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Archive for December, 2014

DON’T LET UNRELENTING NAUSEA RUIN WHAT SHOULD BE A WONDERFUL TIME

Category 1: Simple Malnutrition

Recommended Supplement: Ginger, in any form

The prospect of bringing a new person into the world is a joyous moment for both parents. The father makes his initial contribution, without which of course things could not proceed, but, it is the mother’s body that has to do all the work needed to actually produce this new member of the human race. Having a new person growing inside you puts a huge strain on your body, especially at the beginning when the embryo is nestling in for a long winter’s night, and the end when it struggles to enter our world.

The most common problem experienced by newly pregnant women is morning sickness, nausea that usually, but not always, comes in the morning. Though I’m sure that the leg pain, bloating, and vaginal itching are right up there as top contenders of discontent for the mother to be. For 85 percent of women, morning sickness lasts only through the first trimester, and is a minor annoyance. But for the last 15 percent, it can get ugly.

They might face persistent and unrelenting nausea and vomiting, dehydration and weight loss. They feel perfectly awful the whole time, and this state of ill health is not good for the newly developing embryo either. Another thing to consider: if you can’t keep food down, where is it getting its nutrition from? In a real sense it is consuming you and your food stores, what you need to survive and carry it safely to term. Hence the weight loss. Much better to get control of the nausea, and make sure enough nutrition is being provided for you and the little bugger, or it may well eat you alive. Such is nature’s grand plan for procreation, that the newer generation consume the dated to survive, both figuratively and literally.

I’ve used this ginger treatment successfully with countless pregnant women and others with nausea. I use it myself. The first time I can remember helping a mother-to-be is when Kate, a friend and colleague at a law firm, got pregnant. Even before she knew, she started experiencing horrendous morning and afternoon sickness. I felt bad for her, and myself too. As second chair on the case, I was having to take up most of the slack. Meaning that my 50 hour week expanded to 60 hours and beyond. It got so bad she couldn’t leave her house. She didn’t get in trouble, because she co-owned the firm.

After that, each work day started with a visit to Kate’s home before I went to the office. Sitting on the side of the bed, I discussed legal issues with her and took notes, while she lay flat on her back, except for the two or three times in an hour that she got up and bolted to the bathroom to vomit. The sounds of birds tweeting in the trees outside were overlaid with the resonance of her retching. She was losing weight, and she wasn’t that big to begin with. She could only bear to eat canned chicken noodle soup and buttered saltines. But of course she then threw most of it back up. She was so desperate she would have taken arsenic if I had told her it would stop nausea.

As the recipient of a super-sensitive stomach myself, I had learned to live with nausea. The only thing that helped me was ginger ale, and it always worked. I surmised that it could do the same for nausea stemming from a new pregnancy. I started by having Kate drink ginger ale throughout the day. She liked stir fry, so I suggested always adding fresh shredded ginger to it and other cooked foods. I also bought her candied ginger to snack on, and a powdered ginger supplement to take twice daily. Kate was back at work in three days, and never went anywhere without taking some sort of ginger something with her. She bought a small refrigerator for her office and filled it with ginger ale. Sometimes, in the middle of a heated deposition, she would request a 10 minute break, march to her office and chug a can of ginger ale before returning to the battle.

A couple of weeks after she started using ginger, Kate stopped by my place to drop off files. I had just made a dozen spicy deviled eggs. I brought them out so we could snack while she explained what needed to be done with the documents. I watched as between sentences she systematically wolfed all 24 half eggs. Took her about 12 minutes, and reminded me of Cool Hand Luke, the prison movie starring Paul Newman and George Kennedy, where Luke eats 50 eggs in an hour to win a bet. Luke had nothing on a pregnant woman. After polishing off the eggs, Kate let out with a raucous burp and told me she had to get home, because her husband had dinner waiting, and she was hungry. God bless ginger.

WAYS TO UTILIZE GINGER

1. Keep an icy cold ginger ale available at all times: If you don’t want to take up space in the refrigerator, put in one can at a time. When you take it out to drink, remember to put another one in to replace it. I use Canada Dry because it works best on my nausea, but you can use any brand you choose. Be aware that I have tried some store brands that did not alleviate my nausea. I don’t know why…maybe not enough ginger in them.

2. Drink ginger tea: Some of you may prefer something warm when you are nauseated, rather than a chilled beverage. Steep your tea for 5 minutes so it’s good and strong. Add honey or other sweetener. I suppose you could also just add a teaspoon of ginger powder to hot water. I’m not a tea drinker so I can’t suggest one over the other. I prefer ginger ale because the chilled carbonation plays an important part in eliciting that first nausea-relieving burp for me.

3. Take a ginger supplement:

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Morning Sickness & Other Nausea Quick Glance Chart
Supplement Morning Evening Brand Strength
Ginger Extract 2 capsules or more 2 capsules or more NOW, vitaminlife.com 250 mg
Organic loose Ginger Powder, certified Kosher ½ to 1 tsp or more ½ to 1 tsp or more Starwest Botanicals, vitaminlife.com N/A
If this dosage doesn’t stop your nausea, feel free to take as much as you need to get relief. The loose powder can be used in numerous ways. Simply mix it with water or other liquid and drink, or sprinkle over any food you like.

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4. Use fresh ginger in cooking: You can mince or shred it and add to stir fry, soups, casseroles, meats and fish. If you have an ice cream maker at home, you can get creative and make ginger ice cream, using fresh ginger root, and/or ginger powder. Don’t forget about ginger paste to add to sauces, and pickled ginger for salads and sandwiches.

Here is a simple recipe for GINGER CARROT SOUP 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ pounds carrots (6-7 large carrots), peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cups chopped sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish with chopped chives or parsley

Preparation

A.  Melt butter in a soup pot over low to medium heat and sauté the onions and carrots, stirring occasionally until the onions soften and become transparent, about 10 minutes. Add salt. Keep flame low enough that the onions and carrots don’t brown.

B.  Add stock, water, ginger, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the carrots soften, about 15 minutes. Let cool for five or more minutes with the top off, on a cool burner, before adding mixture to blender.

C.  Working in small batches, pour the soup into a blender and purée until completely smooth. Fill the blender bowl only to a third full with the liquid, which will still be hot, so be careful. Keep one hand on the blender top to keep it from popping off. Empty blender after each batch and pour contents into another container. When finished, return puréed mixture to pot, and reheat if necessary. Add more salt to taste. Garnish each bowl with chopped chives or parsley right before serving.

4. Snack on ginger candy: There is a huge selection of ginger candies straight up and also ginger mixed with other delectables like mango. Just Google ginger candy and peruse all the selections.

Please be nice to each other, and look for my next blog: Blog 35: Essay 3: The Psychology of Weight Loss & Control, where I give you practical tips on how to keep the pounds off without feeling deprived and miserable the whole time.

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