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The all too familiar “I'm eating for two” adage is now no longer an excuse to double on what you eating. Nowadays, it’s known that the diet for an expectant woman is not about how much is eaten, but about maximizing nutrition with smart food choices.

Women are now getting back to their pre-baby weight in record time through eating correctly during pregnancy. They are not gorging and overeating on the wrong foods; they are nutrition savvy; they go to nutritionist for assistance; they supplement correctly and they are staying active! It’s a simple formula that goes a long way.

In a nut shell – I recommend eating organic food as much as possible, (if this isn’t possible don’t sweat it, just make sure all your animal products, including chicken, meat and dairy are all hormone free and free-range.) Make sure at least half your diet consists of raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds; the rest coming from lean, hormone-free protein sources and some wholegrains. Essential fats are vital and keep your moods in check and cravings at bay. They include salmon, nuts and seeds, avocado and a good quality Omega 3 fish oil that’s free of PCB’s and mercury.

  • Remember natural, unprocessed food is nutrient dense – processed food is calorie dense
  • Your body looks for nutrients and not calories, so make sure you feed it correctly!

Maintaining a healthy diet with foods that provide key nutrients is important throughout pregnancy. Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is vital for producing healthy red blood cells and may lower the likelihood of a baby being born with neural tube defects. Calcium-rich foods build strong bones and teeth and may also play a role in maintaining healthy blood-pressure readings. Iron is essential for healthy blood as is omega-3 fats, especially those found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. These are important for a developing foetus and are vital to brain and neurological development.

Pregnancy takes each mother-to-be on an emotional and physical journey filled with ups and downs, so it is of the utmost importance for mom to keep herself healthy. Here are a few tips to help achieve a fit and healthy pregnancy

1. Take Your Vitamins
Right now, you are working on one of the most important jobs you'll ever undertake. You are growing a baby, and you need to take in the right kinds of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep you and your little one healthy.

Folic acid supplements have been shown to significantly decrease the incidence of neural tube defects. Natural sources of folic acid include orange juice, peas and green leafy vegetables.

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and does not build up in tissues," says Dr. Marguerite Lisa Bartholomew, maternal-foetal medicine specialist at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, California. She says that folic acid should be in the woman's system prior to pregnancy, at conception and during the first three to four weeks of gestation.

2. Eat Healthily
Pregnancy is a great time to eat delicious, balanced foods. Remember an expectant woman needs only 300 extra calories per day in order to support her unborn baby's growth and development.

3. Gain Weight Sensibly
Some of the biggest risks a pregnant woman faces with an excess amount of weight gain are serious medical conditions. Excess weight gain can lead to excessively large babies, with some increase in the risk of complications of childbirth. A mom-to-be may also experience a struggle in losing the weight after she has given birth.

4. Watch the coffee and other stimulants
Caffeinated beverages offer no nutritional value. Caffeine contains a stimulant that can increase heart rate and metabolism that may in turn cause stress to a developing baby.

5. Increase Your Water Intake
Most expectant women need approximately eight glasses of water per day during the course of their pregnancies. I encourage pregnant women to meet that recommendation for many reasons, since dehydration can cause water retention, preterm contractions, constipation, headaches, irritability and urinary tract infections.

6. Get Moving
Unless a mother-to-be has specific medical conditions that advise against it, expectant women should exercise moderately during the course of their pregnancies. It is recommended to exercise for at least 30 min a day.

Be cautious, however, about the type of exercise routine that you choose (pregnant women should avoid activities that may put themselves and their unborn baby at risk, including horseback riding, skiing, hockey and kickboxing. Always be on the lookout for telltale signs that suggest that you may be overdoing it.

7. Don't diet while you're pregnant
Dieting during pregnancy is potentially hazardous to you and your baby. Many weight-loss regimes are likely to leave you low not only on calories, but on iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.

Weight gain is one of the most positive signs of a healthy pregnancy. Women who eat well and gain the appropriate amount of weight are more likely to have healthy babies. So if you're eating fresh, wholesome foods and slowly adding pounds, relax, you're supposed to be getting bigger. Just remember though, you're not really eating for two!

8. Eat frequent, smaller meals if you like

It's fine to get creative with your eating schedule during pregnancy. If nausea, food aversions, heartburn, or indigestion make full-size meals unpleasant, try eating five or six mini-meals scattered throughout the day. This will also help keep cravings at bay and balance your blood sugar levels.

If you're most hungry between traditional mealtimes, go ahead and eat when the feeling strikes. Eating in a pattern that works for you will help you meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy.

9. Treat yourself to something sweet on occasion
Processed foods, packaged snacks, and sugar-loaded desserts shouldn't be the mainstay of your diet, but you don't have to give up all your favourite goodies just because you're pregnant. Some smart – and tasty – snack ideas to try: A banana smoothie, some frozen berries, raw almonds, avo on toast, apple and peanut butter so many different healthy options.

Don't beat yourself up if you cave in to temptation. The occasional cookie or piece of cake won't hurt you or your baby.

10. Fine-tune your diet – even if you already eat well
Almost all pregnant women need to get more protein, more of certain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid and iron, and more calories (for energy). If your diet is poor to begin with, making the transition to eating nutritious meals is one of the best things you can do for your baby's health.
But eating better doesn't mean eating more ­­– or rather, not much more. If you start off at a healthy weight, you need no extra calories during the first trimester, about 300 extra calories a day in the second trimester, and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester. If you're overweight or underweight, you'll need more or less than this, depending on your weight gain goal.

What to avoid: sushi, alcohol, and soft cheeses, to name a few

Steer clear of raw seafood (such as oysters or uncooked sushi), unpasteurized milk and cheese made from unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert, pâté, and raw and undercooked meat and poultry. All are possible sources of bacteria that can harm an unborn child.

Nearly all fish contain traces of methyl mercury, a metal believed to be harmful in high doses to the growing brains of foetuses and young children. The FDA recommends limiting your consumption of fish to about 12 ounces a week, the equivalent of about two servings.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause physical defects, learning disabilities, and emotional problems in children. Many experts recommend that you give up alcohol for your entire pregnancy.

Consider cutting back or skipping caffeinated beverages. That may be easy if you're suddenly revolted by the stuff during your first trimester. If you're still craving it, cut back very gradually to avoid side effects such as headaches.

Some studies suggest that women who consume 200 or more milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day (about one 12-ounce cup) are twice as likely to miscarry as women who consume no caffeine. Large amounts of caffeine have also been linked to slightly lower birth weight and even stillbirth.
In addition to coffee, caffeine is found in teas, colas, other soft drinks, cocoa, and chocolate. Switch to decaffeinated brews and sodas instead.

Start taking a prenatal vitamin-mineral supplement
In an ideal world – free of morning sickness and food aversions – a well-balanced diet would be all an expectant mom needed to meet her nutritional needs. But in the real world, a vitamin-mineral supplement helps ensure that you'll get the nutrients you need.

Make sure the vitamin you choose contains folic acid. A lack of this B vitamin has been linked to neural tube birth defects (NTDs) such as spine bifida.

Another important nutrient that researchers now believe may help prevent NTDs is choline. You need 450 mg of choline a day during pregnancy, and most prenatal vitamins don't contain it, so you'll have to get it from food.

Later in your pregnancy you may need to take iron or calcium supplements to make sure you're getting enough of these key minerals. Many experts also recommend taking a vitamin D supplement throughout pregnancy.

Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae that has been used as a significant food source for centuries. Its exceptional food value was recognized by the ancient Aztecs. Rediscovered in the 60's Spirulina seems to be the ultimate source of nutrition available to mankind today. No other algae has been the subject of such intense research over the past 30 years

While women are pregnant, the baby in their womb will rapidly absorb nutrients. If the pregnant mother does not get sufficient nutrients from food while her baby is growing, she will become depleted of these nutrients herself.

Marcus Rohrer Spirulina is easily absorbed by the body and provides the richest and most complete source of natural nutrients for pregnant women. Marcus Rohrer Spirulina supplements can prevent nutrient deficiency after the baby is born.

Iron for women and children's health
Iron is essential to building a strong system, yet it’s the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.

It’s a perfect supplement. Iron-deficiency anaemia in mothers and children is the most prevalent nutritional disorder. Pregnant women can use Marcus Rohrer Spirulina's vegetable protein and bio-available iron.

In India, doctors prescribe Spirulina for pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants.

It is an ideal supplement for pregnant and nursing mothers providing extra protein and iron in a chemical and hormone free manner.

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