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5 Easy Ways to Boost Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy

This post is sponsored by iHerb.  This means we were asked to review or try something new, and then remunerated to share those thoughts.  Since you are reading this post, it ALSO means that we enjoyed the experience. Friends don’t let friends make false recommendations! 

Freaking about the health of your pregnancy is something we have ALL done.

It’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed. Can I have a lunchmeat sandwich? Is that salmon for dinner okay? Of course, it’s even worse if you have experienced a previous miscarry or loss.

Today I thought it would be helpful to research and provide some of the easiest ways to slip some super-serious nutritional power boosts into your day. So I asked my good friend Lauren (who’s currently pregnant with baby #3) to go “guinea pig” for me and try out some natural products at iHerb, a global leader in natural products, including food.

By the way, iHerb has over 30,000 products to choose from and ships to over 160 countries. If you’re not a native-English speaker, their customer service line can answer all your questions in 10 different languages.

Our goal? Uncover all the different ways you can slip a little more healthy nutrition into your day. In particular, I wanted to think outside the usual “eat more fruit and veg” boring advice and come up with options for pregnant mamas struggling with severe morning sickness or, let’s be honest, can’t stand the thought of yet another Cobb Salad.

Ready? Here are five ways to squeeze more nutrition into the cracks of your busy life. 

Choose the Right Prenatal Vitamin

Okay, this is the most obvious, I’ll give you that. If you are pregnant, please please PAH-LEASE take a prenatal vitamin. It’s by-far the easiest way to help your growing baby get the right nutrients.

That said, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all prenatals are created equal! Lauren settled on a daily routine of Rainbow Light and California Gold Nutrition.

Rainbow Light Prenatal One

Here are several reasons Lauren likes this prenatal vitamin:

  1. It’s PACKED with recommended nutrients for growing babies (Calcium, Folic Acid, Iron, Iodine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Copper, Zinc, etc.).
  2. It’s made out of all natural fruits and vegetables
  3. It is vegan and gluten-free.
  4. It includes probiotics, spirulina, red raspberry and ginger to help with your digestion.

Because it has iron (a VITAL nutrient for brain growth), you should definitely take this prenatal with food. If your struggling with morning sickness, add this to your lunch or dinner meals. (Why tempt an already upset stomach?)

California Gold Nutriton Prenatal DHA

The one thing most prenatal vitamins are lacking is DHA. DHA is a shorter way of saying Omega-3 Fatty Acids, essential nutrients your baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system relies on.

Omega-3 is a funny thing, because it’s one of those things that you can only get from outside sources. Your body cannot create this essential fatty acids on its own, so it relies on you eating the right foods to provide your cells (and now your baby’s cells) with these nutrients. Unless you plan on eating your body weight in salmon every month, pick up these softgels as an extra DHA source.

Lauren’s Tropical Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

Since you need to take these prenatals with food, Lauren likes to make a healthy smoothie for her morning breakfast. She created this after experimenting with dozens of Pinterest ideas until she found the ideal combination of protein, iron, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also just sweet enough for the kids and hubby to enjoy as well!

  • 2-3 cups frozen fruit (I use a frozen fruit medley with strawberries, mangos, pineapple, peaches, and red grapes)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup vanilla or strawberry greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 handful of spinach (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia powder (optional)

Add all ingredients to a glass pitcher and let the frozen fruit thaw slightly for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, mix all ingredients until well blended. Serve and enjoy! Makes three 14oz Servings.

Be Smart About Your Snacks

A healthy pregnant mama is a constantly snacking pregnant mama. Smaller meals spread out throughout the day will help keep your stomach calm and the acid reflux monsters far away.

Lauren chose to try two perfect pocket-size snacks to slip into her daily purse for errands: Eden’s Quiet Moon and Kashi Chewy Granola Bars.

Eden’s Quiet Moon Pocket Snacks

Lauren was a huge fan of these über-tasty pocket snacks. They are made from organic roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, dried raisins, and cherries and are the perfect balance for a sweet/savory snack.

Extra bonus: They are made here in the USA from a family farm in Michigan and are sulfite and gluten-free. *highfive for health*

Kashi Chewy Granola Bars

These Kashi Honey Almond Flax Bars have been a favorite of Lauren’s for years, so she was excited to see them listed as one of the 30,000 natural options to choose from at iHerb.

My 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old love these too, so I need to have LOTS on hand because they keep finding mama’s secret stash. This version on iHerb is a new and improved recipe. From what I can tell, the oats and nuts are chopped a lot finer. This makes them a lot chewier. Well done, Kashi. Well done.

Keep the Comforting Caffeine-Free Sips

I think Sheldon Cooper is definitely onto something. Whenever I’m feeling worn out, hurt, or emotionally drained, nothing boosts my spirits like a warm beverage. (Yes, even on those 90 degree days.)

Since I’m sure many of you can relate, Lauren decided to try two of these comfort caffeine-free cups to try: Teeccino Herbal Hazelnut Coffee and Yogi Mother-to-Be Tea.

Don’t let the “herbal” throw you. This is more than just some leaves in a cup. Listen to Lauren’s experience after switching to this coffee alternative:

This is my third pregnancy, so when I found out I was expecting, I knew my coffee days were coming to an end. I know that it is okay to have one to two cups of regular coffee every day during pregnancy, but my body just doesn’t handle it well. I get headaches. Bad ones. To help me wean off caffeine, I began drinking half caffeinated coffee for a week. Then I went to decaf. Unfortunately, I was still getting headaches even with drinking only decaf. Ugh!

Even if I had one cup of decaf a week, I would, without fail, get a headache two days later. I was thrilled to discover Teeccino’s Chicory Herbal ‘Coffee.’ It has zero caffeine, where as decaf still has trace amounts. I was also thrilled that it came in Hazelnut flavor! That is my go-to flavor for regular coffee.

It is made with organic herbs and has a buttery hazelnut taste enriched with roasted almonds and has a slight sweetness to the flavor. While it does have a slightly different taste than coffee to me (I drink my coffee black, and this is a little sweet), I’ve been making it stronger in my French Press. It is turning into a nice substitute, especially since I haven’t had any headaches after making the switch!

While most of the ingredients are grown in Europe and the USA, they also work with smallholder farmers in India and with rainforest villagers in Central America. I also like the emotional boost that I am helping to create economic opportunities where income is scarce. That’s win-win in my book.

Yogi Mother-to-Be Tea

Yogi teas are always really awesome, but the Mother-to-Be Tea really needs it’s own plaque. It includes Raspberry Leaf, traditionally used for centuries by midwives and Western herbalists to support the female system. It also has refreshing Spearmint, Peppermint, Fennel, and a hint of Lemon flavor.

This tea is my afternoon go-to beverage while I work during nap time and quiet time. On hot summer days (which there have been plenty of this summer in Wisconsin), I stick my mug in the fridge for a while and drink it cold. It’s absolutely refreshing. I also poured some brewed tea into ice cube trays and popped those in the freezer to speed up the chill time (and avoid watering my tea down).

Bathe Those Gums with Healthy Nutrients

Ready for a surprise? Dental hygiene is actually very important, especially during pregnancy.

According to WebMD, “Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.”

It’s very common for your teeth to feel more sensitive during a pregnancy, so stock up on a good all-natural sensitive toothpaste like this one. Lauren also appreciated how Tom’s of Maine is dedicated to transparency and sustainable practices in their production. Always a good thing!

This simple toothbrush has an effective plaque removing “V” bristle design to get in between those teeth and clean more efficiently. Lauren actually purchased two of these, one for now and one for her hospital bag. 🙂

Keep the Pregnancy Glow Going

You know the “glow” that you get in the beginning of your pregnancy? The one that can turn a sickly green after a few weeks? Well, for our last health trick, let’s turn our attention to getting that glow back!

This means a good cleanser and a few good moisturizers. Lauren tested Aveeno CleanserMoisturizer, and Evolution of Smooth Honeydew Lip Balm.

EOS Honeysuckle Honeydew Lip Balm

This divine-smelling lip balm uses organic ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil for super-smooth lips. Lauren was especially happy about how well it wore under her lipstick!

Aveeno Brightening Cleanser

Aveeno Brightening Cleanser uses a moisture-rich soy extract and improves your skin’s natural tone and texture to reveal the radiant skin covered up after a day (or night) of wear and tear. It lifts away dirt, oil, and makeup without over-drying and is gentle enough for everyday use.

This cleanser is gold! It smells so refreshing and makes my skin feel silky-smooth. Due to my heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, anything that smells good is such a delight. My old cleanser started to smell absolutely awful to me, even though it really didn’t have a fragrance. It might have even been fragrance-free! Before I was pregnant, I didn’t smell it at all. Funny how much things can change when you are pregnant.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizer

The big hit with the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer isn’t that it leaves your skin feeling so soft (although it does that). The real bonus is the SPF 30.

Being fair skinned and freckly, I need a little sunscreen protection while I’m at the park chasing two little boys around. Having it in my daily moisturizer means I don’t need to take extra time to apply sunscreen to my face later.

A Healthy Pregnancy Isn’t as
Overwhelming as it Feels

Feeling guilty about the giant burger and fries you ate last night for dinner? Worried that you’ve RUINED YOUR BABY FOREVER?

We all have those moments, friend, and it doesn’t do anybody any good to emotionally beat yourself over them. The best thing you can do for yourself is give yourself margins. Margins to occasionally slip up! (Of course, occasionally is different than “always.”)

These five simple health tricks, though, can keep your train chugging down to Healthville, even if you got derailed on Cheeseburger Mountain. 

By far the best place to stock up on these health tricks is at iHerb. Not only do they have the best online selection of natural products, they ship fast, they have an awesome Rewards program, and typically (because of volume) their prices are 30-40% cheaper than other stores.  

NEWSFLASH: Current customers can get a discount off their iHerb order and new customers can get an additional $5 off their minimum $40 order by clicking here and getting the offer automatically applied.

Today is a new day, right! New without any mistakes in it! 🙂

Give that baby bump a little rub, pour yourself a hot cup of herbal hazelnut coffee, and set out those prenatals! That baby has some strong growing to do!

This post was sponsored by iHerb who provided my pregnant friend Lauren with several products for her to try so I could research this article as well as compensation for my time to write it. All the opinions shared here are my own, though, because I’m stubborn and don’t like being told what to do. 

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