Natural Remedies for Nausea During Pregnancy

Natural Remedies for Nausea During Pregnancy

Causes of Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

During gestation, the body produces large amounts of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hGC). Once placenta is well established between 12 and 14 weeks, nausea often eases. Other hormones such as estrogen and thyroxine also play a part, and can create symptoms well beyond first trimester.

Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs very early, usually before 5 weeks, and causes excessive vomiting. This can lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies, and create a cycle that is difficult to break. IV fluids, nutrition and medications may be necessary.

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins can cause nausea, as they are loaded with minerals, herbs and vitamins in large doses. The large horse pills often have a revolting smell and are difficult to swallow. A normal pregnancy and a well-balanced diet generally provide the RDA of all nutrients except elemental iron and folate, both of which must be supplemented. A standard prenatal vitamin formulation contains the following supplements:

  • Iron – 30 mg
  • Zinc – 15 mg
  • Calcium – 250 mg
  • Vitamin B-6 – 2 mg
  • Folate – 0.4 mg
  • Vitamin C – 50 mg
  • Vitamin D – 5 mcg

Of course, contents vary by individual formulation, and nutrient supplementation should be chosen with attention to individual patient needs. If you choose to forgo a prenatal vitamin, do a thorough accounting of your diet. Most people think they eat well enough; most people are wrong. 

Prenatal vitamins aren’t necessary, but they are prescribed to most patients for various reasons. A major reason is that a nutritionally compromised pregnancy can be difficult to identify, and the potential benefits of routine supplementation overshadow any risk that can be attributed. Also, the psychological impact of supplementation cannot be overlooked. Many patients are uncomfortable with the idea of foregoing prenatal vitamins and are reassured by their prescription.

Tips for Preventing Nausea When Taking Prenatal Vitamins

  • Take your pills right before bedtime or naptime. Lack of body movement often helps reduce nausea.
  • If you’re gagging on size of your pills, switch to a chewable or liquid supplement, or even a product with smaller pills.
  • Not all prenatal vitamins are the same. Try a brand that doesn’t have a nauseating odor or aftertaste.
  • Taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach is a recipe for queasiness. Eat your meal, let it sit for a few minutes, and then take your pills with lots of water.
  • Wash your vitamins down with peppermint tea instead of water. The American Pregnancy Association recommends this soothing tea for easing nausea.
  • Drink Teas, dried herbs and aromatherapies: fennel, ginger, thyme, peppermint, lavender.
  • 1 gram of Ginger/day has been shown to reduce nausea during pregnancy.
  • Eat stomach-settling foods: nuts and peanut butter, citrus fruit, fruits and vegetables, water and carbohydrate rich foods such as potatoes, bread, crackers and pasta.
  • Use Drugs with caution: OTC antihistamines such as benedryl, and anti-nausea dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) can provide relief and are generally less risky than stronger prescriptive therapies. But when benefits outweigh the misery and nutritional deficiencies, Zofran, gabapentin and other options are available.

What to Eat for Prenatal Health

Iron (30 mg/day) 

  • Cook in cast iron. Each meal prepared will have approximately 1 mg of iron.
  • Chicken Liver: 3 ounces contain 12 mg of iron
  • Beef Liver: 3 oz of liver contain 7.5mg of iron, also high levels of vitamin A. Eat no more than once/week.
  • Beef, chuck braised: 3 oz has 3 mg iron
  • Prune juice: 1 cup of prune juice has 3 mg iron
  • Oysters. 1 mg of iron per oyster
  • Blackbeans: 1 cup cooked black beans = 3.6 mg of iron
  • Lentils: 1 cup cooked lentils has 6.6mg of iron
  • Spinach: ½ c boiled/drained has 3 mg of iron.
  • Chicken: 3 oz chicken has 1 mg iron
  • Turkey or ground beef: 3 oz of turkey or ground beef contain 2 mg of iron
  • Molasses: 1 tbsp has 1 mg of iron
  • Nuts and seeds: 1 cup cashews 8.22mg; sunflower seeds 4.24mg, pumpkin and squash seeds 11.38 mg; pine nuts (pesto!) 7.47mg; Hazelnuts 5.41mg; pistachios 4.96mg; almonds 5.29mg

 Zinc (15mg/day)

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds: 6.6mg per cup
  • Cashews: 7.7mg per cup
  • Spinach: 1.4 mg per cup cooke; 0.5mg per 100g raw
  • Pork (lean shoulder) and chicken: 4.3mg per 3oz

Calcium (250mg/day)

  • Dark Leafy Greens (water cress, curly kale): ~ 130 mg per 100 g raw
  • Arugula, Collard greens ~55mg per 100 g raw
  • Low fat Mozzarella: 269mg/1 oz; 1086mg/cup
  • Fortified tofu: 434mg per ½ cup
  • Almonds: 378mg/cup

B6 (Biotin)(2mg/day)

  • Sunflower seeds: 1.88mg/cup
  • Pistachios: 1.38/cup
  • Tuna: 0.88mg/3 oz
  • Wild Salmon: 0.80 mg/3 oz
  • Turkey and chicken (light meat): 0.69mg/3 oz
  • Lean Pork: 0.67mg/3 oz
  • Prunes: 0.98mg/cup
  • Beef (sirloin steak, filet, rib eye): ~ .55 mg/3 oz
  • Bananas: 0.43mg/fruit
  • Avocados: 0.39mg/fruit
  • Spinach: 0.44mg/cup cooked

Folate (0.4mcg/day)

Excellent sources of dietary folate include romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip, collard and mustard greens, parsley, cauliflower, beets and lentils. Calf and chicken liver is excellent source. Folate from food has an average bioavailability of 65%. 

Supplemental folate (Metfolin, Solgar, Designs for Health, Thorne, Metabolic Maintenance and Pure Encapsulations brands) is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate of 5-MTHF. Avoid folic acid supplements. 


Juice Plus: Folate for pregnancy is 400mcg (0.4 mg) 2 capsules of Garden Blend contain .28 mgs and 2 capsules of Orchard Blend contain .14mg and Vineyard Blend .360mg. This is a total of 780 mcg per day!

Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate. Get as much natural folate as possible from food. High intake of supplements with folic acid can mask B12 deficiency.

Vitamin C (50mg/day)

  • Red Bell Peppers: 210 mg per large pepper
  • Yellow Bell Peppers: 342mg per large pepper
  • Green Bell Peppers: 132 mg per large pepper
  • Guavas: 377mg/cup. 126 mg/fruit
  • Kale: 80mg per cup chopped
  • Kiwi: 64 mg/fruit
  • Broccoli: 81 mg/cup chopped
  • Strawberries: 97mg/cup sliced
  • Oranges: 96 mg/cup sectioned
  • Tomatoes: 55mg/cup cooked
  • Green Peas: 58mg/cup
  • Pineapple: 78mg/ cup chunks

Vitamin D (5mcg/day) (Often measured in IUs instead of micrograms. Multiply IUs by 0.55 to convert to mg.)

  • Cod liver oil: 1 tbsp 1400IU or 770 mcg. 1 tsp 500IU or 275 mcg.
  • Oily fish: 3 oz trout 579 IU or 319 mcg; 3 oz Smoked Salmon 597 IU, 329 mcg; 3 oz swordfish 561 IU, 309 mcg; 3 oz salmon 448 IU, 247 mcg (Fish low in mercury and safe for 2-3 servings per week in pregnancy: farm raised rainbow trout, wild caught salmon and whitefish.)
  • Portabello mushrooms: 1 cup diced 384 IU, 211 mcg
  • Tofu (firm light): 3 oz 132 IU, 73 mcg

Sources – aw2aab6b7

Growth Hormones in Milk Should be Illegal

Growth Hormones in Milk Should be Illegal

In 1990, Monsanto submitted rBST, a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, for approval to the Canadian government. The process appeared to be a matter of paperwork. They had already undergone review and received approval in the United States. Monsanto’s assurances that the rBST treatment of dairy cows “poses no human health risk,” supported by the reputation of the FDA, was expected to seal the deal across the boarder.

Monsanto convinced Canada’s Chief of Human Safety Division to forgo the prevailing protocols for long-term experimentation, as the FDA had done. But high-level staffers cried “foul!” The opposition resulted in the formation of an internal review board. At first, the team consisted of several high-level “volunteers” who had already demonstrated their “wink and nod” relationship with Monsanto. But continued objections reached the ear of the Director General. He appointed a non-political and diverse team of well-respected and independent scientists to look at the evidence. He then asked two external committees to review the findings.

[Spoiler Alert!] The anticipated Canadian approval of the rBST hormone was denied. And the regulatory processes of the United States FDA were revealed to be fraudulent.

The team found the data package submitted for review to be “extremely scant and sketchy.” The report noted “the usual review procedures, which apply to all other new drug submissions, does not appear to have been followed.” The adverse effects to the rBST treated animals are well documented. There are statistically significant increases in cancer, birth defects, incidence of mastitis and mastitis-induced antibiotic resistance. The fact that rBST is deleterious to herd health and used only for economic benefit calls for more restrictive scientific data analysis, not less.

More alarming, the process appears to completely disregard any concern to human safety. The is no evidence to support the conclusion that “rBST poses no hazard to human health.” There is no logical rationale for waiving the requirements for human studies that measure oral absorption, hormonal and immunological effects, chronic toxicity or potential allergenicity. In fact there was a study uncovered that revealed rBST elicits a primary antigenic response (igG antibodies). But the significance of this finding was not further investigated. The information was stamped as irrelevant and buried.

Additionally, reports revealed that Monsanto pursued aggressive marketing tactics, compensated farmers for veterinary bills associated with rBST use and covered up negative trial results.

Canada is now investigating the senior officials who may have employed “unauthorized influence against subordinate staff” with personal “conflict of interest. America needs to do the same. The FDA has some explaining to do.

DIY Sauerkraut Recipe

DIY Sauerkraut Recipe


DIY Sauerkraut Recipe


Fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut are essential to gut health. Commercial brands are

pasteurized, which kills the probiotic microbes. In less than 30 minutes, you can make a supply

that lasts up to six months.


You will need a ceramic crock and a pestle. The inside of a slow cooker or Dutch oven can be

used as a crock. A heavy meat hammer can serve as the pestle. Shred or finely chop three large

or four small green cabbage heads for a two-gallon batch. Add two inches of cabbage to the

crock. Sprinkle the layer with two pinches of sea salt and one pinch of caraway seeds. Massage thoroughly,

then smash with the pestle until the leaves are covered in their own juices. Repeat with additional layers.

Churn with your hands and cover with several layers of wrap. Churn and re-seal every few days.


It is essential to keep the kraut sealed during fermentation. (Oxygen rots the cabbage.) Use

several layers of plastic wrap and a rubber band to secure the top seal. Some recipes say to wait

a month before eating. I found it edible (and belly-friendly) within 7-10 days. I eat a few bites

medicinally every day and encourage my family to do the same. If it starts to rot, it’s obvious. If

you wonder if it’s bad, then it probably is.

Teenage Rebellion: Vegan versus Raw Vegan

Teenage Rebellion: Vegan versus Raw Vegan

Empowered: For years, I used Lent as an opportunity to try out life as a vegetarian. I didn’t actually want to give up meat and cheese; I wanted to loose some weight before spring break and figured this was my best bet. For 40 days, I would survive on pretzels and Diet Coke, and slide into Easter weekend ready to go on a killing spree. When I accidentally woke up vegan, I took a different approach. And since I’m still (mostly) vegan 5 years later, and you couldn’t PAY me to go back, I must have stumbled upon the secret to success.

I didn’t over-think it, I just decided to do it. Immediately. And I focused on where I was going, not what I was leaving behind. Because I was done with the insanity. I spent hours in the gym each week (I was an instructor and a personal trainer! I was supposed to know what I was doing!)  read all the magazines (Self, Shape, Fitness, Oprah…) promising big results with a few quick changes.  I was gaining what my mother termed “middle-age weight” and my face looked puffy in pictures.

I invested in inspirational cookbooks, watched documentaries, wrote shopping-lists and planned meals. I recognized the truth and I immediately felt the results, even getting excited to go through detox symptoms.

Five years later, my journey has included many bumps, and I’ve questioned the wisdom of an all vegan diet. I firmly believe it is the best way to eat, and I’m done with dairy forever. But I’ve come to that conclusion that different life phases might require different choices.  I’ve watched my 16 year son struggle to maintain his raw vegan status for 2 years. And he’s just not getting everything that he needs, and my mothering instinct trumps my book knowledge that the vegan diet is complete. Maybe it is for me, but even as he drinks various vegan protein powders and uses more supplements than I can afford, I feel like the obvious and most simple answer for him is to eat a small amount of organic meat a few times a week. But the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, and he’s stubbornly sticking to his beliefs.


MSG Makes You Fat

MSG Makes You Fat

MSG: Is it a preservative or a vitamin? John Erb, the author of The Slow Poisoning of America writes that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. Remember that – addictive effect. MSG actually addicts us to eating more.

Did you know that many food manufacturers have websites of their own? They explain that MSG “is added to food to make people eat more.” Why is that important? Because, they state, a study of elderly people indicated that people eat more when MSG is added to their food. The Glutamate Association lobby group – yes, MSG has its own lobbyists – say eating more benefits the elderly. But what is it also doing to the rest of us? Especially now that obesity has become an even bigger problem than smoking in America.

No wonder we’ve become a country of overweight citizens. The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that their product addicts people to eating more of it that they would if the MSG was not added. This addictive substance has been scientifically proven to cause obesity. You could call it the nicotine of food.

These are the names for food additives that always contain MSG : Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein. Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein (Including TVP), Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Gelatin, Glutamic acid, Monopotassium glutamate, Yeast food and Yeast Nutrient.These are the names for food additives that frequently contain MSG: Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Broth, Bouillon, Stock, Natural Flavors or Flavoring, Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring, Seasoning, Barley Malt, Carrageenan, Enzyme-modified substances , Maltodextrin, Pectin, Protein-fortified substances, Soy protein, Soy protein isolate or concentrate, Soy sauce, Soy sauce extract, Vegetable gum, Whey protein and Whey protein isolate or concentrate.

Is Beef Safe?

Is Beef Safe?

Is beef safe? Take a look behind the USDA regulations, and you might feel the need to cover your rear end….

We all have our chosen vices. Let’s not even name them, as living in sin if easier if grandma doesn’t know. But usually, naughtiness begins by age 2. Most people try to off-set the no-no’s with positive and healthy choices so that in the end, drinking a beer and getting naked on a boat are balanced with vegetable juice and an appropriate work wardrobe.

Which is why NOT knowing the consequences and the effects of a choice is all the more problematic. When your pros and cons list isn’t complete, it’s a wasted piece of paper.

The golden rule is one most of us understand as simple Karma. But take the rose-colored glasses off, and you might find more of a bullshit-brown tint. The real golden rule in America is “Whoever has the gold makes the rules.”

And those aren’t the kind of rules that are meant to be broken. Just ask Oprah. In 1996 she was sued by the “Cactus Feeders” and other representatives of the beef industry. They accused her of slander following her on-air a review of American meat production that included possible links between dimentia, Alzheimers and mad cow disease.

What was the slander that started the scandal? That the information linking mad cow disease to American beef had “stopped her cold from eating another hamburger”.

That comment cost Oprah millions of dollars and 6 years worth of legal nightmares. Although her case was dismissed in both state and federal courts and was barred from going to the Supreme Court, it still created a culture of fear. And since 2002, 13 states have passed “Ag-gag” laws designed to silence those who expose unsafe and abusive slaughterhouse practices. It’s even illegal to take photos or video inside many factory farms.

Meat producers rightly understand that if we don’t test for food-borne pathogens, then an illness can’t be traced to it’s source. And if no one sees the reality of animal agriculture, then marketing campaigns with healthy cows will never be connected to hospital beds with sick and dying people.

There are powerful, influential and enormously wealthy industries that stand to lose a vast amount of money if Americans start shifting to a plant based diet. Their financial health depends on controlling what the public knows about nutrition and health…. And the entire system–government, science, medicine, industry and media–promotes profits over health, technology over food, and confusion over clarity. And this is done in completely legal ways by unsuspecting and well-intentioned people. (The China Study)

Can You Spot the Conflict of Interest? 

The USDA serves primarily two functions: to promote domestic agriculture and to provide the public with nutritional education and guidelines. And unfortunately, many of the most influential decision makers in the USDA acquire their on-the-job training by working their way through the ranks of food industry and  it’s lobbying groups.

For example, in a 2004, USDA spokeswoman Alisa Harrison, worked hard to spread the message that mad cow disease is NOT a risk to American consumers. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Harrison was the director of public relations for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the industry’s largest lobbying group. Among several notable accomplishments, she was successful in stopping a large-scale government program that would test our nations cattle for mad cow.

Food for thought: we currently  test only 20,000 of the 35 million cows we consume (that’s .06%) for mad cow, though nearly 3% can’t even walk at the time of slaughter.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans can contract mad cow when they eat infected beef. And ‘beef’ becomes infected when the cow eats infected food. That is simple supply chain logic. Yet, according to a 2001 study by the General Accounting Office (GAO), large numbers of cattle feed producers do not have contamination prevention systems in place, and called the FDA’s inspection data base “so flawed” that “it should not be used to assess compliance”. Indeed, many producers were shown to not even be aware of the required FDA prevention measures.

Is beef safe to eat? If you eat beef, you can’t avoid the risk. Cattle are slaughtered in large processing plants from multiple suppliers, and the ground beef you’re eating often doesn’t come from one cow…it comes from a vat of lots of ground up cows….assembly line style.  An ABC “Good Morning America” expose in 2009 found that burger patties made with 100 percent ground beef, purchased at a Seattle major supermarket chain, contained on average the DNA of 4 cows, and sometimes up to 8. Chew that in your cud for a bit.

The Centers for Disease control estimates that there are between 6 and 81 million food-borne illnesses in the U.S. each year, and up to 9000 deaths. And the CDC admits that non-reported cases are inestimable. And many of the greatest pathogens of concern didn’t exist 20 years ago; identification is a constantly changing and incomplete process.

Are you ready to accept or at least consider that we’ve been massively misinformed?…or shall I unleash Jack Nicholason’s awesome “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

What can you do about this? Vote with your dollars. Buy and eat more plant products, support local farms, and when you do eat meat, meet the farmer first.

Want to know more? Check out The Reality Behind the USDA Dietary Guidelines… and Dimentia, Alzheimer’s and Mad Cow Disease.

Easy Cheesy Sauce

Easy Cheesy Sauce

Missing the heavy cream sauces of traditional comfort food? Try this for a delicious cheesy texture and flavor. 

  • 3 cups (give or take) baked sweet potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, pumpkin or other gourd 3 tsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup plant milk or water

Blend thoroughly. Pepper and season to taste. Italian spices are delicious!