Preparing for motherhood is a special time to nourish both body & spirit and boost nutritional support for a healthy pregnancy. The year before conceiving is the time to take stock of your body, how you feed it, and the extra nutritional demands you can expect. Are you carrying extra weight? Do you need to cleanse and detoxify? Before baby comes on board, focus on fortifying your body.

Steps you take with your diet now help set the stage for ease or difficulty with pregnancy later on. Choose fresh, nutrient-rich foods chockfull of essential vitamins and minerals and a quality prenatal vitamin supplement.

Couples who plan to become pregnant should be sure to include sustainably sourced fish, organic eggs, good quality butter and cream, fermented milk products (kefir), organic meats, vegetables, grains, legumes, and plentiful portions of leafy green vegetables rich in folic acid, an important nutrient for the prevention of birth defects.

Try this fortifying mineral broth, great for cleansing before getting pregnant, sipping during pregnancy for more minerals, or losing baby weight:

Mineral Broth By: Laura Ferro-Rymar, Natural Chef/Holistic Health Consultant

Very easy and so nutritious!

2 big sweet potatoes, chopped skins on 6-7 celery stalks 5-6 carrots 1 bunch dino kale 1 bunch parsley Shiitake mushrooms (optional) Crimini mushrooms (optional)

Bring to a light boil, simmer for 2 hours. Strain after cooling.

A deliciously nutritious and elegant meal from Rachel:

Baked Halibut over Raw Kale Salad and Cauliflower Couscous with Ginger, Tamari, Miso Sauce Servings: 2 By: Rachel Leigh, Natural Therapeutic Chef Ingredients: Fish Marinade: 6 oz. Halibut 1 T Yellow Miso ¼ C warm water 1 ½ t Tamari 1 t fresh ginger, grated 1 ½ T sesame oil 1 t garlic, minced Raw Kale Salad: 1 bunch Dino Kale, washed and stems removed 1 ½ t garlic, minced 1 T olive oil ¼ t salt (a couple pinches) Cauliflower Couscous: 1 medium head cauliflower, stalks and stems removed ½ T coconut oil ½ medium red onion, finely diced ½ t turmeric

Procedure:

1 Combine all the ingredients (except the garlic) for the halibut marinade in a medium bowl. Whisk together to blend, then slowly drizzle in the sesame oil and emulsify. Taste for flavor balance. 2 Wash the fish and place in a glass Pyrex pan. Pour the marinade over the fish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. 3 In the meantime, thinly chiffonade the bunch of de-stemmed kale and place in a medium size bowl. Add the minced garlic, salt and drizzle the olive oil. Gently massage the kale, breaking down the leaves until soft and easy to eat. Set aside. 4 Preheat the oven to 375F and bake the marinated halibut at 375F for 20-25minutes, or until slightly flaky.

5 While the fish is in the oven, place the cauliflower into a food processor. Pulse a few times until you reach a couscous consistency, but make sure it doesn’t get mushy. 6 Bake the marinated halibut at 375F for 20-25minutes, or until slightly flaky. 7 In a heavy saucepan on medium heat, add the coconut oil and onion and sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. 8 Add the cauliflower and sauté for a few minutes.

Cover the pan and allow cooking for about 5-10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the cauliflower is almost tender but not mushy. Take the top off the pan and stir in the turmeric and season to taste with salt. Allow the cauliflower to brown a bit and then turn off the heat. 9 Plate the halibut on top of the raw kale salad and cauliflower couscous. Garnish with a drizzle of the miso sauce and minced chives. Enjoy!