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.
HOMEMADE FRUIT AND VEGETABLE WASH
· 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!