almond milk, sliced bananas, and agave nectar.)
Goat Cheese Salad followed by:
- Steamed veggies with marinara sauce and goat cheese
- Any high-quality fish
- Free-range, organic eggs
5. Mid-afternoon Snack
If you want an afternoon snack, simply remember the Quick-Exit Combination rules. To keep things simple, one suggestion is to eat more of what you had for lunch as your snack. Blended soups are great in the afternoon. Another idea is to make a delicious, healthy shake for yourself. Any high-quality, well-combined foods as a snack are fine.
6. Evening Meal
You can enjoy your heaviest meal of the day at dinner. After a heavy meal, all of your energy goes to the stomach for digestion, resulting in overall sluggishness (hence, the famed “food coma” that follows Thanksgiving dinner!). It is most ideal to consume your largest meal at the end of the day when you don’t need as much energy for grocery shopping, working at your desk, or playing with the kids at the park. Therefore, anything in the Ideal or Transition categories of the Food Chart is fine for dinner, as long as it is well combined and begins with a fresh raw salad. Check out our Recipe Section for some great ideas – you can search for recipes that taste especially good during pregnancy here!
Enjoy any of the desserts in our Recipes section or enjoy some high-quality 70% or more dark chocolate (Endangered Species is a good choice!) When it comes to dessert, just remember your food-combining rules and do not change food categories or have a fruit-based dessert until at least 3 hours after dinner.
Remember not to start anything new when you are pregnant—this includes new types of exercises, colonics if you have not had them before, and a drastically new diet.
- During the last months of pregnancy, you can actually begin the important process of bonding with your child. You may want to hum your favorite tune, play a beautiful song, or say a phrase over and over at this time—and then repeat them during and immediately following birth as well. Because your baby can hear you from inside the womb, these familiar sounds will help to orient your baby quickly to his or her new surroundings.
It is important to feel empowered and to understand that whatever you expose your baby to in the womb will make a difference. A baby in a womb, like any other form of budding life, will naturally absorb and synthesize elements from its surroundings—including the nutrients from the foods you eat, your attitudes and emotions, as well as those of the people around you, and the music you are listening to. Such environmental factors have an amplified effect on life at this particular stage of development. We often talk about protecting our children once they are born, but it is equally important to protect the fetus.
Remember that you are bringing huge amounts of vitality into your system for your baby to utilize. Be joyful about the process and make it as convenient, pleasurable, and stress-free as you can! Stress is counterproductive and just as acidic as the noxious products we are working so hard to avoid. Rather than create stress in your life, dig deeply into yourself and know that you have the wisdom and love within you to do whatever it takes to keep your baby safe. Find your inner “mama bear” and protect your child with strength and confidence. You have been called upon to provide a safe haven for precious new life, and this is a great honor.
In preparation for the big day, meditation and an overall quieting of the mind can help tune you into your body and your baby’s natural signals. When you are fearful about the process of delivery, remind yourself that there are millions of years of biological coding built into your genes: you know what to do, you have the strength to do it, and you need only listen to your body and follow its lead. Anticipate the love, joy, and exhilaration you will experience when you bring your baby into the world.
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