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Sneaking snacks…


Pregnancy is the perfect time to really think about your nutrition more than before. In previous years, we’ve told women that they were eating for two. This lead to many women consuming way too many calories, not to mention lots of junk food. This put a strain on their health and that of their babies.

Now research has shown that pregnant moms need about 1 extra snack per day to help grow a healthy baby. That works out to about 300 extra calories per day. The hard part is deciding how to spend those calories every day. Obviously they can be used to eat a candy bar or…WAY better for you and your growing baby… choose snacks that pack a nutritional punch.

Protein is a perfect choice for a snack because it is the building block for every cell. It also helps many moms when they are feeling fatigued or even nauseated.  Here are some of my favorite snack combinations:

  • Crackers and cheese. This is a great way to get some protein and fiber. Try  lots of different wholegrain   crackers, even trying some of the newer version of old favorites that have less fat. 2% and low fat cheeses are a great choice! Just remember that you want your cheese to say “Pasteurized” on it.
  • Nuts. A bag full of nuts is always handy to have around and it does not require preparation or refrigeration. Consider bringing some roasted almonds to your next appointment. A healthy snack while you wait! These are great protein powerhouses.
  • Fresh fruit. Every morning you could grab an extra piece of fruit for your desk. An apple, banana or orange requires very little thought or preparation. I am fond of the Clementine oranges.  Yogurt is another great snack with protein…it also has some great live cultures that keep your digestive system on track!.
  • Hard boiled eggs. These are compact snacks to carry with you, but do require a fridge. If you like these, they can be an easy way to increase your protein. Some moms I know also swear by their ability to quell morning sickness.
  • Dips and sticks. Carrot sticks and celery are great. But today we often use broccoli and other veggies with dips. Try bean dips, humus and other fun sauces on your vegetables

Remember to incorporate the powerhouse of protein as a healthy pregnancy snack!


Eat well…baby is counting on it!


Increasing your water intake….


Drinking water is always important for your health, but when you’re pregnant, it’s even more essential! To make sure you drink enough each day (anywhere from 64 to 100 ounces a day), try these recommendations:

Designated Water Bottle with Straw I tend to drink a lot more water when I have a reusable bottle handy that has a straw. For the simple reason that I don’t have to drop what I’m doing to unscrew a cap, I’m much more likely to take a sip if my water bottle has a straw. I can pick up the bottle, flip back the straw, drink, and set the bottle back down, all with one hand. It’s so easy, I don’t even think about it. I keep the bottle close by throughout the day, and I always end up refilling the bottle multiple times.

Set a Timer If you tend to get wrapped up in work or projects like I do, you might go hours without drinking until you are finally so thirsty that you cannot concentrate. When I used to work in an office, I fought this cycle by setting a timer in my calendar program to alert me every hour to drink one 8 ounce glass. One glass each hour throughout the workday fulfilled my goal of drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day. My coworkers thought it was hilarious, but I felt great so I didn’t care. Eventually I no longer needed the timer; I automatically would drink every time I noticed the n2_bottles_waterew hour.

Pre-fill Your Water Bottles If you have a hard time keeping track of how much you’ve been drinking throughout the day and you’re determined to reach your goal, begin each morning by filling up enough water bottles to equal the number of ounces you want to drink. For example, you could fill two 32oz  water bottles and keep sipping throughout the day until they are both empty.

Add Some Flavor If the taste of water is what is keeping you from drinking enough, flavor it! The beverage section of your grocery store has tons of options for flavoring water. You can turn it into lemonade or tea, for example. Add slices of fresh orange or lemon…or try raspberries!

Drink up!


What NOT to eat at Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate. Typically these celebrations center around food and lots of it. The problem is that in pregnancy, some of these foods may be hazardous to you and your baby. Stay safe this Thanksgiving by avoiding the following foods:

  • Undercooked Turkey
    Your turkey needs to be thoroughly cooked. This means that the inside of your bird needs to reach at least 180 degrees. If it doesn’t, the meat may be undercooked, leaving you at risk for salmonella or toxoplasmosis.
  • Raw Batter
    If you’re like me, you enjoy baking for the holidays. I love to make pumpkin pies, cookies and cakes. Just be watchful that you don’t sample the batter. Remember that raw eggs are putting you at risk for salmonella. Try snacking on some sliced fruit or nuts as you bake and wait until your baking is done before sampling.
  • Soft or Unpasteurized Cheeses
    There is nothing as yummy as a big tray full of hors d’oeuvres like fruit and soft cheeses. However, in pregnancy these cheeses are off limits due to the risk of listeria. So avoid cheeses like Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Havarti, Muenster, and Roquefort. Don’t fear, there are some safe cheeses, like cheddar and Swiss.
  • Stuffing Cooked in a Turkey
    This year skip the stuffing of the turkey and make your stuffing or dressing outside in a pot or pan. Stuffing that is cooked inside the bird runs the risk of being contaminated by undercooked meat as well as not getting hot enough on the inside to destroy those germs.
  • Homemade Sauces & Creams
    Traditional family sauces like Hollandaise sauce, creams or ice cream can be made with unpasteurized eggs. This increases the risk of salmonella. Consider using a pasteurized egg product like Egg Beaters instead to add safety to your holiday cooking.
  • Unpasteurized Ciders
    If your family is serving up hot or cold cider, skip it if it’s homemade or made from unpasteurized products. The risk here is from E. coli. Try hot chocolate or a commercially prepared version this year.
  • Raw Vegetables
    These needs to be thoroughly washed before you eat them. They can be exposed to toxoplasmosis in the dirt and if not properly washed, you’re also exposed. Take charge of washing them yourself to ensure a good, thorough washing.
  • Smoked Meats
    Looking at some lox or smoked salmon? Unless you know it’s from a can, skip it. Those products found in the refrigerated section of the grocery can be contaminated with listeria. The same goes for pate. There is a really good vegetarian pate recipe you could try instead, we find it commercially prepared with beans.
  • Alcohol
    Don’t be tempted to “celebrate” with alcohol and watch for hidden alcohol in drinks. If you want a fun substitute, consider virgin recipes or sparkling cider.
  • General Food Safety
    Remember to wash your hands before, during and after food preparation to avoid germs and contaminating other foods. Thoroughly clean surfaces and utensils that have come into contact with raw meats. When it’s all said and done, be sure to get food into the refrigerator within two hours for maximum safety.

~Robin Elise Wise

EmPOWERing foods! Who knew?

~We’ve all heard about the importance of eating well in pregnancy. Women need more protein, more iron, more calcium, more calories, more, more, more…

It can be overwhelming to think about how to actually achieve this.

Try thinking quality—not quantity. It is possible, and simple, to incorporate a few nutrient-dense “power foods” into your diet each day. Try these tasty, highly nutritious foods…Pregnancy is the best time to try something new!


  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards) – Delicious sautéed in a little olive oil or water, or try adding to soup, quiche or meatloaf. 
  • Sweet potatoes – Try cutting them up like home fries, drizzle with olive oil and bake.
  • Yogurt – Beneficial for digestion and intestinal balance. Pick a variety with live cultures and without high-fructose corn syrup for optimal nutrition. power1
  • Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) – This South American seed cooks up just like rice but it’s packed with protein and iron. Simply add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups boiling water, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Avocado – Add sliced avocado to salad or mash up some avocado mixed with salsa for a tasty veggie dip. power2
  • Almonds – Raw almonds can ease heartburn and make a delicious snack, or, try roasted almonds.
  • Berries – Filled with antioxidants and just plain yummy. Enjoy as a snack, added to cereal, yogurt or in a smoothie. 

Try them….you might just love them!

Gone Fishin’…….

What’s high in protein, low in calories, and rich in nutrients?

If you guessed chocolate, you’re wrong—there’s no protein—I only wish. If you guessed ice cream, you’re wrong—there’s too many calories—I only wish. If you guessed fish or seafood, you’re right—but not exactly what I had in mind.

Baked Salmon

Fish has always been considered an essential part of a healthy diet, and a recent study conducted in Denmark and published in the September 2008 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition serves to reinforce that belief. A group of Danish researchers found that children whose mothers ate 3 or more servings of fish per week during pregnancy and who breastfed 6 months or longer were more likely to have better motor and cognitive skills compared to children whose mothers ate 2 or less servings of fish a week and breastfed fewer than 6 months.

In the past, concerns have been raised about whether it’s safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women (and young children) to eat fish, and if so how much. But given this new research, it appears that choosing the right kinds of fish may be more important than limiting the amount of fish.

Fish (like human milk) is often referred to as brain food because it contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids—nutrients that are essential for brain development, particularly in unborn babies and young children. However, fish also contains mercury and other environmental pollutants, that in high amounts, can damage the nervous system, making fish both a healthy choice and a potentially harmful choice where pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are concerned.

In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) revised their guidelines on fish and shellfish intake in an effort to minimize mercury exposure. Recommendations include limiting intake of fish or seafood to no more than 12 ounces per week, avoiding fish known to contain high levels of mercury, and checking local advisories about the safety of fish caught in nearby lakes, rivers, and streams.

According to An important study in 2007 of 11,875 pregnant women published in The Lancet, children whose mothers ate no seafood during pregnancy were nearly 50 percent more likely to have a low verbal IQ score, compared to children whose mothers ate high amounts of seafood (2-3 servings per week). Researchers also found that lower intake of seafood during pregnancy did not protect children from adverse outcomes. Instead, they found beneficial effects on child development when maternal seafood intake was greater than 340 g per week (the equivalent of 2-3 servings), suggesting that any advice to limit seafood consumption during pregnancy could actually be detrimental. The theory being that the risks associated with the loss of essential nutrients may be greater than the risks associated with exposure to small amounts of mercury (assuming the amount is indeed small).

Finding the balancefish_woman
Before you grab your fishing pole and head for the nearby river or ocean (or stop by the fish counter at the local grocery), careful consideration needs to be given to what lies beneath those scales.

It’s clear that seafood is an important part of a healthy diet, and that most fish contain  some mercury. Depending on how much fish you eat and how often you eat it, you can consume a lot of mercury or a little.

How did mercury get in the fish in the first place?
Mercury occurs naturally in air, soil, and water. However, the burning of garbage and coal has polluted many of the nation’s lakes and streams. Once the mercury gets into the water system, it is converted into methylmercury and absorbed by the fish. The amount of mercury in fish depends on three factors, (1) the level of mercury in the water, (2) whether the fish is predatory (eats other fish), and (3) how long the fish lives.

Does everyone need to be concerned?
Although most babies whose mothers eat fish during pregnancy are born healthy and develop normally, the less mercury a child is exposed to, the better. It’s important that women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant and breastfeeding mothers know how much fish to eat and which types of fish are safest. In addition, parents of children 6 years and younger, need to limit the amount of fish their children eat and choose fish that contain the least amount of mercury.

Let’s talk about serving size?
You can start by putting away those dinner plates that serve only to suggest that an appropriate serving size is twice as much as it should be. For adults, a typical serving is 4 to 6 ounces (imagine a deck of cards). Obviously, a child’s serving should be smaller. If you choose to eat larger portions, then you need to eat fish less often.  Know that raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Which types of fish are safest?
Theoretically, fish that are commonly eaten by other fish (small fish) and that live a short time are going to have the least amount of mercury, assuming the level of contamination in the water is low. , The National Resources Defense Council has created a list of fish along with their mercury levels (see below).

If you want more detailed information about the fish you eat, check out the mercury thermometer, an interactive tool provided by the American Pregnancy Association.

Group 1: Fish that contain the least amount of mercury. Eat up to 2 to 3 servings a week.

  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Calamari
  • Catfish
  • Caviar
  • Clams
  • Crab (king)
  • Crawfish/Crayfish
  • Flounder
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Lobster (spiny/rock)
  • Oysters
  • Perch (ocean)
  • Pollock
  • Salmon (farm raised salmon can contain other contaminants)
  • Sardines
  • Shad
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Tilapia
  • Whiting

Group 2: Fish that contain low amounts of mercury. Eat up to 6 servings a month.

  • Carp
  • Cod
  • Crab (dungeness, blue, snow)
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Lobster (spiny/rock)
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch (freshwater)
  • Oysters
  • Snapper
  • Skate
  • Trout (freshwater)
  • Tuna (canned chunk light)
  • Tuna (fresh Pacific albacore)
  • Whitefish

Group 3: Fish that are high in mercury. Eat no more than 3 servings a month.

  • Bass (saltwater)
  • Bluefish
  • Croaker
  • Eel
  • Halibut
  • Lobster (American Maine)
  • Sea Trout
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Tuna (canned white albacore)
  • Tuna (fresh bluefin or ahi)
  • Sea Trout

Group 4: Fish that are highest in mercury. Do not eat.

  • Chilean Sea Bass
  • Grouper
  • Mackerel (king)
  • Marlin
  • Orange Roughy
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna (fresh steaks, sushi)






excerpted from: Amy Spangler RN, IBCLC Baby Gooroo

Will one glass of beer or wine hurt??


Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause your baby to be born with both physical and mental birth defects. The most serious concern is a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is one of the most common causes of mental retardation.

No one knows exactly how much alcohol a woman has to drink to cause birth defects in her baby. That level may differ from woman to woman. So experts agree that the best thing to do is not to drink alcohol at all while you are pregnant—that includes beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor.

If a woman takes an occasional drink before she knows she is pregnant, it probably won’t harm her baby. But she should stop drinking alcohol as soon as she thinks she may be pregnant.

What you can do:
Stay away from alcohol while you are pregnant. If you find it hard to say no, avoid parties, bars and other places where people are drinking alcohol.

If you have a problem stopping, get help. There is no more important time to stop than when you are pregnant.

Some resources in Indian River County that can help:

Alchohol’s Anonymous (closed support groups for people that want to stop drinking)- (772)562-1114

Substance Abuse Council- (772) 770-4811

Contact the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), (800) NCA-CALL (622-2255).






New weight gain recomendations for pregnancy…


Do you know how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy? What if you’re overweight? Should you try to lose weight?

Every woman who is pregnant needs to gain weight during her pregnancy. The amount you will need to gain will vary based on your starting weight.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has updated their pregnancy weight gain guidelines for the first time since 1990. Not much has changed in the guidelines for normal weight women (the recommendation continues to be gain between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy), but as the rate of obesity continues to grow in the United States, the questions and concerns about what is safe in the pregnancy weight gain department for overweight and obese women continue to multiply, too.

That’s because it’s well known that gaining too much weight during pregnancy can be unhealthy for mom and baby – particularly for women who come into their pregnancies overweight or obese .

So what are the new guidelines for pregnancy weight gain?

  • If you’re underweight (with a BMI under 18.5), gain 28-40 pounds.
  • If you’re normal weight (with a BMI between 18.5 and 25), gain 25-35 pounds.
  • If you’re overweight (with a BMI between 26 and 29), gain 15-25 pounds.
  • If you’re obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher), gain 11-20 pounds. 

If you’re carrying twins, the weight gain recommendations for normal weight women are 37-54 pounds; for overweight women, 31-50 pounds; and for obese women, 25-42 pounds.

If you’re on the heavy side and you’re already pregnant, don’t try to diet or lose weight now (that’ll have to wait till the postpartum period), but do try to keep your upper weight gain to the limits set by the experts and learn what you can about keeping your pregnancy weight in check. And if you’re about to start trying to make a baby, coming up with a good pre-pregnancy weight loss strategy now (if you’re overweight or obese) will help ensure your pregnancy is the healthiest possible. 

That’s because starting pregnancy at a healthy weight lowers the risk of preterm birth, birth defects, and other complications, as well as cesarean deliveries.

**No one should be trying to lose weight while they are pregnant**

How much weight did you gain (or are you gaining) during your pregnancy? 

 Love to read your comments!