Infertility Blogger
Lee Trask is an advocate for women dealing with issues of infertility and miscarriage. Having struggled through more than six years of infertility, three miscarriages, and high-risk pregnancy, she is now happy raising her two…
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Healthy Eating Can Affect Your Baby Even Before You Get Pregnant
Posted in Pregnancy by Lee Trask on Nov 15, 2012
Recently New York City banned extra large sugary sodas and encouraged a healthy diet. Many scoffed at New York City’s intrusion into individual diets. However more and more studies are being done that link diet to long-term health effects beyond weight control. Instead of thinking that NYC has just become an overbearing “mother” of a city, it might be hailed in future generations as a public health visionary.

We all know that eating well and being healthy during pregnancy is just one of the many positive things that we can do for our babies. But studies are now showing that eating well and keeping in shape BEFORE you get pregnant might play just as significant a role as well.

A study done in the FASEB Journal, conducted with mice, has shown that a diet high in fiber and low in fatty acids prior to pregnancy “chemically alters the mother’s DNA and passes these changes along to their offspring.” Big-ticket health items like cancer, obesity and diabetes could potentially be affected in the offspring by what the mother eats before she even conceives.

Mihai Niculescu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill says: “As parents, we have to understand better that our responsibilities to our children are not only of a social, economical, or educational nature, but that our own biological status can contribute to the fate of our children, and this effect can be long lasting.”

Not that you needed another reason to eat well, work out, and keep yourself healthy. But now here is clear medical evidence that doing so, even before pregnancy, could alter the health of baby for the better.

So go on out there: hit the gym, take a run, go do some down dog, and drink a glass of water instead of a soda. It’s worth it, for your own health, and the future health of your baby.

- Lee

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During my third pregnancy I made a mistake, trying to "eat healthy" by avoiding foods with additives that were potentially harmful. I avoided boxed macaroni and cheese dinners, and lunch meats, but failed to replace them with better foods. There may be things we should avoid eating and drinking, but we really need to have a positive plan for what is GOOD to eat.

I like the "Dana Thornock's Lean and Free 2000 plus" plan:

1. water, 2. veggies, 3. whole grains, 4. protein, 5. fruits.

Have those things, usually in that order, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, except you may skip veggies for breakfast.

Have 3 between-meal-snacks daily of water and veggies.

Desserts high in sweets and fats come after reaching a state of "pleasant satisfaction" with the meals and snacks, with an emphasis on "good fats" high in EFAs, like Canola or Olive oils. Flexibility is ok. I like avocados on my green salads, and almonds sometimes with my snacks.
By Fern RL  Nov 20, 2012
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