Excerpt from The Birth Center Client Manual

Nutrition, The Basics

In order for our body to function optimally, we must strive to maintain good nutrition. We must also reduce the amount of toxins we feed to our bodies. Good nutrition provides our bodies with the fuel it needs for growth and repair. Toxic foods cause our body to work harder, taxing our immune system and giving less time for maintenance and repair.

Basic Principles

  • Eat organic foods whenever possible, as they are less likely to contain harmful pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Organic foods have become easily accessible and are available at reasonable prices. Local vendors include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Harvest Market, and Newark Co-Op. Trader Joe’s seems to have the most reasonable prices.
  • Eat a variety of raw fruits and vegetables—at least seven per day, as suggested by some studies. Consider whole food supplementation if you are unable to meet your fruit and vegetable needs.

Minimize or eliminate white flour from your diet. Growing evidence suggests that the “white enemies” are harmful to our bodies, causing insulin resistance, decreased immunity, obesity, hypoglycemia, and diabetes.

  • Eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, and barley.
  • Follow the principles of detoxification (we will do a future blog post on this topic).
  • For your protein needs, enjoy more nuts, seeds, fish, and foul, and reduce your consumption of beef and pork. If you choose to eat beef or pork, choose grass-fed, organic beef and organic pork. Safer seafood choices include abalone, Arctic char, crawfish, Dungeness crab, English sole, fish sticks, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, mahi mahi, octopus, orange roughy, Pacific salmon (wild-caught), red snapper, scallops, sea bass, shrimp, sole, spiny lobster, squid, tilapia, wahoo, and whiting.
  • Limit tuna to no more than 6oz per week.
  • Avoid swordfish, tilefish, shark, and king mackerel entirely in pregnancy.
  • Reduce or eliminate refined sugar and processed foods. The more processed the food, the less nutritious it is.
  • Add fresh garlic to your diet to boost your immunity system.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil to your diet as it is high in monosaturated fats.

Sources of Protein

Proteins of plant origin are incomplete; that is, they are lacking in one or more essential amino acids. To make plant proteins complete, include some animal protein in the same meal, such as cereal with milk or beans with cheese or eat two plain complementary proteins. Adults should get 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Pregnant women should get 60 to 100 grams of protein a day. The exception to this rule is quinoa which is a complete protein.  See Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe, Ballentine Books, NY,1975.

Food Quantity Protein,



 Milk 8 oz. 8
Hard cheeses 1 oz. 6
Cottage cheese ½ c 19
Ice cream ½ c 3
Egg 1 6
Yogurt 1 c 8
Beef 3 oz. 20
Chicken 3 oz. 25
Turkey 3 oz. 27
Pork 3 oz. 21
Liver 3.5 oz. 26
Haddock 3 oz. 16
Cod 3 oz. 16
Salmon 3 oz. 17
Halibut 3.5 oz. 26
White Bread 1 slice 1.5
Wheat Bread 1 slice 2
Cereal 1 c 2
Potato 1 medium 1
Brown Rice ½ c 7
Corn ½ c 2.5
Peanut Butter 2 Tbs. 3
Peanuts ¼ c 6
Walnuts ¼ c 6.5
Pinto Beans ½ c 7.5
Lima Beans ½ c 4
Navy Beans ½ c 7.5


½ c 7.5


High Protein Milkshakes

1cup milk

¼ cup instant powdered milk

1 scoop yogurt, frozen yogurt, or ice cream


1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons butterscotch or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter if desired. Mix in blender at low speed for about 10 seconds. Makes one serving.

Fortified Milk

1 quart of skim, 1% or 2% milk

1 cup instant non-fat powdered milk

Blend together. Refrigerate. Flavor improves with several hours of refrigeration. Makes one quart.

Read The Basics of Nutrition – Part 2: Iron and Daily Allowances