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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pregnancy Superfood Series - Part 4 - Salmon

Check out other posts in my Pregnancy Superfood series!

Eggs / Liver / Dark Leafy Greens


Why salmon?


I like to call out salmon because it is BY FAR my favorite fatty fish...especially salmon canned with the skin and bones. I love a nice salmon filet, but salmon canned with the skin and bones gives you even more nutrients than just the filet alone. Sardines are another great choice with similar health benefits, but I've already tried to convince you to eat liver, so I'm not gonna push my luck too much today. :) If you're reading this and still need a little guidance, check out my preconception, pregnancy and family nutrition and lifestyle coaching programs. I can work with you to help you meet your health goals before, during and after pregnancy! For now, let's stick with salmon and learn all it has to offer!


Salmon is super for reducing mom's risk of osteoporosis


Salmon is a great non-dairy source of calcium and one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. Your body can manufacture vitamin D when you soak up the sun's rays and you can also take a high quality fish oil supplement, but you should always get as many real food nutrients in as you can and salmon is my go-to.

Vitamin D works with calcium to grow your baby's strong bones and teeth. Foods high in vitamin D increase your body's ability to absorb calcium in the foods you eat. The problem is that most of us don't get enough vitamin D and, during pregnancy, your body is transferring calcium and vitamin D to your baby to help her growth and development. This can deplete your stores of both calcium and vitamin D, leaving you at risk for osteoporosis during pregnancy and later in life.

The RDA for vitamin D during pregnancy is 600 IU (International Units) and 3 oz of cooked salmon contains 447 IU, almost all you need for the entire day!

Salmon is super for baby's eyesight


Salmon is also a good source of those ever-popular omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s, notably DHA, are important during pregnancy for your baby's visual development. A 2011 study in The Journal of Pediatrics (1) found that DHA intake during pregnancy did have a positive impact on a child's visual system function at school age. I also write extensively about the beneficial effects of omega-3s and all of the other top nutrients for pregnancy in my book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book.

Salmon is super for boosting mom and baby's antioxidant levels


Salmon is a good source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant. The RDA for selenium during pregnancy is 60 mcg and a 4 oz serving of salmon provides about 80% of your daily needs. The selenium in salmon can help to protect your body, and your baby, against oxidative stress. The particular antioxidants in selenium are especially protective for cardiovascular health. Who knew?


Is it safe to eat salmon during pregnancy?


Contrary to what you may have heard...absolutely, yes! Selenium is a part of the reason why, as well. Selenium actually protects against mercury toxicity, which is the main concern against salmon (or other large, fatty fish) consumption during pregnancy. The health benefits of salmon far outweigh the scare tactics that are often used to warn women off of fatty fish during pregnancy. While it is true that you want to avoid large fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because of their high mercury levels, most of the fish that people actually eat like salmon and tuna pose no risk of mercury toxicity. Nobody has researched this deeper than Chris Kresser, so I'll point you over to his blog post on this exact topic to learn more.


What is the best way to eat salmon? 


I already mentioned salmon filets, which are WONDERFUL on the grill, but that isn't my favorite, or the simplest way to get more salmon into your diet. Almost every weekend, I make a large salmon salad using avocado instead of mayonnaise. I even stir in a can of sardines for a little extra nutrient boost. I'll add curry powder, mandarin oranges, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers...whatever I have on hand.

You can get the recipe for my Curried Salmon Salad in my FREE recipe eBook, Real Food for Real Families: Quick and Easy Meals Your Kids Will Love. Click here to get your copy today!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Do essential oils really work???




Do essential oils really work?

If you are here, you are probably curious about essential oils and I applaud your decision to dig a little deeper and learn more before making the decision to use them yourself. Although it took me many months of research before choosing to use essential oils in my home, I am so happy with my decision to provide natural solutions for my family. My goal is not to use essential oils all-day, every-day, but to have all-natural options available when I need to clean my home, care for my family, treat life's little emergencies, boost my mood or simply relax.

So, do essential oils really work? If you do a quick online search, you'll find stories of people using essential oils to treat just about everything under the sun. These claims should be taken with a grain of salt, however, because you can find pretty much anything online if you look hard enough. This doesn't mean that essential oils don't work, though. It just means that you need to do your research, keep an open mind, choose quality oils and learn how to use the oils safely and effectively.

Essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Before we had modern medicine, we had plant therapy. People have been using herbs and aromatic plans for therapeutic benefits since the beginning of human civilization!  In fact, most modern medicines are derived from plants. Drug companies actually try to replicate the properties in plants that are beneficial to the body and use them to create synthetic drugs. The problem is that, unlike essential oils, these synthetic compounds are not in their natural, whole form.

Essential oils, however, work with the body on a cellular level to address issues and root causes...not just treat symptoms. Because essential oils have been used for so long, there have been tons of research studies done to prove their safety and effectiveness when used correctly. The best resource to learn more about these tried and true methods is the Modern Essentials Book. This book reviews the science and application of essential oils, a personal usage guide that lists which oils to use for specific health concerns and a detailed overview of each oil. Whenever I want to find out if there is a way to naturally support my health using essential oils, I just turn to my book and look it up! You can also visit Aromatic Science for the latest research, education and resources on essential oils.

Do essential oils really work? Learn more in my webinar!Essential oils are not meant to replace a nutrient dense diet, physical activity, rest and an overall healthy lifestyle. They are meant to compliment these pillars of health to promote optimal health and wellness. Just like you can't take a pill to undo years worth of bad eating habits, you can't use an oil to undo unhealthy choices. Because they are natural compounds, essential oils work with your body to help it run in tip top shape when used in combination with healthy lifestyle choices.

The quality of essential oils you choose is also important. Many essential oils may have synthetic ingredients or fillers that degrade the quality of the oil. I choose doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils for my family because they are sustainably grown and harvested where they grow indigenously, carefully and naturally steam distilled to extract the oils without degrading them, tested for purity and therapeutic grade quality and made without fillers, synthetic oils, contaminants or toxins.


Free learning opportunity!

Do essential oils really work? Learn more in my webinar!

If after reading this you want to learn more about essential oils and how they can provide natural solutions for your family, I recently hosted a webinar where we dove even deeper into the world of essential oils and all of their beneficial uses! I know everybody is busy, so I recorded the webinar so you can watch it at your convenience.


You can also sign up for my essential oil newsletter. Once or twice a month I'll be sending out special deals, useful tips and even some fun food, beauty and cleaning recipes you can make using essential oils!

Learn more about the natural solutions essential oils can provide for your family!

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As always, if you have any questions please contact me at any time. I am here to help! You can also check out my essential oils page to learn more about how it all works and how to get started!