Sunday, September 2, 2007

Everything about nutrition: post your questions here

Lately, I received several emails with nutrition-related questions, and I thought it would be a good idea to create a place for them on this blog. I only finished studying for my degree not long ago, so as you understand my practical experience is limited, but I'm gladly offering you whatever humble knowledge I have that may be helpful. Input from other ladies is also always welcome.

And also, I thought, what can be a better way to preserve and refresh my knowledge, than by constantly stimulating it with questions, which will make me do additional thinking and research? By posting your questions, you are helping me do this; so don't be shy.

A link to this post will remain on my sidebar, and you are welcome to post here questions about anything and everything that has to do with nutrition, diets and healthy eating. Of course, those of you who still prefer to keep it private are most welcome to email me.

Disclaimer: I'm far from knowing everything about health, medicine or nutrition. If you notice I'm mistaken or inaccurate, please don't hesitate to correct me.

Also, please remember that answers in this thread cannot replace medical and/or nutritional counseling.


Michelle Potter said...

I don't have a question, but I wanted to say what a kind and generous offer this is. :)

AnneK said...

thats very kind of you! I have plenty of questions! But I will just ask one for now. I have a very bad immune system. How do I improve my immune system? What kind of diet should I follow?

Anna S said...

Annie, I think you will have to be a bit more specific here. What do you mean by 'bad immune system'?

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Anna,

That really is a kind offer you have made! I dont want to overwhelm you with my questions, so i'll just list them but please know i ~dont ~ expect you to answer them all, its more like a buffet to look at lol : )

--weight loss (or even just a stopping of gaining weight ) with thyroid issues. They run in my family and medicines dont seem to help, nor does dieting...both my mother and grandmother have had this issue and now i am finding it in myself too.

--healing wiped out adrenals (i have EI (environmental ilness/chemical sensitivity) and so my body is constantly fighting toxins and it's reaching a burn out point i think

--detoxing. After my last chemical exposure many weeks ago my sense of taste smell and touch have become quite clogged/numb and everything feels clogged and sluggish, like my body is still holding onto the toxin unable to detox it. (Btw I've been doing vitamin C, elderberries, MSN (Sulphur) powder, eating lots of apples, and using detoxing essentail oils on glands and such, but it doesnt seem to be healing things.)

--the losing the sense of taste and smell is affecting digestion too, so suggestions there would be nice too

Well, that's the "buffet" lol. Your thoughts on any of these areas would be really helpful : )

Peaceful Weekend,


Seung said...

Just commenting to indicate my willingness to participate in this as an additional source of information, if you should wish it.

Lily said...

What a neat idea! Thanks! I'm sure I will have a question. In fact the other day I was thinking about reading your essay where you described your college experiences, learning nutrition, canning, etc. I'm very envious of your studies! I studied something I didn't want to...long story. I'm sure you know more than me about a lot of this stuff! I've got experience being home, but I don't always do things the easiest way. Working smarter over harder is always the goal. Thanks for thinking of us and making the offer!

Anonymous said...

annek, hope you don't mind my sharing. It used to be I seemed to catch every flu bug going around, easily got sore throats and swollen neck glands, and had colds that often went into sinus infections.

A noticeable improvement in my health came after I started daily to eat yogurt (plain, not the kind with sugar); it was the probiotics in the yogurt, and you can find information on this online. This is an example -

Now I use kefir and yogurt together, add fruit and make a blender smoothie.

Vitamin A (natural, not synthetic) is also anti-infective and I take cod liver oil as well.

"A striking advance in knowledge regarding the factors involved in immunity has been the discovery of the role of the vitamins. While vitamin A has a marked influence on growth, perhaps even this is not considered to be so important a discovery as its influence on the defense of the body against infection, particularly infections of the respiratory system."

AnneK said...

Well as in I get sick easily. When I was growing up I used to get fever, cough, cold every single month. Now it has reduced, but still I get sick easily. The doctor I saw once told me that I have low immunity, so I will always be in the border-never completely sick or completely healthy. Also I am underweight according to him. I am 27 and I am 87 lbs

Mrs Slaq said...

Hi there!
I just want to say I appreciate your willingness to share your hard earned knowledge with others. I've kind of been struggling with how I can use a particular ability God has gifted me with to serve His purpose and it's encouraging to see you using yours in this way. Thanks :)

Wanda's Girl said...

What's your opinion on vitamin supplememnts versus vitamins from food? Does the body know the difference?


Anna S said...


I'm *very* happy that you offered, and of course, your participation is very welcome, as it is for others who might have more experience and knowledge than I have when it comes to certain points.


I think anonymous made a good suggestion about probiotics. I'd have said the same thing, just wanted to make sure you had no specific and grave problem. You can also make a research of natural plant remedies. When I have the flu, my grandma immediately makes me eat garlic, and it really helps! :) And as a general rule, make sure your diet is balanced and contains everything you need. About your weight - has it always been this way? Also, what is your height?


Great question! Technically, your body isn't 'supposed' to know the difference, and you could get balanced nutrition from a few cans of 'Ensure' and some vitamin supplements ;) However, this is not a solution I would EVER recommend to anyone. Why?

-> because often, vitamins in supplements come in megadoses, which can be harmful, and at best, not useful.
-> because artificial vitamins might be chemically altered, which makes them not exactly the same as natural vitamins. It might make them less effective.
-> because it might get a person to rely on supplements and pay less attention to his or her diet.
-> because my overall point of view is, if you can go natural, GO NATURAL! Vitamin supplements can be good to answer emergency needs, such as in a case of deficiency, but if you are healthy and can get a balanced diet, do it!

And Wendy, I definitely will look into your questions, I just need a little time to go through them and do a bit of research.

It's my pleasure to answer your questions! Just remember that the answers I give here are *very* limited and cannot replace medical or nutritional counseling.

Anna S said...

Wendy, I did some research on what you asked, and I don't think there's a specific sort that can solve your problem; rather, I think you should watch out for chemicals in your diet, such as pesticides and insecticides (fruit and vegetables), some of which are absorbed through the roots and therefore cannot be removed by washing an peeling; substances that can be found in commercial foods, such as nitrites, high doses of preservatives, artificial dyes.

I don't know, of course, what you usually eat, but it sounds as though organic, naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, made-from-scratch food has a potential to ease your condition through minimizing exposure to chemicals.

Also, could you be a bit more specific about your thyroid? Do you have hypo, or hyperthyroidism? And exactly what sort of digestion problems you refer to?

Gothelittle Rose said...

Sure, I'll bite. :)

I'm 5'2", 132lbs, small-boned/light-framed, trying (but not too hard) to whittle down to around 125lbsish, my pre-pregnancy post-college weight.

Everyone keeps telling me to focus on fruits and vegetables, but if I don't get enough milk/dairy and meat, I really crave it like mad. According to my Sparkpeople profile, I end up eating a lesser percentage of carbohydrates and a higher percentage of proteins than is "recommended". (Not by a lot. Like, maybe 30%/40% instead of like 20%/50%. The remainder is fruit/veggy.) Is it possible for someone's body to just need more of what people keep saying is "bad food"? I tend to hover slightly below their 'recommended daily allowance' of calories. Does that explain/justify the different balance?

Fruits. I can't eat much fruit, because it upsets my stomach. I've noticed that fruits like grapes bother me sooner than, say, apples or strawberries. I can't eat a whole banana by itself without it bothering me. I try to focus more on vegetables instead because they never bother me. Is it fructose that I'm trying to avoid? Is it going to be a problem, to avoid that?

My doctor asked me to take over-the-counter folic acid supplements (800mg daily) because I'm trying to get pregnant. I've been trying for two months. Well, one and a half. It took three months for our first. I also get decent sources of it in my diet, mostly because I eat a share of fortified foods like Cheerios. Is all this folic acid for all these non-pregnant months going to give me any trouble?

Thank you!

Anna S said...

Gothelittle Rose,

I don't the current protein/carbohydrate balance in your diet is any cause for worry. I'd pay more attention to the source and quality of them. I'm a vegetarian myself, but I understand some people are used to eating a lot of meat. If you choose lean meats for the most part, and not very fatty (I'm not saying fat-free!!) dairy products, I think that should be fine.

Your complaint abour fruits isn't uncommon; many people are bothered by the fruit fermentation process in their stomach, particularly when the fruits are eaten *after* a large meal. There's no problem to eat more vegetables, and cut down on fruit, if that's what suits you better.

And about your last question, should *all* get enough folic acid, pregnant or not (only with pregnancy it's obviously more crucial). Keep in mind, however, that the recommendation for folate is 400 mcg/day, and for pregnant women 600 mcg/day, so 800 mg (are you sure it's not mcg???) does sound like A LOT. Normally there's no problem to get all the folic acid you need from your diet, especially if you eat plenty of fortified foods; if you're pregnant, a supplement sounds like a wise solution, but you should beware of megadoses. Many doctors are concerned only about preventing deficiency, and recommend supplements that are bordering on the upper limit, which is unnecessary.

Anna S said...

Typo: ... we should all get enough folic acid, of course!

Gothelittle Rose said...

He's got me on a bottle with an 800mcg dose, one pill daily. He suggested a 1200mcg dose, but I bought the 800 one instead because I really don't want to overdo.

Is there any danger from regular upper limit usage of folic acid?

Anna S said...

I checked the upper limit according to DRI, and it's 1000 mcg/day of folic acid. 1200 mcg would be overdoing it, and even 800 mcg is more than enough (considering you also have folic acid in your diet).

I haven't heard of toxic symptoms from too much folate in the diet, but I know it can 'mask' B12 deficiency.

Michelle Potter said...

I just thought of a question. As a first step in better eating, my husband suggested I start making sure that I eat my meals at the same time every day. (I have a tendency to forget to eat, or not have breakfast until almost lunch time. Some days at dinner time I realize I haven't eaten all day, or have only eaten a sandwich or a muffin.) So here's my question. If I get up around 7:30 in the morning, what time would be best to eat breakfast? Immediately? Within an hour or two of getting up? Also, how long before bed should I have dinner? We have an awful habit of not eating dinner until nearly 9 o'clock, whereas I would like to be getting ready for bed around then.

Anna S said...

Michelle, while I don't think there's a 'right time' to have breakfast (I'm conditioned to have breakfast the moment I get up; other people feel more comfortable with having breakfast after an hour or two), I do believe regular meals - on *your* time - are important. If you skip meals a lot, or on the flipside, eat a lot of snacks, you might want to keep a food diary, listing all the meals you've eaten, for a week or so, until you feel meal times have become a habit.

If dinner is your main meal, I think it's better to have it at least a couple of hours before you go to bed, to avoid discomfort. Feeling 'too full' might interfere with falling asleep.

Seung said...

"I checked the upper limit according to DRI, and it's 1000 mcg/day of folic acid. 1200 mcg would be overdoing it, and even 800 mcg is more than enough (considering you also have folic acid in your diet)."

There are no documented side effects to large doses of folate in the diet; furthermore, not all the folate that you ingest will be absorbed. It's critical to have folate every day, as your body only has limited stores of it, and should you get pregnant that depletion will happen much faster. Remember -- lack of folate during early pregnancy will guarantee devastating neural tube defects in the child. Do you want to take that risk? If not, then by all means take the larger dosage of folate.

In contrast, vitamin B12 (another key nutrient that can be implicated in certain anemias if there's too little of it) is not this way -- a well-nourished person has several months' worth of B12 stored up.

"I haven't heard of toxic symptoms from too much folate in the diet, but I know it can 'mask' B12 deficiency."

I'm afraid it's the other way around; you're thinking about folate-deficiency anemia and B12-deficiency anemia, which look clinically nearly identical to each other. If you have a patient who has an anemia that looks like it may be induced by folate deficiency -- and lab tests indicate such a deficiency -- you give folate, right? But if the anemia does not normalize after that, then you've "unmasked" a B12 deficiency.

Anna S said...

Seung, that's what I meant (about the anemia). Thanks for your clarification.

I agree with you that not all the folate in the diet will be absorbed - and DRI takes that into account. Furthermore, with a supplement of 800 mcg + fortified foods in the diet, the consumed dose can easily be twice more than recommended anyway. While I agree with you that most likely no harm will be done by taking a larger dose, I maintain that folate-rich diet and moderate supplementation should be quite enough.

Seung said...

"I agree with you that not all the folate in the diet will be absorbed - and DRI takes that into account. Furthermore, with a supplement of 800 mcg + fortified foods in the diet, the consumed dose can easily be twice more than recommended anyway."

Can be, but isn't always. While in this day and age of heavily-supplemented foods it should technically be very difficult to be folate deficient here in the United States, we actually do see folate deficiency and its complications (mainly anemia, of course ...) here in the Chicagoland area clinics often enough that it does make me wonder. There are many, many women out there who have eating disorders, for instance, that make then particularly at-risk.

And now I'm off to just one of those clinics (its clinical labs, to be accurate, but hey ...). Have a good day!

Mrs Slaq said...

Ok, I have a new question :) This is kind of on my hubby's behalf, because I am officially declaring myself at a loss. We were not eating healthily for some time and I am trying to change that. I *think* I'm giving him healthy food for the most part, and a reasonable calorie count which should enable him to lose weight (we both need to in order to be healthy). The problem is, he is complaining that he is still gaining weight. Maybe if you have time you could glance over what we're eating and see if you have any ideas for improvement?
I should add that his lifestyle has become completely sedentary. He tells me several times a week he's going to start walking but it hasn't happened yet. So here's an average day's menu:
Breakfast: 1 egg, 2 pieces of whole grain toast with low sugar jam (no butter),a banana and glass of skim milk.
Note: he tried one piece of toast but said he was still hungry and ate an entire can of almonds :/

Lunch: sandwich, either tuna salad or turkey/pastrami (I use low fat deli meats and stick to specified serving size. Tuna salad is 2 small cans, an egg, celery, and just enough low fat miracle whip to hold it together, this lasts for 5 days), a selection of veggies, usually tomatoes, mushrooms, radishes, carrots, some romain lettuce when I have it. Also, an apple or grapes and a can of low sodium V8. Sometimes I toss in about 15 almonds or a bit of part skim mozzarella cheese for an afternoon snack.

I try to keep dinner between 400-500 kcal, and fairly balanced.

So yeah, if it's not too much trouble, any ideas on how I could improve this? We are kind of picky eaters unfortunately. I'm doing fine, but I really want to help him feel better and be healthy. Heart disease is in both of our families and I hope to keep the Captain around for a good long time! Thanks :)

Anna S said...

Seung, it's true that the prevalence of eating disorders is very, VERY high, and can result in serious deficiencies which may require heavy supplementation.

Anna S said...
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Anna S said...

Mrs. Slaq,

It's difficult for me to give any specific recommendations without knowing your husband's height and current weight, past weight, desired weight, and any medical conditions that can influence it. If you want to give me those details but feel it's too private for this thread, you're welcome to email me anytime.

Here, however, are a few general thoughts:
Often, people eat much more than they are aware of, and snacks or drinks are overlooked, which can give you quite a bit of additional calories. It would be good to pay attention to what your husband drinks during the day.

A good general suggestion, for starters, is to keep a food diary for a week (including weekend - on weekends people typically eat more!). Have you ever tried it? You need to be really motivated to do it, but it's a *great* way to really be aware of what you eat. I did it once; carried my food diary with me all the time, and wrote down everything I ate, from a whole meal to a bite I took while preparing dinner. I also wrote down what I drank, and specified quantities of everything. When I looked through it later, I just was *amazed* to discover how many things I ate that I wasn't even aware of.

Mrs Slaq said...

Hehe, I meant to include his height/weight and just forgot. It was early! He is about 5'9 and 220. In college he weighed 135 while workiing a very active job and living on Burger King three times a day. Yuck! No known medical conditions at this time.

I have tried keeping a food diary but usually end up forgetting after breakfast. Think I'll try it again though, and encourage the Captain to try it as well. You're right, it's a fabulous way to see what you're actually eating as opposed to what you *think* you're eating :)

One of my biggest concerns rigth now is that I know we both need to be more active, and I'm getting there, but he's not and I really don't want to beconme a nag. Thanks very muihc for your quick response! I'm going to go start a food journal now!

Anna S said...

The stumbling block here is that when we are young, we can often 'get away' with eating a lot and unhealthy, but as we get older our metabolism slows down, and we need to adjust, which isn't an easy thing to do.

And you're right, physical activity is a must. Nagging usually doesn't help, your husband should be motivated enough to do it. How about if you try to find an activity that is both fun and keeps you active?

Mrs Slaq said...

I've been trying to do that. He used to absolutely love mountain biking, so I've tried to coax him into doing a bit of riding on the local trails. He tried it once and won't go back. Maybe someone would have some ideas of interesting activities? Walking isn't bad, but I think he finds it boring (no computer involved ;) )He doesn't like cycling in traffic so road riding won't happen. He doesn't like water based activities, although every once in a while he'll go canoeing with me. On a positive note, he's taking me to Sea World for my birthday next weekend and we will be doing loads of walking there! might also get easier when the weather cools. Right now it's hot and humid pretty much all the time. I'm also hoping he'll start to get motivated by seeing me go for walks on my own. Or at least want to keep me company. I could always go for subterfuge and tell him the only possible time I have for walking is after dark so I need him to come with me to protect me! I also bring up the idea of rock climbing every once in a while. He's said it sounds like fun...

Again, thank you! I've really enjoyed browsing through your site and reading your posts and all the commentary.

Anonymous said...

You said you are a vegetarian. Is N.P. a vegetarian? If not, what kind of meals do you plan to cook for him? (Will he become one?)

p.s. Mrs. Slaq, If you live somewhere that you can mountain bike, can you hike? It's walking, but I find it much more enjoyable because of the beautiful scenery. And that's something you could do together. I love hiking with my husband.

Anna S said...


N.P. isn't a vegetarian. We made an arrangement that he will cook meat for himself, and I will cook everything else for us. However, if the meat doesn't require much preparation (like, just spice it up a bit and pop into the oven), I think I can handle it without being *too* grossed out.

Carol said...

I enjoy your blog very much. I just learned about stabilized rice bran. You probably know that rice bran is discarded because an enzyme spoils it. So found a way to stabilize it. The resulting rice bran contains 120 antioxidants and is thought to help diabetes and heart disease. It is hoped to be a food that will feed a hungry world. The sale site,, contains a video clip from the research scientist. Do you have any thoughts about this food? Thank you.

Anna S said...

Carol: I heard about it, and while it does sound promising, I tend to be cautious about claims for a certain food to solve *all* our health problems or feed *all* our hungry. It certainly merits further investigation, though!

Betsy said...

I have a question related to pregnancy diets. My doctor told me that when I'm pregnant I should be consuming 100g of protein a day, and I'm wondering if you can give some ideas of low fat protein sources. Low fat wasn't an issue with my first pregnancy because I was really thin to begin with and needed to gain about as much as I could (ended up being 45 lbs), but as we look ahead to our next pregnancy, I'm wondering how I'll still get the required protein without gaining 45 lbs again (which I don't want or need to do!). If it helps to know, my biggest protein (and fat!) source during my first pregnancy was dairy - lots of whole milk and cheeses and yogurt. Thanks for volunteering to answer our questions!


Anna S said...

Hi Betsy,

Dairy products are a good source of protein, and even whole milk and yogurt aren't supposed to be very fatty. Cheeses, however, are a different story, and usually contain lots of fat, so I think they should be eaten sparingly.
You could also look into vegetarian sources of protein, such as different types of beans. They are very good too, and give you an additional bonus of fiber!

Songbird said...

Just a question. What is your thought on execise and sports?

Anna S said...

I think regular exercise is a *must* for healthy lifestyle!

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, you said that you had taken a course on infant nutrition? This is in part for Amelia, but also for me.

How does one construct a meal?

This may seem really silly, but I didn't grow up with side dishes. We had one dish meals, and that was that, wheather it was mac & cheese or a cassarole. Now that I'm trying to learn the domestic arts, I've started working on my meal plans and we've begun eating more veggies, but it's usually a main, large veggie dish.

I have this "ideal" in my head of the protien-veggie-starch type meal, is this really the way to go? (Fruit for dessert, I assume.)

I also have the unique dilema that everything has to be easily stored and re-warmable for DH. He generally gets home well after dinner has been cooked and I put it in the fridge for him and he nukes it to death so it's warm all the way thru' (so he says) before he eats it.

We're also very under-exposed when it comes to various foods. We tend to be a little picky (for example, I can't stand bell peppers, and they seem to be in everything nowadays) and really don't have much budget to explore our palets.

I know you're more into the nutrition and not necessarily into the meal planning, but do you have any suggestions?

Thank you so much!
God Bless!

Anna S said...

Hi there Panda! Yes, we did get a few courses on meal planning, and those were one of the most helpful things I learned in college, as I had no idea how to plan a menu either.

So, normally when I cook a meal I try to include the following:

-A protein dish (for non-vegetarians it's usually meat or fish, for us veg guys it can be meat or tofu)
-A starch side dish (potatoes, rice, pasta)
-Veggies (can be cooked veggies or salad or soup - I'm really a fan of the idea of starting every meal with a bowl of soup, it fills you and warms you and makes you feel less terribly hungry)
Now, sometimes my protein dish + starch side dish are combined, for example pasta with lots of cheesy sauce or pasta/rice with beans. In that case I might even have two veggie dishes: cookes/baked/sauteed veggies, and fresh salad, for the variety.

All of the dishes I cook are re-warmable as well, because I almost never cook only for one day (I'd never leave the kitchen if we didn't eat leftovers, and it would be a waste of energy as well :P)

Hope this helped - and if you have more questions, or are more into specifics, please don't hesitate to drop me a note anytime!

Anonymous said...

The Fannie Farmer cookbook has a lot of meal ideas in the back for different occasions. It's fun to see what combinations she recommends.

I stick with the protein, starch, veggie combo, myself.

Except the other night, all three of my components had a ton of garlic in them. It was soooo embarrassing. We had garlicky oven-fried chicken, garlicky broccolini, and garlic toast. Oops!


Jordin said...

Okay--here's a question for you...

Around here, at ANY kind of ladies' gathering at church, someone always brings a vegetable tray. (It has carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. on it. Then, in the middle, is a little bowl of ranch dressing for dipping.) Someone told me that the vegetables are actually BETTER for you if they're dipped in that fatty ranch dressing. WHAT???!!! How can that be? She said that the fat "activates" the nutrients or something like that. Is that true? (I sure hope so!) :)

Anna S said...

Jordin, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are absorbed better from vegetables when eaten with a small amount of fat. If you aren't concerned about those vitamins, it doesn't matter. And in any case, you don't need to eat A LOT of something fatty with your veggies.

Jim Purdy said...

Isn't this a great part of blogging, the way we can share our stories and ask questions of each other? Thanks for this.

Shannon said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of Israel! What a beautiful place! I studied judaism for a time and find it a very interesting, deep-rooted faith! I truly respect and appreciate it.

As for nutrition, I wanted to know if you are familiar with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which is a medical condition that causes weight gain and hormonal imbalance in women. What diet would you recommend to one with this condition?

Also, you mentioned in a previous post that you participated in Art Therapy. Is art therapy in general well recognized in Israel? I plan to pursue it someday as I truly believe in the healing effects of art.

Thanks for your insights.

Anna S said...


I know women with PCOs are in higher risk of diabetes, so they should watch their blood sugar and preferably HbA1C as well. A normal, healthy and balanced diet would be good for them I think, I'm not aware of anything special.

Art therapy is fairly popular and well-accepted in Israel, but I don't practice it. I only participated in a session made for us by one of the nutritionists in our hospital who is also an art therapist.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna,
I'm a vegetarian, not because I dislike meat because I actually miss it, but because I can't support the current way cattle factories treat the animals BEFORE they kill them in often cruel ways. I know that kosher laws require the animals are killed "humanely" for want of a better term but does the law also require they are treated well while being raised?
Thank you!

Anna S said...

Hi Anonymous,

Cruel treatment of animals is certainly forbidden in Judaism (see my "why I'm vegetarian" post). Unfortunately, rabbis don't link it to giving a kosher license. So animals are treated horribly. I believe something should be done about it.

Marianne said...

Hi Anna,

I'm a nursing mom and my 4 month old son has milk sensitivity. So, if I keep nursing him (which I want to), I have to cut dairy out of my diet. I've gotten a lot of soy products (butter, cheese, milk) and vegan "junk food". Are these soy alternatives providing enough calcium?

Mrs. Anna T said...


I find it difficult to say without knowing specifically which products we are talking about. You should check the nutritional values that should be stated on each product, and compare them with the dairy foods you used to eat.

Melian said...

Anna - My husband and I just found out (to our great delight) that we are expecting our second child. The beginning stage of pregnancy leaves me utterly exhausted. Since I work full-time (which will stop when the baby is born!) I don't have many opportunities for rest and nap. Combine that with fairly severe sickness (which is not limited to the morning!) and I find myself extremely low on energy. I'm also finding it difficult to eat much of anything. (I lost 20 pounds in the first trimester of my first pregnancy! Eventually, I had to take some medicine for the hyperemesis, but there were no further complications. I'd like to avoid that if I can.) What recommendations do you have for foods that I should focus on? I know that there will be a few weeks when I can only choke down a few bites, and I want to know which foods should be given priority during this time. (I'm also on good prenatal vitamins.)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Melian - I answered your question in a separate post.

Gramma Elaine said...

This comment is to Marianne regarding the milk sensitivity in her nursing baby: check out for information, especially about the lack of milk sentivities and allergies in mothers and children who consume raw milk. Kudos to any mother who nurses her baby, which is God's design for a healthy child! Mrs. Anna T, my e-mail address is

Anonymous said...

I have also been to the site Gramma Elaine mentioned. I'm hearing a lot of praise for raw milk these days. I've met several women and children who do very well on raw milk.

Gina Marie said...

Hey Mrs. Anna,

Do to over working myself for many, many years, working almost full time and being a full time student, I now find I have little stamina. I take vitamin supplements (a multi-vitamin and a B-complex)and eat a balanced diet. Are there any other nutrients I should be getting in my food that could recover my stamina?

Thank you

marie dot verus at gmail dot com

Mrs. Anna T said...

Gina Marie,

Just like the harm we cause by over-working, sleeping too little, and eating imbalanced and irregular meals is something that accumulates throughout the years, recovery takes time as well.

A calm routine, regular, varied meals, proper sleep, exercise, and supplements as needed will slowly do their work.

Amanda said...

Hi Anna,

I believe I am going through the 'peri-menopause' stage (I am 41). I have heard that diet can play a major part in reversing the on-set of menopause and it's symptoms.

Do you believe this? And what kind of foods will help in this area? Any suggestions regarding supplements? Lately I get extremely sore legs/feet, tired, little bit depressed and edgy.

Thanks for any help and advice, it is much appreciated! :o)

Mrs. Anna T said...


I don't know of specific foods that might help reverse menopause (though the fact of my not knowing it doesn't mean they don't exist!!); however, I think you must make sure your stores of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, aren't depleted. An analysis of your current diet, along with a blood test which would include results for iron, ferritin, B12 and folic acid, is a good place to start I think. If you feel your diet is sorely lacking many essential nutrients, and making a major change will take time, you might consider a gentle multivitamin supplement.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, I have been reading your wonderful blog for some time now, but I just realized, you are offering nutrition advice, YAY!!!

I do have a question. Four of my children suffer from terrible canker sores. I read that canker sores can be related to ulcerative colitis. The kids don't have any symptoms of ulcerative colitis right now, but their father recently passed away from colon cancer that was originally caused by ulcerative colitis.

Do you think the canker sores could be caused by the same factor that would eventually lead to ulcerative colitis like their dad?

Do you think there is any type of diet I could feed them now, that would help with the canker sores AND prevent the development of ulcerative colitis later on?

Thanks so much!!!