10 Best Pregnancy Foods at the Farmers Market

A healthy pregnancy is only a farmer’s market away. Consider this your personal “farmacy!” Not only are they super healthy for you and baby, but you get the added benefit of the food being fresher, locally grown, and you can meet your farmer/forager.


1. Beets
No vegetable works harder at keeping your baby healthy than beets. The pigment that gives beets their rich color, betacyanin, is excellent at protecting DNA and preventing birth defects. Beets stimulate the liver to remove toxins, which protects your little one and helps to prevent toxin-induced nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Its high potassium content helps keep your blood pressure healthy and minimize swelling. The mineral content of beets promotes teeth & bone health in both mother & baby, while the iron helps to build up the blood and prevent anemia.

2. Mint
Mint can be a life saver in pregnancy, as it relieves nausea, upset stomach, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion. It has a calming effect, so try mint tea for any anxiety or stress. It selectively targets bad bacteria, so it can prevent any harmful bacteria from harming you or your baby, while helping your good bacteria to flourish.

3. Raspberries
Loaded with antioxidants, raspberries help protect both of you from the damaging effects of free radicals. One phytochemical, fragine, is believed to help strengthen the uterus and prepare it for labor. Because raspberries enhance circulation, they will help deliver oxygen & nutrients more effectively. This may also help with that occasional numb arm or leg, and with varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Their high fiber content is important for keeping you regular.

BONUS: Use the raspberry leaves!
Raspberry leaf tea is one of the most popular traditional herbs for the third trimester of pregnancy. Because it strengthens the uterine & pelvic muscles, it can help your contractions to be more effective and to shorten the second stage of labor. Post-partum, this tea helps the uterus shrink back to its normal size and encourages breast milk production.

4. Wild Leeks/Ramps
The high sulfur content of leeks are great for promoting a gentle detox. Leeks act as a nutrient delivery system, helping baby get all the nourishment it needs. The high amount of prebiotic fiber helps keep you regular while promoting your good bacteria, which is important for immunity and possibly preventing autism.
*If onions give you heartburn during pregnancy, substitute with leeks!


5. Green Beans
Green beans are the ultimate food for stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping you at a healthy weight while expecting. They are a rich source of insoluble fiber, which removes toxins before they can hurt the baby, while promoting regularity and keeping your appetite in check.

6. Cucumber
Dehydrated? Try a cucumber with your water. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and helps reduce swelling & edema. It helps to keep your blood pressure healthy and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Cucumbers are high in silica, which provides support for your skin while it’s stretching. A cucumber a day just might keep those stretch marks away! The caffeic acid in this veggie is useful for preventing yeast infections during pregnancy.

7. Kale
This important superfood supplies silica, calcium, magnesium and iron, which are necessary for bones, collagen, elastin, connective tissue, and cartilage to form. Magnesium is especially important during pregnancy, as low magnesium can cause preeclampsia.
The high folate content helps prevent neural tube defects. Rich in vitamin E, kale can support elasticity of your skin. Vitamin E is considered to be important for helping your baby grow to full-term: premature babies often have low vitamin E levels. The vitamin C & various phytochemicals in kale also help promote healthy estrogen & progesterone levels, protect the baby from toxins, and promote eye health.
*Kale is on the dirty dozen list. Always buy organic to prevent consuming harmful pesticides.

8. Apples
Apples are one of the best food sources of bioflavonoids. These work to prevent miscarriage, keep blood vessels strong (prevent bruising & varicose veins), minimize stretch marks, keep you regular, and prevent weak uterine walls.
*Apples are on the dirty dozen list. Always buy organic or wild harvest to prevent consuming harmful pesticides.


9. Butter
Butter supplies many components crucial to growth and healthy hormones during pregnancy. The sex hormones estrogen & progesterone can only be made from the right kinds of fats. The medium-chain triglycerides in butter are used as a dense source of energy, and are the building blocks of breast milk.
*Always buy butter from organically raised, grass-fed cows. The milk from grain & soy-fed cows are high in omega 6’s, which are pro-inflammatory, but low in omega 3’s, which are anti-inflammatory. Grass-fed & organic butter is rich in DHA, which is essential for baby’s brain to develop, and is naturally higher in vitamin D, necessary for immunity and for the skeletal system to develop.

10. Asparagus
Asparagus provides a wide variety of the nutrients that are in highest demand during pregnancy, including vitamin A, E, glutathione, quercetin, selenium, zinc, lutein, & beta carotene. The powerful antioxidants present are excellent in helping prevent DNA damage & birth defects. Asparagus also provides that same valuable prebiotic fiber that leeks contain.

Thanks for visiting!

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutrition/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

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The Greatest Threat to Human Health May be in Your Fridge Right Now

I’m still astounded at the millions of people who showed up in 40 countries around the world for “March Against Monsanto” on May 25 to work to save our food supply, protect our health, and save our environment. I was honored to be asked to speak about the health effects of GMOs at our Appleton event, and we had a fantastic group of nearly 200 show up. Thank you to all how participated- you were a part of history!! In case you missed it, the following is my speech along with some pictures from that day.

“Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal when given half the chance. I’ve seen it all- heart disease healed, chronic pain healed, obesity healed, diabetes healed, cancer healed, depression healed, allergies healed, infertility healed. The power of food has no limits. But when we consume this 70% of our grocery store food that is genetically modified & toxic- promoting disease and blocking healing- our bodies end up in a sorry state.

Cancerous tumors, accelerated aging, infertility, allergies, birth defects…

You’d think a product that causes this level of devastation would immediately be banned by the government, in an effort to protect us citizens.

When an herbal supplement, for example, causes one death when misused, is it all over the news and immediately the FDA jumps on it and bans it. So why, with the remarkable amount of evidence that we have today proving that Genetically Modified Organisms are wreaking havoc on our bodies, our environment, our wildlife, our farms, does our government turn a blind eye?

And why, in Spring 2013, did Congress pass a bill that protected the rights of the company who creates this product, and in turn taking away our rights away as citizens? They can no longer be held responsible when we get sick from their product. We can’t even always choose non-GMOs, because we aren’t even given the right to a label! We can slap a label on a water bottle that says “gluten free” or label orange juice with the vitamin C content, but it’s way too expensive and complicated to add the words “Contains GMOS” to a label? This product, Genetically Modified Organisms, is the largest government-endorsed mass-poisoning of US citizens we ever seen, unprecedented in history. This is the greatest threat to human health most of us will ever see in our lifetimes.

Monsanto, the same company that brought us Agent Orange, DDT, & PCB’s is now biochemically producing nearly all of our corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and canola in the US. Two newcomers to the GMO list are zucchini & crookneck squash. Did you know that nearly all grocery store milk today contains genetically modified ingredients? Most milk, ice cream, cheese, & yogurt you see on shelves today comes from cows treated with rBGH, Monsanto’s genetically engineered synthetic growth hormone. If you or your children have received vaccinations in the last decade, you’ve likely been injected with cloned or genetically engineered viruses.

While countries like Japan, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, Ireland and many more are banning these controversial crops, our government- that works for us, the people- has chosen to not only ignore our demands, but pass laws to protect this company from being held responsible for the worldwide devastation they are causing.

As the information I’m giving you today is based on valid scientific studies, I think it’s important to understand Monsanto’s version of what’s considered science. Here’s a few interesting points from Monsanto’s cornerstone study for proving the safety of GMO’s:

  • The study lasted only 90 days
  • Test subject’s organs were never measured
  • GM’s were diluted up to 12 times. According to an expert review, this was most likely done to prevent any undesirable effects from occurring before the short test period was up.
  • Samples were pooled from different locations and conditions, and data from the only side-by-side comparison was removed and never published.

Monsanto & USDA studies are, on average, 90 days. Between 1992 & 2002, when we had the biggest boom in GMO’s, the USDA spent $1.8 billion on GMO research. 1% of that went to safety testing. Meanwhile, the agricultural industry uses its patents to maintain tight control over who researches what, how the research is done, and on what outcomes they would like to be made public at US Universities.

The longest, most comprehensive study on GMO’s was conducted at France’s University of Caen, and published in the peer-reviewed journal “Food & Chemical Toxicity.” Over the course of 2 years, 10 groups of rats were fed either GMO corn or Roundup herbicide in their water, or both, and the control groups consumed non-GMO corn, and non-GMO rat chow. Nothing much happened in the first 90 days, which is the industry’s gold standard time frame for GMO testing. But after those initial 90 days?

The groups fed the Round-up ready corn & Roundup herbicide both showed “severe adverse health effects” including mammary tumors, & kidney & liver damage, leading to premature death. This happened whether they were consumed separately or together. At the end of the study, 50-80% of the females had large tumors, compared to small tumors in 30% of the control groups. 50% of males & 70% of females died prematurely in the Roundup/GMO groups, vs 30% & 20% in the control groups.

One action of Round-up, or glyphosate, is that it chelates vital minerals from plants. By depriving the plant of iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, boron, and other nutrients, the plant dies. And this action doesn’t stop at just plants- it also continues on to deplete these same nutrients from us. Alzheimer’s, for example, is a disease linked with reduced copper and magnesium- this disease has jumped 9000% since 1990. Glyphosate-induced mineral deficiencies can easily go unidentified and untreated. Laboratory tests can sometimes detectadequate mineral levels in the body, but miss the fact that glyphosate has already rendered them unusable. Deficiencies in these particular minerals alone can cause disorders ranging from heart disease and osteoporosis to obesity and arthritis.

A press advisory from The American Academy Of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) was sent out in 2009, calling for immediate moratorium On Genetically Modified Foods. They urged physicians to “educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible, and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They also recommended that physicians should “consider the role of GM foods in their patients’ disease processes.”

The AAEM states the following as the health risks of GMOs:

  • Infertility
  • Immune problems
  • Accelerated aging
  • Insulin regulation
  • Changes in major organs
  • Gastrointestinal changes and problems
  • Here’s a sampling of some more results of independent studies:
  • GMO potatoes were found to cause cancer in rats
  • GMO foods were found to disrupt the kidneys, liver, heart, & spleen in rats & mice
  • GMO bt toxin corn induced autoimmune disease in mice, commonly associated with arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, osteoporosis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Indian studies found infertility, spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and premature death in buffalo fed GMO cotton products
  • Animals fed GMO foods have developed bleeding stomach ulcers
  • Soy allergies have skyrocketed after the introduction of GMO soy- many believe there is a relationship between the two.
  • GM genes have been found to damage human gut flora, which may play a role in GMO’s links to autoimmune disease, impaired immunity, cancer, and allergies.
  • GMO corn was found to cause sterility in pigs

Now fertility is an important topic, as we continue to find reproductive failure as a recurring theme in studies. What do we, the human species, have, if not the ability to reproduce? How can humankind possibly continue if we are sterilizing ourselves with every bite?

When it comes to infertility, research suggests that glyphosates could be to blame. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide created by Monsanto- aka Roundup. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide. Many crops today are genetically modified to be resistant to this chemical, therefore larger than normal doses can be used to kill invading plants, without risk of harming the crop. It is believed that this herbicide throws off the delicate balance of hormones required for both conception and for fetal growth.

A study published in 2000 found that in humans, Roundup interferes with an enzyme involved in testosterone production, as well as aromatase, an estrogen biosynthesis enzyme. A 2009 study on mice found Roundup-induced chromosomal aberrations and damage to DNA. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition October 1999 it was published that glyphosate may interfere with folic acid absorption, which could increase risk of chromosome disorders and spina bifida. Although purely speculation at this point, doesn’t it seem possible that glyphosate could play a large part in the chromosomal disorders we see today, such as Down Syndrome & Turner Syndrome?

In government-sponsored research in Italy, mice fed Monsanto’s bt-toxin corn had damaged sperm cells and their offspring had a 5-fold increase in mortality, with an inability to reproduce. In a 2009 French study, scientists discovered that Roundup kills the outer layers of cells on the placenta of pregnant women, which can ultimately kill the placenta. These results were from the use of small, residual amounts of glyphosate- the levels typically found in the standard American diet. A Canadian study of 4,000 pregnant women found that women exposed to glyphosate during the 3 months before pregnancy had a significantly higher risk of miscarriage. When fathers were exposed shortly before conception, the women had a moderate increase in preterm delivery and miscarriage.

A 2005 study at the Russian National Academy of Sciences found that 50% of the babies from rats fed GMO soy died within 21 days. The non-GMO control group had a 10% death rate. The babies in the GMO group were also smaller and infertile. In a Canadian study it was found that bt-toxin is now present in 69% of non-pregnant women’s blood samples, and in 93% of pregnant women’s. In frogs & chicken embryos Roundup was found to cause malformations of the skull, face, brain, and spinal cord.

It may not seem like you are able to save the world as one person, but when we all come together we create a ripple effect that WILL change the world. Fight back with your grocery dollars by buying organic. Even better, buy organic & local. Vote this company out by not giving them your money. Fight back by not using hazardous chemicals in your lawn or home.  Tell your friends, neighbors, family, about the devastation that is happening right under their noses- the public deserves to know. Demand labels. Write your representatives. Meet with them. Keep writing and meeting with them if they continue to vote against what the people are demanding. We may not be able to buy members of Congress like Monsanto, but we can keep bugging them until they listen!


J Toxicol Environmental Health, Use of genetically modified viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16982535

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious

Disease, Vaccines


The American Journal of Pathology, The Endogenous Adjuvant Squalene Can Induce a Chronic T-Cell-Mediated Arthritis in Rats, 2000- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1850095/

NVIC.org Rotavirus- http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Rotavirus.aspx

PharmPro January 16, 2012 – http://www.pharmpro.com/articles/2012/01/expanding-vaccine-market

SourceWatch.org – http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Bayer

Greenpeace.org – http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/genetic-engineering/ge-industry/other-companies/

Organic Consumers Association, USDA Watch- http://www.organicconsumers.org/usda_watch.cfm

Monsanto.com Who We Are – http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/monsanto-relationships-pfizer-solutia.aspx

Seattle Global Justice August 25, 2010 – http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org/2010/08/for-immediate-release-gates-foundation-invests-in-monsanto/

Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating by Jeffrey M. Smith

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey M. Smith

Scientific American September 19, 2011

Chemical Research in Toxicology 2010; 23(10):1586-1595

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Walsh, LP; McCormick, C; Martin, C; Stocco, DM (2000). “Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1638308/ Environmental health perspectives 108 (8): 769-76. doi:10.1289/ehp.00108769PMC1638308PMID10964798. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10964798

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Lose weight, boost libido, and stop hair loss with this unique grain

Lose weight, boost libido, and stop hair loss with this rare grain

It’s arguably the world’s most nutritious grain, and most well-kept secret. Introducing the tiniest grain on earth- teff!

Native to Ethiopia, this gluten-free grain is packed with b-vitamins, fiber, protein, and minerals. It is also environmentally-friendly, requiring very little water to thrive and sprouts in just over a day. Just one pound of teff can grow an entire acre of the grain, while it takes 100 lbs or more of wheat berries to grow an acre of wheat.

Teff’s rich, nutty, molasses-like flavor makes it ideal for porridges, muffins, and cookies. Teff flour can be used in soups and gravies as a savory natural thickener. Look for it in your local health food store.

5 Health Benefits of Teff:

1. Teff is high in a resistant starch, which is a type of fiber that helps to balance blood sugar and manage diabetes. This benefit makes teff an ideal grain for weight loss, as high blood sugar levels will trigger your body to store fat. Stabilized blood sugar will help keep energy levels sustained and prevent sugar cravings.
2. Teff can help relax and soothe the muscles. Chances are you’ll find relief from restless leg, sleeping troubles, or muscle cramping if you eat teff regularly.
3. The minerals in teff can help reduce your risk of a stroke, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
4. Teff is extraordinarily high in copper, which is a vital mineral for energy production and properly functioning taste buds. Did you know that low copper levels can cause premature hair loss? Studies have found that increasing your copper intake can stop hair loss and premature greying, so eat your teff!
5. You cannot absorb copper without zinc, so of course nature always supplies a perfect balance in whole foods. The high zinc content found in teff is vital for immune system, tissue healing, and reproductive function. Low zinc levels can cause infertility in both men and women. A diet high in zinc can actually give you a great libido boost!

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