Chocolate Snacks Maternity

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Pregnancy Food Bars

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Protein Bars in Pregnancy

protein bars home madeOne thing that can come up often whether you are pregnant or not- is eating on the run. Hectic, busy schedules that now is the norm for most people creates a situation where the habit to feed our hunger is to go through the drive through or grab a bite of something at a convenient store.

Studies have been done on why people eat this way- and it’s interesting to share that it’s not for taste, not for saving money … but purely for the convenience.

The downside to this way of eating is that you can quickly pack on unwanted pounds, it does cost more and for all the time you spend driving and sitting in the check out line… it actually is not so convenient.

I have found that it’s actually way more convenient to make healthy, quick, nutrient rich foods at home that are great for the grab and go lifestyle.   Some of my favorite are home made, easy to make protein bars.

On this site I’ll share some recipes that are nutrient packed, tasty and easy to make. These are simple for having a healthy meal on the go.  When you are pregnant, some of these will help you get the extra calories you need while avoiding unnecessary chemicals that can make you nauseous. The Protein Powder I use in the recipes will either be the Vanilla Smart Meal or the Chocolate Smart Meal.

Check back often for updated recipes.

Pregnancy Protein Bar Recipes:

Peanut Butter Vanilla Oat Protein Bars

Potassium during pregnancy

Why you need potassium during pregnancy

Potassium, a mineral found in many types of food, plays an important role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in your body’s cells. Potassium is also important in sending nerve impulses, helping your muscles contract, and releasing energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Since your blood volume expands by up to 50 percent during pregnancy, you’ll need slightly more electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride, working together) to keep the extra fluid in the right chemical balance.

If you suffer from leg cramps during pregnancy, you might take a look at your potassium intake, because a lack of potassium (or sodium, calcium, or magnesium) could be the culprit.

According to the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board here is info on just how much you need and options for a variety of ways to include it in your daily food intake:

How much potassium you need

Pregnant women: 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day

Nursing moms: 5,100 mg per day.

Food sources of potassium

Fresh fruits and vegetables, red meat and chicken, fish, milk and yogurt, nuts, and soy products all provide potassium. To give you a sense of how easy it is to obtain this important mineral from your daily diet, here’s a list of some of the foods highest in potassium:

  • 1 medium baked potato with skin: 844 mg
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato: 694 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked beet greens: 654 mg
  • 1 medium baked potato without skin: 610 mg
  • 1/2 cup canned white beans: 595 mg
  • 8 ounces plain nonfat yogurt: 579 mg
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree: 549 mg
  • 3 ounces canned clams: 534 mg
  • 3/4 cup prune juice: 530 mg
  • 3/4 cup carrot juice: 517 mg
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses: 498 mg
  • 3 ounces halibut: 490 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked green soybeans: 485 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked lima beans: 484 mg
  • 3 ounces Coho salmon: 454 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked winter squash: 448 mg
  • 1/2 cup mature cooked soybeans: 443 mg
  • 3 ounces Pacific cod: 439 mg
  • 1 medium banana: 422 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach: 419 mg
  • 3/4 cup tomato juice: 417 mg
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce: 405 mg
  • 1/4 cup dried peaches: 398 mg
  • 1/2 cup refried beans: 398 mg
  • 1/2 cup stewed prunes: 398 mg
  • 1 cup nonfat milk: 382 mg
  • 3 ounces center loin pork chop: 382 mg
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots: 378 mg
  • 3 ounces farmed rainbow trout: 375 mg
  • 3 ounces lean pork loin: 371 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils: 365 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans: 358 mg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice: 355 mg
  • 1/2 cup cooked split peas: 355 mg
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe balls: 236 mg
  • 8 oz serving Tofu Moo Natural 180 mg

The signs of a potassium deficiency

Low potassium is most often the result of chronic or severe vomiting or diarrhea, or the use of certain diuretics, rather than a shortage in your diet.

A shortage of potassium could cause weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms. Talk with your doctor if you suspect that you’re short on potassium or any other nutrient.


Drinking Water During Pregnancy- Caution:Tap Water Ahead!

tap-waterI heard last week on the local news that the city has decided (again) to ‘add more fluoride’ to our local  water supply.

Most people are unaware of how these little additions…(told to us by the government that they will “help”) are actually very harmful to our body.

These added chemicals are supposed to keep the water source pure and clean. Make it sanitary they say.  However, these chemicals, get loaded up in our body and can actually cause problems for us.  Our body works in part as a filter.  Like any filter, you need to clean it and maintain it for the ‘filtering’ to be effective.  Too much toxic build up in the body from chemicals in our water can lead to joint pain, achiness, arthritis type symptoms and more.

For you and your growing baby, clean, pure, non chemically loaded water is important.

Below is an article that I wrote about two years ago which was originally published in the San Diego Family Magazine.  I share some of the info I learned about our tap water. It talks about another chemical, chlorine, in the water supply. The issue of more flouride in the water is similar to the chlorine. They are both useful in some applications in life- but harmful if ingested.

Hopefully the info in the article will help you too.  I share about how we made some adjustments to our whole house water supply after learning the details of what is in tap water. If you need an alternate solution for your water supply, here is another  resource for you:  Nature’s Spring RO Water Filter

Debbra Sweet

Caution: Tap Water Ahead!

By: Debbra Sweet

(c) 2007

Have you ever wondered why so many people don’t drink tap water? The reasons for this vary, but most say it’s because ‘the water doesn’t taste good’. Not surprisingly, your body knows what’s good for you. A recent water quality and safety study revealed that treated drinking water in the US often has higher chlorine levels in it than pool water!

As a mom with two young children, I found that information disturbing. I have always been an avid water drinker, but with the way our tap water tasted and smelled, I found myself drinking less. I even felt more tired and achy when I did. After I heard about the levels of contaminants in the average water piped into a house, I sought a solution—and now I want to share it with you.

Drinking Water Backgrounder
The following info should explain why your drinking water tastes funny: In 1974, Congress turned drinking water standards over to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA then established a national standard for allowable pathogen-causing bacteria and viruses in our drinking water. The Safe Drinking Water Act in 1986 further reduced the allowable amount of microbial contaminants—and increased the levels of chemicals like chlorine, ammonia and chloramines in the water.

In 1996, the EPA reduced the 1986 levels by almost 80% more. These new requirements were mostly met by increasing the amount of chemicals in the water again.

This has left us with lots of chemicals in our water and researchers are saying has caused a significant health impact. In fact, the EPA has released a study which states ‘exposure to levels of disinfectants over long periods of time may cause health problems, including damage to blood and kidneys.’ (Source: United States Office of Water EPA 816-R-01-014, Environmental Protection (4606) June 2001 Agency, Page 4 Paragraph 6)

What’s A High Level and Why Should Moms Be Concerned?
Here in San Diego, most public pools maintain chlorine levels at 1.5 ppm (parts per million). Common free chlorine levels measured in drinking water throughout San Diego County are approximately 2.15 ppm (with chloramine averaging 4.5 ppm)—that’s a full 30% higher than swimming pool water (Source: City of San Diego Water Department: 2006 San Diego Annual Water Quality Report Pg. 9). Considering that the body is made up of over 70% of water, the very building-block for your health, these numbers are disturbing.

You might be saying, “Well, I only drink bottled water, so this doesn’t affect me.” Unfortunately, you’re not safe: The average person still ingests the equivalent of 8 glasses of unfiltered tap water/day. How can this be, you ask? The answer lies in a study done by Dr. Lance Wallace, a senior scientist at the EPA: he credits two thirds of our chlorine exposure to inhaling/absorbing it while showering.

Apparently, shower steam can contain up to 50 times the chemical levels of tap water because chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is more harmful since the inhaled chlorine gas (chloroform) goes into the blood stream. Inhaling chlorine has been shown to be a cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children. Also, many of the chemicals in drinking water are linked to everything from sinusitis, sore throat, lung, kidney, rectal & breast cancer.

Today’s Solution.
The best solution at this time is a whole house carbon water filtration system that automatically cleans itself via ‘backflushing’ water. These amazing filters process every drop of water that comes into your home.

With one of these filters, your water will now be free of carcinogenic disinfectants—so it will taste like ‘bottled-water’, you and your children won’t inhale/absorb chemicals in your shower, your hair and skin will feel softer and you’ll extend the life of your appliances and copper pipes.

Call the Experts
I found my solution after talking with ‘CleanWaterMike’ Felsburg, a representative for San Diego-based Aquasource. Aquasource is a pioneer in whole house water filtration systems and ‘CleanWaterMike’ is passionate and knowledgeable about finding solutions to attaining safe tap water.

He explained the differences in systems and the level of water quality I’d receive from them. There are a few different blends and grades of activated carbon: the lowest – bitmous, mid level – pharmaceutical grade and the best – catalytic grade carbon.

At the very least, you want a filter of 100% pharmaceutical grade carbon to remove most of the carcinogens. Pharmaceutical grade carbon will improve water quality but will only slightly reduce the amount of chloramine gases in the water. Catalytic grade carbon has a quicker reaction rate that significantly reduces the amount of chloramine gas in your water…which is the main disinfectant that municipalities use in the water.

With my house water filtered by an Aquasource catalytic grade carbon filter, we’ve noticing a huge difference in how our water tastes, smells, and feels. I’m using less soap and shampoos, cleaning is easier and we’re already feeling better. I’ve become spoiled!

When you learn about the chemical levels in today’s drinking water, there is a moment of shock. But then, if you’ve stopped drinking tap water long ago because of the taste, this information helps it all make sense. Although this information is unsettling, the situation and solution is easy—you have a choice. The first step is to decide how important it is to your family’s health and then whether to install an in-home water filtration system like they one my family chose from Aquasource. You’ll have peace of mind and the tap water will again taste like water should.

Debbra Sweet

Action Leadership & Health Coach

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Favorite Baby Resources

The Complete Book of Baby Names: The Most Names (100,001+ Names)

Best-Baby-Names-Book Every year, hundreds of thousands of expectant parents turn to The Complete Book of Baby Names as their essential, indispensable guide to choosing the best name for their child. Helpful and full of creative inspiration, this #1 bestseller gives you all the best ways to find your favorites and decide on the perfect fit.

The Most Names, Most Lists, Most Help to Find the Best Name:

  • More Names AND Richer Definitions
  • The Most (600+) Creative Lists to Inspire You
  • The Most Idea-Sparking Celebrity Baby Names
  • The Most Popular-and Unique-Names
  • The Newest Trends, Including What Makes the Perfect Name!

More than 600 Fun Lists to Help You Choose, Including:

  • Intellectual, creative names from literature and the arts
  • Strong, respected names from sports and politics
  • Unique, under-the-radar names that hit the right notes

Packed full of more than 100,001 baby names with origins, variations, and richer definitions, The Complete Book of Baby Names makes choosing your baby’s name a joyful act of love.

Everything You Need …

  • The most up-to-date list of popular names – plus top twin names
  • Selecting sibling names that make sense for your family
  • Great gender-neutral names – plus the top 61 names
  • Adding a middle name – or two!
  • 18 essentials in choosing the perfect name…
  • And what not to name your baby
  • All the top baby boy and baby girl names!
  • Plus all the best variations and nicknames

All You Need in One Complete Book!

The What to Expect Pregnancy Journal & Organizer

What-Expect-Pregnancy-Journal Book Description

Introducing the totally revised and updated What to Expect Pregnancy Journal and Organizer – with 715,000 copies in print, it’s the perfect gift and popular companion to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Lightweight and sized to fit into a tote or briefcase, this handy planner is an expectant mom’s best friend from conception through labor and delivery.

For the new edition, the text has been brought completely up-to-date in accordance with the information in the recently revised third edition of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Featuring prompted pages, checklists, and a weekly write-in pregnancy and labor journal, this is the best way for mothers-to-be to keep track of important dates, questions to ask the doctor, medications, milestones, childbirth class notes, shopping lists, phone numbers, and everything else that comes with the nine months of pregnancy. The journal/organizer’s compact design ensures it can go everywhere mom goes. After baby’s arrival, it becomes an instant keepsake.