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Green Pregnant Mom Protein Shake & Protein During Pregnancy

Posted Jan 13 2010 10:15am
Although I don't normally subscribe to people getting lots of protein in their diets, there are two groups that I believe should get a little more - pregnant moms and growing children. How much is "a little more?" Well, that is a good question and I don't really have an answer. But, here is how I'm handling it with my pregnancy (I'll address growing children and protein when I have one). I'm not a midwife or a doctor or a nutritionist, so I'm taking in information from various experts I know and sources (including lots of books and online research with my MacBook), and I'm adding my own mama intuition to weave my own blanket of a plan.

I've been advised by some people (as well as what I've read in some natural childbirth books) that a pregnant mom will do well with a daily protein consumption of 75-90 grams a day (the higher range being extra recommended during the third trimester according to some experts - for baby brain development). Some of these books and experts support a vegetarian diet for pregnant moms, so I know that they "get it" at least to some degree. 75-90 grams a day is a bit high for me when I'm consuming mostly raw... unless I want to drink protein shakes with Raw sprouted brown rice powder. I do this on those days that I want to tip the scale higher for protein (it's easy and quick). But, I don't always want to rely on it for protein because whole food sources are healthier. On the days that I have cooked organic vegan protein such as beans, lentils, quinoa, organic tofu, etc... it's easier to get a higher quantity. However, having one meal like that doesn't always get my day's total to 75 grams when the rest of my day is Raw. That being said, I also believe that Raw protein is better assimilated and better digested. Therefore, I probably don't need as many grams as 75-90 most days since that recommended 75-90 grams is likely based on cooked protein recommendations (not much is written about pregnant moms and Raw vegan protein), and it probably takes more cooked protein to assimilate what I might get with a Raw diet. Hhmmm... but I don't have the magic answer.

So... what makes me feel most comfortable is to have a mix. Some days I get higher protein with both Raw and cooked vegan protein sources. Some days I get whatever protein comes naturally with my Raw food intake. Plus! I consume various superfoods (I just love that word... makes me feel like a superhero, Wonder Woman - lol - I'm a kid at heart). Pretty much on a daily basis I have hemp foods. Did you know that a mere 2 tablespoons of Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds contain a whopping 11 grams of complete vegetarian protein? And, I also add Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder to some of my smoothies (2 heaping tablespoons give about 15 grams of complete vegetarian protein). Then, probably 3-5 days a week, I take spirulina tablets, wheat grass tablets, and chlorella tablets. Those pack a nice punch of protein.

Here's a high protein green shake that I'm enjoying.

Green Pregnant Mom Protein Shake
By Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield approximately 1 quart

This recipe is loaded with nutrition including (approximately) 30+ grams of protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, and nutrients up the wazoo! Plus, I like that the vitamin C in the orange helps my body assimilate the iron in the spinach.

1.5 cups water
2 cups spinach
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
1 orange, peeled and chopped
2 heaping tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash dulse flakes

Blend it all up in your blender and feel the power!

So... what do you think about the protein debate with respect to children and pregnancy?
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