Asparagus spp.

Fresh Shoots – A. Officinalis.

Useful for mild cases of cystitus, fluid retention and for slight cases of edema. After urination you can smell a distinct aroma that is caused by t breakdown of asparagus in the system.

It is an excellent source of folic acid and selenium.

Dried Root – A. Racemosus / Shatavari (Ayurvedic Medicine)

Shatavari means “she who possesses a hundred husbands” due to its usages. Used for debilities associated with female sexual organs. It has rejuvenitory properties. It can assist with fertility issues.

About Shatavari

Recipe with Fresh Shoots

Prepare shoots for cooking. While preparing pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with oil. lightly spray shoots and roll in raw sesame seeds, lay on the cookie sheet spread slightly apart. Bake until the seeds are a golden brown. Enjoy.



Citris Aurantium: Fresh Fruit

Both the unripe and ripe fruits are used in Chinese Medicine. The unripe bitter fruit is more potent. The unripe bitter fruit (zhi shi) is used for constipation or to move stagnant chi energy. It can be used to make an expectorant for coughs. This bitter fruit is NOT recommended for use in pregnancy.

The ripe fruit has multiple properties for the pregnant woman. It is high in vitamin C and when eaten with the pulp, it contains Rutin.

A Small Orange contains the following nutrients:

Amount Per  1 small (2-3/8″ dia) (96 g) 100 grams 1 fruit (2-5/8″ dia)
Calories 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.1 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Potassium 174 mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 3%
Dietary fiber 2.3 g 9%
Sugar 9 g
Protein 0.9 g 1%


Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 85%
Calcium 3% Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 2%


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Sweet Orange Essence Oil

The essence oil of the sweet orange blossom can be used in a diffuser for lack of energy and / or depression. Sweet Orange is an excellent choice for women who are having difficulty in labor and who are lacking energy. Do not use the essence oil in the bath during pregnancy, and use with extreme caution with infants present. Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil, such as Sunflower or Almond.

Neroli Essence Oil
Citris bigaradia

Neroli is derived from the bitter orange blossom.  It should not be used during pregnancy, but can be used during labor and right after delivery. Neroli helps with stress, fright, exhaustion, and shock. It is also great for anxiety. An excellent choice when there are complications in labor causing the mother to be exhausted, and anxious. If there has been a traumatic birth it will assist with the shock after the birth. Use only with the advice of a trained professional who knows about aromatherapeutic treatments. Do not use in a bath and limit its use around infants.

What’s Next?

In the next few blogs I will be discussing the healing aspects and nutritional aspects of some common foods. These are beneficial for a variety of reasons and good to use in dishes, or to have whole, on your plate!

These particular foods I would recommend to include in your diet for a healthier pregnancy…



These will be:

Ginger Root

Any warnings for pregnancy and lactation will be included, and where possibility of a recipe or two. All references for these are on my reference page.

NOTE: Imagery is from free-domain imagery sites.  If I have used any images that are not free to use, please email me [] and I will remove them.

Prenatal Vitamins


2013-03-combo[The image to the left is not an endorsement of the brand, but illustrative of a typical type of package prenatal vitamins may come in]

There is an ongoing argument about the use of vitamin supplementation whether you are pregnant or not. I would say weigh out the pros and cons of the argument.

From my nutrition studies, I learned that even when we eat very well, our bodies will often not absorb all the nutrients within the food. The cause of this can be the natural digestive make-up of the body or a particular health issue we may have. This would hold true, even if we were to eat the best of natural and organic foods.

Unfortunately, most of the American populous chose to eat lousy diets. We also do not exercise properly, nor drink enough plain old water. But, during pregnancy it is important to make sure you eat well, and that your diet is full of pure natural and organic foods.

Even with a great diet, supplementation may be a wise choice. Doctors will recommend a prenatal vitamin supplement, so be sure it contains the nutrients you need.

Look for a prenatal vitamin that includes :

• 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.
• 400 IU of vitamin D.
• 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
• 70 mg of vitamin C.
• 3 mg of thiamine.
• 2 mg of riboflavin.
• 20 mg of niacin.
• 6 mcg of vitamin B12.
• 10 mg of vitamin E.
• 15 mg of zinc.
• 17 mg of iron.

“Keep in mind that it is possible to jeopardize your baby’s (or your own) health by taking inappropriate amounts of synthetic vitamins, so be sure your health care provider is aware of any supplements you are taking (American Pregnancy. Org).” Notice this quote discusses “synthetic vitamins”? I would recommend prenatal vitamins that are sourced from natural or organic nutrients, not a synthetic vitamin.

As with herbs containing multiple nutrients and constituents within its structure, a range of nutrients comprise the whole of the vitamin you glean from food. The same could be said of a natural or organic nutrient used in the production of a multi-vitamin.

Be sure your diet is balanced and contains the nutrients you need for good health. See my hand-outs on nutrition for the information about a healthy diet during pregnancy. “Getting your nutrients from food is generally the best route. Foods contain other compounds your body needs — such as fiber — that supplements don’t provide.

You shouldn’t use a supplement to correct a poor diet, but rather to supplement a good one (Pari-Keener)” I would liken this concept to building a house. If built on a good foundation (proper whole foods diet) an addition built onto the house, will stand a long time (supplemental vitamins/Prenatal vitamin intake = healthier baby).

Some women may experience nausea, irritated stomachs, and constipation from prenatal vitamin use. If the vitamins are taken properly, and you are eating a good diet, the effects will be greatly reduced.

Prenatal Vitamin Warnings

• Tell your doctor about unusual or allergic reactions you have had to any medications, especially to any vitamin, mineral, or iron products.
• Be sure to tell your doctor if you have ever had bone disease, liver disease, kidney disease, or stomach ulcers.
• Because prenatal vitamins may mask the symptoms of pernicious anemia, they should be used only under a doctor’s supervision.
from How Stuff Works


Consumers Guide, Eds. Prenatal Vitamins. How Stuff Works.

Maria Pari-Keener, MS, RD. (n.d.) Prenatal Vitamins Best from Food or Supplements.

Pregnancy and Prenatal Vitamins. WebMD. (2012). Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD. 5-29-14

Prenatal Vitamins. American Pregnancy Association.

Why Breastfeed?









Cow milk is for calves, human breast milk is for babies. It has the best nutrients for baby. Breastfeeding has benefits for both baby and the mother.

Benefits For Baby

Breast milk is a safeguard against allergies (those babies who get allergies would be worse). Human milk protects against infections, inhibits the growth of virus’ and bacteria in baby.
It is helpful in the development of baby’s jaw and facial structure. It encourages normal weight gain, which assures a less-likelihood of obesity later in life. The developing brain and nervous system of the baby also is benefited.

Benefits For You

Breast feeding without supplementation delays menstruation for six months or more. During this time the chances of getting pregnant is practically nil.

Studies have shown that women who breastfeed their babies, for even a few months, are less likely to develop breast cancer, than if a woman does not breastfeed. It also protects against ovarian cancer, urinary tract infections, and osteoporosis.

The hormones released when you begin to breastfeed assists in the reduction of the size of the uterus after giving birth (Oxytocin) and assists in the bonding process of mother and baby. As does the close contact made between mother and baby.

Oxytocin is also a powerful antidepressant. The act of breastfeeding and its subsequent release of Oxytocin is shown to assist in the reduction of post-partum depression.


Allowing the baby to nurse as often as baby needs to nurse, is the best way. In the beginning this may mean about every two hours, from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. This assures your supply of milk will come in, and that you meet the baby’s needs.

When a feeding pattern is established, all seems right in the world! But if you suddenly are dealing with a more frequent urgency of the baby to feed, this is not an indication baby is “dissatisfied” or your milk is not sufficient to meet the baby’s needs. It means that baby is working to increase the supply, to meet his/ or her demands. It is normal. You do not need to supplement, nor do you need to begin to feed baby foods.

The length of the feeding depends on the baby’s interest and response. At first baby will seem to be starving and suck eagerly, then after about 10 minutes doze off or lose interest. It is at this point you should burp the baby and change the diaper if necessary. Afterwards, you can switch to the other breast.


To succeed at breastfeeding and working, it’s good to find people will support your goal of breast-feeding when you return to work whose words emphasize being successful at working and breast-feeding, not failing.

A Childbirth Educator can assist you (I personally have experience with working and breastfeeding successfully with two of my babies). You can also call the La Leche League, or visit the online site.

medela manual breast pumpDon’t wait until a week or two before you’re going back to work. Do your information gathering and learn all you can ahead of time.

For success, you will need a good breast pump (The picture above is one of the recommended types and brands). You will need to use your break time and express your milk. If you take with you to work a decent and yet small cooler or even an insulated lunch bag you should be able to keep the milk for later use.



Breastmilk has the remarkable ability to slow bacterial growth. It will stay fresh safely at room temperature (66 to 72 degrees) for up to ten hours.

It can also be kept in the refrigerator for up to eight days. If you need longer storage, it can be frozen for up to two weeks. Use a separate container (that has been cleaned) for each expression. These can later be combined, once cooled.

Use bottles that are designed for nursing babies. Otherwise the baby may develop what is known as “nipple confusion” and not suck sufficiently at the breast. Brands (all of these simulate the human nipple), such as: Mimijumi Very Hungry (mixed reviews / highest priced), Avent Naturals, Medela Calma (Can be purchased at Amazon / BPA free), and the Playtex Ventaire (some mothers say it leaks), plastic Philips Avent (BPA free that can be purchased at Amazon). All of the aforementioned brands are tooted as having little to no problems with “nipple confusion”.

Remember you are working to simulate the nursing atmosphere. Make sure your babysitter understands the concept of holding the baby as if feeding at the breast and that they should not be propping the bottle for baby.



Korte, Diana and Roberta Scaer. A Good Birth, A Safe Birth. (1992) Harvard Common Press.

La Leche League International. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 7th Rev. ed. (2004)

Katelynne Shepard. Breastfeeding

Recipes – Part 3


Carrot and Lentil Soup

carrot n lentil soup










2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp cumin (ground)
pinch of chili flakes
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup split red lentils (rinsed and drained)
carrots, 6-8 large or package of baby carrots / chopped
yogurt  /or cilantro (fresh)Naan or Pita bread


Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.

Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt/ or chopped cilantro, and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan / or pita breads.


Use Krusteaz Buckwheat pancake mix to make the batter for crepes, but a bit thinner.


2 lb young spinach leaves
2 tbs. water
1 bunch spring onions/ chop both white and green parts
2 tsp oil
1 egg beaten
1 egg yolk
1 cup cottage cheese
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (or regular)
¼ cup walnut pieces
salt and pepper.


Make the batter for pancakes


wash and pack spinach into a pan with water, 5-6 minutes until soft
Drain well and let cool.
Gently fry the spring onions I oil until just soft, drain and set aside
Brush a small fry pan with oil, pour enough batter to fill the base, let cook 1-2 minutes (until set),
flip ver and cook one minute, until golden on underside. Turn onto a warmed plate. Repeat to make 8-10 crepes layering with baking parchment.
Chop and dry spinach and then mix with spring onions, beaten egg, egg yolk, cottafe cheese, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Line cookie sheet with baking parchment
Layer crepes and spinach mixture / ending with a crepe. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake in PREHEATED oven, 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden.
Sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: 467 cal., 29g protein, 10g sugars, 31g carb, 26g Fat


Italian Soup


Kale (1/2 to one bunch / depending on how much vegetables you would like)
Potatoes (6-8)
Italian Sausage (a pound of)
1 chopped RED Onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup coconut milk
1 TSP Thyme / 1 TSP Basil


Chop sausage, onion, and garlic then fry on low temperature with a teeny bit of Olive oil in a large pot. While it is cooking, chop potatoes. When sausage is golden browned, add 6-8 cups of water to the pot. Let it come to a boil, then turn down to allow it to simmer. After 10 minutes, add chopped potatoes. Now rinse and chop kale (strip green parts from center white “vein”). After 5 minutes of potatoes cooking, add the milk, one tsp. thyme and kale to the soup. If you want the juice thicker, add some corn starch*.

You can make sourdough bread as a side, or biscuits

Serves 4-6 people

*Next topic coming up: Morning Sickness


Recipes – Part 2


Kale or Cabbage Chips









Kale OR cabbage
Parchment paper
Mrs. Dash “Original Blend”
spray oil


Rinse kale or cabbage, and turn on oven to 250 degrees. While it warms, Kale: trim all the green portions from center white/or red “vein” looking parts…for cabbage cut the center core out, and separate the leaves. For both Kale and Cabbage: chop into (about) 1 inch squares. Place baking parchment paper on a cookie sheet, arrange the pieces of kale with just a little space between each. Spray olive oil over the pieces and lightly sprinkle Mrs. Dash “Original Blend” over the pieces.

Bake checking often.
After the kale/ or cabbage cools, put into a covered container.


Hummus (plain)


olive oil
Garbanzo beans or “Chickpeas”


Drain and rinse 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and put into blender

3 Tbsp. Of olive oil
Peeled and chopped up, 1 garlic clove
Squeeze in fresh lemon from one medium lemon
Start with 1 Tbsp. of Tahini (make sure you mix in the oil first); once you have gotten used to the flavors you can add more… up to 3 Tbs.

Blend (if too thick, add a little water)

Lightly sprinkle with paprika, when ready to dip.

(This recipe can be varied by adding:  a few artichoke hearts or olives).
You can eat this with pita chips, lightly salted corn chips, or with carrots, celery, radishes, etc.
The usual serving size is two tablespoons.

Nutritional Information: Tahini (1 Tbsp.) = 80 calories, 3 g protein, 1 g. fiber, 0 g. sugar, 37 g. sodium
1/3 of garbanzos = 105 calories, 6 g. protein, 0 g. sugar, 20% of daily fiber, 470 g. sodium (this is why they should be rinsed), Potassium 250 mg., 10% of daily iron, 2 g. fat, 4% of daily calcium
Olive Oil (1 Tbsp.) = 120 calories, 14 g. fat, 0 g. sodium



fresh parsley
olive oil
fresh basil
1 package of pita bread (preferably whole wheat)


Drain and rinse one can of olives, place into blender

Add a whole cup of fresh Basil
Add a whole cup of chopped parsley (preferably Italian)/ cilantro can be substituted.
1 Tbsp. Capers
1 squeezed lemon
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1-2 cloves garlic

BLEND (can be small chunks)

Serve on sliced sourdough bread or eat with pita chips

Baked Pita Chips


Whole wheat pita bread
spray olive oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees, and line with parchment paper (for baking).

chop Pita bread into triangles
spray with olive oil
Bake until crispy (watch them, ovens vary)



Recipes – Part 1

This blog will be the beginning of three blogs with some of my favorite nutritional recipes

that are excellent nutritional sources, and TASTY!

butternut squash n pumpkin pancakes


Butternut Squash (or pumpkin) pancakes

Mashed baked butternut squash or small pumpkin (1/4 to 1/3 can of pumpkin)
1 egg (or one individual cup of applesauce)
½ cup skim milk (add more if not thin enough)
1 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tbl vegetable oil or spray oil for keeping pancakes from sticking

Bake the squash (or pumpkin) at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Peel, seed, and mash. Let it cool off. In a bowl combine the squash (or pumpkin) with egg, and milk. In a separate bowl combine and stir all the dry ingredients, and add to the wet ingredients. Measure ¼ cup per pancake, and pour onto hot griddle or pan, when golden brown, flip.

Nutritional Information: 101 cal. 4g prot. 2 gr fat 18g carb 17 mg cholesterol 3 gr fiber.
For added protein, serve with vanilla yogurt on top.
Makes 8-10 pancakes


Maple-Walnut Granola

6 cups rolled oats
2 cups walnuts chopped coarsely
½ to 1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup barley or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cardamom
½ teaspoon salt (can be omitted)
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ cup honey
½ vegetable oil
2 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk all liquid ingredients until a creamy consistency. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and blend well. Divide into half the ingredients into one of two cookie sheets or two large baking pans making sure that the granola is nor more than 1 inch deep.
Bake for one 1 hour turning the granola with a spatula every 15 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch up the position of the pans (top to bottom/vice-versa). After an hour, remove and let cool. The granola will become crunchy as it cools. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes 8 cups Good with Yogurt, as topping on other hot cereals, and can be used with ice cream for a dessert!
Nutritional Information: Per ¼ cup serving: 201 cal., 10g. Fat, 5g. Protein, 26g Carb, 0mg cholesterol, 37g sodium (less if salt is omitted), 0.5g Fiber.

Weight Gain in Pregnancy



Having a healthy baby with a normal birth rate
is directly linked to pre-pregnancy weight.


Even if you are 20 or more pounds over-weight you would still need to gain weight during your pregnancy.

Many women know little about the importance of weight gain in pregnancy, or are given too low of a weight amount. Not gaining enough weight puts your baby at risk for infant low birth weight or fetal death.

Women who gain less than 20 pounds during pregnancy are at the highest risk. The best fetal outcome is when a woman gains twenty-six to thirty-five pounds during their pregnancy.

A woman who is overweight at conception, may need to go up to 40 pounds in weight gain. Her calorie intake was already higher when she conceived. She needs to consider the needs of the unborn fetus inside of her.



Under-eating during the last portion of the pregnancy puts the fetus at risk for underdevelopment of the brain, and abnormal growth.

• Don’t worry about your weight gain.
• Eat when your appetite tells you to eat.
• But…when you eat, eat with good nutrition in mind. No “empty calories”, …ever.
• Don’t restrict salt intake
• Be careful with drugs, especially diuretics.

During pregnancy the blood volume of the circulatory system increases more than 40 percent in order to take care of the needs of the mother and baby. The expansion of blood is determined and is maintained by whether or not there is adequate salt intake. This includes salt that is found in the foods you eat, as well as that which is used to flavor the food.

Be sure to refer to the “Baby Wise Diet” blog post or hand-out when choosing foods. Eat fresh whole foods as often as possible. Try to limit the “sweets” from your diet such as cakes, pies, cookies, and candy. Also limit fast foods and fried foods.

Concentrate on:

Fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, fish (see nutrition hand-outs for cautions), poultry and lean meats.

Dairy products are also important, if tolerated, but remember calcium and other nutrients can be found in dark leafy vegetables as well.

Yogurt can be and is a good source of protein and calcium, but also is good for the intestinal tract. It is better tolerated than whole milk because of the fermentation processed used to culture the yogurt. With the over-use of antibiotics, our intestinal flora cannot support the production of essential vitamins normally found within the intestinal tract.

Pregnancy Diet




Plan your meals, AND SNACKS around fresh veggies and fruit, grains and legumes, and ample calcium-rich / protein-rich foods.

Start your day with a good breakfast:

-Helps energy levels
-maintains optimum weight
-Even just a small meal with some protein and carbs will be beneficial

Eat meals and snacks every 3 to 4 hours:

-snacks should include one fruit or vegetables with one serving from another food group.
– Fruit, or vegetable juice (non-sweetened preferably) can substitute for a fruit or vegetable serving.


The trick to preparing a quick, low-calorie meals and snacks are advanced planning,
having a basic inventory of ingredients and the right kitchen tools/appliances.
Tools/appliances: microwave oven, slow-cooker, wok or non-stick skillet and a blender

Plan your meals using fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes (beans), along with protein rich food. Try not to have canned fruits packed in syrup, eat oatmeal instead of granola bars, steamed broccoli instead of the packaged broccoli with creamed cheese…
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables when in season, as often as possible. Dried (unsulphered) is next best for fruit then frozen, instead of canned.

You can add Nuts such as:

almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts
peanut butter

And / or seeds such as:

pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds.


kidney beans
Wheat germ
Non-fat Milk


Proportion size should be three ounces of extra-lean meat, skinless chicken, fish
or one cup of cooked dried beans, lentils, split peas or chickpeas.
~Limit eggs to just one per day.


Cooked black-eyed peas
Bok Choy
Low-Fat Cheese
Collard greens
Cottage cheese
Rice Dream
Whole grain Total cereal
Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle


Whole wheat bagel
Whole wheat breads
Sourdough bread

Cooked cereal:

Oatmeal, barley, farina
Whole wheat Pita
Rice, preferably brown
or white basmati rice
Noodles or pasta

QUENCHERS: Sparkling water, apple cider, apple juice, apricot nectar, carrot juice, grapefruit, grape, orange, papaya nectar, passion fruit nectar, peach nectar, pineapple juice, prune, tomato juice, V8 juice.

If you eat well, the occasional treat will not be a problem, so long as it is not a substitute for whole nutritious foods.


  • Drink at least 32 ounces water (by itself), a day. .
  • Drink tea instead of drinking coffee (it dehydrates).
  • You should try to drink at least two cups a day of the Red Raspberry Leaf / Nettle tea.