Live LOUD Life PodcastLafayette Colorado

Episode 62

Prenatal Nutrition & Supplemental Support

With Katie Braswell

Episode Highlights

  • Katie’s take on prenatal nutrition – is a prenatal vitamin really necessary? 
  • MTHFR gene how it plays into nutrition and the body’s breakdown process
  • Magnesium, fish oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, copper, & probiotics as supplements
  • Beef liver as nature’s multivitamin
  • Where to seek prenatal help outside of your OB or practitioner
  • Listening to your body and what it needs
  • General diet recommendations for absorbing nutrients – spending time outside, eating whole foods
  • Vegetarian & vegan diet
  • The male’s diet’s effect on baby
  • Ensuring you’re not undernourished during pregnancy 

About Katie Braswell


  • Holistic nutritionist
  • Specialist in prenatal nutrition
  • Business owner of Live Wild Be Well
  • Mother
  • Yoga Instructor

Connect With Katie:

Instagram: @livewildbewell


Anthony Gurule  00:09

Welcome back to Live LOUDLife Podcast. Nichelle is cohosting with me today, which is great because I normally do these solos and it gets very boring just talking about myself. But we have a good friend Katie Braswell, here talking with us. And it’s going to be prenatal nutrition, specialty and all that stuff. So I will let you introduce yourself. spill all the credentials, everything you want. And in any social places where people can find you, websites, etc.

Katie Braswell  00:47

hello, thank you for having me. two of my favorite people, and chiropractors, and people I lean on for a lot of advice and insight here and there. But I’m Katie Braswell. I’m a holistic nutritionist by trade. So I got my master’s roughly like two and a half years ago in functional and holistic nutrition. And I’m board certified through the NAMP. So I work closely with clients. Now I see them one on one in group settings, also in group coaching platforms as well. Prior to working in the nutrition space, I actually worked in the sales field for natural food products. So I sold brands like Rebel, Justin’s, Kind Bar, and just kind of learned a lot about our food sourcing, where our food comes from USDA, FDA practices, everything that really embodies foods. So I really became passionate about nutrition at that point, and also just passionate about sustainability practices, regenerative agriculture, and just really knowing where our food comes from, and the corruption that’s really on the back end of our FDA USDA model. So my mom is a holistic nutritionist as well. so it kind of led me to this field and I’ve just become really passionate about working with women, specifically, my focus in school and in my clinical practice was predominately on gut health, which was a good place to start because gut health does lead to a lot of things, whether that’s infertility, you know, in women, postmenopausal issues, gut health, and you know, babies and moms, and the whole gambit autoimmune conditions as well. So with all of that it kind of led me into kind of my practice and seeing clients one on one, but then after the birth of our son, I really got excited about prenatal and postpartum care, really have to just experience that myself, we had a miscarriage, it took us a little bit longer to conceive. And just, I really felt like there was a true need for more information like this out there. So that kind of led me to this. And so now, it was funny, because when I was pregnant with my son, I saw Nichelle and we were kind of dreaming up this business at the time, I was knee deep and as a sales rep and an industry that I loved, but I traveled a lot and it just didn’t feel right long term. And so I attribute a lot of my success to this one right here. But as far as you know, I practice now like I mentioned, I see clients one on one. Also I have group coaching programs, and then I have a good blog, too that has a lot of info so you can find me at or on social media @livewildbewell. So it’s a good place to find it.

Nichelle Gurule  03:03

Definitely follow that because it’s a really great, it’s awesome information and share it with anybody who knows pregnant and postpartum all this stuff.

Katie Braswell  03:12

Thank you.

Anthony Gurule  03:12

And now you guys are gonna be doing some projects in the future, which we won’t get into right now. But that being said, one of the main things that we asked our pregnant patients, which you obviously helped me with. Supplements, right. So obviously we’re talking about trying to eat whole foods. Balanced diet. But when you’re pregnant, adding supplementation, is necessary. Needed. So what’s your take? We don’t have to get into like the full list of it. But what are the main things they need to know about need to look for?

Katie Braswell  03:46

Right? Well, and it’s a really interesting topic because and I would imagine a lot of people that are on social media and are looking around are pregnant, are looking for advice on supplements. There are some polarizing topics right now on supplementation in pregnancy. And I’m definitely a Whole Foods practitioner, I’m always gonna lean into foods more than supplements, because our bodies can only break down so much. And we do a lot better with bioavailable forms, and we do synthetic. So I have a lot recently, I think there’s a lot more happening in this there’s a lot of discussion around prenatal vitamins and like, is a prenatal multivitamin really necessary? If someone has a really diverse diet? Are they getting in the right you know, essential nutrients do we even need that? And it really begs the question because, you know, there’s certain clients I have that will bring that up and it’s just like a flat No, they’re just not really getting enough bioavailable nutrients. You know, it has to be someone that has a diet rich and like vitamin A retinol, they’re getting in a lot of iron, you know, choline, calcium, all the things. and with that comes a lot of like organ meat consumption because, like beef liver is like nature’s multivitamin. So someone that’s eating a lot of beef liver, which isn’t the most palatable or delicious thing out there. So not everyone is gonna want that. But that’s usually something you know that a lot of eggs, you know, and someone that’s really, I would say, maybe on the gluten free side as well, like, you know, Eating some raw dairy or grass fed dairy, you know, getting in a lot of nutrients like that, and wild caught fish sardines, kind of eating like our ancestors in a lot of ways, like we talked about, like our grandparents. So that’s kind of one side. And I bring that up, because I’m getting a lot more inquiries about that. There’s a couple of influencers, I think, on the social media side that are pushing that pretty heavily, because we’re just seeing that women like the rates of anemia up and like, it’s like, why is that? You know, and I have so many clients that come to me, and they’re like, “I’m on this iron supplement, and it’s not doing anything.” So then we look at like a hair tissue mineral analysis and see their copper levels are really low. So they’re not really absorbing iron appropriately. So they could be supplemented with all iron in the world, and never see their iron increase on paper. So it is pretty interesting when you start looking at from that perspective, but if a general client comes to me, and it’s just looking at supplements, you know, and they have, you know, a typical diet, they eat fairly well, you know, but they kind of want to stay on the prenatal routine, a prenatal is definitely essential. And that would be most of what I recommend to clients. it’s really important to find a prenatal that does have a methylated folate, because not to go down a rabbit hole, but there’s a lot of genetic variants that are population, like over 60% of the population has one strain of MTHFR, which affects how they’re going to process folic acid, how they’re really going to work through those nutrients. So we need to have a methylated form. I have clients who are like, well, do I need to be tested for MTHFR? Before I take this, you know, folate, or folic acid? And the reality of it is it’s better to take the folate, it’s more absorbable.

Nichelle Gurule  06:30

Assume you are and go that route.

Anthony Gurule  06:34

can you explain a little bit more what that is for? Because people I’ve had people say, “I’ve heard about this, I don’t know what that even means.”

Katie Braswell  06:41

Yeah, so MTHFR. So it’s basically a genetic variant. And it reflects how we process methylated vitamins and B in B vitamins specifically. So you have to have a methylated form so your body can actually adapt it and use it appropriately. If you like, let’s say I do have MTHFR. And I have a single strain. It’s like a $200 test. So like Nichelle saying, it’s better to just assume for a lot of people because it’s not going to hurt you. So with that, it’s all about the absorption and making sure that you can actually process it appropriately. Like if I was to take folic acid, it wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to adapt it because my body can’t process a non methylated form of folate or folic acid. So that’s kind of a breakdown, we have to look at B vitamins too, though, because B vitamins are also a piece of the puzzle as well. And we do see that sometimes like, you know, with clients that I work with, occasionally we’ll see maybe an overload of B vitamin intake. So I do look at labs a lot of times in conjunction with an MTHFR diagnosis just to see like, Okay, is there something else going on here? Do they have an overload of B vitamins is their body may be able to process them a little better than we thought. So it’s all kind of a big piece of the puzzle like with and that’s kind of the issue with a general prenatal is it’s not always it’s not just like a one size fits all for everyone, which makes it a little challenging.

Nichelle Gurule  07:51

Now so question I have for you is because so many people don’t eat well. They think they well too. So you know, it’s actually looking at what are you actually eating because people think they a lot better than they do until they read it on paper and they’re like, Oh crap, I’m really not eating that well. Plus adding in so most people don’t eat well in America, right adding in that when you’re pregnant. There’s things that you do not want to eat so I can make myself suffer through things I don’t like in the taste of right now and maybe give me the heebie jeebies. Just think about eating. I can make myself do it. When it comes down to it swallowing a really good supplement that maybe it’s eight capsules a day. Or swallowing liver, eating sardines is just not going to happen but eat pretty well in general. But it’d be like, I could do desiccated liver capsules, which is not going to be good as raw liver that’s been frozen and micros. But like, how do you bounce it out with somebody who’s like, “that looks great on paper, I get it.” But like swallowing the needed brand or a couple other brands that are more capsules..Like where’s that in between for those people who like they want to do well, right? Because you’re gonna have more of the population that is like actively seeking. Yeah, I want to do better with nutrition, right? And they’re naturally going to be more open to like, alright, I’ll take the liver. Sardines, I’ll do it right. But when you’re looking at kind of more of that average population, how do you how would you handle that?


Katie Braswell  09:10

that’s a good question. And the first trimester speaks to that in a lot of ways like I have some clients do beautifully after 18 weeks, you know, they can eat a really nutrient dense diet but up until then, it’s like we need that insurance policy of having the prenatal available. You know, so I just work with a client where they’re at. I mean, if it’s someone and I am pretty transparent like you know me anyway, I’m pretty much like just shoot it straight. Like if you’re gonna be able to do this let’s put you on this plan but if not, this is the route we’re gonna go. The neat thing is there’s a lot of really great brands with prenatals like I love seeking health Dr. Ben Lynch because he kind of prioritizes genetic variants and like MTHFR and in his formulations and a lot with like histamine like a lot of women really have a hard time processing histamine and then having histamine intolerance and so he works a lot with things like that, like needed is a good option as well but so you know, we’ll kind of work with like, I have one client like seeking health it’s eight capsules like use Just as needed, she just couldn’t do it. So fortunately Seeking Health has a chewable, that’s a two tablet deal that they can just pop and be done, you know, so I kind of just have to work and see where the client is capable of. On the flip side, I do have a lot of clients that come to me with good intentions, and then it just never comes to fruition. So then we just have to kind of back up and say, you know, and the neat thing is, we can certainly pull together like, I don’t rely on just the prenatal and in fact, I don’t really recommend that someone just takes a prenatal and that’s it. Because we need so much more. I mean, you know, DHA, you know, having a great source that have omegas that are triple tested for purity and non and toxic materials. So like, you know, I love Nordic Naturals and Rositas, you know, to have a really nice pure brand and pure blend. Magnesium is a really underrated you know, nutrient really for looking at like mineral status in pregnancy. I think you know, per like the birth center boulder or bch, they say no more than 400 milligrams of magnesium in pregnancy. But magnesium has such a broad spectrum, there’s so many different forms of magnesium that can be utilized. But oftentimes I have a client who comes in, they’re like, Oh, I was given magnesium citrate, and I’m like, well, citrate is more for like constipation, so it’s not really gonna help you that much in pregnancy with your aches and pains and sleep and joint disruption. And so it is really important to find those other things. And I guess kind of diving into the gambit, you know, those would be things I would definitely recommend. Vitamin D is something that’s also it’s becoming a little bit more controversial, I think, because it’s been over supplemented for so long. And there’s just there’s some more research coming out. PubMed just released a couple of neat articles about it. Because a lot of people are able to synthesize and absorb vitamin D properly from the sun and a lot of foods. But we’ve kind of been told for X amount of time to keep supplementing, but we’re finding that a lot of women specifically have enough vitamin D, and sometimes they’re over supplemented. So that’s one thing as a practitioner, I’ve kind of backed up from saying, just like everyone should take 5000 IUs. instead, I’m looking closer at labs first and saying, okay, you know, what you have, like, your levels are at 70. Like you’re good. from a functional perspective, we’d like to see 60 to 80. If someone’s able to do that on our own without supplementation, I’m not going to add any more in. so that’s just one thing I’ve kind of seen. There’s some conflicting advice right now and kind of research on vitamin D and too much that it could cause some like calcification of the bones long term and things like that. But I don’t know, I don’t think there’s enough research yet on that to really say one way or the other. So vitamin D is one that can also help with a lot of infertility. We look at vitamin D pretty closely. And then other supplement wise, what am I missing? And then some things that all add in like beef liver, like you talked about, if it’s a client that maybe isn’t able to get a lot of B vitamins, beef liver’s incredible because it has full weight, selenium, B vitamins, iron, and just a lot that we can’t just get from like an average diet and it’s also bioavailable, because it’s 100% Food base, so it’s not a synthetic form. And vitamin A that leads to a whole other discussion about beef liver, but and I could talk about beef liver for days, anyone that follows me I’m like, Oh, here she goes again. But beef liver like vitamin A, Well, I think we were talking about this actually the other day. But, you know, there’s been a lot of conversation about too much vitamin A in pregnancy. And a lot of women are scared now to eat beef liver, because they’re like, Oh, well, we were told from our practitioner or OB that we shouldn’t have beef liver because it’s high in vitamin A, which it is that’s not wrong. But in order to exceed the RDI for your vitamin A and take that day in in conjunction with your prenatal, you’d have to eat like two whole, you know, cow beef livers. I mean, it’s like it the the amount of the quantity and this is just far beyond what anyone would ever intake. So I do like to layer in beef liver, if I can, whether that’s a client that’s able to take it in from a food source, like, you know, raw or, you know, maybe not raw in pregnancy, depending on your comfort level. Or if you want to cook it, or saute it or have it some people will just even like grind it up and put it in like a smoothie.

Nichelle Gurule  13:51

Does the nutrient value change when it is cooked versus raw? has there been studies as to how much that changes?

Katie Braswell  13:59

Yeah, you know, so Paul Saladino we were talking when I first got here you know, he did the heart and soil supplements and he talks a lot about the dehydrated liver and kind of the change. I don’t think it’s insane I think they say it lessens by like 10 to 15% of what it actually would be but it’s the same thing if you were to like freeze beef liver technically and then like we talked about like pre-thaw you’re losing some nutrients anyway. So I say you know for me personally like we were just talking about and I have some clients that are perfectly capable and and are comfortable eating raw beef liver and pregnancy they freeze it and then just swallow you know, chunks here and there which, you know, kind of depends obviously, there is a risk for parasites and things of that nature in pregnancy but that is probably your best way to get it in. I mean because it is so nutrient dense in its raw pure state. But there’s a lot of great companies now like Heart and Soil, Ancestral supplements is really great, perfect supplements, Smidge they have some really nice beef liver products that are that are pretty good.

Nichelle Gurule  14:59

if you’re gonna do it right It is better to freeze a freeze that we know from experiencing. We won’t get into right now,

Anthony Gurule  15:06

I ate raw liver…it didn’t go well.

Nichelle Gurule  15:08

It was not frozen for weeks at a time. So reach out to Katie, if you decide to go that route, don’t just dive right into chopping it up.

Anthony Gurule  15:19

I was very ambitious because I knew all the benefits of liver and this was straight from the farm that like just packaged I was like, I mean, it’s fresh, right?

Nichelle Gurule  15:33

I have a question for you? Because, you know, most people are going to most people are going to have a midwife or an OB. And they don’t have very much nutrition experience really at all, they just say take a prenatal and then the prenatal what are commonly recommended are really just be better if they didn’t take them. Like when I look at them, I’m like ooof. Especially because they’re just not taking into account the genetic variations that can affect even vitamin A and not being able to convert yet a carotene which is the plant version of vitamin A. So we’re looking at most people that are pregnant, or not going to go the extra step and see somebody like yourself, right? Nor is there enough nutritionists right now that exist to do that to break down and get all the labs and go through hair samples and all the things. Even if that sounds great that that would happen. It’s just not going to unite anytime soon.  So with that being said, like what do you wish you could give as information to people who are not going to see a nutritionist like yourself, whose OB and midwife are not giving that information? Maybe their insurance won’t cover an extra vitamin D test. It’s not going to cover checking their Bs, right? Like, what information would you love to get that person who’s like, listen, I just don’t have the resources for that. What should I do? Could could they be honest, specific supplements? Would you recommend like this supplement DHA and this? Yeah, they’re like, “I don’t live anywhere near I can get a fresh liver” what should they do?

Katie Braswell  16:51

That’s a good question. Because that is a general, you know, portion of the population. First of all, having kids is expensive. So it’s hard to invest when you know, you’re gonna have medical bills coming out, Or if it’s someone who knows they’re gonna have a C section and maybe, you know, is kind of preparing for that it is expensive to seek nutritional advice. And there is a handful of, you know, lucky people out there that, you know, see a practitioner that is really mindful and does talk about nutrition a lot. But yeah, I would say it’s kind of like a general idea. I mean, first of all, there’s some great books, like we’ve talked about, like Lily Nichols wrote a really nice book, nutrition for pregnancy, which is a beautiful resource. And I just love that it’s in the hands of so many people now. So that can be really great. And she gives a lot of good options for people that may live in a rural setting and may not have access to you know, every you know, Vitamin Cottage or Natural Grocers right down the road. Outside of that, you know, the general kind of idea that I tell everyone is, yes, find a really great preprenatal and like we talked about, you know, falling into that methylated folate, because if you don’t have the option to get supplemented, definitely, you know, try to go that route. So something like Seeking Health, Needed. There’s another one that I really love that just kind of came on the market that’s really good.  Yes! Full Well. I just got samples of it. So I haven’t taken it, but I like the whole like composition of it. So that’s a good option too. So I would always say finding a good prenatal and then working with your practitioner on that. Another thing that’s kind of underrated are probiotics. I think a lot of times, that’s something that should be talked about a lot more because we’re seeing a lot in clinical trials of the importance of having probiotics for mom both in the preconception period through pregnancy, and it helping actually, with like GERD, acid reflux, you know, things kind of complicating the baby in you know, the first few weeks. so it is really helpful to kind of foster a strong microbiome for the mom to then pass it on to baby. Also, with Group B strep, it’s important to stay on a probiotic. So a couple of brands of that, that I really like is just Thrive and Seed. There’s also a megaspore biotic, that’s pretty, pretty digestible, as well. So things like that, that would definitely important. And then really, the fish oil, definitely magnesium, and then vitamin D, you know, and I always kind of tell my clients that don’t have the resources to test because testing isn’t cheap. And oftentimes, it’s not covered by insurance. It’s, you know, be be a proponent of intentional intuitive eating, and really listen to your body, you know, what does your body want, I mean, if we really back up and kind of look, you know, 3040 years ago without social media without you know, technology all the time without the TV on, I think we paid more attention to what we actually wanted. And sometimes when you sit with that, you know, I’ve noticed even on backpacking trips, unfortunately, usually what I want isn’t there, but I usually this is what my body needs, you know, and like so I think when we kind of stopped the noise we really can pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. So I’m really a proponent of that is like having people really step back in pregnancy and in preconception and say, you know, your body’s generally going to tell you like, are you feeling like some someone were just like, I crave a burger like every week and pregnancy I’m like, Okay, well, let’s, you know, let’s think about Yeah, it’s your blood volume, you know, you probably need more iron, you know, those things. So, that’s always what I would say and vitamin D is pretty polarizing. You know, a lot of times with vitamin D, we’ll see like, seasonal disorder, you know, people seemed to have a little bit more irritation around like time change and the light changing and then things like that sleep can also be affected, you know, mood swings, mood disorders, you know. So those are kind of things to kind of pay attention to. A fatigue. I mean, that’s one thing in pregnancy, you know, you, you are going to be tired. But extreme fatigue is something that I think if a lot of us paid more attention, you know, we could probably kind of fix that with some food groups and time outside too.

Nichelle Gurule  18:01

Is it Full Well? So if I’m craving a beach vacation, does that mean any vitamin D?

Anthony Gurule  20:32

mineral you see that?

Katie Braswell  20:37

She can do it right outside, no problem. Colorado sun, little wind.

Anthony Gurule  20:41

So one thing I’ve seen on a few labels of checking, which and you can weigh in on this, or I guess, just affirm what I’ve seen is supplement companies are now knowing that we need folates. Yeah. And are you seeing that sub text that says, XML from folic acid?


Katie Braswell  21:01

Yep, that’s definitely something you’re seeing more and more, because there is a lot more discussion on it. It’s interesting, though, because I had a friend that put this whole thing on Instagram, she made a real about folic acid, and folate and kind of everything we talked about. she was working with a client that had been told to take folic acid. So she kind of went on this rant and did her whole spiel about it. And there was so much pushback, and it actually went viral, because this was like this whole debate. And it’s it really amazed me because I think in my small circle, I feel like the it’s out, like the word’s out, you know? Like, it’s like methylated folate or like, That’s it, you know. but I realized after seeing her thing, first of all, how many practitioners are very passionate still about folic acid and are not seeing the research or they just maybe have done their own research. And it’s limited and they still feel like folic acid, is it? So I think yeah, it’s it’s really interesting to see how many people still, like I have clients still to come to me and say, “Oh, I’m on folic acid.”

Nichelle Gurule  21:57

but I mean, it does take an average of, what does the study say, of 17 years before research goes into practice? So I have a close family member who I got an argument with this exact topic about. And I felt very confident like the first topic I was like, I own this one, I know it, and we chatted about it, when it came down to was that practitioners are going based off of the research, right? The research commonly uses that they’re looking at folic acid. Why? Because it did show to decrease neural tube defects, right. But now you’re looking at well, why did they use folic acid and not folate? Did they just not know? Or was it just cheaper when you’re doing studies that are having 10, 20,000 People? And the answer is that folic acid is synthetic, and it’s super cheap. Yeah. Compared to it is MTHF. So, you know, it comes down to that. And so she’s like, “but it makes you it does reduce neural tube defects.” I go, “Sure, But could it make things better? And is it doing other things to that body? If they’re not having the MTHF?” And she’s like, “well, I don’t know.”

Katie Braswell  22:52

Yeah, there’s a couple brands who are doing like methal-free forms, too. I guess if someone is having like a, you know, maybe an abundance of, you know, absorption or something’s going on that we need to kind of look at. But yeah, that’s interesting.

Anthony Gurule  23:04

And I think this really just comes down to, because I had a very, very short, not wasting my time, internet debate with a pediatrician about milestones about crawling. Right. So it’s the same thing. I think it just really, I think the differentiation is, we just have a different opinion as to what may be healthy or optimal actually is, right? Where we see one side of the spectrum is very much about well, we’re gonna play the conservative role. And we take this because we don’t want certain things to happen. Right. Defense mode, right? Well, we’re thinking more offense mode, right. We want this to, like flourish and thrive as best as possible. So what’s gonna be the best option?

Katie Braswell  23:44

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s interesting, I think, coming from an integrative perspective. I mean, I think we’re all kind of immersed in the research, you know, even something as simple as like, red raspberry leaf tea is something like I did a post on that today. And so many people are just so scared, you know, they’ve been told, if I take this before, 38 weeks, like, you know, I could, you know, have uterine contractions and baby could come and it’s like, you know, what, I really want to sit with people that are having that fear, and, you know, totally understand where that comes from, but at the same time, I do think we have to get back to this point of being fairly intuitive and, you know, trusting our bodies and knowing that these resources have been around for a long time. And you know, how do we utilize that. and you know, with new research always comes changes, but it is interesting, the folic acid thing is, it’s yeah, it’s definitely controversial, I would say, to say the least.

Anthony Gurule  24:31

So outside of folic acid and the supplements. So we’re talking about whole foods, liver being big. What are some of the other just general recommendations? So I guess one of the things would be, I mean, I think the hard part for some people is when you’re looking at supplements, one of the big worries is, am I absorbing it, first and foremost. That definitely helps. But when you’re talking about all the different symptoms for pregnancy with energy levels, so on and so forth, rather than go going down the rabbit hole of assuming that this will fix everything what are some of the other big either nutritional things or just general suggestions for pregnancy do you give?

Katie Braswell  25:09

So the first thing you know I always say is, first of all, we need to spend time outside. I’ll just kind of start with a lifestyle thing so you know to start. because I think sometimes in pregnancy you know, and I was guilty of this like up until 20 weeks I didn’t feel that great. So I really didn’t like leave the house much. I was pretty much you know, definitely dealing with some nausea and things and some of that’s genetic and there I have my own suspicions that I was low on popper and you know, maybe that was why I had those things and B6 but you know, I think first and foremost, it’s really helpful to get outside get natural sunlight every day…that’s really impactful. Next to that is you know, like we mentioned with food, you know, making sure you’re eating these forms of foods that are bioavailable, you know, I always kind of go back to my days is in the natural food space is like when you’re shopping always shopping like the external you know, the square of the grocery store so trying to avoid the internal aisles because you’re going to be getting those real whole foods You know. we start looking at a lot of processed foods in pregnancy you know, not to go down a rabbit hole of poo fuzz you know, seed oils, polyunsaturated fats, that can be hard on the body so you know when you’re eating things that we want to make sure they’re full fat, they’re good oil, so coconut oil, avocado oil, beef tallow, gee–things like that are really nourishing and nutritive. You know, as far as meats go, I mean obviously I’ve worked with a lot of vegans and vegetarians in the past I would say I definitely lean in more to the that’s just more my niche is I’m really a big proponent of kind of this you know, well rounded eating patterns and eating you know, meat sources. but you know if it is a vegetarian like leaning in, I just had a client you know that just had her little one and she had a beautiful pregnancy you know, 100% vegan and did just a great job, you know, really like landed it she just ate super well, did a great job. And we really relied a lot on nuts, like that was like her big source of omegas and you know, I guess the good polyunsaturated fats. and then also making sure she had plenty of good fat options in her system, she was getting a lot of protein. So it kind of depends. depending on the client. meat products, obviously beef liver we talked about. bone in meats are amazing, because bone and meats tend to when they’re stewed are cooked together they leach more vitamins and minerals into the meat product rather than something that’s not you know bone-in. so you know looking for like bone-in chicken thighs or short ribs and things like that. And then fish products– wild caught fish–so that’s a big topic too, just making sure you’re not really intaking a lot of fish that’s rich in toxins mercury, all of those things. So I typically recommend smaller fish like sardines are really great. Tuna can be had in moderation but really it’s pretty high in mercury so I would say to avoid that. And then you know obviously the sardines Those are great because they have really small bones so they’re high in calcium. And then salmon is starting to test a little bit higher for toxins. I  like arctic char if you can find that wild because it comes from colder waters. cod is really great. And then obviously just getting in a well rounded diet of leafy greens, vegetables, root vegetables are really great and pregnancy. cheeses you know I like to say if you can go raw, you know if you’re comfortable with raw dairy and raw cheese, if you have a local supplier, that’s great and you trust them. if not grass fed is great. And then a eggs. eggs are just like a superfood for pregnancy it’s full of choline, full of omega, full of copper. Copper is a big one. You know, when we look at fertility a lot of times especially  really in males, we see instances of low copper and and females too, but it’s really important. There’s not a lot of foods that are rich in copper. eggs are one of them, oysters are another. oysters are great to have too, like a smoked oyster or smoked muscle. You can get those in little, you know, cans, just making sure they’re BPA free and they’re also smoked in olive oil. I could go on about this for days. So those are some of my favorites.


Nichelle Gurule  28:41

Just to add on to this, because you brought up the male side of it. there’s a lot more studies that are coming out about the placental health, the umbilical cord, even mother having nausea versus not that it could actually be coming from the male side of things. So making sure that it’s not just the female that’s putting in the time and energy of course, it’s her body that’s nourishing it wants to conception happens, right? But as everything just starts unfolding, those cells start replicating things happen. What was the 50% coming from? Is it coming from a healthy male and so all the same things you said are still true? For the male, there’s gonna be things that you tweak. So is there anything with conception that you suggest for the male party on top of all you’ve ever said for females.

Katie Braswell  29:20

that’s a great point especially, you know, there’s a lot coming out to about miscarriage rates and really being more male factor than female factor. So a lot of that does come down to copper. That’s the really the biggest thing, so like shellfish is really wonderful like oysters mussels. Co Q 10 is really great. As far as a supplement source, it’s good for our cardiovascular health, but it’s also really great for fertility both in females and men. NAC is a really powerful supplement. it’s anacetylcysteine and it’s a bioflavonoid that can also help with you know, fertility needs. it’s also really great in men but also it helps sperm health and mobility, and also women, it helps kind of boost up ovulation in a way so it’s really helpful with PCOS and things like that. And then my husband always hates this one. Fenugreek is a really interesting herb. And so it can be taken in capsule form. And it helps for mobility. So a lot of times if we have someone that’s going through like an IUI trial or IVF, and they’re having like a sperm mobility issue, this is a really wonderful herb for that. It’s also just great for general male health when you’re coming to fertility and things like that. The only caveat is, I had my husband on it for a while and he was like, You know what, I think I started, I smell like maple. Do you smell it? he’s like, I have this new BO. And it’s like, it’s weird. It almost smells like a pancake.

Nichelle Gurule  30:32

sounds great. Sounds a lot better than other options.

Katie Braswell  30:35

And I was like, Oh, I don’t know what that could be. And then I started researching. And I was like, uh oh, because it does start to kind of leak out of your system. So that’s the only caveat, if you’re gonna have fenugreek, be ready for that. And then beef liver. You know, back to that, I think that’s a really good option. it’s funny, a lot of my clients, I’m like, have your husband eat the same way, like everything we’re kind of putting together is like, but we talked a lot about this. It’s kind of like eating like our grandparents and eating like our ancestors and looking back to like, okay, you know, even like my grandma, I remember she would make like a big chuck roast. And she would like take the fat off the top of the chuck roast when it was done and use that as her like, rendered fat for the week. because they didn’t have a lot of excess resources and money. So she was like, butter is expensive. I’m just gonna use this, like, lard or tallow for the rest of the week. so that would be kind of my recommendations for male and female fertility. One other thing, you know, it’s really important for conception, both for females and males is also blood sugar balance. You know, we’ve talked some about this as looking at, you know, as a society, we’re undernourished, and we’re not eating enough, you’re not taking enough calories, we’re not really paying attention to how we should eat. And it’s really important to really fine tune when you’re eating, you know, I always recommend eating within like 45 minutes to an hour of waking up. And every two to three hours after that, that’s great in pregnancy, it’s great for preconception, great in postpartum. It’s just going to help you kind of balance yourself overall. And that’s something I think, as a society, we just we don’t eat enough. You know, on on average, women are undernourished and not taking in the calories they need.


Nichelle Gurule  32:08

Oh, I wonder why…is there a message that’s been passed around. Special K commercials that go around.

Katie Braswell  32:13

Yeah, I know. It’s like, it’s so sad, you know, because I think it’s just we’ve gotten away from this, like, Okay, we want to feel like nourished and healthy. And, you know, and it’s, when I even I get a lot of comments, like when I do my birth center classes on prenatal nutrition, as because our, you know, caloric intake and our needs, you know, go throughout pregnancy. So you start at, like, 1800, roughly, I mean, that’s on average, first trimester then 2,0000 and then 2200. And a third, and I have so many clients that struggle with that they just have this, you know, these and sadly, these disordered eating patterns that we have to reframe, and kind of work with and a lot of that is just, you know, kind of going through the motions and you know, if it’s trauma based or whatever is going on, but really retraining our minds on like, “Okay, this is good for you, you know, you do need to nourish yourself and there’s this new life coming too.”

Nichelle Gurule  32:14

And that is something that has to be talked about is like your body’s gonna change. I talked about that a lot because I have a lot of very fit women coming in and it’s really disturbing to them that their body’s gonna change and just giving them the confidence that like things will, you’ll get you back, I promise. you’ll get back to your movements. But we see a lot from the movement like in like the bodywork perspective of gripping and holding on to the Abs because what are we taught from a young age like, Paulin, abs and like, you gotta be small. And so then they keep that pattern, right. And then we have positional issues, because baby doesn’t have space, like you should look pregnant when you’re like 35 weeks, if you don’t, you’re holding your abs too much. So it comes down to food and how they’re holding body that comes from just a whole other thing from earlier on for them that we have to focus on.

Katie Braswell  33:32

Yeah, and there was one other thing you know, in that same mindset is like, you know, in the traditional, if we look at just, you know, OBs and what they’re kind of recommending, they’re recommending, usually like 60 grams of protein. And really, we’re finding on average, women need anywhere from 100 to 130 grams of protein a day in pregnancy. So that’s one of the things I want to make sure I hit on because that’s something I drive home with a lot of my clients and we see just lessened, you know, propensity for nausea, you know, any kind of things coming up preterm labor, preeclampsia, when you do have a lot of protein in the system. It does help with your recovery and glycine and collagen repair and all of that, too. So that was one thing I’m wanting to fix.

Anthony Gurule  34:09

I don’t have any other questions. No other questions. Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap up?

Katie Braswell  34:14

No, I think that’s great. Thanks for having me on. This is a dream. I could sit here all day, whether the camera was on or not.

Anthony Gurule  34:22

2.0 coming. Well, thank you so much.