November 15, 2022
244: Plant-Based Diets for Pregnancy | What You Need to Know with Kayli Anderson

Are you pregnant and looking for ways to stay healthy? Join us as nutrition expert Kayli Anderson highlights the need for good nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum. Dive into this show to learn more about pregnancy healt...

Are you pregnant and looking for ways to stay healthy? Join us as nutrition expert Kayli Anderson highlights the need for good nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum. Dive into this show to learn more about pregnancy health tips!

In this episode, we will answer the following:

  • What are the recommended nutrient intake levels during pregnancy?
  • How does a plant-based diet affect pregnancy outcomes?
  • The guidelines for optimal pregnancy health

Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group

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About Kayli Anderson

Kayli Anderson is a Registered Dietitian with over a decade of experience in plant-based nutrition, culinary education, and lifestyle medicine, she knows how to help people live healthier lives. She believes a plant-based lifestyle should be simple and sustainable. 

She’s the founder of the brand new site Plant-Based Mavens. Kayli is Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine and serves as Lead Faculty of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Food as Medicine Course. She is Chair of ACLM's Registered Dietitian Member Interest Group, Secretary of the Women's Health Member Interest Group, and Nutrition Faculty for many of ACLM's other course offerings. She is the author of the Plant-Based Nutrition Quick Start Guide. She has worked with organizations like Blue Zones, Engine 2, and Full Plate Living to develop nutrition content, recipes, and educational programs. Kayli holds a Master's degree in Nutrition and Physical Performance. She is certified as an Exercise Physiologist and Intuitive Eating Counselor. She lives in Colorado, where you’ll find her out on a trail or in her garden.

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[00:00:00] Kayli Anderson: The key is that it needs to be well-planned, and so that's something in their position paper about vegetarian diets. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that a well-planned plant-based diet is healthy for all stages of life, including pregnancy, including lactation, but it's got to be well-planned.

[00:00:18] Maya Acosta: You have more power over your health and what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me, together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life.

[00:00:39] Maya Acosta: And increase longevity in a big way. Let's get started. When it comes to pregnancy, there are many questions and concerns regarding the best diet for yourself and your baby. Today's episode is all about nutrition during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins, and changes in the body. We will also discuss alleviating common pregnancy symptoms like nausea, constipation, and itchy skin.

[00:01:04] Maya Acosta: Kayli Anderson has been practicing plant-based nutrition for over 10 years. She's the lead faculty for ACLM’s Food as Medicine course and secretary of their Women's Health Interest group. She's also in her second trimester of pregnancy, so she's the ideal person to speak to us about being on a plant-based diet while pregnant.

[00:01:23] Maya Acosta: Kayli was on a couple of episodes ago, discussing the women's health workshop that she will present at the upcoming Lifestyle Medicine Conference, along with Dr. Michelle Thompson and Dr. Mahima Gulati. Stick around because Kayli will share lots of tips and resources that you will not wanna miss. As always, the full bio and the links for each of my guests are found on the website healthy lifestyle

[00:01:47] Maya Acosta: All right, welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. And so I have with me again registered dietician Kayli Anderson. She's been on the show a couple of times, and I'm excited that today she's coming on to talk about concerns that expectant mothers may have, will learn everything about, you know, what is the right thing to eat, how much should you eat, and all of that.

[00:02:12] Maya Acosta: And as you know, Kayli has over a decade of experience in plant-based nutrition, culinary education, and lifestyle medicine. She's a registered dietician and she shows people how to live healthier lives. She believes in a plant-based lifestyle, um, that it should be simple, pleasurable, and sustainable. And she has worked with folks from all walks of life, but she specializes in supporting women on their plant-based journey.

[00:02:37] Maya Acosta: She's the founder of the brand new site, Plant-Based Mavens, a help for women to get evidence-based, practical in woman-centered guidance on plant-based nutrition, and cooking hormone health, fertility, pregnancy movement, mental wellbeing, non-toxic living, and so much more. And as a matter of fact, last time she was on, we learned about personal care products and how they may be affecting our health.

[00:03:02] Maya Acosta: So, welcome back, Kayli. 

[00:03:04] Kayli Anderson: Hi Maya. Thank you so much for having me again.

[00:03:07] Maya Acosta: Yes. Well, this is exciting because I hardly talk covered this topic, and I'm so excited that you're the one that's gonna be talking to us about ways that pregnant mothers can take care of themselves and actually list those individuals who may not have heard you on the show before.

[00:03:24] Maya Acosta: Tell us a little bit about yourself. You do a lot as it is in the plant-based community, and that's very exciting. Yes, please tell us about yourself.

[00:03:33] Kayli Anderson: Sure, I'd be happy to. Yeah, so I, um, in addition to what you shared, I am also lead faculty of the ACLM, Food as Medicine course and Secretary of their Women's Health group as well.

[00:03:47] Kayli Anderson: Uh, so there's a lot of great women's health work going on there. And I'm trained in women's integrative medicine, lifestyle medicine, intuitive eating, and cooking. And so I like to kinda pull from all of those different areas when I work with people. And then one of my favorite things that I do is plant-based Mavens, which is a website, as you mentioned, that offers a bunch of free resources for women on various women's health topics.

[00:04:13] Maya Acosta: Thank you for that as well. Yeah. So I started to tell you that Dr. Kristi VanWinden came on the show and we really focus on Pre conceptual Health, so all the things that women can do throughout their lives before conceiving so that they can optimize their pregnancy. I was wondering if there are any tips in that field, in that category that you'd like to add before we talk about actually being pregnant?

[00:04:39] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. So Kristi is a wonderful physician, and she actually teaches one of the food as medicine courses on preconception health that I mentioned. Um, so I'm sure that episode is jam-packed with information, but kind of in general, the preconception period. You know, really a time for preparing for the demands of pregnancy.

[00:05:00] Kayli Anderson: So a lot of women enter pregnancy with deficiencies in many different nutrients, and many of those nutrients are critical in the earliest days of pregnancy. So folate, for example, helps with neural tube development, and the neural tube actually closes in the first or after four weeks, um, after conception.

[00:05:19] Kayli Anderson: So having enough folate right away before most women even know that they're pregnant is really important. So that preconception period is really. Kind of getting ready, preparing your body, making sure that you don't have any deficiencies, and then, of course, kinda mentally getting ready for that big transition as well.

[00:05:38] Maya Acosta: I think one of the things that we mentioned as well, in terms of self-care before you become pregnant, is that most pregnancies, at least the first pregnancy, might be unplanned. So women suddenly have to figure out. Not only they find out the news that they're expecting, but how do I take care of myself? What am I supposed to eat?

[00:05:57] Maya Acosta: Can I exercise? I'm sure they have a lot of concerns. So let's talk about that. Since you do specialize in nutrition, why is nutrition important during pregnancy?

[00:06:06] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. So I'm sure that Kristi probably touched on this with preconception health, but what a woman is eating and what her health looks like during pregnancy can actually shape the health of the next generation because it can actually shift epigenetics.

[00:06:22] Kayli Anderson: So being really, you know, well and healthy, as healthy as you can be during that time, you're really setting your child up for a healthier life as well. Lower risk of chronic diseases in their adulthood, for example. So it's amazing the ripple effect so that those practices during pregnancy can have, um, one of my favorite things about pregnancy nutrition is that babies' taste buds actually develop in utero.

[00:06:51] Kayli Anderson: So whatever mom is eating, baby is actually tasting through amniotic fluid and then later through breast milk. And so, you know, mom is really setting baby up for kinda taste preferences and things and later in their life. And there was actually a really cool study that had moms drinking carrot juice either during pregnancy or during the early days of postpartum when they were breastfeeding.

[00:07:14] Kayli Anderson: And those babies that experienced the mom's drinking carrot juice actually showed a preference for the carrot flavor when they started eating solid. So you're really kind of shaping their pallet. In many ways, which is really cool. 

[00:07:28] Maya Acosta: It really is. I am so glad that you bring that up. I'd love for people to know about that. Now, you just touched on something that was new to me as well, but I guess we learned this the more we dive into plant-based foods and the science behind all of that. But you said that what a Mother eats sets up her. You really. Sort of a lifestyle for the next generation and even after that. So can you just briefly talk a little bit about what you just touched on epigenetics and what we have seen in studies for children fetuses, for example, that they've done, where they've seen the development, the early stages of atherosclerosis, and also what you know about the same thing in terms of weight and how if a mother is overweight, then her child has the risk of also developing weight issues. Can you explain that a little bit more for my listeners? 

[00:08:18] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Absolutely. So everything you said is correct, and you know, women who have good nutrition during pregnancy tend to have children with lower risks of a lot of pediatric conditions. So type one diabetes, neural tube defects, asthma, and then beyond that, you know, on the epigenetic front, You know, you are really kind of shaping their genetics to either be resilient to disease or be more susceptible to disease later in their life.

[00:08:46] Kayli Anderson: And that goes for all lifestyle factors. So the exposure to endocrine disruptors, how active they are, how much sleep they're getting, stress, exposure, all of those things play a role in kinda shaping the genetic predisposition. That doesn't mean that that child is definitely going to grow up and develop type two diabetes, for example, but they're kinda programmed to be more susceptible to those things.

[00:09:10] Maya Acosta: I wonder also if, and we don't have to go into in detail about this at all, but when you were on previously with Dr. Michelle Thompson, we spoke about what trauma-informed work looks like, Like working with individuals who are still carrying on childhood trauma, for example. I wonder sometimes the stressors that pregnant women endure can affect a fetus as a child in terms of feeling anxiety later on. I don't know if there are any studies related to that.

[00:09:38] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, that's such a good point. And there are some studies that show that exposure to stress, even pre-conceptually, even within the six months before conceiving exposure to extreme stress, can actually affect maternal and fetal outcomes. So it can make, you know, Lower birth weight and different things like that. So yes, those things definitely play a role.

[00:10:02] Maya Acosta: Wow. Incredible. Well, I'm glad we're having this conversation. So, Kayli, you hear this all the time, I'm sure when you work with people that are first coming on initially to this lifestyle, there are a lot of concerns about, you know, where do you get your protein, what about calcium?

[00:10:18] Maya Acosta: And that's just the average person that transitions from say, a typical standard American diet to eating more plants. But I'm sure you hear it even more with women that are pregnant. So can you tell us if it's safe to, can you be plant-based and pregnant?

[00:10:34] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. And I never fault anyone for asking that question because it, they're really just trying to do best by themselves and, and their baby, which is certainly important.

[00:10:44] Kayli Anderson: And there are lots of myths and misconceptions out there about what's healthy and what's not during pregnancy. But the fact is that, yes, A plant-based diet is not only healthy during pregnancy, it also offers some benefits, so lower risk of certain complications that can happen in, in pregnancy. The key is that it needs to be well planned, and so that's something in their position paper about vegetarian diets, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that a well-planned plant-based diet is healthy for all stages of life, including pregnancy, including lactation, but it's gotta be well planned. So just kinda paying attention to those certain nutrients and really, I mean, any diet needs to be well planned, right, Or we might be missing out on things. So it is healthy and it may be even beneficial.

[00:11:34] Maya Acosta: And you talked about it just automatically, um, reduces your risk of developing, uh, conditions that you could have during your pregnancy. So for example, Dr. Kristi spoke about conditions that can arise right as a result of pregnancy, like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia having weight issues. Is that associated with developing these preeclampsia type two diabetes? And can a plant-based diet help in maintaining a healthy weight?

[00:12:01] Kayli Anderson: Yes, absolutely. It, having, you know, a higher weight does have an association with a higher risk of developing type two diabetes or gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, things like that.

[00:12:13] Kayli Anderson: I will also say that focusing too much on weight, we do have a few studies that show focusing too much on weight, um, where people feel like they're being stigmatized because of their weight in their pregnancy care, or postpartum care is also associated with negative outcomes. So it's a really, I think, delicate balance, especially during this time when a woman's body is changing so much and there's a lot to kind of reckon with in that area. Being careful not to focus too much on weight, but knowing that it is an important factor.

[00:12:47] Maya Acosta: And it's a delicate topic. I agree with you. The goal is not to encourage women to be so fixated on their weight that they can't relax and enjoy the process. And you know, on our show we talk about being sensitive to the topic of just gaining weight because many women have dealt with disordered eating in their lives.

[00:13:07] Maya Acosta: And then you know, the body begins to do its thing. You have the hormonal issues and before you know it, you're stress eating. Oh, whatever it may be that's happening. I was reading some literature about what healthy weight gain looks like, and as I'm reading it, I'm thinking really like women are supposed to focus on this.

[00:13:23] Maya Acosta: Like you supposed to gain only about so and so each trimester. So I'm thinking if you're so focused on that like you said, we can start to develop body issues and that's not the goal with any of this education. The goal is to just support you in making healthier choices. Since we are talking a little bit about weight issues and what that looks like, can you tell us what this whole idea of eating for two looks like?

[00:13:46] Maya Acosta: Because I remember back in the day you used to hear it was a lot more common that women said that, that it just sort of give you a free ticket to kind of indulge and enjoy as much food as you'd like. But in reality, we don't really need to eat as much, is that right?

[00:14:00] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so eating for two can be a bit of a misconception.

[00:14:03] Kayli Anderson: I do have cringe when I hear people saying, Well, you don't really actually have to eat for two, As kind of a fear, kinda a shock and off effect for women because we certainly don't wanna create fear around eating, and I haven't mentioned this yet, but I'm actually pregnant myself right now, about five months pregnant.

[00:14:22] Kayli Anderson: And you know, I've experienced that where some days I. No appetite or I just feel like I have no space in there to eat more, but then some days I'm starving. So you kind of just have to listen to your body. But there are guidelines that are helpful to just kind of know, so you have a rule of thumb. So as far as weight gain goes, there's no additional weight gain recommendation for the first trimester.

[00:14:46] Kayli Anderson: And then beyond that, it comes out to about a pound a week. And the recommendations are based on what your body mass index was prior to pregnancy. Again, not everyone's weight gain is going to look like that, like perfectly one pound every week. I know mine certainly has not looked like that. And those are really meant to be just kind of rough guidelines to know if you're, you know, really underweight or if you are gaining really quickly, and to just use that as a clue in your healthcare. And then as far as kinda calorie needs or energy needs every day. So in that first trimester, there's no increase in energy needs. Second trimester, about 340 calories per day. And then third trimester is about 452 calories per day.

[00:15:34] Kayli Anderson: So again, it's kinda rough in that second trimester. It's about adding a substantial snack to the day or maybe bumping up your main meals a little bit. And in that third trimester, you're really looking at adding an extra meal to the day with, um, 450 calories or a couple of substantial snacks.

[00:15:52] Maya Acosta: Okay. And what you just started with, um, when you were saying that there are days where you are more hungry than other days.

[00:15:59] Maya Acosta: Some days you may have very little appetite, and I'm assuming as you're talking about the caloric intake, that on a plant-based diet we have, we're putting in, we probably have to eat just a little bit more in general because of the density of the food. We're talking about the caloric intake during pregnancy, but also sort of, I heard you say intuitive eating is also important.

[00:16:20] Maya Acosta: So listening to our bodies, you know, if you're hungry, you know, eat comfortably, but if you're not hungry, are you still encouraged to consume? That would be a little bit difficult, like if you don't have an appetite.

[00:16:32] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, that is challenging. And that happens to a lot of women, especially in the first trimester when they may be dealing with nausea and symptoms like that, where things don't sound good.

[00:16:41] Kayli Anderson: And then in the third trimester where you're really just dealing with a crowded torso and there's not a lot of space in there for your stomach, so you aren't feeling as hungry. So in those instances, you know, if you, It's good to kind of have an idea of how much food you should be eating in a day, and if you know that you haven't been eating much on a certain day, Trying to break those meals into smaller meals.

[00:17:07] Kayli Anderson: Small frequent meals usually work well during those times, and that can help you get what you need in because the fact is your calories don't go up that much, but a lot of nutrient needs actually increase by as much as 50%. So what your eating needs to really be nutrient-dense to meet those needs.

[00:17:25] Maya Acosta: Absolutely, yes. And let's talk about those nutrients. What nutrients should pregnant women pay attention to, especially if they are plant-based?

[00:17:33] Kayli Anderson: So the first one is protein, ironically. So we often kind of deemphasize protein in, in a plant-based nutrition because it gets so over-emphasized outside of plant-based nutrition, but in pregnancy, your needs do increase by 50%.

[00:17:51] Kayli Anderson: So making sure that you are getting those plant proteins in every day. And that doesn't mean that we need to be eating meat to meet our needs because, in fact, plant-based proteins offer a lot of benefits during pregnancy, and there's been some association with a type of iron, for example, that's found in plant foods resulting in better pregnancy outcomes versus the type of iron that's in animal foods.

[00:18:14] Kayli Anderson: So there are benefits there, but we wanna make sure that we're getting those plant-based proteins in at every meal. So hummus for snacks, beans, tofu, putting nuts and seeds in smoothies or on wraps or on bowls to make sure that you're meeting those needs.

[00:18:31] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. Well, could you kind of emphasize a little bit, you just gave us a list, but would you say that most plant-based foods have protein?

[00:18:40] Kayli Anderson: It is true that most do have protein, but we really want to focus on those concentrated sources when needs are so high. So yes, there is protein in broccoli, but are going to be a better choice because there's much more in beans.

[00:18:55] Maya Acosta: Yeah. I'm glad you covered it because I know that there's always that concern. Mm-hmm. , like you said, the protein myth that we're not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet. And even though I grew up originally from Mexico, I grew up in a very Mexican household and we consume beans, but I think I still consume more beans now than when I was growing up. Just because I have learned to have this like appreciation and love for all legumes, uh, lentils, black beans before I just only ate, for example, the pinto beans, Right?

[00:19:27] Maya Acosta: Would normally be part of our dietary intake, but now I'm consuming a lot. So beans, you said nuts and seeds, and what else did you say that other foods that are rich in protein?

[00:19:37] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, I love that you're kind of experimenting with variety because there really is, you know, so many different kinds of beans out there in particular. Okay. So yeah, so any of those beans, lentils, Soy foods, so things like tow food, Tempe, soy milk, and then nuts and seeds as well. So whether that's peanut butter, hemp seeds are a really great choice, walnuts, etc.

[00:20:01] Maya Acosta: Wonderful. What else should we pay attention to in terms of nutrients? 

[00:20:07] Kayli Anderson: Sure. So omega three s is another one that comes up quite a bit just in plant-based nutrition in general and in pregnancy, it becomes even more important cause of its role in the baby's development.

[00:20:19] Kayli Anderson: And just to kind of review, there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids that we often talk about. So there's ALA, EPA, and DHA. ALA we can find in our plant-based foods. So things like flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, those all contain ala omega3s. And technically our body can convert those types of omega-three s into the EPA and DHA, but the conversion can vary from person to person and it's not super efficient.

[00:20:53] Kayli Anderson: So most of us can probably get by with just making sure we're eating a lot of those ala rich foods in our diet. But in pregnancy, ALA does not actually increase DHA levels in blood and breast milk. And DHA is the one that's really important for babies' development. So that is one that we need to pay attention to and that's why you hear ACOG and other organizations recommending that pregnant women eat fish.

[00:21:21] Kayli Anderson: It's coming from that need for DHA. So that is an option. If you eat fish, then you can eat two to three servings. You wanna make sure they're low mercury varieties of fish because fish are really susceptible to contaminants in our oceans. So it can be really dangerous to consume high mercury fish with high mercury levels.

[00:21:41] Kayli Anderson: If you are not doing fish, then you can take a DHA microalgae supplement and so everyone, yeah, who is pregnant or breastfeeding should take a DHA microalgae supplement. And microalgae is where fish get their DHA. So we can just kind of go straight to the source and cut out the middleman. Get our DHA that way.

[00:22:01] Maya Acosta: That's a good point. I actually wondered, because I don't know much about this, which is why I'm asking, I wondered if, I thought there was a time when women were discouraged from eating fish during a pregnancy just because of high risk. Was that associated with Mercury or was there something else to that?

[00:22:18] Kayli Anderson: Yes, with the mercury and heavy metal contamination. Okay. In fish. And it's tough to avoid that. It really is. But there are lists out there that you can, you know, look up low mercury fish.

[00:22:28] Maya Acosta: So is the fish oil that typically women do consume? There was a time when I also used fish oil to get, obtain my Omega three’s. Is that a little bit more regulated than regular fish? I don't know if you'd know that.

[00:22:43] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. I would say it's probably not, because supplements are so unregulated compared to our food supply, you're not really quite sure what you're getting in certain supplements. So if you're going to take a DHA supplement, I would recommend the microalgae version.

[00:22:59] Maya Acosta: Great. Thank you for sharing that. And I don't know if you know Kayli, but I actually, most of my adult years I was a pescatarian and ended up with high levels of Mercury. Wow. And I. . Yeah. A lot of symptoms and going plant-based help to move the mercury out. crossed. Mm-hmm. . But I don't wanna focus too much on that because hard enough when a woman is going through pregnancy to have to worry about yet another thing that could harm their child or their pregnancy.

[00:23:27] Maya Acosta: But what you're saying is there are alternatives so we can skip the fish mm-hmm. and get our omega threes at the same place where fish get theirs. Exactly. Yep. Oh, that's so good. Yeah. What about the rest, like folate and iron and all the other nutrients that a pregnant woman needs? 

[00:23:46] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so we talked about folate a little bit earlier, and it's important for that neural tube formation, and folate is found in a lot of plant-based foods. And plant eaters tend to have higher intake of folate, which is great, but because. So important. It's really a good idea to also cover your bases with a supplement. And most prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, so you should be covered with that one. But of course, eating those folate-rich foods, still, the leafy greens and beans is really important as well.

[00:24:16] Kayli Anderson: And then iron is another really important one. So blood volume increases pretty drastically, and iron needs increase by 50% in pregnancy. So another important one to focus on and the Institute of Medicine actually recommends that people who are fully plant-based. Might actually need double the amount of iron just because of the bioavailability that would put pregnant women's needs at about 48 milligrams of iron a day, which is a lot of iron. Mm-hmm. . But that kinda represents worst-case scenario. So there are some things we can do with the rest of our diet to enhance iron absorption.

[00:24:56] Maya Acosta: Okay. And so I also think of iron. I'm thinking of beans. Do we absorb the iron in beans easily, or like you said, we need a supplement? 

[00:25:05] Kayli Anderson: Food is the first line of defense when it comes to iron. And so, you know, eating beans, eating dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, soy, things like tofu, they all contain irons. So making sure that those foods are in your daily rotation. And then a couple other things we can do is to pair our iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods, which actually enhances iron absorption.

[00:25:30] Kayli Anderson: And that might sound complicated, but it's something that we really do kind of naturally anyway. So if you think about making a bold oatmeal and you put some almonds in there, that's an iron-rich food. And then you add some strawberries, that's a vitamin C-rich food. Or if you make a stir fry with tofu and broccoli, then you're pairing iron and vitamin C.

[00:25:50] Kayli Anderson: So we do it pretty naturally anyway. And then just a couple other things is avoiding tea and coffee during meals because that can inhibit iron absorption. So we drink those outside of meals. Same with calcium supplements. If you're taking a calcium supplement for any reason. And then cooking with cast iron cookware actually enhances the iron in food. And so that's another way.

[00:26:11] Maya Acosta: Okay. And I do think that we do it naturally. So I was thinking of when we make salads. We sometimes add, like you said, strawberries or sometimes orange slices or something that flavors the salad nicely. Mm-hmm. , would that combination work as well? 

[00:26:26] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. You're so right. And we often think of like citrus fruits and things like that come to mind, uh, when we think of vitamin C, but actually, greens, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, all of those things have vitamin C in them as well. So if you're not a fruit in your salad fan, then you can use bell peppers or tomatoes. 

[00:26:46] Maya Acosta: Right. And that's what I love about the plant-based lifestyle is that we're so used to before coming into this lifestyle, we were used to just certain categories, meeting those nutrients, you know? Mm-hmm. , you thought about the orange, for example.

[00:26:59] Maya Acosta: Like you said, vitamin C, and then where you think of milk for vitamin D and then you come into this plant-based lifestyle and there are so many other food groups that fall into that cover all the nutrients that we need. Wonderful. What else do pregnant women need to look out for? 

[00:27:16] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so a couple other important ones. One is iodine. So iodine is one that we're kind of aware of with plant-based eating in general. But then again, it plays a really important role in fetal growth and development. So we wanna make sure we're meeting needs because needs increase from about 150 micrograms to two 20 in pregnancy, and then two 90 during postpartum and lactation.

[00:27:40] Kayli Anderson: So a few ways to get iodine from a plant-based diet. Sea vegetables have iodine, so sea leads. Because seaweeds vary so much in their iodine content, they can be really, really high or lower. Um, it's not recommended to rely on that as the sole source of iodine during pregnancy because you can kinda miss out on, on your needs or maybe take in too much.

[00:28:06] Kayli Anderson: Most prenatals contain iodine, so just make sure that yours does. And then another way is iodized salt. And for some people that is an easy way. If you are cooking at home and you're not, you know, too worried about your sodium consumption, which means you're not eating out a lot, you're not eating a lot of food, then you can cook with about a fourth of a teaspoon to a half of a teaspoon and get your iodine that way as well.

[00:28:29] Maya Acosta: Okay. I have a question also since you, you're speaking about if needed, adding a little bit of salt, would that be recommended anyway to minimize those kind of leg cramps that sometimes pregnant women experience?

[00:28:41] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so those could be from many different things they could be from, you know, low sodium consumption, dehydration, and then also just mechanically your body might be kind of pinching nerves and or preventing blood flow.

[00:28:56] Kayli Anderson: So a good way, I certainly get that in my legs now if I'm sitting at my desk for too long. So getting up and moving around or doing legs up the wall like you do in a yoga class can be really helpful for that. But yes, if you are a person that's consuming very little sodium, then that might be a helpful thing.

[00:29:15] Maya Acosta: Okay, great. Mm-hmm. , I see other things like calcium and vitamin D, and I was just thinking right now as it's cold outside and we're going on vacation on Thursday, so it's ok. But my husband was like, Look at how cold it's gonna get in Dallas. Just like, we skip fall and we're going straight into winter. I'm thinking of vitamin D spending time in the sun.

[00:29:36] Maya Acosta: How do you do it when it's cold? You know?

[00:29:38] Kayli Anderson: Right. Yes, that's, That can be very tricky. Yeah, so vitamin D and calcium needs actually don't increase during pregnancy, but your body does increase absorption of those things, which is really kind of a cool thing. But you do wanna make sure that you're meeting those baseline needs because before pregnancy, it's easier to kind of get away with mild deficiency or just low levels of calcium and vitamin D.

[00:30:02] Kayli Anderson: They don't really show up the way other nutrient deficiencies do immediately. So you wanna make sure that those are topped off and you're all good when you're in your pregnancy phase. And so for calcium, you know, aiming for about eight mini servings of calcium-rich foods a day. Again, that sounds complicated, but it's, you're probably already doing it if you're eating a varied plant-based diet.

[00:30:25] Kayli Anderson: So half a cup of veggies, leafy greens is going to count as a mini serving. Half a glass of, uh, soy milk that's fortified with calcium would count. Fourth of a cup of nuts or dried fruit would count. So making sure that you're getting those calcium-rich foods. Again, most prenatals include a little bit of calcium to kinda help cover bases.

[00:30:46] Kayli Anderson: And then vitamin D, same thing. The best thing with vitamin D is to get your levels checked first and see what your levels are, and then kind of supplement accordingly there. So again, most prenatals include some amount of vitamin D, but you may need extra on top of that, depending on what your levels are.

[00:31:06] Maya Acosta: Great. And then we always talk about vitamin B12. It sounds like there might be a deficiency, even if you're consuming red meat animal products, you're not necessarily guaranteed to get adequate amounts of B12. Is

[00:31:19] Kayli Anderson: that right? Yeah, that's right. So B12 deficiency is a little bit more common in nonplant eat than what we might think it is.

[00:31:27] Kayli Anderson: And needs do increase during pregnancy. So you're trying to address higher needs then. Um, so if you are eating. A plant-based diet, then you wanna take a vitamin B12 supplement. Prenatals usually have some amount of B12, but you'll really wanna check and see what that amount is minimum is about 25 micrograms a day, maybe up to 50 micrograms a day.

[00:31:52] Kayli Anderson: One difference in pregnancy is I always recommend the daily B12 supplement versus the weekly. Sometimes you can take one that just covers your bases for the week. Cause we can store a little bit of B12. Um, but there's some evidence that baby can't access moms' stores of B12 and so baby needs that regular intake to get their B12.

[00:32:15] Kayli Anderson: So taking that daily supplement is important.

[00:32:18] Maya Acosta: Okay. And I'm curious if you have a recommendation on your website plan-based mavens in terms of a particular brand for B12. 

[00:32:27] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, I do, and I can actually share a link with you so your listeners can download a free prenatal guide so they can, you know, see kind of a checklist of what should they be a plant-based mom be looking for in a prenatal supplement, because it's crazy how different they are.

[00:32:42] Kayli Anderson: They all vary in the amounts of different nutrients. So I kind of put together a checklist that just says, you know, look for these amounts. And then it has some brand recommendations as well.

[00:32:51] Maya Acosta: Perfect. And not only that but the other considerations when it comes to a supplement, you know, what is it encased in? I don't know if that's the right word, but I know that sometimes we as vegans are looking for certain products that are vegan. Mm-hmm. , you never know about supplements. Now, there is one other thing you haven't mentioned the choline. Is that something that you can get with prenatal supplement?

[00:33:12] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, that's a great question. And choline is kinda a new kid on the block when it comes to pregnancy nutrition. We're just now learning a lot about how important it is for brain development, cognitive development for babies and. Most women actually don't meet choline needs, even if they eat animal products. And then on top of that, a plant-based diet tends to be pretty low in, so there aren't any official recommendations for this one.

[00:33:41] Kayli Anderson: But a good suggestion is that if you eat a fully plant-based diet during pregnancy, it might be a good idea to supplement with about half of your needs. So about 2 25 milligrams is half of the needs during pregnancy, and you can find supplements for that. If you eat eggs, you can get it that way and from other products as well. But it's an important one. 

[00:34:01] Maya Acosta: That's a good one. Of course, I know this, but still, it's good to know that you can supplement, so you can get a supplement for choline if you're not consuming eggs. Okay. Would you recommend that women consume eggs to get choline? 

[00:34:17] Kayli Anderson: If they want to, if that's their preference, then they certainly can. Personally, I chose to take a supplement, so that's how I'm getting my choline during my pregnancy because I don't consume any animal products. But there are plant-based foods that do have choline, so you could make sure that you're, you know, eating those semi-regularly as well. So it's s shitake mushrooms, soy milk, kidney beans, quinoa, those all contain choline as well.

[00:34:42] Maya Acosta: Wonderful. Mm-hmm. . And I'm excited that you have a pregnancy guide that listeners can download so that they can get this information they can work with during their pregnancy, and especially women that are, are working and pregnant and stay very busy. I'm sure they could use a handout like this so that they can just mm-hmm. check things off and make sure that they're getting all your recommendations. Let's talk about discomforts. I'm wondering if you're having any of the symptoms, but women often battle with like morning sickness or constipation. I'm sure that's a hard one. Mm-hmm. , can you tell us some of the symptoms that women experience and if the plant-based lifestyle can help alleviate some of the discomfort?

[00:35:23] Kayli Anderson: Mm-hmm. ? Yeah, so there's lots of phases and experiences that you go through during pregnancy. Lots of symptoms and things that you didn't know that were part of it. For example, stuffy nose. I didn't know that that was common symptom of pregnancy, but I certainly experienced that. I'm a big fan of looking for natural remedies or lifestyle remedies first before opting for medication.

[00:35:49] Kayli Anderson: So morning sickness, you mentioned that's a really common one, and that happens in the first trimester for most women, but can extend past that for some, some ways that you can deal with that naturally. Uh, Ginger and mint are great, so either making teas out of those two things. Ginger tea or a mint tea, peppermint tea, even just breath mint can be helpful.

[00:36:15] Kayli Anderson: That mint flavor can be helpful. They make ginger candies or ginger chew that are pretty low-sugar, so it's not like you're actually eating a lot of candy, but sucking on those can be helpful as well. I know one thing that's very helpful for a lot of women for morning sickness is to just keep your blood sugar steady.

[00:36:34] Kayli Anderson: So not letting yourself get too hungry and really you kind of have to release expectations. I certainly experience this in my first trimester of getting of eating this perfectly healthy diet. You know, I ate a lot of toast in my first trimester, and that's okay. And that's why we take prenatal vitamins to help us cover our bases. You just have to get something and you know, if a smoothie sounds good, then that can be really good to fit in a lot of nutrition if you're not up for eating.

[00:37:04] Maya Acosta: It's going back to being gentle with yourself and self-care. So not, I love that. Not having expectations, not trying to be perfect throughout this pregnancy, but just, you know, doing the best that you can, especially when you're having morning sickness.

[00:37:19] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. or you're, I don't know if you experience brain fog, but I know I do and I . as you age, you get experience, brain fog, but all those other discomforts, you probably just wanna be a little bit more gentle with yourself in general. 

[00:37:35] Kayli Anderson: Mm-hmm.Exactly.

[00:37:35] Maya Acosta: Yep. Okay. Constipation is a tough one. Why is that? Is it more related to dehydration or not having enough fiber? What contributes to that? 

[00:37:44] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so it can certainly be those things. Also during pregnancy, the hormone changes actually, The digestive tract, and so things just move slower. So that can cause indigestion and heartburn and then it can also cause constipation. But those can both contribute to that. So you know, really making sure you're having your eating fiber, that is really helpful, and a lot of water.

[00:38:11] Kayli Anderson: So making sure that those two things are part of your day and then moving, and I know that that was actually something that helped me with morning sickness. Even if I didn't feel really excited about getting up and moving if I could just get myself outside and go for a walk or do a little bit of stretching or yoga, that can really help with morning sickness, and it can also help keep digestion regular as well.

[00:38:33] Maya Acosta: Wow, that's interesting. Had no idea that walking could help. And some of these symptoms, more specifically the morning sickness is, does that typically happen early in the pregnancy or can a woman experience it throughout her entire pregnancy? 

[00:38:46] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, both. So typically it's associated with that first trimester, the beginning of pregnancy. And most women, once they cross over into the second trimester, are relieved of the morning sickness. But other women do experience that on and off throughout their pregnancy, unfortunately.

[00:39:04] Maya Acosta: All right. Okay. Anything else that we need to consider associated with pregnancy symptoms?

[00:39:11] Kayli Anderson: So I mentioned heartburn and reflux, which can happen with that slowing of the digestive tract. So small frequent meals can be really helpful for that. Avoiding really high fat or oily foods which can contribute to heartburn. And then trying to not eat right before bed, or not eating a big meal right before bed. So I know a lot of women will wake up really hungry if they don't eat right before bed. So eat an early dinner and then maybe a smaller snack. Before bed can help with that heartburn.

[00:39:42] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. . Okay. And also it, well, since we're speaking about what to avoid in terms of food during the pregnancy, you're saying just avoid some of the foods that can aggravate or can cause sort of acid a reflux late at night.

[00:39:56] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. , what about coffee? Should um, pregnant women stay away from coffee? 

[00:40:02] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, it's a good question, and based on the evidence that we have right now, it's really kind of a personal choice because the evidence is pretty mixed on whether bad or good or okay or not. Okay. A cog recommends that women don't consume more than 200 milligrams a day, which is a two six-ounce cups of coffee.

[00:40:21] Kayli Anderson: That's coffee brew at home. So if you go to Starbucks or a coffee shop, it's probably going to be much stronger there. So you really just need to listen to your body and see how you respond to caffeine. If you can go caffeine-free, then that's great.

[00:40:36] Maya Acosta: All right. Well, this is, all the recommendations are great. And like you said, it's more, it's a personal choice. Mm-hmm. , you're just sharing with us what the evidence shows to be sort of the optimal way, uh, to have a healthy pregnancy. I mean, there are other things that you can do, but you're making recommendations. So I wanna add, as we talk about the other pillars of Lifestyle medicine, I wanna add that an adult niece of mine a couple of years ago, well, it's been a while.

[00:41:02] Maya Acosta: Was trying to induce her labor or just, you know, how they say to some of the recommendations are to exercise a little more, walk a little more as you're approaching your delivery day. And I remember we tried everything, you know, we were there with her kids' support, and one day we were at the mall and we saw this place that has like reflexology where they do pressure points on the feet.

[00:41:24] Maya Acosta: And I'm not recommending this at all because I'm not a doctor, so I don't know what the best thing to do is. But I remember that I said, I will pay for you to have this done if it's gonna make you feel better. And she said, Okay. So they give her like a nice foot massage and so pressure points on her feet.

[00:41:42] Maya Acosta: And we just finished walking the mall. Sure enough, that did it. She went into labor just a few hours later. Oh my gosh. But more than anything. Right. More than anything, what I felt was the benefit is just having that foot massage because you carry so much weight and the stressors of being pregnant. Mm-hmm. . So that was a fun fact and she always says that it was because of you Tia.

[00:42:03] Maya Acosta: Tia means like auntie, it was because of you that I had my baby. Wow. And so, but we know that lifestyle medicine has all these wonderful recommendations. I can support women during their pregnancy. I was wondering if you have time if you can go over some of those other recommendations and in terms of how women can self-care.

[00:42:21] Kayli Anderson: Sure, yeah. And just speaking to kind of labor and birth and making that process smoother, inducing it. There certainly are natural things like pressure, acupuncture, Um, certainly. Be in communication with your healthcare provider before you start adding those things. Um, but another cool one is eating dates.

[00:42:41] Kayli Anderson: And the recommendation is usually about at 36 37 weeks, eating three to four dates a day can actually help, help for an easier labor. And then red raspberry milk tea also has a lot of data behind it. So drinking that, especially in your third trimester, a cup or two a day can actually help with a smoother, easier labor.

[00:43:04] Kayli Anderson: And just as a, a resource for these types of things, there's a website called Evidence-Based Birth that you can literally search a topic like dates and or acupuncture or pressure, and it will show you all the data on that topic. So it can be really helpful when you're trying to navigate all of these different things.

[00:43:24] Maya Acosta: This is so cool. I am so glad that you brought that up. I'm gonna share it with family members. Yeah. Kayli, before we talk about, there was a question that I had that I, I didn't cover related to nutrition, so I'm wondering if I can still ask you about it. Sure. So we know that there if people that come on the plant-based diet also have concerns about whether they should avoid.

[00:43:44] Maya Acosta: Or only consume certain produce that's organic and that can be costly for some individuals. Do you have a perspective on that? Should women, when they're eating more greens or more berries, should they consider buying organic?

[00:43:57] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, I think, you know, my, my opinion is yes, if. It's possible for you. And if it's not possible, whether that's economically or access at your grocery store, whatever it might be, consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, no matter if they're conventional or organic, is the number one priority.

[00:44:17] Kayli Anderson: So do that first, and then if you're able to choose things, choose organic things, or then that's a great option. And you can use the environmental working group, The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen, if you wanna prioritize what things you buy. That's a good way to go as well.

[00:44:32] Maya Acosta: Okay. And if they choose not organic, because we know that organic foods can cost a little more, Believe me. Mm-hmm. , we do groceries all the time. Right. You and I, and all of us. And we're always comparing prices. Is there a solution that you could offer for giving our vegetables a good rinse in case they have been exposed to pesticides or besides mm-hmm.?

[00:44:54] Kayli Anderson: Yeah. So just, I mean, rinsing with water is the best way to go for those things. And in general, if you think about things where you're not eating the skin, then those are the best things to buy. Conventional. So like a banana or an avocado, you know, you're not eating the parts. The main part that was sprayed with pesticides. For things like berries where we are eating the skin. And that's a place where we might wanna prioritize, uh, organic items.

[00:45:23] Maya Acosta: Yeah. I'm so obsessed with that whole thing. When I see my husband pull something out of the fridge and eat it directly like an apple or, or, or a carry, I'm just like, You gotta rinse. Right. You gotta rinse your produce. Give them a good bath right before you consume them. Right. Okay, great. Right, So we were talking about that your recommendation of the evidence-based births website.

[00:45:44] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. , just other, like you said, anything additional kind of holistic approaches to having a good delivery. And then, can you talk about like movement and the importance of sleep, and how women can manage some of the stress they may have during pregnancy?

[00:46:00] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. So movement is one that's really important, and that's one that often slips during pregnancy for many reasons. Some women are just afraid of doing, you know, a strenuous exercise or even non-strenuous exercise because they're not sure if it is hurting the baby or. If they shouldn't be doing that, or these symptoms that they're having, like morning sickness, are preventing them from wanting to move their bodies, or they're just tired, you know?

[00:46:28] Kayli Anderson: But as much as possible, prioritizing movement during pregnancy is really important, and it does tend to lead to easier labor. Complications, less need for pain medications. So it's associated with all of those things. So staying active is great, and I'm not sure of the validity of this, but I read in one of the books that I read, that Labor and Birth, the energy requirements of that is about equivalent to a 50-mile height. So it's certainly very physical endeavor. So having a sense of muscle tone and flexibility is really important during that.

[00:47:05] Maya Acosta: Wow. Helps understand why women are just so exhausted afterwards and probably don't even want, like, don't come see me after I deliver. Give me a break. Right?

[00:47:15] Kayli Anderson: Unless you're gonna hold the baby while I sleep, then

[00:47:18] Maya Acosta: That's right. Wow. That's incredible. Yeah.

[00:47:21] Kayli Anderson: And uh, the recommendations are actually the same as they are pre-pregnancy, so about 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. The really important thing is to listen to your body during that time because there are modifications that need to be done.

[00:47:35] Kayli Anderson: So, for example, it becomes unsafe at a certain time of pregnancy to lay flat on your back because of the pressure that everything puts, puts on kind of blood flow. So you'll need to modify certain exercises. So perhaps speaking to fitness professional who's educated in prenatal exercise would be important, just so you know how to adjust things and do things that feel good.

[00:48:00] Kayli Anderson: Pregnancy is an opportunity to be with your body and get to know your body on a whole different level. And so do things that feel good to you, that feel nourishing to you during that time?

[00:48:11] Maya Acosta: Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact, as you're describing all of this support for women, I'm thinking of back in the day, probably my mother's generation, or even mine, I don't remember where mm-hmm women would attend Lamaze classes. Mm-hmm. , um, they were popular at one time. Mm-hmm. And it, and you know, I've always saw that as a form of self-care. You know, you're learning how to breathe, how, and who knows if all of that goes out the window once a woman is actually in labor, she's probably like whatever to the breathing exercises.

[00:48:41] Maya Acosta: But I saw it as a way to bond with your partner that you're doing this however often you would attend, like once a week with other pregnant women. So you're probably feeling supported and finding something in common with others. You're practicing your breathing exercises, you're really. Coming, you're presenting yourself in your body as a pregnant woman. Mm-hmm. , Do you know if there are groups like that anymore?

[00:49:05] Kayli Anderson: Yes, absolutely. So I know that most hospitals or birthing centers offer some kind of childbirth education class, and then online you can find lots of different classes, and you know, there's Lamaze, there's hypnobirthing, there's all sorts of different methodologies, and so you kinda find the one that resonates with you the most.

[00:49:24] Kayli Anderson: But I know my husband and I did virtual five-week childbirth education class. So for three hours every Sunday, we met virtually with our instructor and other. Other couples who are expecting as well and social support and having that sense of connection either with your partner or with someone like a teacher, a doula, a midwife, whoever that might be for you, and then other people who are going through the experience at the same time that you are, is really important and really impactful in people's mental wellbeing during that time.

[00:49:58] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. You were speaking about, you know, sleep hygiene and how it's important not to lay flat on your back is something that we don't wanna do. Do you have other recommendations that women can do to try to kind of ease, you know, as you're dealing with the body changing, your sleep probably gets disrupted? What can they do to sleep better during that time?

[00:50:18] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, so I would say the first thing is to. Figure out a way to sleep comfortably. So it's hard if you are used to sleeping on your back or used to sleeping on your stomach because now you're, you know, stuck with sleeping on your side, and they recommend it's your left side versus your right side.

[00:50:36] Kayli Anderson: And so that can get uncomfortable for a lot of people. So they make a lot of great pregnancy pillows and body pillows, and you can also just use a bunch of pillows from your own bed if that works. But just finding a way to support your body so that you feel, you feel comfortable and can sleep. So I know that for me, I have a big pregnancy pillow that kind of wraps around me, gives me back support, and then it also a smaller pillow that goes underneath of my belly and kind of lifts it up a little bit, so it's not pulling on my back when I'm sleeping. So that can be really helpful as well.

[00:51:08] Maya Acosta: Okay, great recommendations. And I also assume that if a woman is, if this is her second or third pregnancy, pregnancy, then she still has that one child to care for and on top of other responsibilities. So that can be very difficult when you were on previously you spoke about environmental toxins and more so, uh, associated with personal care products.

[00:51:33] Maya Acosta: Household products. And we know that pregnant women are kind of sometimes bombarded with, you know, you should have this, you should have that to ease pregnancy. I wonder if you can talk about that, like the environmental toxins found in products. Mm-hmm. and another one not associated with environmental toxins, but I've heard that rubbing like vitamin E on the belly helps to reduce the stretch marks. I was wondering if you can talk about that as well. Mm-hmm. ?

[00:51:57] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah. So environmental toxins is a topic. We talk a lot about that in our last conversation together, and it's a really important one for women's health because a lot of the chemicals that are used in plastics in pesticides in personal care products and cleaning products, endocrine disruptors, which means they disrupt our hormones.

[00:52:19] Kayli Anderson: And so that can lead to a lot of reproductive issues. So whether that's irregular periods or early onset puberty, early onset menopause, PCOS, infertility so, certainly, all of these things matter a lot during pregnancy, and you have not only yourself and your own health to worry about during that time.

[00:52:41] Kayli Anderson: There's also a baby involved in babies are much more sensitive to those chemicals than adults are. They're much less able to, um, process them or eliminate them compared to adults. So really important to prioritize kinda reducing those in the products that you're using. So the good news is there's a lot of great.

[00:53:03] Kayli Anderson: Kind of more natural products out there, things that don't have those chemicals in them that are available for pregnant moms. There's a few different brands that people will be able to find that have everything from baby products, so things like diaper bomb, to things for mom as well. So you mentioned rubbing things on your belly.

[00:53:22] Kayli Anderson: So there's a lot of great, um, they're called SAVs that you can rub on your skin. And so they are essentially some kinda oil, like a coconut oil, almond oil infused with herbs that are really good for your skin. And so that can help with preventing stretch marks. Also, when your skin is stretching, it tends to get really itchy and uncomfortable, so it can help kind of soothe that as well.

[00:53:47] Maya Acosta: Okay. That sounds like self-care already. Yes. Speaking of, are salt baths, like Epsom salt baths, safe for pregnant women?

[00:53:57] Kayli Anderson: Yes. Those can be really great. And if you are dealing with itchy skin, I know that can be a common symptom. An oatmeal bath can also be an option, so you can do Epsom salt with some essential oils like camo meal or lavender in there.

[00:54:12] Kayli Anderson: And then oatmeal bath, you really just take oatmeal rolled oats and grind them into a really fine powder and add that to the bath, and it makes, and that can really help with the soothing the skin as well.

[00:54:25] Maya Acosta: Wonderful. So some of these recommendations are they also found on your website and, more specifically, those associated with the environmental toxins?

[00:54:34] Kayli Anderson: Yes. I do have quite a bit of information on my website on plant-based with product recommendations. I have a low-toxin guide that has a ton of product recommendations. I can make sure that you have the link to that, and that's free as well. And then the Environmental working group also has a lot of resources.

[00:54:53] Kayli Anderson: So they have a app that you can download, and you can actually scan right from your phone the products in your house, and it'll give you their rating as far as the chemicals that they contain. And then they also give recommendations on kinda the top. Products that are rated really well based on their ingredients to help you, uh, make swaps so cool.

[00:55:16] Maya Acosta: Yes. Mm-hmm. , I definitely look at that list and mainly because I eat a lot more berries now than I did in my younger years. So, and I also notice that I have my favorite organic blueberries, the brand, you know, so I taste them here and there, depending on where I'm at. And there are some that I like a lot more.

[00:55:33] Maya Acosta: Right. So now say that we have listeners who are new to this idea of, you know, being plant-based and might be either planning a pregnancy or are currently pregnant. Do you have some resources that you recommend for, uh, women who are ready to make that change or wanna incorporate more plant-based foods while they're pregnant?

[00:55:51 ]Kayli Anderson:  Sure. Yeah. So, of course, plant-based mavens. My website has a lot of great information on nutrition, especially in pregnancy and then just in women's health in general. Uh, so that's a great place to go to just get some free information. I'm also always happy to chat about those types of things. So in, reaching me through Instagram is a great way plant-based at plant-based mavens, and I'm happy to offer advice if I can.

[00:56:16] Kayli Anderson: The Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group is an organization, and I can share the link with you, Maya, so your listeners have that. Yes. And they have some handouts that are made by dieticians on plant-based pregnancy and plant-based lactation nutrition. That can be really helpful. And then kind of outside the nutrition realm, just some other resources that I've found helpful and clients have found helpful. I don't know if you're familiar with the mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Have you heard of that program? Um,

[00:56:50] Maya Acosta: Um, please tell us more. I haven't.

[00:56:51] Kayli Anderson: Sure. Yeah, so it's an evidence-based program. It was, I think, originally developed for people going through cancer treatment it's a mindfulness program, and it's really well-known and really effective in a lot of different areas for pain management and reducing stress for different reasons.

[00:57:09] Kayli Anderson: And they've actually adapted aversion for birth. And there's a book called Mindful Birthing that talks about it. And then they have resources online as well. They have classes and different free resources, free meditations, and things that are really great. The Headspace app they have pregnancy meditations, which are really great just to kind of bring that relaxation, mindfulness aspect.

[00:57:35] Kayli Anderson: And then there's another app. I haven't experienced experienced this one much, but it's called Respectful, and it has a lot of mindfulness tools for pregnancy as.

[00:57:44] Maya Acosta: This is so cool. I'm gonna check these things out, even though I'm not in that area, but it's amazing, Kayli, how many guests come on the show and make recommendations to content, and then I end up buying the book or whatever may be, and I'm reading.

[00:58:00] Maya Acosta: And that's how I learned. I, so many of the books that I'm now reading come from someone that makes, just throws out the title. And I'm curious enough that's to where I go, and I read this stuff, Uhhuh. This whole idea of mindfulness or mindful birthing is fascinating to me. So I'm gonna explore that and share it, of course, with the ladies.

[00:58:17] Maya Acosta: But it's the whole idea of, I've always felt like that's so sacred. Birthing is so sacred, and I feel like there should be like more mindfulness to it, More of a ceremonial, more of a welcoming this beautiful being into our lives and into the world. Mm-hmm. , I can't wait to explore all of that. And I wanna add, when you were talking about just meditation, that I find it's so valuable just taking a, even if I'm doing a guided meditation with audio, like you said, like Headspace.

[00:58:49] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. , or I do the mindful walking with guided meditation. It's amazing. Just a couple of minutes of doing that per day, how that changes. My mindset, my energy, someone like myself needs all of that to relax. Mm-hmm. and to ground. So definitely, this is great stuff. Yeah.

[00:59:09] Kayli Anderson: I love that. It's so important. It's so helpful to even just to be with what is, which is something that during pregnancy and birth, And even postpartum, you have to kind of embrace what is and what will be, and it can really help with that as well.

[00:59:24] Maya Acosta: Definitely. And then, I will make sure that I add links to other conversations that I had to this episode associated with like plant-based pediatricians. Mm-hmm. , because I'm sure that after that come the questions of, Okay, so I've had this pregnancy on a plant-based diet. Now, what about my child? Right? Like, is it safe? You know, and we continue the conversation with that. But if there's anything you'd like to add about that, please feel.

[00:59:49] Kayli Anderson: Sure. So again, it is safe during any stage of the life cycle, including for babies, toddlers, children, and again, that well-planned piece is really important. So knowing what foods are really important and knowing, for example, that kids need a lot more fat than adults do.

[01:00:08] Kayli Anderson: So a really low-fat plan, plant-based diet would not be appropriate. And then certain supplements that are important as well. So glad that you've interviewed people on that topic because I think it was such a scary thing for a lot of parents because there wasn't a lot of information, and you're just kind of get scared into, you know, giving your kid the whole milk because that's what the pediatrician says to do. So that's so great that you have that information available.

[01:00:33] Maya Acosta: Yes. Wonderful. Mm-hmm. . Well, Kayli, congratulations on your pregnancy. Oh, thank you. And I'm assuming this is your first one? Yes?

[01:00:40] Kayli Anderson: Yep. It is. Yep. Yeah. So learning all of this as I go to.

[01:00:47] Maya Acosta: Well, that was what I was gonna ask you is are you sharing this on your group?

[01:00:51] Kayli Anderson: I have a Facebook page, kind of a closed community is in the work, so stay tuned for that.

[01:00:56] Maya Acosta: Yes. It seems to me that women would really want to be part of a Facebook group mm-hmm. , and have interests in sharing tips and encouraging one another. But I love what you created with plant-based mavens, and I'm so thankful that you were on today to share with us all these tips that you know can be concerning sometimes for women, for anyone really that comes on board consuming a plant-based diet.

[01:01:19] Maya Acosta: But then they go on to have children, and then they wanna make sure that they're doing the right thing. And so you being a registered dietician and being trained in lifestyle medicine, would know what are the best foods for a pregnancy. And again, we wanna encourage women just to really self-care, not focus too much on weight gain, not focus too much on doing it all Perfect.

[01:01:39] Maya Acosta: And listening to your body. You talk about intuitive eating as well. Is there anything else you'd like to say, something I might have forgotten to ask, or a final message for our listeners? 

[01:01:50] Kayli Anderson: Yeah, well, I love all that, that you shared, and that's really the goal. You know, my goal is to, especially during a time like pregnancy when anxieties and worries can be really high, is to provide trustworthy information and also make it fun and inviting and know you have a lot of space and flexibility, so don't get too hung up on being perfect about whether that's, um, how many calories you're eating or what nutrients you're taking in, or how many hours of sleep you're getting. You just have to do the best you can and really listen to your body.

[01:02:25] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. Thank you, Kayli Anderson, for being on the show again. Thank you.

[01:02:29] Kayli Anderson: Thank you so much, Maya. It was so wonderful, as always.

[01:02:32] Maya Acosta: Thank you, Kayli, for sharing many resources to support expect mothers and women interested in this content. Kayli an expectant mother made excellent prenatal nutrition and lifestyle medicine recommendations. A plant-based diet rich in whole foods like beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables offers optimal nutrition for both mother and child.

[01:02:53] Maya Acosta: Research has shown that vegetarian mothers have no greater risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes than non-vegetarian mothers. A vegan diet may offer many benefits during pregnancy. Let's go over some of those recommendations. Number one, choose nutrient-rich foods over those that are high in fat, sugar, and anti-calorie.

[01:03:13] Maya Acosta: To meet your increased calorie needs during pregnancy, eat nutrient-rich fruits instead of those that are high in fat, Sugar and empty calories include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fort to five foods or supplements can help you get the necessary nutrients, especially if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

[01:03:31] Maya Acosta: To ensure that you're getting the nutrients you need, talk to your doctor or a registered dietician about what's best for you, and they can help you create a healthy eating plan that meets your needs. Number two, Kayli spoke about calcium essential fats, folate, iron protein, B12, B, vitamin D, zinc, and iodine in your diet to ensure that you get all the nutrients that you need during your pregnancy.

[01:03:54] Maya Acosta: Focus on eating various nutritious foods like the ones mentioned above. Also, consider getting a prenatal supplement that includes some of these essential nutrients. And finally, number three, practice self-care. Kayli made excellent recommendations about getting adequate sleep. Taking walks regularly and being gentle with oneself.

[01:04:14] Maya Acosta: Look into mindfulness apps. Take online birthing classes, and check out plant-based for additional resources. We hope that this information has been valuable. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's conversation. Are you an expected mother? Were some of your concerns addressed? You can now leave me a

[01:04:40] Maya Acosta: And as always, my friends, thank you for being listeners. You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast with your host, Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.