Welcome to the first lesson in my seven part series on the 7 advanced gnosis food combinations to help pregnant women get all of their nutrition from eating real food, opposed to relying on the sometimes false promises we are advertised to believe that come from a synthetic supplement. Today's concept is: "energy boosting foods."
1. Energy Boosting Foods - "Flash Foods"
2. Digestion Booster (coming soon)
4. Foods with Iron - "Iron Mom"
5. Baby's Secret Strength (coming soon)
6. Glowing Skin Detox (coming soon)
7. Sleep Aid (coming soon)
When you first wake up in the morning, what's the first thing you feel like?
Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.
If you're like most people, you're probably still half asleep and require a boost to even get out of bed.
But instead of reaching for that cup of coffee, which blocks your absorption of calcium and iron while promoting mood swings, cravings, and irritability... why not reach for some quick energy boosting foods?
There are three main ways to help!
In a controlled group study, British researchers found that participants who skipped eating within two hours of waking up performed worse on memory tests and were more tired by midday, than those who ate something.
In another study at the Imperial College London, researchers found that skipping breakfast would also lead to larger cravings for unhealthy high-calorie food later in the day.
This is pretty important considering the fact that 31 million Americans have been reported to skip breakfast each day on average, according to a NPD Group study.
Now the problem is what to eat in the morning?
When we first wake up, our bodies are usually not yet ready to process complex / dense starches or proteins. We may notice that we have some white stuff on our tongues, which are simply the toxins that were pushed out of our bodies during our "fast" while we slept. To help complete this natural detoxification our bodies do, it's best to drink lots of water in the morning to flush these out to improve health and energy.
Plus the fact that we typically float a pound of water weight while we sleep, so re-hydrating ourselves is key! Normally we require around 8 cups of water, 10 cups for pregnant women, and 13 cups for women that are breast-feeding. (lemon squeezed in water is best for hydrating and detoxifying in the morning)
To promote digestion and sustained energy throughout the day, eating foods that have a high water content are also your best bet.
The above food options are all considered "low-sugar" and high in fiber, promoting a slow release of sugar into your bloodstream, which helps prevent energy dips and overeating.
They are also high in antioxidants, which rid the body of damaging effects that cause fatigue and lead to illness. (citrus fruits are so powerful, that their scent alone has been proven to stimulate alertness)
Apples, oranges, and bananas are the most common to see toted around as a snack, since they don't require any refrigeration. Eating snacks like this throughout the day is just as important as eating breakfast, since a steady supply of food (every 2-3 hours or 5-6 times per day) helps keep blood sugar and energy balanced.
Remember, when blood sugar is low: mental, physical, and emotional energy decreases... while stress increases.
Just try to eat fruit together, since they absorb better than when one is eaten on it's own for more nutrition.
(As a side note, be weary of research findings that say we should eat breakfast cereals, such as to lose weight... Kellogg's is known to fund such studies.)
Before you let someone do this to you... let me teach you how you can get a healthier source of B12 by eating certain foods, than if you were to take B12 injections...
First off, the good news is that you only require a very low amount of vitamin B12 (adults: .0024 mg, pregnant: .0026 mg, breast-feeding: .0028 mg), which is needed for cell division, the production of red and white blood cells, a healthy nervous system, and even contributes to metabolizing protein and creating DNA... all of which make it essential for our energy.
Also, not to mention pregnant women need it to help with an embryo's neurological development.
The thing to remember is that B12 (like all other nutrients) gets stored in our bodies, so as long as we eat the properly amount most days out of the week, we shouldn't have to freak out.
The most common person to have a B12 deficiency is a vegan. That's because bacteria is responsible for the production of vitamin B12, whereas this is not typically found in plants.
However, you may obtain the active form of B12 from nutritional yeast, which is an inactive yeast product typically grown on molasses or maple syrup. Vegetarians and vegans often sprinkle these flakes on other food to use as a flavor and nutritional boost, since it tastes similar to cheese and even appears yellow.
Best part is that this is safe to eat during pregnancy... and is even beneficial, since it is also a complete protein (while providing a good source of fiber unlike animal protein), provides a good source of folate, and is free of soy, dairy, and gluten! (only thing it doesn't include enough of is iron for pregnant women)
Although a properly balanced vegetarian or vegan diet poses no threat to the health of you or your unborn baby... you may have a preference to just eat meat, which is perfectly well.
The best place to get vitamin B12 while you're pregnant (aside from eating animal liver) is from salmon... then grass-fed, organic: beef, turkey, and chicken. Also, look for brown eggs (goose, duck, chicken in that order) and cheese (Swiss, Mozzarella, and Parmesan in that order, pasteurized is safest if pregnant). Eat with leafy greens, for their variety of energy producing B vitamins.
To make this not too confusion, an intracellular fluid is contained within our cells (60-65%), while an extracelluar fluid lies outside of our cells (35-40%). Providing a balanced nutrition to both of these fluids (which are mostly water) is essential.
The most important water-soluble intracellular minerals include: potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and zinc.
The most important water-soluble extracellular minerals include: sodium and chloride.
You may have heard the term "electrolytes" before, which are essentially what these are... electrically conducting ions (or you can say salt), that we lose when we sweat. These nutrients are essential for our body's cells to relay messages back and forth, stay energized... and not to mention help relieve muscle cramps! (especially important if sick and vomiting or diarrhea occurs)
Contrary to popular belief, the best source of these electrolytes are not from artificial "sports drinks."
Although tap water and spring water do not contain electrolytes, what we could do is add sea salt (1/2 tsp per cup), lemon, and even baking soda (1/2 tsp per cup). Also, if needed I feel the healthiest sweetener option would be Stevie. (tip: if you wake up in the middle of the night with muscle cramps or spasms, simply toss a pinch of salt into water and drink a few sips, and by morning you should be feeling much better)
Another option would be to drink coconut water or almond milk (I recommend to try to make this at home to avoid preservatives).
My favorite option out of all of these would have to be making smoothies that take advantage of food synergies... in a future article I will link here, I'm going to teach the right formula to make a smoothie that tastes good every time!
1. Eat high-water content foods in the morning, while snacking on them throughout the day
2. Add nutritional yeast to your foods, or start eating more animal protein products accompanied by leafy greens.
3. Add sea salt to water, or drink fruit / veggie smoothies.
This was one of a series of 7 Advanced Gnosis Food Combinations, to read about the others please click below to move forward...
PREVIOUS POST: PMS Detox Snacks