Two years ago, I had no idea what a midwife was or knew anyone who had a home birth. I also had no idea how to de-bone a chicken, make broth, milk a cow or find a raw milk dairy, buy pastured meats, raise and process chickens and turkeys, grow vegetables, cook with good oils and the importance of organ meats. That’s how much life can change in just a couple of years! 🙂
How did all this begin? Two years before deciding to start a family, we stumbled upon my now favorite health and cookbook, “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.
Following the wisdom found in Nourishing Traditions, we transformed our diet, changing one thing at a time as we found new sources of nutrient dense food. The book outlines the principles and provides the how-to for the diet for preconception, pregnancy and nursing mothers as recommended by the Weston A. Price foundation. Today, we have never felt better and are seeing the benefits of life, health and vitality in our newest little addition. When it comes to babies, the following quotes are some amazing reasons to improve our diet and increase our knowledge about food and where it comes from.
“We are only as healthy as our Mother’s womb” -Chris Kresser
Recent research suggests another powerful influence on lifelong health a mother’s nutritional status before and during pregnancy. In fact, some researchers now believe the 9 months of pregnancy are the most consequential period of our lives, permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the function of organs like the heart, liver and pancreas .
They also suggest that the conditions we encounter in utero shape everything from our susceptibility to disease, to our appetite and metabolism, to our intelligence and temperament. (Source: Chris Kresser, The Healthy Baby Code)
The nutritional conditions in the womb start before conception
The nutritional environment of a mother’s womb affects her baby’s health not only at birth and during early infancy, but for the rest of his or her life. This leads us to the obvious conclusion that proper maternal nutrition is crucial for the lifelong health of her offspring.
But what determines the mother’s nutritional status during pregnancy? Certainly, the obvious answer is her diet and lifestyle after she has conceived. The mother’s diet in the months and even years leading up to conception is also as important.
This is why traditional cultures have sacred fertility foods they feed to mothers-to-be and even fathers-to-be. These include nutrient dense foods like fish eggs, liver, bone marrow, egg yolks and other animal fats. For example, the Masai tribe in Africa only allowed couples to marry and become pregnant after spending several months drinking milk in the wet season when the grass is lush and the nutrient content of the milk is especially high.
Unfortunately this traditional wisdom has been largely lost in the modern world. The role of nutrition during pre-conception is barely mentioned in the media or conventional medical settings. Yet, a mother’s diet prior to conception and during pregnancy may be one of the most important factors in determining the lifelong health of her baby.
(Source: Chris Kresser, The Healthy Baby Code)
Here are the major changes we made in our diet:
-Pastured & grass finished beef, chicken, & turkey from family farms or grown on our own farm
-Pastured eggs, with unlimited access to sun, bugs, grass, and organic sprouted grain
-Raw butter, from grass fed Jersey Cows
-Raw milk, from grass fed Jersey cows
-Raw cheese, from grass fed cows
–Tallow (beef fat) and lard from healthy pastured animals
–Organ meats, especially liver (from chicken and beef)
-Fermented cod liver oil (from Green Pastures)
-Homemade bone broths (from wild caught fish, chicken carcass, chicken feet and heads, lamb and beef bones)
-Naturally raised fruits and vegetables (w/o chemical fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides grown in rich compost)
–Fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles etc.)
-Soaked and sprouted whole grains, legumes and nuts
-Unrefined salt (Celtic Sea Salt)
-Unrefined sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, sucanut)
–Wild caught fish (Whole fish and frozen filets)
For more information on this diet click here.
The best book available for raising children, preparing for pregnancy, pregnancy diet, breastfeeding and birth is The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon and Dr. Thomas Cowan.