The key to my big, healthy baby? BEANS, of course! Granted, I had fruit smoothies nearly everyday, ate lots of kale and took amazing prenatal vitamins – but I ate Better Beans nearly twice a day while pregnant. And before getting pregnant I ate beans 5 times a week.
A couple months before getting pregnant while attending an event, I had my skin tested for anti-oxidant content, and I was off the charts! Why? My diet was consistently full of Anti-oxidant rich red and black beans. And I know it was the beans, because at this time, I didn’t have my daily smoothie practice). My bean-filled diet laid the groundwork for a very healthy pregnancy. My cells were full of folate, iron, calcium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus ready to make the new cells of my rapidly growing baby.
And grew he did. I needed lots of nutrients all the time. That’s where Better Beans were key. At the time, I was demoing our beans three to five times a week. Never one to throw out food, I had half-sampled tub of beans in abundance. Breakfast was beans & eggs: double the protein balanced with fiber. Lunch and dinner were mainly plant-based. Lots of soups, tacos, veggie stir-fries and curries. We ate well.
TMI Alert: In my first trimester, I would wake up nauseous and if I did not eat within 5-10 minutes of waking up I would end up throwing up anything that I had managed to get down too late. Smoothies and Better Beans were my go-to as a quick and healthy meal. What I didn’t know is that beans are actually known as a cure for nausea. This information possibly points to why I had such mild nausea during most of my days, only experiencing it in the morning. Here are some links on the causes of nausea during pregnancy and why beans help: here and here
The fiber in beans was certainly my friend and I did not experience the same gastrointestinal problems many women report. When you are pregnant your GI tract slows down, so women are at risk of being constipated and creating hemorrhoids.
When we moved to Southern California – far away from stores that carried better beans & from my demos – I became anemic. Even though I would cook dry beans and still eat them frequently, they didn’t have that same ease and just the perfect taste & texture that I craved from our unique Better Beans. Needless to say, I was tired all the time.
Thank goodness for Dr. Breeze Harper and The Sistah Vegan Project. In several of her blog posts she outlined the keys to her very successful vegan pregnancies. Through these posts I learned about Floradix, a liquid herbal iron supplement. I eventually turned my anemia around which was key to having a healthy home-birth.
Side note: Please take your iron levels seriously, women. It can affect your bleed out. For my birth, I needed to ensure that I lost as little blood as possible, so that I could have a healthy recovery. Another iron-rich key to a healthy recovery? Eat your placenta! It can be dried and taken in capsules or cut into pieces and stored frozen in ice trays. I drank mine frozen in smoothies for two-three weeks after giving birth. If you are skeptical, google it!
Then the day came. I had a beautiful birth that taught me the power of breath. To birth safely at home you must learn to breath into every contraction. In this beautiful evening I became a mother and reached another phase of my life.
Although I was mostly in a blissful daze, my midwife insisted I eat some protein as soon as possible. So my husband grabbed a couple tubs of Better Beans and we all dug in. He was probably hungrier than I was! The next morning I was ravenous. I had to make milk for a 10-pound newborn, people! Again, Better Beans- full of fast protein & fiber- were my go to to ensure my body had the nutrients to keep my energy up all day long. Plus, all those nutrients that helped build a healthy baby from a seed were still needed for creating breast milk for my growing babe!
So this is my story. There are many, many was to approach pregnancy, birth, recovery and breast-feeding. I respect that you will make the best choice for you, your family and you baby.
Check out these people who love beans for pregnancy, too!