• 16-04-2019

    I am thinking of having a baby soon, is there anything I can do now to get ready?

    • 14-01-2019

    Pregnancy cravings explained

    There are a lot of theories why pregnancy cravings occur including hormonal changes, altered sense of smell, and nutrient deficiencies. In reality it’s likely that all three factors play a role and these cravings are trying to tell you something about what’s going on in your body. Some of the more common cravings include: 

    • Sweets and chocolate:
      • Sugar cravings may partly be related to the increased caloric requirements that occur with pregnancy.  You’re growing a human being and keeping yourself going so more calories will be needed. The other reason for sugar cravings is the changes in insulin sensitivity. Blood sugar levels can become erratic and this can influence your desire for sweet foods. 
      • Chocolate cravings in particular may be related to magnesium deficiencies. During pregnancy magnesium contributes to fetal development (Bone, nerves, muscle) and prevention of leg cramps and pre-eclampsia. Alternative food sources of magnesium include oats, quinoa, brown rice, spinach, kale, nuts, and seeds. 
    • Salty foods:
      • During pregnancy there is 40-50% increase in blood volume. This means that you gradually produce more blood throughout pregnancy to make sure your baby is receiving all of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. Salt is an important component of blood so it makes sense that this is a common craving. Unfortunately salty foods are often unhealthy ones such as chips, fast food, and condiments. 
    • Meat:
      • Sometimes cravings come in the form of steak and burgers. This can possibly be pointing towards the body’s need for more protein or iron. Requirements for both nutrients are higher in pregnancy to help the growth of the baby. 
    • Ice and non-food items:
      • This might sound shocking but it isn’t uncommon to hear about women craving ice, sand, gravel, and other non-food items. The medical term for craving non-food substances is pica and can mean nutrient deficiencies are occurring, specifically iron, zinc, and calcium. If this is occurring it is important to discuss these cravings with your doctor so that appropriate testing and supplementation can be done. 

    Usually cravings aren’t concerning (Unless it is pica) but can contribute to unintended weight gain. During a normal pregnancy 25-35 pounds of weight gain should be expected although this will vary from person to person. If too much weight is gained gestational diabetes, high birth weights, and higher rates of cesarean sections can be seen. Because of this it is important to eat nutritious foods that may help prevent cravings from happening in the first place. 

    Healthy foods for pregnancy:

    • Nutrient dense foods: Dark leafy greens, berries
    • Healthy fats: Nuts, seeds, avocados, fish
    • High quality protein: Organic meats, fish, eggs, lentils, 
    • Complex carbohydrates and fiber: Various fruits and vegetables, flax, chia

     

    • 11-01-2019

    Travelling while pregnant

    Getting pregnant doesn’t mean traveling is out of the question and with babymoons becoming more popular it’s important to talk about how to travel during this time. With a growing belly travel can be even more stressful and uncomfortable than usual but there are natural ways to handle it. The general rule for travelling while pregnant is that it’s safest in the second trimester. Make sure you check in with your practitioner beforehand to ensure there are no complications preventing you from going on the trip. It’s also a good idea to check in with the airline to see if they have any rules surrounding pregnancy. 

    Choosing the destination: 

    • It’s a good idea to do some research into where you might be going. Some places carry a higher risk of Zika, hepatitis, and other infections. This doesn’t mean you can’t go there but it does mean you can be better prepared. Sticking to flights under 6 hours helps to decrease your chance of developing blood clots as well.  

    Stress:

    • Whether you’re flying or going on a road trip traveling is usually stressful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your bags and make sure to give yourself lots of time to get everywhere. Check in with yourself periodically and continue your favorite stress relieving activities. They may include taking naps, deep breathing, meditation, or light yoga. 

    Muscle cramps and swelling 

    • Common concerns in pregnancy are muscle cramps, varicose veins, and swollen feet which can all worsen during travel. Compression stockings support blood flow and prevent blood from pooling in your legs so you can still fit in your shoes. Walking and stretching the legs every 30 minutes will also help so getting an aisle seat is always a good idea.  

    Hydration

    • This goes for anyone who is traveling but is especially important in pregnancy. It’s natural to try and avoid drinking water because you may be avoiding using that tiny bathroom. However, adequate water intake is important for fighting fatigue and for the health of your baby.   It is recommended to drink 8-12 eight ounce glasses of water during pregnancy (Around 2-3 liters per day). Try to limit coffee, black tea and sugary drinks as these tend to be less hydrating. 

    Nausea

    • Although the nausea experienced in the first trimester might be gone travelling can make it return temporarily. Pack lots of small snacks that aren’t fried or spicy such as fruit or trail mix. Ginger tea, ginger capsules, or ginger chews are also amazing for combating nausea. Lastly, sea bands are wrist bands that use acupressure which is a safe and side-effect free way of dealing with nausea. 

    Don’t get sick

    • Between the stress of traveling and being stuck in a plane with sick people it can be hard to avoid catching a cold. Pack lots of hand sanitizer and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose as much as possible. A good quality probiotic before and throughout your trip will help to support the immune system. Good quality sleep and frequent naps also jump starts the immune system and will help keep you healthy. 

    • 05-03-2018

    Food Sensitivity with Dr. Allana Polo

    I'm going to start this off by saying that what works for me, may not work for you, and it's best to work with a certified naturopath if you want optimal results with your overall health. Most of the procedures at Polo Health are covered by extended health if you have insurance!

    Although I've done a food sensitivity test years ago a lot has changed since then (I'm no longer a Paleo Crossfit Competitor for one) and I knew it was time to visit Dr.Allana Polo again for another check on my digestion. The thing about food allergies is that they don't always present themselves as a typical "rash" or visible inflammation. I noticed my food allergies presenting on my skin. 

    Skin is the largest organ and the toxins created by my inability to digest certain foods were unable to escape and cleanse my body properly. I noticed severe acne to the point that it physically hurt to touch my skin. I saw dermatologists and specialists, but I neglected to look within. I tried all the expensive lotions but I had to look at what was going on inside my body to properly take care of myself. 

    There are two ways you can determine what foods you may be sensitive to. One way is the Food Sensitivity test. It's a simple test where Dr.Polo pricks your finger, collects a small amount of blood, sends it away, and results are back in 7 days. Your blood is then tested against 120 of the most common allergens. 

    The second way is an "Elimination Diet", which is exactly as it sounds. You eliminate all foods that are known to cause issues in our digestion, then you reintroduce them one at a time for a duration of three days to see how you feel. 

    Whichever route you go, the most important part of the equation is that you're committed. That's the only way to achieve results with either of these options. Success meaning that you're feeling your absolute best. Digestive issues can present themselves as headaches, skin problems, gas, bloating and more. 

    Another tip I learned after my visit with Dr.Polo is that you can develop digestion issues if you keep eating the same food over and over again. A huge crutch for people who are heavily involved in the fitness industry is to meal prep, creating the same meal every day. Maybe your taste buds aren't getting bored, but your digestive track sure is. Make sure you keep things interesting when cooking for yourself or you may find that your "go to" meal is now making you feel sick your body isn't absorbing the nutrients it needs to. 

    The two most common procedures that Dr.Polo does at Polo Health is the Food Sensitivity test and hormone testing. Click HERE to book an appointment with Dr.Polo. I have a few more appointments lined up with Dr.Polo and I'll keep you posted on my journey. I'm looking forward to showing how you can let food by thy medicine. 

    Health is Happiness!
    Mandy Gill

     

Categories