Check out my blog posts where I discuss a whole host of topics related to nutrition
What To Know About Pregnancy
Eat a healthy, unprocessed, whole grain, low fat plant-based diet. Your diet should be rich in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and beans like tofu, lentils, and legumes.
Take a folic acid supplement as recommended by the American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. I will say, however, that if you eat a healthy plant-based diet, you will get all the folic acid you need through your diet. But taking a folic acid supplement is harmless.
Take a vitamin B12 supplement daily. This is important for everyone to do nowadays whether or not they are pregnant and regardless of diet.
Use vitamin D fortified plant-milks. Getting just 15 minutes of sun exposure every day can help add to your vitamin D levels....and it makes you happy.
Incorporate foods high in omega 3 fatty acids into your daily diet, like flax seeds or tofu. Vegans have no difficulty making all the DHA they need from the consumption of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids.
The Plant-Based Diets of Our Ancestors
My husband and I were fortunate enough to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. We learned so much about the Incan empire. They were experts in mathematics, astronomy, and engineering. It is inconceivable how they were able to build such a massive city high up in the Andes.
They were also on a plant-based diet. Meat was consumed only rarely on special occasions. They constructed large terraces so that they could grow countless varieties of corn, potatoes, quinoa, and beans.
It struck me how odd our modern day fear of "carbs" is as I toured Machu Picchu. Whole grains, starchy vegetables, and beans are excellent sources of food, complete forms of nutrition, supplying complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Is hummus good for you? A lot of people ask this question. The answer depends on who's making it. Store bought brands of hummus can contain 65-70% fat by calories. The package information is slick. It will say "all natural", "no GMO", "no trans fats", "no cholesterol". All of these statements are true and yet a food that is 65-70% fat by calories IS NOT A LOW FAT food.
Now if you make your hummus at home, you can control the fat content. Hummus is delicious and can be a very healthy food. It is made from garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini paste. Tahini paste is ground sesame seeds, much like peanut butter is ground peanuts. It is very high in fat and should be treated as oil. By decreasing how much tahini paste you add to your hummus, you can drop the fat content. It is a balancing act between lowering the fat but creating that delicious hummus taste we love.
I use three tablespoons of tahini with two cans of garbanzo beans to please my whole family's taste preferences. My homemade hummus is 23% fat. It is a better option for the family to put on their bagels than cream cheese or butter. It is a better dip to go with carrot sticks than ranch dressing.
Quinoa Crust Pizza
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Soak 1/3 cup of unsalted, raw cashews in water for about 30 minutes. If you have a nut allergy, you can omit this ingredient
Rinse 8-10 potatoes, medium size,leave the peel on
Cut the potatoes into slices that are 4-5 millimeters thick, about the thickness of three stacked coins. A mandolin makes this easy to do.
In a blender, add the cashews, two tablespoons of onion powder, two tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast, and one and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Puree well.
Toss the potatoes with the sauce, making sure all the slices are coated. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
Have a question? Contact me and I will be happy to help
Listen to Stephanie talk about going plant-based during pregnancy.
Things I Always Have In My Kitchen
Tofu: It is a complete source of protein. It is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds: Complete source of protein. Excellent egg substitute
Nutritional Yeast: Complete source of protein. Many brands come fortified with vitamin B12. Gives dishes a cheesy flavor
Quinoa: Complete source of protein. Great for soups and pizza crusts
Vegamite: Great flavor enhancer for many dishes
Miso: Great flavor enhancer for dishes. Can make a quick soup that is great for GI tract
Cashews: Can make dishes creamy. A little goes a long way
Millet: Prefer it over rice
Whole wheat pastry flour: Wonderful for making breads and crusts
Whole wheat chapati flour: Great for making Indian breads, tortillas
Avocados: Healthier alternative to vegetable shortening
Recommended Reading and Viewing
Forks Over Knives (documentary)
The China Study (book)
How Not To Die (book)
Missing Microbes (book)
Epidemic of Absence (book)
The Blue Zones (book)
Look For Me
YouTube Padma Garvey
Itunes Plant-Based Doctor Mom
Spotify Plant-Based Doctor Mom
Listen to Simon Jay of Plantproof.com interview me for his podcast
How To Approach Your Daily Diet
Check out my recent article in the Pittsburgh Patrika
Proceed With Caution
Nuts, avocado, and coconut are all things I enjoy and use in my cooking. But they are all high in fat. Even on a plant-based diet, you want to eat high fat foods sparingly. Make sure the bulk of your meal contains greens, vegetables, and grains
The same diet works for the earth and our health. Win win all around
How To Sweeten Your Food
Fruit is the best option like bananas or unsweetened applesauce. Dried fruit, like dates, can be very high in calories. I use dates sparingly if I need to sweeten an item without adding water to it. Agave nectar is lower in calories than dates. I use it when I am making some desserts.
Can eliminate these foods entirely
Dr. Padma Garvey
The plant-based Doctor Mom