Nutrition and Pregnancy Apps I’m living by

I feel strongly about getting as many nutrients out of my food as possible before adding a supplement. To follow my own guidelines I had to figure out just how many calories, iron, folic acid, vitamin D etc I was getting in my regular diet. This lead to hours of research and I want to share the basics with you.

A large number of prenatal vitamins are laced with fake sugars, unnecessary additives and micronutrients with no scientific evidence of helping your fetus grow. After reviewing the research the only vitamin essential for fetal safety is Folic acid. In second place is Vitamin D and there are mixed results in the published studies. Lastly, Iron is only essential if you have confirmed Iron deficiency anemia. All the other vitamins and micronutrients you see published have no scientific evidence to back them up. Many you can get from a healthy diet.

One way to check on your diet is to see a nutritionist, ask your doctor or use an app to track your nutrient intake. No app is 100% accurate but it can give you an idea of how you’re doing. I chose the Wholesome Pro App to track my nutrients and Lose It! App to track calorie intake.

My results: I was shocked to see that I wasn’t getting enough iron or vitamin D! I had incorporated more chicken, lean beef and lentils into my diet and was sure I was absorbing enough iron. Turns out even with my new diet I was still missing about 70% of a day’s worth of iron! For vitamin D I was using a supplement so I was sure that I had enough however the intake I was getting from food was close to nothing. Turns out Vitamin D fortified orange juice has very little of your daily required dose. Vitamin D can only be found in fish and fortified products making it difficult to consume the recommended amount. I personally avoided fish due to the hidden mercury and heavy metals they carry.

What do to with your results: Make sure your OB is testing your blood frequently to measure these essential vitamins. Consider taking individualized vitamins for your deficits. You could take the full pre-natal vitamin if you can tolerate it and you’re not concerned with the extra vitamin intake. My choice to avoid pre-natals is a personal opinion. You should discuss your nutrition with your doctor to make your own informed decision. Should you decide to use a more food based method consider using these apps to help you track the nutrients rather than guessing.

Unique & Meaningful Gifts for those that are grieving during the holidays

In the last year we’ve lost my grandmother, my dog and now my grandfather is on his death bed. My mother has suffered the unimaginable loss of both parents and has had a emotionally stressful year.

What do you give someone that has everything they need or want and is grieving during the holiday season? I wracked my brain over this for weeks. I searched google, I read blogs about grieving and I asked friends. Then I found a unique gift on Etsy that perfectly fit the bill!

My grandparents we’re both known for their cooking. My grandmother specialized in what she called traditional Italian recipes and my grandfather for items only. The first, was what he called “jumbort” which basically means a mix of things AKA eggs over whatever last nights dinner was and the second was his famous apple pie that he made from scratch.

Knowing that mother was moving into a new home in just a few short months I wanted to contribute something to her new house that would bring the essence of my grandparents. I decided to have my grandparents recipes, in their own handwriting, printed on kitchen tea towels. Luckily, my cousin had kept a book of their recipes and I was able to get them authentically translated on to beautiful towels.

Tea towels are nothing special but the little hint of my grandparents living on in my moms new home was the most thoughtful way I could think to incorporate them in her life. I can only imagine the emotional distress and void of not having a parent around. I’m hoping every time she feels that grief she can look at the tea towels and remember the good times of cooking with them.

These tea towels can be purchased on from BlueMountainBags

Baby Registry!

Being a first time mom I read all about the safety inspections and requirements for all the baby gear on the market. Months later I came up with this list! Almost 100% of what I put on my registry is available on Amazon. If you create a registry with them you can earn two great bonuses!

You’ll find safety spoons, bathtubs that check the water temp and your babies weight, safety certified mattress and accessories and organic diaper materials!

1. 20% off diapers for a year if $500 worth of baby essentials are purchased from your registry

2. 15% off everything left on your registry 60 days before your due date.

Here’s a link to my list!