Blending In

Michelle Marinis of Petit Organics shows us how to make the perfect pregnancy smoothies.

Blending In

The vegan and raw food trend is more prevalent than ever. It seems that there is a new cold-pressed juice store opening on every corner in New York City these days. I personally love how invigorating a proper 3 or 4-day green-juice cleanse leaves my body, but is it safe during pregnancy?

With proper care, raw juices and smoothies can be a fine (and healthy!) addition during pregnancy. Since I follow a vegan lifestyle, with the exception of wild-caught seafood, I found it difficult to completely change my diet while pregnant. I simply made minor adjustments to my routine by taking a few precautions.

Since I don’t keep a juicer in my home (they are insanely time-consuming to use and messy to clean, plus I can order from a handy dandy juice press company that delivers fresh, organic and raw juices straight to my door), I made fresh smoothies at home with my high-speed blender instead. Less prep, less time and almost no mess to clean up!

I was making the smoothies myself, so I was able to hand-select the freshest produce, wash (see a recipe for a food wash below) and scrub it myself, and consume it immediately, which significantly reduces many of the risks associated with raw juice or smoothies. I also stayed away from green powders, as they contain a few ingredients I was a little concerned about.

Aside from wheatgrass tablets, Vitamin D and prenatal supplements, I steered clear of any other supplemental pills during pregnancy. Also, while I was still breastfeeding, I made sure to add chlorella to my diet. Chlorella is incredibly effective at removing toxins from your body (before entering your breast milk) and in particular, it removes an exceptional amount of mercury. Most everyone, healthy or not, has some level of mercury contamination. It can come from dental implants, consumption of certain types of fish and even using non-stick cookware. In short, chlorella can help reverse a lot of the mercury build-up in your system and even prevent passing it to your baby through breast milk. Amazing!

Read on for my favorite green smoothie recipes perfect for expecting or nursing mamas to help start 2014 off right for you and your little love!

As a friendly reminder, please note that I am NOT a doctor or nutritionist. I am simply a mom of three healthy boys. You should always consult your doctor to discuss any specifics about and/or changes to your diet.

SWEET GREEN SMOOTHIE (perfect for pregnancy)


· ½ cucumber, roughly chopped

· ½ cup strawberries

· ½ banana, peeled

· 1 unpeeled apple, cored

· 2 cups tightly packed spinach

· ¾ cup water

· Juice of 1 lemon (optional if experiencing severe acid reflux)

Preparation: Place all ingredients into your blender or food processor. Blend on high until smooth (approximately 1 minute). Pour into two cups and serve.

CHOCOLATE BERRY BLEND (perfect while breastfeeding)


· 1 leaf swiss chard, stemmed

· ½ banana, peeled

· Handful of blueberries (8-10)

· 1 teaspoon chlorella

· 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

· 1/3 cup filtered water

· 1 teaspoon chia seeds, divided

Preparation: Place the first five ingredients into your blender or food processor. Add the water and blend on high until smooth (approximately 1 minute). Pour into two cups and stir in the chia seeds.



· 1 tablespoon baking soda

· 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

· 1 cup water

Preparation: Place all ingredients into a spray bottle. Take caution, as the solution will bubble quite a bit. Close the lid tightly and shake gently to thoroughly combine. Spray liberally and allow the spray to sit on the fruit or vegetables for 2-5 minutes before rinsing under cold water. Your vegetable wash will last up to 2 years and does not need to be refrigerated.

Best wishes for an clean and healthy 2014. Bon appetit to you and your bébés!

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


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