Guest Post by Tarah Chieffi: Selecting The Best Foods For Your Paleo Pregnancy

Tarah Chieffi Guest Post
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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

Tarah Chieffi brings a great deal of knowledge and personal experience to the Paleo community which we so greatly admire. As the Founder of one of our favorite Paleo Blogs, What I Gather, and the Author of the latest Paleo Pregnancy book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book (which we are so excited to have just received in our mailbox!), Tarah shares Paleo resources and recipes with thousands of fellow Paleo fans and we are so honored that she wrote this Guest Post exclusively for The Paleo Pact.


Selecting The Best Foods For Your Paleo Pregnancy

By Tarah Chieffi

If you are familiar with the Paleo Pact girls and their book, PALEO Cleanse, then you are well aware of the benefits of eating a nutrient-dense Paleo diet. Eating real food and cutting out all of the “fake” food is what brought me to love Paleo in the first place; I knew that everything I was eating was full of nutrients and contributing to my overall health. You certainly can’t say that about an extra value meal from the fast food drive thru!

During pregnancy, though, there are certain nutrients that become even more important because of the roles they play in your baby’s growth and development. These include folate, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. Following is a list of my favorite pregnancy superfoods and some tasty ways to work them into your diet.

  • EGGS: If I had to choose one pregnancy superfood it would most definitely be the incredible, edible egg. There is a reason eggs are referred to as nature’s perfect food. They are packed with protein, choline, selenium, B vitamins, and they are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Need I go on? I don’t think there are many new ideas under the sun on how to use eggs, but I can tell you they are spectacular in my Garden Veggie Omelet, an exclusive recipe straight from my new book that you can find at the end of this article.
  • BEEF: A good source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium, beef should definitely be on your pregnancy plate. Take the time to search out quality sources of grass-fed, pastured beef for the best nutrient profile because happy cows make happy hamburgers, stir fries and pot roast. Ready to take it a step further? Although there are warnings about consuming too much liver during pregnancy because of the high levels of vitamin A, one or two servings a week is perfectly safe and provides even higher vitamin and mineral levels than muscle meat.
  • AVOCADO: One avocado contains about 20% of your daily folate needs during pregnancy, a level that can be difficult to meet through food sources alone. You can blend half an avocado into your smoothie, whip up a batch of guacamole or serve it up on the side of your favorite omelet, like my Garden Veggie Omelet.
  • BERRIES: Need a sweet treat? Berries have it all – fiber, vitamin C, folate and those ever-important phytonutrients. Strawberries are one of the stars in my California Salad, but you can also top a bowl of creamy banana soft serve with sliced strawberries or throw a handful of mixed berries into your smoothie (along with that avocado, perhaps).
  • BROCCOLI: Move over, oranges. A cup of broccoli provides almost all of your daily vitamin C needs and is also a good source of calcium and vitamin A. Broccoli is delicious eaten raw with salsa or guacamole and it is also a wonderful roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper or as an addition to stir fries.
  • WALNUTS: Walnuts are a good source of plant-based protein, certain B vitamins (including folate), omega-3 fatty acids, copper and manganese. There are a lot of fun ways to use walnuts besides grabbing a handful every time you open the cupboard. You can mix them with berries for a true superfood snack, add them as a crunchy salad topping or roast them with veggies, like in my Roasted Green Veggies and Grapes recipe.

If you are ready to learn more about how a Paleo diet can help you meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy, check out my new book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. With exercise recommendations, breastfeeding support and advice for recovering from childbirth and adjusting to motherhood, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is the guide a mom-to-be needs to navigate a Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy. To top it all off, I’ve included over 100 recipes and a four week meal plan to set you on the path for a happy, healthy pregnancy. You can order the paperback and Kindle versions now on Amazon or find it at Barnes and Noble in stores or online.


 

Tarah ChieffiTarah Chieffi is an author, freelance writer, blogger at What I Gather and holistic nutrition educator in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area. Tarah’s passion is working with pregnant women, new moms and families to achieve health and happiness through physical fitness and a “real food” lifestyle.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE EVERYTHING PALEO PREGNANCY BOOK

 

 

 


BONUS RECIPE from Tarah Chieffi

Garden Veggie Omelet

Serves 2

Garden Veggie Omelet

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped spinach
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, diced
1 avocado, sliced

RECIPE

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee or coconut oil to pan.
Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add water, salt, and pepper. Whisk well.
Pour eggs into pan. When eggs begin to set around the edges, use a spatula to push cooked eggs toward the center of the pan, and tilt skillet so the uncooked eggs can spread to the bottom of the skillet.
When eggs are almost set, sprinkle spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onion evenly over half of the omelet.
Use a spatula to fold the omelet in half. Cook for 2 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked.
Serve with sliced avocado.

Cashew Butter

Property of ThePaleoPact.com
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I came up with this lovely concoction when I was attempting to make a peanut style sauce for spring rolls. It requires an extra step or two more than what is normal for our recipes but it’s well worth it. This is a delicious cashew butter that you can use on almost anything, even if you just pair it with an apple.

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups cashews
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (the vinegar provides a slightly fruity flavor to the butter, feel free to substitute with water if you prefer)
3 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt

RECIPE

In a food processor blend cashews until you have little granules.
Bring a medium sauce pan to low heat, combine coconut oil, vinegar, honey and salt.
Add processed cashews to liquid mixture and stir until well combined.
If you would like a smoother consistency pour back into processor and blend until you reach desired consistency.

This cashew butter recipe is simple to make. It has a sweet taste and can be used as a topping for several of the baked good recipes we feature. It can also be paired with fruit to provide a filling snack.

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

2. PALEO Cleanse Cover ImagePALEO Cleanse made the Amazon Best Seller list!

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Find Out More About PALEO Cleanse Here

 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffed Chicken Breasts
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I remember thinking how fancy stuffed chicken breasts looked in the grocery store delicatessen growing up, only to discover how easy they really are to make at home.

Paired with bacon and spinach, a simple piece of chicken becomes a decadent dinner, that plates beautifully and doesn’t take long to prepare. The bacon grease flavors and tenderizes the chicken, leaving little need for additional spices or sauce.

This recipe serves one:

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 strip bacon, sliced into thin strips
1/8 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 tablespoon coconut milk (canned and full fat)
1 chicken breast (about a third of a pound)

RECIPE

In a medium sauté pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.
Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the spinach and coconut milk and cook for another few minutes until the bacon is well done and the spinach is cooked.

Spinach Bacon Stuffing for Chicken Breasts
Slice open the chicken breast.
Place the bacon-spinach mixture inside the breast and then place the stuffed chicken breast back in the bacon greased sauté pan, cover and grill for about 10 minutes, flipping midway, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts Preparation
Serve hot alongside steamed vegetables or salad.

Enjoy the refined tastes of this simple, yet elegant dish,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

2. PALEO Cleanse Cover ImagePALEO Cleanse made the Amazon Best Seller list!

Order Your Copy Here

Find Out More About PALEO Cleanse Here

 

Eat The Rainbow

Image Via: http://mynutratek.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/rainbow2_myNutratek.jpg
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You may have heard the term “Eat The Rainbow” recently. It’s picking up steam in a big way throughout the health industry. It’s meaning is pretty simple, you’re supposed to eat as many colored foods as possible during each meal.

Here’s an example of what “Eating The Rainbow” might look like:

Red- Tomatoes
Orange- Sweet Potato
Yellow- Yellow Squash
Green- Spinach
Blue- Blueberries
Indigo/Violet- Eggplant

Don’t get worried! I know that looks like a ton of food. The point isn’t to overeat, or to eat too much in the attempt to consume all the colors of the rainbow. The point is that you try to incorporate as many colors as possible into your meals. You also want to change up the types of foods that are a specific color. For example, you wouldn’t always want to eat sweet potatoes to get your “orange” in, you could try carrots or an actual orange.

The reason “Eating The Rainbow” has become popular is because nutrient (i.e. minerals and vitamins) composition and levels can lead to foods being a particular color. Foods that are a strong color are said to have more of particular nutrients. So the theory behind “Eating The Rainbow” is that if you eat various colored foods, you’ll gain a more diverse group of nutrients in your diet.

Here’s to “Eating The Rainbow”!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

2. PALEO Cleanse Cover Image

 

PALEO Cleanse made the Amazon Best Seller list!

Order Your Copy Here

Find Out More About PALEO Cleanse Here

 

The Soy Scare

http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/soy-bad-blog
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The soy phenomenon came in a whirlwind, died out due to mass-fear and has resurfaced again in recent years with the rise of the vegan movement. It’s a hot topic of concern in the Paleo community and there’s good reason for that.

Let’s take a moment to put soy in the spotlight. 

The Infamous Legume

Soy is part of the legume family, a food group eliminated on the Paleo Diet because of the inability for our human digestive system to effectively digest and gain nutrients from the food.

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p0uJHUW+a6p4XHhlEzDsxiCHRw5/NZSUl0Q2bHHhw3J8zZZtSZBFUzGm3f2BsqPHLwRwYwuLpvJDWwRYk7fur49E32WTRe7lh4SPJbZMWnwRvILRIMu1CzF5k88J/8Abx/zsWVsRgC2fCD6Qso5Ip1kTQ3HIxWM0CCIgruWl3RTi7RO4kyvvMQP9Km4wbvsGeUnj5KrwKP6k2R5rl+Kp3NM6eJBDgPQXSEMblUnX6/36Ici12WAOokyRA9/8LD1XGsSjFfkzk7PTXPBeapyl4M6I3i6Rf10yWRPEBdsEkipws4pioQOMrv0eT/rL88F4mmGyLnHlxXsSmo9lzv5flLWNlw0jhP6pI8rLmnlbXPBNl1tOG2GlxGx+SwTIbIq+plLcS3juqSk0r+CDXFV4ot5uHrzO3kjmtgfRzatHVOofwDa6oipzMRlbYmBP8+y2h9vJeLOc7LNLrC1rifdVnFliYYIjgfNZuDKl/B1XMFptBjfeyvjxtdENnrOy+THV31QX+EcupXs6XBX1MRj5Z7Okxd5clQFHMqMiRwXBr8HuQteC0XRyizjb6LwVjlHnj/5/g1UkyWi+11aM65l+wcL6MPd0Wcs0WSsZScyTK8uT35N3g02UiStRbpsb9V2ZIQULT5/JVLkq4ekNUnaIW/oOF+7LI+qr+v+CNRVJGmKyOnV3X0zxJnLRxq/YFhMgkeRIWb0yYoib2AI+N/uVX+FRFAdgW8ZPndT/Dii7Q7J6VPsijNFjWjZfFajUe7mc5c/C/AZd/qFr/GKyKIq1UEXWyyRyKmQcmnlYq1Jc3/T2nnHLmttLkngTXh9f3LI7heGNDWgNaLBosAFz5tS0G7Ie8mxVMWXf9LKPg5z6LWFxaAJuVlnt/S3aXX4JuzqZdVZUYBPiAPqJXVgx4smNRfElf44KMjFOSuPFg3ydPyWKOYvjwgb/NdUoO1BFUrI6GC0tFR0Ek22tdelhhHFHd5NUkkbUWkSfivefmlt8vsmjIe4GXGRfc8eaxla5soYbiSDcwZk8SeQ+ax9ynywSPxRILdJB3JPpf3U+5aar8kkdN2rS2JIMjgCTvt6JCW6o/HP7gy4EwJkjx+RO467LeN8L+YI3EOBHstoSTBWNO5G/wDhWZJHXpkAQCZtbn+VZQbKtnoezvZ7Z9W5sQOUL0tPpa+qRKR7WhSgLvLlgKQEBgqGDlY/CbltunBefqNHGfMeGTZyqleLG3mvG1GllW2S4LxyUzTVyK8bJ6c19jOqOVPs11lc60meLLb4mpqCeZXbi0E8jV8lHkSJg1fWaXTxwQ2o45zcnZYwrSuxFTp0wrokmCkGCoBoSoYPMVMJ/q6drr4LUaatW8XXJDXFkmIwGlu63y+nKEbsrZxajC4wPfgF58OCaL+oBobcwIlbZNRFqnyHwRAybysIXOXNlbBMLqxraVZSrlZz+4I52DxBp1ekyPdbyjJKM132Wo79PFNEk+cKcGbHGTbJo5rKup7yRPS+x8l2aNqblJ9l1FJGdAewuE2Owm3kpyK7kVZJTqCPSOu17q8JpovZpUNh/N1XJyilG9GJk3nb0NyVgvutkFsvLpMcifnA+66Lcua/3wSahgIBvLYJ/wDoAD6lSopq/K/ugV8Z4ah4cuCs01MhlJ9XfnYfyPMqY+QZqFxaIEySI46jtbpddKi5EM9RkeSloBfc7xyn7r1dPp9it9kpHp8PQhdZcsgKQZQBAEBq5qq0CtXwDH7gKjgmDlYjsyw7FzfIkLnnpIS8ArDsqJ/3Kh/9isv4GCBbw+SNZsFvHAo9Asty9aqALNPCgK6QJhTVgC2FANC2dkBHpUAoZng58Q36b+a8b1PQ+6t8e0Sji4jFnSQ7yn8r52eryKLhk7+SNnwVcGyRAFyuPbKdQiuyG6N69EtMcVOTTSxyUfJnZNRoQLr1dNpNkfq8lWyGu4AQpybYR2og5WIdZec3ZJJWwramHZweAYPH9RML6TFpYZdLBS7oumcKrm/dnS8EdYJHyXlZPTpxfBZNET+0LG+JjgTygn5LTT4c0JcI1tHXyHNGVWwQGuM2Fm35E2B4wV3+xf8Ago0Tvwb2mIkb3sYHTj6Lhlp5x4RBAXuA0kHmLbTx9VztzS2tAkoOOw8pPl18laCkQSMxDmSACS4WPDeJHzWsNyT47BLQB/TI06tQP92kxB8iVtDE+vF3+osq19dWu/cM31mzfQrba5zfwR2ZyvCue8OpgugyLQyeEk+XmunFp5N8Iso12exyrJQzxOu656AneOS9PDgUP1FHdpUYXSSToAgCAIAgCAKAEBhAEAQHOxmbMZIb4j8h68Vx5tbjx8LlkNnHxGavd8Rjk2w+V15Ob1SXz+xW2VTUB3E+d/quR6tT5f8AUGoLRwjqCQfkqx1EE/j9OAWsPmNRnxa28nXPo7ddmHX5Iedy+H/cWdrBY5lUeE3G7TuPyF6+DU486+nvyvKLlHNMrD5IF1y6v07Hm5rklM5mEe2mXB24AH5Xg4/b02bJGT5VJGU+Sg/FDVJ5rg95PJvfyUNq2OgLulrEkRRAXNfTLp8Q/NlnLbkxObf1IlFbuibc1hjwym1FEnWdhPCBGwAX2cMWyCivCosRHI2v/U1T7KZJlnZWl/apWniWLjMjptHhaArrGkQQ1cK5v6duXBUnjTF0crGVHydTD1IJBMf55rjyaeyOymzGnbS5kCx06rDlv14cVi9O+kOCT+sJgjWT/wASL8wDaPNWjgkCehSrOPgpRtLn7x5DzPuuiGl+SU0drBZAXQari6DMbD2XVDTxRNs9LhMCGiwhdKVEl1rIUg2QBAEAQBAEAQBAYQBAEBzM+xhp04G7vovN9U1TwYW12yGcHD4NztyvnsODJkVzZQlqYIAXKvk0qj2xZCaUWWDxU6JsgdTuuOWGW6kWsx3ZV4wmmQO8LSHNs4bfg9F1e7KDU4fcv6/gI9JQxYcxruYlfWYcqy44zXlWTZxs9wbie8YJt4mje3xDmvF9W9Nllfu4+/KIOASD0XzTjKLplaHdypgm2VaJdMCPX1XZBUtqB08qwJnW4eQ+69/0/ROD9yffhExR2qWFm5XsJF6LtPDBWoklFAKaJNu4CUDR2DaVG0ED8pYeCjYiKIv+iM5JsQo3ZlTBwCnYhRZp4MBWoksMpAKQSIAgCAIAgCAIAgCAIAgNSgNSUBy88oFzQeW/5Xl+p4Hkx2vBDOKzEvb1Xzi1GXF+StA4vVuq/wAZ7nY2kBr3WK1KlImjBeFbfHuxRNha4K6tNlUuGQ0a45zZtvxUalxcls78kpHRwTIptHRfTaPH7eCEH4RJbbQJXTQOdj8gdUuCAedly59Hjy/ciu0pU+y9eb1GgdG3+q4l6NiuxtOpguzjWXcS48z+Au3DocWL7UFE69PBgLsUS1E7aStRJuGqQZhAIQBAEAQBAZhAZQBAEAQBAEAQBAEAQBAEBghAaOCgGpChg4WZ5dplzduXJeDrvT//ADxr+QRxnj+brwJ6eXwaJGstG8+yzWGK7J2mKhta8qMv0qvklQI2At4rPFHI3USsqRfy/CajLv0/X9l9J6d6btqUzJuzr6eS98Fyi0qyBaYrUSSBAbKQEBlAEAQGEAhAIQCEBlAEAQBAEAQBAEAQBAEAQBAEAQBAYLVFAjfSlVaBycXk2o6m2PMLnnpoyd1yRRy8VkuJO1QerVy5NE5eSydFdmTYrYubH/H91g/S4y7J3Mt4bIXAy8lx+S68Ohx4+kUds6tLBELsURRcpYWFdIkmFJSDcNUgzCAIDKAIAgCAIAgCAIAgCAIAgCAIAgCAIAgP/9k=

Soy, like most seeds and other beans, were cleverly designed by mother-nature to propagate themselves. Thus, the bean is naturally coated with proteins that keep the bean intact, enabling it to pass through the body and grow into another bean-producing plant. Those proteins are, unfortunately, toxic to humans and result in intestinal irritation in the majority of our species. Internal irritation causes inflammation, triggered by the body having to attack itself to rid our cells of the unwanted food particles. This not only causes side effects such as bloating, cramping, headaches and sleepiness, it also distracts the body from its ability to stay youthful and from keeping disease at bay.

The Giant GMO

Soy is one of the largest genetically modified foods in the industry and is the second largest crop (after corn) in the United States, at the time of writing this post. Monsanto, the leading producer of genetically modified seed, currently grows genetically modified soy on 91% of the United States soy fields. That doesn’t leave much room for other soy options (of which less than 1% is organically grown). The US Department of Agriculture confirmed that over 90% of soybeans produced in the United States each year have been genetically modified to withstand herbicides. So not only are we left with an unnatural product, we are faced with one that’s been infused with chemicals.

A Leading Cause of Deforestation

Soy, along with corn, has become feed for most animals farmed to butcher in the United States. It’s cheaper than grass lots and it fattens up the animals quickly because, just like us, they are not able to digest legumes properly. As a result of the demand for soy feed, companies like Monsanto are planting growing numbers of genetically modified soy fields, which is having an increasing effect on deforestation, along with the displacement of indigenous people and smaller farms worldwide. Take Brazil for example, home to the world’s largest rainforest with incredible species of fauna and flora, including superfoods like acai berries. Each year, more of the Brazilian rainforest is destroyed and, in it’s place, soy fields are planted (as shown in this post’s featured image). Brazil has become the second largest global supplier of soy, after the United States, and supplies large food chains, such as McDonalds. This change has also affected the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the region and is subsequently affecting the people and Brazil’s climate.

Here Comes the Coconut

With all of the above concerns in mind, the coconut–as a substitute for soy products–is becoming more and more popular. Coconut milk is a great substitute for soy milk and coconut aminos work well in replace of soy sauce. But, even more significant is how one’s body benefits from leaving soy behind and turning to the superfood, coconut, instead:

Coconut is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and fiber that is easily digestible, metabolizes quickly, provides a natural source of energy, supports heart and brain health and nourishes skin and hair.

Sorry soy,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Honey-Ginger Acorn Squash

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This is a perfect side-dish.  It’s packed with flavor and it does a great job of filling you up. I used acorn squash for this but you could easily swap it out for your favorite type of squash. In my pre-paleo life I’d been accustomed to acorn squash being packed with butter and brown sugar. While this is slightly reminiscent because there is a small amount of honey, it’s going to be much healthier for you.

INGREDIENTS

1 acorn squash, gutted and cut in half
2 tbsp avocado oil
salt
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tsp ginger, grated(fresh)
1 tbsp honey

RECIPE

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Place squash halves open side up on baking sheet.
Brush with 1 tbsp avocado oil and sprinkle with salt, bake for 30 minutes. (or until you can poke a fork through the squash easily)
While squash is cooking, bring 1 tbsp avocado oil to medium heat in a sauté pan.
Add spinach and ginger, stir until wilted then remove from heat.
Remove squash from oven, brush with honey.
Stuff with spinach mixture and cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove and let cool, then enjoy!

I have this dish with the Orange-Ginger Tilapia Fillet recipe. It’s a great complement and it makes a wonderful meal!

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Cinnamon Apple Smoothie

Cinnamon Apple Smoothie
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Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 and it’s a fresh start.

Let’s begin the New Year on a fantastic note–with a delicious and healthy smoothie to give your body an instant boost.

Cinnamon is a well known superfood and everyone knows that saying about having an apple a day. Together they provide your body with manganese, calcium, fiber and vitamin C, ensuring you have the nutrients you need to quickly cleanse your body of that midnight champagne toast and rejuvenate to start the New Year the right way.

INGREDIENTS

6 ice cubes
1/2 large organic banana
1/2 large red organic apple, skin on
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut milk

RECIPE

In a blender or food processor, pulse the ice until crushed.
Add all the other ingredients and blend until well combined.
Pour into a tall glass and enjoy your morning boost!

We wish you a wonderful start to 2015–may this be the year that you feel better, healthier and more alive than ever before.

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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