The Real Deal on Vitamin A

So we begin our journey exploring all the vitamins of the alphabet. It's awesome (get it "A"wesome?) that vitamin A is the first one because in my mind, it is one of the most important micronutrients not only to help you boost your fertility and prepare for pregnancy, but also during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, let's explore the wonders of this over achieving vitamin. 

The Scoop on Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is important for many key functions in the body. These include: 

  • Eyesight
  • Hormone Balance and Fertility  
  • Thyroid function
  • Bone growth and skin health
  • Cell differentiation and multiplication
  • Immune Function (viruses and bacteria seem to retreat in the presence of high vit A)
  • For your growing baby specifically:  Vitamin A is important for the development of the neural pathways between the brain and sensory organs and in the development of the nephrons in the kidney.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is also associated with pregnancy loss...needless to say, it's an important part of a healthy diet. 

Two Types of Vitamin A

Liver is one of the very best sources of vitamin A

Liver is one of the very best sources of vitamin A

Retinoids (Reteinol Esters): Derived from animal sources. Retinoids are found in the liver of any animal and in smaller quantities in egg yolks,  butter and cream from grass fed cows. 

Carotenoids:  AKA Beta-carotene. Vitamin A derived from plant sources. Think carrots, winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe. Basically, if it has an orange hue, it's probably rich in carotenoids. Carotenoids must be converted by the body into retinol in order to be used by the body. This is kind of tricky for the body to do and is a pretty inefficient process. This process can be even trickier if you suffer from a hormone imbalance, thyroid condition, it can be effected by food preparation and cooking methods and also if don't have enough fat in your diet or if you have digestive problems. Babies also don't convert well (another reason to feed your infants over 6months liver).  

Vit A in a Nutshell

  • Fat soluble Vitamin. This means it must be consumed with a fat to be properly absorbed.
  • Both Retinol Esters from animals and Beta Carotene from plants must be converted by the body into Retinoids. Once converted they are stored in the liver as Retinol Esters. This  is why liver is such a rad source of Vit A and also why high doses of vitamin A retinol, when taken in a concentrated form, can cause birth defects months after discontinuing them. High potency topical skin serums are known for this. 
  • Traditional cultures around the world seem to instinctively know the the benefits of proper vitamin A consumption. In fact, liver is found in the diets of almost every tribal group around the world, from the Canadian Inuit to the Maori in New Zealand. Many cultures even make special efforts to ensure pregnant women consume liver regularly. They instinctively know that vitamin A is critical for the health and wellbeing of our growing babies and is an KEY part of there development. Weston A Price has a great article that goes into the details about why Vitamin A is so critical for fetal development. Take home message....CONSUME LIVER in reasonable amounts! 

Vitamin A Toxicity in Pregnancy

The fear about Vitamin A toxicity in pregnancy over the past 20 years is something that commonly worries women whenever I suggest regular  dietary liver consumption. Here's the deal.....In 1995, a small study based in Boston found that high does of vitamin A could cause neural tube defects. The issue with this study is that it only looked at higher does (25,000 IU+) Vitamin A consumption from SYNTHETIC sources (retinol & retinol esters).  Follow up studies from several sites in Europe concluded that doses up to 30-50,000 IU in pregnancy from REAL FOOD sources were very safe, in fact, potentially beneficial to pregnant women. Sadly however the FDA did not change it's message and the public was once again misinformed.

Retinol Sources and Levels

  • High-vitamin cod liver oil 230,000IU /100g
  • Regular cod liver oil 100,000IU /100g
  • Duck liver 40,000IU/100g
  • Beef liver 35,000IU/100g
  • Goose liver 31,000IU/100g
  • Liverwurst sausage (pork) 28,000IU/100g
  • Lamb liver 25,000IU/100g
  • Egg Yolk 1,442IU/100g
  • Pasture Raised Butter 2,500IU /100g (this level varies greatly depending on diet of cows)

The US  and Canada currently recommend 5,000 IU per day . From the work of Weston Price, we could guess that the amount of Vitamin A in primitive diets could have as high as 50,000 IU per day. Current  recommendations from a variety of sources hover around the  10,000 IU-25,000IU level when obtained from a modern diet rich in daily grass fed butter, eggs from pastured animals and beef, lamb or poultry liver several times once a week. If you're not eating liver adding a 1 tablespoon of fermented cod liver oil can help. You can also take liver capsules, which are also a great source of b-vitamins. Solgar, Vital Pastures and Radiant Life all make good products.  

What's a Pregnant Paleo Mama to do?

Lambs of the milder livers. It makes great meatballs and pate spreads.

  1. Always enjoy your vitamin A sources with a fat. Vitamin A is fat soluble and needs fat to be properly absorbed.

  2. Enjoy liberal amounts of butter from grass fed cows and egg yolks. 

  3. Enjoy liver from grass fed animals once or twice a week to ensure you have a good supply of retinoids. Unless you are consuming Polar Bear or walrus liver, a serving or two of liver per week is not likely to cause any trouble. If you find the flavour of liver to be strong, try chicken liver, duck liver or lambs liver. They are milder. I have a great lambs liver meatball recipe ! It's easy to hide a few ounces of liver in meatballs, burgers or meatloaf. If you're feeling adventurous you could also try one of  Liz's Liver Smoothie Shots I'm going to give this a go this week....keep your eyes out for me on Instagram giving this a shot...literally. Ha ha. 

  4. Consume beta-carotene rich foods to your hearts content. Yumm squash (I am a squash addict) 

    • Always consume vitamin A rich food with a FAT. This helps you absorb to absorb the nutrient. This gives you full permission to slather your yam or kabocha squash liberally with grass fed butter or coconut oil. 

  5. Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin E in your diet

    • Vitamin E is necessary for the absorption of Vitamin A. Vitamin E can be found in: spinach, turnip, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collard greens, broccoli, kale and brussels sprouts.

  6. Pregnant or planning for pregnancy? I'd give your high dose Retinol skin creams a miss to reduce the chance of toxicity. Try a vitamin C skin serum instead to achieve a beautiful glow!  


Meg the Midwife's Guide to Self Love and the best Vitamins: From A to Z

Vitamins... OMG if you're a woman these days you're often BOMBARDED with adds, blog posts and displays in your local Whole Foods trying to sell you the next greatest thing vitamin that will cure all that ales you, help you have an effortless, glowing pregnancy, recover, lose weight, have the perfect baby, cure said perfect baby from crying and throwing your sleep out of whack, then oh yea, take this to help you sleep. Shessh. 

By far, the most common question I get from women, and a few of their lovely partners, is, what are the best prenatal vitamins and why? What are the most important nutrients to help nourish a fertile body and support a healthy pregnancy? What vitamins are important to help you recover postpartum and help as create 'uber awesome' breastmilk? Well, I'm going to answer all of these question over the upcoming months starting with that super important vitamin A and going all the way to good ol' Z (for zinc) 

But first....indulge me in a ramble. By far, the most important nutrient you can support health and wellbeing is is vitamin "L".... that's LOVE. I know, I know, it's a bit cheezy, but I am a grain free granola crunching midwife after all. Seriously, the best thing you can do for your body and mind is invite love into your life.

Self love, is the BEST! Self love goes way beyond self esteem, although, self esteem is a lovely side effect of caring for yourself. I talked about the importance of having gentle loving kindness for yourself when you're healing from either a miscarriage or a traumatic birth experience on Part 1 of my episode with the Balanced Bites Podcast a few weeks ago.

Self love is an important part of self care. Loving yourself means honouring and respecting the AMAZING body you have. I'm not talking about taking a selfie of yourself flexing at the gym, although, truth, I've done this with no apologies. I'm talking about recognizing just how powerful your body is and respecting all that it does for you. This means being kind to yourself, no matter what. When we forget to be kind, it's easy to start sabotaging the essence of a healthy body through self judgement, shame and unrealistic ideals. In other words, if we lose the joy in caring for ourselves, we don't feel happy. Not feeling happy or satisfied can actually manifest themselves physically in your body. Your stress hormones, including cortisol, can go up, your digestion suffers, the way you assimilate the nutrients from a healthy diet is effected and even your gut bacteria can be altered! If these aren't reasons enough, think about how it feels to be sad or anxious all the time. Not really a space or place I want to live in. An unhappy mind is not healthy. 

How do we step out of these patterns ? First, simply recognizing negative self talk or habits. Remember that saying in the 80's or maybe it was the 90's, "knowing is half the battle" .... GI Joe said that, but anyway, seriously, that is the first step. Once you've gotten some awareness you can actually take some steps towards positive action. 

Meg's tips for inviting more self love into your life

No sir, I'm not going to the gym, I think I'll take a nap instead. 

No sir, I'm not going to the gym, I think I'll take a nap instead. 

1. Whenever you feel your mind slipping into a negative pattern, recognize it. You don't need to judge it, just witness it....sit with it and simply let it be. Have a touch of gentle loving kindness for yourself. 

2. Actively change your thought pattern and LISTEN to your body.  Once you've recognized that negative self talk, say something positive to yourself that opposes it. For example, you might be 2 months pregnant. You're also a gym junkie. You workout not only because it makes you feel good but also because it helps you feel in control of your body. You haven't been able to work out for days and you finally have a chance but're soooo tired. You start an inner dialogue that tells you to get your lazy butt off the couch and get to the gym or else you're going to get 'soft'. Now is the time to change those thoughts. Your pregnant! Give yourself a break. Honour the amazing things you're body is doing....that's why it's so tired. Think to yourself, what would feel most nourishing? A nap? A walk outside? A bit of yoga?....listen to what it says in reply. 

3. Make sure to take time every day to practice some form of self care. For me, it is usually 10 mins of meditation in the morning or evening or a touch of restorative yoga. It can also mean cooking yourself a healthy meal, getting a massage, going for a walk in the woods, watching Real Housewives, whatever! Just do something that honours your space and nourishes your sense of LOVE for yourself. 

4. If you're struggling breaking these patterns or find that your going through something traumatic, like a birth trauma, get help. Reaching out to a clinical therapist can work wonders in many circumstances. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. It means you are human! 

Taking care of yourself and practicing self love is the BEST thing you can do and the BEST vitamin out there. It has the benefits of making you a better woman, better mother and better lover. Give yourself a dose every damn day. 

A walk and a shot of kindness (with a pinch of tumeric). THE BEST! 

A walk and a shot of kindness (with a pinch of tumeric). THE BEST! 



The real Meg the Midwife

I’ve been SO wonderfully inspired lately….like really inspired. Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge of something life changing and profound? These days I feel ready to burst with excitement. It’s like there is a parade of happy dancing kittens cheering me on. Ha ha, but seriously, all these new revelations have brought me to a space of beautiful vulnerability and because of this, I’ve decided to share a bit of my story with you.

I’ve been a Midwife and involved in the lives of mom’s and babies for a long time. More than 15 years! That’s almost half my life. I love my job. There is nothing more humbling, beautiful and awe inspiring than helping a family safely welcome another little soul into the world. But, this career is not without it’s significant challenges, sacrifices and heartaches. Here’s where things get a bit more personal. Over the past few years I’ve been forced to deeply re-evaluate my life, my directions and prioritize what is truly important. These lessons have been hard learned and are what I’m so excited to share.

2007. My late fiance and I. Happy, healthy, hormones balanced

2007. My late fiance and I. Happy, healthy, hormones balanced

In 2007, I was in the midst of a busy midwifery residency when my whole world came crashing down. My fiancé and life partner suddenly passed away. I was heartbroken and felt utterly destroyed. Did I stop to heal and take time to grieve? No….not really, I kept going. I dove head first into my career and found purpose, love and passion in helping others.

I spent hundreds nights helping usher new lives into the world and in the midst of all of this I also pushed my body to preform athletically, as an avid skier, trail runner and climber. So, can you guess what happened? My body started to speak to me. My hormones became unbalanced, my mood and energy suffered tremendously, I found myself overwhelmed by food allergies and sensitivities and worst of all (for a midwife) I found myself infertile.

These little people are worth it! Caught by surprise while therapeutic baby snuggling and recovering from feeling not so awesome.

These little people are worth it! Caught by surprise while therapeutic baby snuggling and recovering from feeling not so awesome.

So, call to action! In 2012 I started my journey back to health and wellbeing. I learned all I could about nutrition, holistic health and functional medicine. I changed my diet and adopted a more Paleo diet, I changed my exercise habits (a bit) and also started sharing what I was learning with my clients, blog followers and pretty much anyone who asked.

Do you know what happened? My clients became healthier and happier but somehow, I kept getting worse and my body began shutting down. Wait….what was I doing wrong? Well, a few things. While I had been busy caring for my clients, as so many of us do, I did so by rather neglecting my needs and myself. After a big health scare this summer, I realized was doing a pretty crappy job at following my own advice. I had all the tools at my disposal to heal myself but, the stress of a job paired with a busy type-A lifestyle didn’t give me space to fully enact my healing program. What a frustrating situation! However, do you know what I learned? What was missing piece of the puzzle? 

Here’s the simple plan I started for myself.

1.     Diagnose and treat deficiencies:

After running a few traditional and non-traditional tests, I discovered where my body was weak and started to treat my deficiencies without over supplementing the parts of me that were strong. I’ll be following this post with another to share what worked for me.

2.     Eat for health AND for happiness

I’ve always been good at this part of the puzzle; I’ve been extra careful to avoid foods that cause me problems. My previously squeaky clean diet, (yes, I actually eat liver every week) actually needed to loosen up. Relaxing my diet a bit has created more spontaneity and joy, AKA more healthy treats and healthy carbs = pleasure and balance. This has value. Great value. Sometimes you have to eat the coconut milk ice cream or gluten free French toast. Have your deal breakers (I’ll share how I found mine in another post) but remember food should both nourish your spirit and body.

3.     Learn to manage stress in all it’s forms

This was BY FAR the biggest piece of the puzzle for me. As much as it broke my heart to admit, my body needed a break from being on-call and up all night catching babies. Sleep deprivation and a high stress career put immense pressure on my body and with all the other systems stressed, the lack of sleep just did me in. I’ve worked with numerous shift workers (nurses, etc) and new mom’s in similar situations. It’s a tricky place to be and demands a lot of attention, respect, as well as appropriate support.

For me, it wasn’t just the job stress that harmed my health but it was also untreated emotional trauma, such as what I suffered when I lost my partner. I’ve had to learn to re-program my cells using a combination of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. For me, spending time in the mountains is one of the most helpful things I can do for myself, but everyone is different (my Instagram feed is the proof in the pudding..yumm pudding).

"Treating yourself with a pinch of gentle loving kindness can sometimes be the world’s best medicine." Meg the Midwife

Over the past few months I’ve stepped away from baby catching. I’m sleeping, eating quality food, and taking appropriate supplements while spending time in nature. My hormones are re-balancing. I have perfect poops every damn day (ha ha...true story). I’m slowly starting to get better and become a fertile woman again. It feels miraculous.

Me today, slowing down and enjoying a rainy day espresso with my most amazing, supportive and loving partner. 

Me today, slowing down and enjoying a rainy day espresso with my most amazing, supportive and loving partner. 

What does the future hold? Well, I’m still going to be baby-catching, but with more scheduled time off. Due to popular demand I’m also transitioning towards supporting women and their families in different ways. I’m creating more space and time for nutrition and lifestyle consulting. I’ve been re-affirming my mission to share information, learn all I can and help other women find their radiance, fertility and support their pregnancies.

So there it is….that’s a little piece of my story. Stay tuned for more info about what I’m doing to help myself along the way. Please feel free to share your stories and contact me with questions, I love hearing from you.

Big Love,



Some of the magical places I've been exploring lately. Slow down and disconnect in order to re-connect with yourself!  

Some of the magical places I've been exploring lately. Slow down and disconnect in order to re-connect with yourself!  

Could your "Fertility" Diet actually be sabotaging your ability to conceive?

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about the “optimal” diet for fertility. Between finishing up with Baby Making and Beyond and working towards my Registered Holistic Nutritionist  (RHN) certification, nutrition is number one on my mind.

Liver, tasty to some, stressful to others

Liver, tasty to some, stressful to others

So, back to my question, is your fertility diet actually sabotaging your ability to conceive?  What do I mean by that, well, let me explain. This question was triggered by an email sent out by Real Food Liz, my BMB partner in crime. In it she posed the question, are you “accidentally” dieting.  Listening to the Balanced Bites podcast this week there was some discussion about how we view our food choices. There is a large tendency in our food and looks obsessed culture to diet, go on detoxes and boot camps. Some of these programs can be great re-sets for helping us move towards a more healthy, balanced real food approach, but sometimes, the “rules” they create can end up extending past these 21 or 30 day challenges, limiting our diets, but more importantly, create a toxic relationship around food. Food can be labeled, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and even worse ‘permitted’ or ‘not permitted’.  We can lose our ability to enjoy eating and enjoy our meals.

Back to my original question, is your fertility diet actually sabotaging your ability to conceive?  While I’m trying to create the most optimal dietary guidelines to maximize fertility it is my most sincere fear that these “guidelines” could actually cause more damage than they create good by causing toxic STRESS and feelings of deprivation for some women who just so desperately want to do the very best thing for themselves and for their future babies.  Stress, in any form, is toxic to fertility. Put very simply, stress activates adrenal hormones (think cortisol), which sends signals to your body that now is a stressful time and not a good time to conceive. Stress is powerful enough that the benefits of even the most “perfect” fertility diet could be nullified by the effects of elevated cortisol. 

Here’s the issue with stress when you’re seeking to optimize fertility:

  1. Cortisol raises blood sugars and promote inflammation as well as unhealthy weight gain (especially around your tummy). 
  2. Cortisol reduces your body’s ability to make it’s own sex hormones including thyroid, estrogen and progesterone
  3. The constant stress on the adrenal system tells the body that it’s not “safe” and that now is not a good time to raise a baby successfully. 

 So, what to do about it? What can you do if you feel trapped in a “diet” or set of eating “rules” . What do you do if you're feeling deprived, stressed out or exhausted by trying to achieve the perfect diet ?

1.     Let go of all the rules! We each get multiple times each day to make food choices. We are all individuals, not robots. Sometimes we make more nutrient dense choices, while other times we may make choices that just satisfy our souls. When enjoyed, these are all GOOD CHOICES. Try to choose nutrient dense most of the time. Other times just enjoy the ice cream Sunday or gluten free pizza. Heck, last week I ate a marshmallow that fell in the fire pit. Whatever. No stress, no consequence. One choice at a time.

2.     Create a list of ‘smart’ deal breakers Always avoid things that obviously are harmful for your body and are known to cause a reaction or be a source of inflammation. For me it’s dairy and gluten. They are an absolute NO GO. That being said. When I want my ice cream sundae, I’ll make it with decadent coconut milk ice cream and dairy free chocolate fudge. No suffering here!

3.     If fertility is your goal, create a list of things you want to include each week and then fill in the gaps with spontaneous eating habits that nourish your body and soul. For example, you want to eat liver twice each week, eat dark leafy greens every day and enjoy more bone broth. Easy!  Meet these goals and then fill in your diet with spontaneous unplanned choices that keep your mind, body and soul satisfied.

This woman is enjoying her meal...she's also a fertility nurse and know's the how important it is to learn to stay chilled out. 

This woman is enjoying her meal...she's also a fertility nurse and know's the how important it is to learn to stay chilled out. 

4.     Create a stress free culture around meal times. Enjoy your food. Sit down with family for at least one meal per day. Try not to eat on the run or be distracted by the TV or computer when you nosh. Take five deep breaths before sitting down to eat. Not only will this aid in digestion and nutrient absorption (fertility bonus),but it will  also acts as a potent stress reliever. If regular meditation or yoga isn’t already a part of your fertility practice, MAKE IT A PRIORITY. Yes, I said this loudly, a stress management plan is just as important as anything you put in your mouth. We will have a GIANT stress section in Baby Making and Beyond, so stay tuned for that.


If you need help with your diet or nutrient plan, feel free to send me a message. I’ll be accepting new clients in the spring of 2017 and have a waiting list started of everyone who’s interested in a bit of help. I’ll be offering a wide variety of both hormone and allergy testing as well as fertility, prenatal and post- baby nutrition packages. So stoked for this new phase in my career and excited to keep working with all of you wonderful women.  Also, stay tuned for a series of e-books designed to help you get on your way to fertility and pregnancy friendly paleo eats.


Dark chocolate hazelnut ripple....and yup, it's's also delicious! 

Dark chocolate hazelnut ripple....and yup, it's's also delicious! 

Till then, enjoy that Sundae. You know how I feel about ice cream! 

Reflections, redirection and rejuvination

Can you believe it's been 10.5 months?! Time flies and as I find myself in a space of reflection, I'm realizing that for the past few years (or more), my mantra has been,  "I'm just so busy, there's no time".  I've been chasing the "dragon" so to speak, burning the candle on both ends trying to keep up with work and life.

Well, you know what happened? It caught up to me. Shocking, I guess I'm not immune to burnout and my body is protesting! After facing some real health issues, I'm re-focusing and defining what balance means for me. I'm  also re-defining how I can continue to give back to the beautiful world of women and families while honouring my self and it's own needs.

In the next few months, expect some exciting announcements, new posts and different directions. I've started my path towards becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist so I can officially add that piece to my practice and am psyched to share this journey with all my readers. Keep the questions coming, I love the daily emails I get from women and their partners near and far. 

Big love

Meg the Midwife (and soon to be RHN) 




These little people....warm my heart. 

Downsizing for a few months. When less is more!

This is me, after almost 26hrs on my feet....a good reason why this busy little midwife is downsizing.....but just for a little while! #selflove

This is me, after almost 26hrs on my feet....a good reason why this busy little midwife is downsizing.....but just for a little while! #selflove

Change is a beautiful thing! However, with all the changes in my life lately I just don't have time to update this wonderful blog all that often. So, in an effort to simplify, right now I'll just be working on Baby Making and Beyond and putting Modern Paleo Midwife on hold.

Until I return, check out these links to my most popular posts or feel free to search for something in the search bar on the right. 

Guide to Eating Paleo in Every Trimester:

First Trimester

Second Trimester

Third Trimester

Fourth Trimester


Micronutrients aka Vitamins

All about Carbs for fertility pregnancy and breastfeeding

Caffeine and Bulletproof Coffee



Stay tuned for BMB for TONS of more in-depth and comprehensive info. Until then, follow me on  Instagram  and please feel free to send me your questions or comments. I'll still be checking comments and emails as always :)

Meg the Midwife


Meg the Midwife...on the move

As some of you have noticed, (thanks for the email's btw!), I have been totally MIA (missing in action) recently. There have been a lot of exciting changes happening in my world. I packed up my house and moved to Vancouver. I closed my private practice in the Canadian Rockies and am getting ready to start with a new clinic here on the coast. And, I undertook some pretty serious  renovations on my new condo....needless to say, this has honestly been one of the most stressful, although wonderful, times of my life. I'm totally fried and with only one week left until I start my new job, I'm really thinking a lot about self care during tumultuous times of prolonged stress, lack of sleep and transition....sound familiar postpartum moms? 

Anytime we undergo a life transition it can be unsettling. Lack of sleep, atypical eating patterns and a nervous system that is dominated by sympathetic activation (aka always in fight or flight) can take it's toll on your body. I thought I'd write a little post about strategies I've used to stay as grounded as possible after three weeks of hard times.

Aside from an INSANE amount of retail therapy I've engaged in, I've been focusing on controlling the things that I CAN control. During times of transition, it's pretty common to feel totally out of control of your life. However, there are some choices you can make everyday that help nourish your mind and body. These include: food choices, a bit of daily exercise and how you choose to respond to stressful situations. It seems like an obvious trifecta of sorts but, sometimes, it's the simplest things that make the biggest differences.

This LOCAL super clean almond based yogurt is my new healthy addiction. 

Food: When your dominated by stress and sympathetic nervous system activation, your body doesn't digest or assimilate foods very well. This can lead to a miriad of general IBS like symptoms. Not exactly 'good times'. Support your digestion with simple whole foods that are easy to digest. Don't have time or in my case, a kitchen to cook in? No problem, I pretty much lived off the Whole Foods salad bar. You can microwave the raw kale mix to make it more digestible and there are a lot of paleo friendly choices. Just watch out for any pre-made salads or stewed meats at the hot bar. These may be hiding a ton of canola oil, just read the labels. Here are the foods that have been my staples recently:

Kevita, my fav water kefir finally arrived in Canada. I've been enjoying this drink daily during the last few weeks to support my immune system and digestion. 

Kevita, my fav water kefir finally arrived in Canada. I've been enjoying this drink daily during the last few weeks to support my immune system and digestion. 

  • Fermented foods like kraut, water kefir and natural yogurts.
  • Gently cooked deep green veggies daily. I've been enjoying steamed kale, collards and chard once but mostly twice a day.
  • Lean organic, pastured meats such as flank steak, chicken and game meats. Nothing against fat but , fatty cuts can be harder to digest. 
  • Safe starches such as white rice, potato and yams. I usually eat these with a meal. Gentle carbs support adrenal and thyroid health. Avoid low carb! 
  • Avoid too many nuts, raw veggies, sugars, caffeine or processed foods, even if you crave them. They can be hard on digestion and sugar/caffeine is really hard on the adrenals. I did indulge in a giant vegan gluten free peppermint frosted brownie from a local 'clean' bakery but I chopped it into four and ate it over a the course of a few days. This way I didn't tax my adrenals with a sugar overload! I also enjoyed a daily little dose of coconut milk ice cream.....because that's just how I roll.

A bit of exercise. My normal routine was totally trashed but I made sure that I got outside to do something that I enjoyed about every other day. For me this usually looked like a trail run or hike in the woods or in the mountains. Some days I didn't have much time so I found some more urban runs, like the Stanely Park seawall loop here in Vancouver or taking the short 15min walk down to Kit's beach for a paddle in the ocean that made me feel energized and like I was connected to nature. Don't push yourself if you're tired, listen to your body but MOVE a little bit each day. Studies have confirmed that daily activity outside boosts all of your feel good hormones. Here's a great article from Mark Sisson that sums up all the spectacular benefits of regular time spent in nature. 

Choose how you respond to stressful situations. I've talked about this before but it is by far, one of the most important things I've learned over the years. Even when everything is out of your control and the pace of life seems insane, you can always choose how you respond to stress.  Every moment of everyday we can choose optimism, positivity and happiness over pessimism, negativity and sadness. We can choose to feel stressed or, when we start to feel the stress of life build up within us, we can choose to recognize it and release it. Over the past few weeks, I've just been rolling with it, knowing it will come to an end and laughing at myself when I catch myself feeling like a crazy woman. 

My sweet friend Laurie sent me a daily flower every morning from her garden all the way out in Halifax. Knowing you have friends to call on is one of the greatest feelings in the world. 

My sweet friend Laurie sent me a daily flower every morning from her garden all the way out in Halifax. Knowing you have friends to call on is one of the greatest feelings in the world. 

So, that's my life in a nutshell right now. Just trying to slow down, ground and relax before starting my new job. I haven't disappeared or stopped working on Baby Making and Beyond....just taking a bit of a pause as I switch gears and find my groove.