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Brewer's Diet - Page 2

post #21 of 71
Thanks, crunchyma!

I would also like to offer that the Brewers did not recommend using protein powders in pregnancy, unless someone is carrying triplets or quadruplets and having a difficult time keeping up with the nutritional needs of that situation. The following page has a couple of answers which explain the reasons for this.


I would like to add a possibly interesting side note too. There is apparently a study involving protein powders in pregnancy which the Brewer-opponents often try to use against us. It was apparently done or reviewed by the Cochran Review, and it allegedly showed that babies on the Brewer levels of protein turned out to be smaller than average. But the people doing the study apparently used protein powders to give the levels of protein that they thought were duplicating the Brewer levels. Who knows what quality of protein was in those powders and what the source of that protein was?!

What that study says to me is two things....One is that it's better to use real food for our protein intake in pregnancy, rather than protein powders. The other is that we should be very cautious about trusting mainstream studies which claim to disprove the Brewer perspective. From what I have seen, it seems that mainstream researchers often mis-understand the Brewer description of how and why his diet works, and they often mis-use pieces of the diet or the Brewer anti-pre-eclampsia treatments, when they attempt to reproduce the results that he and other researchers like him got. Then when they get different results, they believe that they've disproven that theory, when all that they've done is conducted a poorly designed study.

You can see more about the protein powder issue and the mis-use of them in this study(ies) here...


Also, for everyone who has trouble with the liver-factor, please note that that entry on the chart has an asterisk and that I've added that the liver is optional. :-)

post #22 of 71
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the charts and extra info

I am going to send the links to my hubby and have him print it off for me.

As far as the diet goes in being extreme I can see where one would think that. However, based on my past experience actually having pre-e and knowing the risks involved I don't think trying to prevent it, starting now, can hurt anything. I don't want myself, or my baby, to go through that again. It was awful. I felt terrible, it was a horrible inconvenience to everyone in my and my husband's family, and the risks from it are very real and scary. If I had never had pre-e I don't know what I'd think about a diet that wants you to get so much protein but I have and if it will help I'm all for it. I think you still have to be conscientious about where you get your protein. I think balance is important, to eat a varied diet of high protein foods..nuts, dairy, broccoli, meats. I don't eat liver, and won't follow that part, so no real comment there lol. I think, as with everything, everyone has to follow what makes them happy and comfortable. For me, it's Brewer's, and it isn't as much about trusting my body or not trusting it as it is trying very hard to make sure that I do everything I can to avoid crappy blood pressures, protein in my urine, and bed rest.
post #23 of 71
There is also sometimes a bit of a misconception about how much protein is involved and how much of that needs to be from meat.

As you can see from the two veggie diet plans, none of it needs to be from meat, and a person could also mix-and-match, using some animal proteins and some non-animal proteins.

But for those who do eat meat, each serving in this version of the Brewer Diet is only 1 oz in size. The usual serving size that people are familiar with from the Department of Agriculture, I believe, is 3 oz in size. A 3 oz serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Therefore, a 1 oz serving of meat on the chart from my website is about the size of 1/3 of a deck of cards.

There is often some confusion about this because the first book from the Brewers used the 3 oz size for the meats--and it recommended 2 servings from the "Protein" food group (2 times 3 oz = 6 oz of meat proteins or their equivalent), in addition to the servings of milk and eggs. And this is the size that is used by the official Bradley website. But the later Brewer books called for 1 oz servings and 6-8 servings of meat proteins or their equivalent.

On my website I have gone with the later Brewer way of doing this calculation, because it seems to me that by doing that, all the protein servings, from all sources, have about the same number of grams of protein in them, and it seems more standardized to me.

But I do think that this discrepancy between the earlier book (and the Bradley way), and the later books and some websites (like mine), does lead to some confusion for the pregnant moms, and their care-givers at times too.

post #24 of 71
That makes total sense Joy!

It just means I need to stock more nuts and seeds and lentils on hand because I am telling you as soon as I feel that first sign of nausea I eat something on my list and immediately I am better and actually have energy.

I know what you mean about the pre-e thing my last daughter was born at 37 weeks 8lbs 3oz. I was miserable labor was miserable the whole pregnancy was miserable and looking back it was because I ate terribly. I gave into my carb craving ate what I wanted ate. Did not eat nutrient dense foods. This just makes so much sense.

Making a grocery list now to keep good quality real food on hand!
post #25 of 71
Yes, I agree, crunchyma. That is actually like one of the remedies for morning sickness that I have been telling pregnant women for a lot of years. I believe that one of the major components of morning sickeness is low blood sugar. One of these days I will post my morning sickness suggestions on the website but for now I don't have the time.

post #26 of 71
Anybody know something good to substitue the eggs with? We can only afford to get a dozen every 2 weeks or so, which would only give me 1 egg a day for 12 of the 14 days out of those 2 weeks. Any ideas? (Not to mention I'm not too hot on eggs, anyway.)
post #27 of 71
I don't know where you live, so I don't know what is available to you....But I'm wondering if some of these options might work for you....

--Are there any stores that might sell eggs for lower prices--like Aldi's or Sam's Club, or one of these new stores that sell items that are slightly out-dated?

--Are there any farmers near you who might sell eggs for lower prices?

--Are there any food co-ops near you who might have eggs for lower prices?

The reason that I ask is that the reason that Brewer recommends the eggs is...

1) They are a pretty complete food. They have the egg white which is very much like the albumin that your body needs to make to expand your blood volume.

Also, the egg yolk has a lot of vitamins in it, including a high level of vitamin A, which goes a long ways towards preventing bladder infections for the mother in pregnancy.

2) The eggs and milk are the least costly sources of high-quality proteins available in most stores.

So I'm not sure if there is a substitute that would have all the advantages that eggs have, and I'm wondering if another way to tackle the problem might be to find a way to get eggs at a cheaper rate.

If you had to choose between eating less meat or less eggs, budget-wise, my suggestion would be to go with less meat. :-)

But having said all of that, I think that 12 eggs is certainly better than no eggs! :-)

Joy :-)
post #28 of 71
Well, the problem is actually probably that we're picky about our eggs. lol Grass-fed free-range eggs have a lot more nutrients in them than the cheap like, $1.99/dozen eggs you can buy at the grocery store. We get our eggs from a local farmer (the same place we get our yummy raw milk), but it's $4/dozen, which is the same we'd pay for organic eggs at the grocery store.
post #29 of 71
Thread Starter 
Tiffani and anyone else

you can look up all your local options http://www.localharvest.org/
maybe you can find a more doable price that way???
post #30 of 71
i had terrible pre-e with my dd. i had a cesarean at 35 weeks when my bp spiked. i will talk to my midwife about diet when i see her. when i talked to her before i got pregnant (about 3 days before ) she mentioned the 2 eggs a day thing. that's gonna be hard because too many eggs make me nauseated but i'm sure we can be creative.
post #31 of 71
Eggs are not my biggest thing either not everyday so I did mix it up an make a fritata which was quite yummy. Well I have enough for a couple of days. So at least my eggs are covered.

I had to order more milk this week from or Dairy Co-op just by me adding 4 cups has drove our milk consumption way up. and at 6.00 a gallon that is big feat but I can say it least I am not gagging and feeling crudy all day so it is worth it!
post #32 of 71
Well, turns out the midwife I'll be using puts all her clients on a slightly modified Brewer diet, so I'll be doing this after all! She gave me some weekly charts to use, as well as a protein counter chart.

She has me on:

4 servings dairy
2 eggs
2 additional proteins
2 servings green leafies
4 servings grains
1-2 fruits a day

Eat a potato 3 times a week
Have a yellow or orange vegetable 5 times a week
Salt to taste
Drink 8-12 glass of water a day

It sounds like soooo much food right now... but I think I can do it.
post #33 of 71
w/my first son, we took Bradley classes through our doula and they recommend basically this diet. I tried to get close, but wasn't great at it. But I am a total carb nut - and don't normally eat a lot of protein - so this definitely helped me make a more concious effort to eat good proteins. I ate a TON more eggs while pregnant than ever before in my life!!!
post #34 of 71
It looks to me as though what she gave you was taken from the Bradley version of the Brewer Diet, which comes from the earliest book by the Brewers--What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know.

As I described in an earlier post in this thread, when you see a version of the Brewer Diet that calls for only 2 servings of additional proteins (in addition to the milk and eggs), you need to be careful to make those servings 3 oz each, rather than the 1 oz servings that my list recommends. Otherwise, you will be getting only half of the protein recommended (or less). If you use the 3 oz servings, you could still use my chart, if you wanted to--just mark off three servings instead of one, each time that you eat a 3 oz serving of meat.

The non-meat servings on my list will probably be too small to satisfy the servings on the 2-serving list, so you would have to use the protein counter for them.

The other difference is that the Brewer Diet calls for 5 servings of whole grains, rather than 4, and also Dr. Brewer used to have some cautions about drinking too much water--which is why he used to suggest just "drinking to thirst", rather than drinking to some pre-set number of glasses....


You might want to check the level of calories of this diet to make sure that over the course of a week you're getting an average of 2600 calories a day, minimum.

post #35 of 71
Is whole milk okay/better for the Brewer diet? I prefer whole milk and think it will help me hit the calorie goals, but want to make sure I'm doing the healthiest thing.
post #36 of 71
I'm not sure that any of the Brewer sources specify a preference for any of the types of milk, unless someone is having trouble keeping up with the calorie requirements of the Brewer Diet.

My personal preference is to recommend that pregnant women use milk with some kind of fat in it, even if it's only 1%, because some vitamins are fat-soluble and it seems to me that those vitamins might be compromised in skim milk.

So if you like whole milk, then I would say it's probably ok and that it certainly would be a help for you in keeping up with the calories. Is that what you're accustomed to drinking all the time--even when you're not pregnant?

post #37 of 71
Thanks so much! I'm going to pass the charts on to my doula clients.
post #38 of 71
Ok, I just wrote a whole long response but because I'm a newbie at this whole MDC thing, I just erased it all and want to scream! : Any dietary recommendations for being a forum moron?

So, to try and recreate what I wrote:

Djsnjones, thanks so much for all your resources. I was looking for a way to explain Brewer’s without just telling people to go read the book.

As for milk type, the WAP highly recommends whole milk, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows (see www.realmilk.com). I agree that milk with some fat is best because of the issue djsnjones said about fat-soluble vitamins. And pregos need the calories and the babies’ brains and bodies need the fat. (You can see the full WAP diet at http://www.westonaprice.org/children...ormothers.html)

Though the requirements for the Brewer’s diet and WAP diet seem extreme, I think they reflect more of the way people used to eat and they make sense to me. I’m eating a scaled down version of the two combined pre-prego now, and once prego will step up my intake. I really do feel like I’m eating like a queen.  And while I could not bring myself to eat liver, I can find other sources of Vitamin A, and can still know that while I may not be following the diets to the letter of the law, I’m getting far better nutrition following it loosely than if I were just eating my normal high carb (spaghetti and pb & J ), low fresh foods diet.

I’ve found my key to getting lots of milk and yogurt in, which is making a shake of milk, yogurt, cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and if available, banana. It’s really really good and I crave it all the time (we’ll see if that changes once prego. I know food aversions make it so hard to stick to any diet, but even following these guidelines loosely is better than nothing.). I also find that I can eat more eggs if they’re scrambled (because they shrink down) than hard-boiled or sunny side up. And like crunchyma5 suggested, frittatas, omelets or scrambled eggs are great ways to pile in the eggs and cheese and veggies, too.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth gives a good lowdown on why Brewer’s is great and why the medical community poo poos the role of nutrition in preventing MTLP.

There’s also a great booklet called “As You Eat So Your Baby Grows” by Nikki Goldbeck, CDN, which gives a good short synopsis of what we need to eat and why. It seems like a good general blend of Brewer’s and good common sense. While I don’t agree with all of it or would modify some parts, it’s really generally good and goes far beyond the standard diet reqs. for pregos. Note: It recommends not eating too much red meat b/c pesticides are held in saturated fat, and other sources will say that, too, but grass-fed beef does not pose these problems. (See WAPF for more info on the benefits of grass-fed meat.)

Also Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year has some good reqs for preventing pre-e. Has anyone followed these and found them helpful? I’m giving the Brewer’s/WAP/Susun Weed info to a mom that is preg with her 4th and had pre-e with all three prior. Any further recommendations for her would be great. Or if anyone has had pre-e more than once and then made these dietary changes and didn’t have it again, I’d love to hear your story.

Here’s a brief sampling of Susun Weed’s pre-e prevention recommendations:

*drink red raspberry leaf tea daily (hot, iced, mixed with juice, in cubes mixed with other drinks- find a way!) you can also drink it combined with nettle leaf and dandelion leaf.
*exercise regularly and decrease emotional stress
*eat raw garlic, parsley and onions to help lower blood pressure. Eat daily (in garlic and parsley pesto, for example).
*add the juice of half a lemon or lime in half a cup of water daily. If already pre-eclamptic, all water should have lemon/lime in it.
*eat a raw ripe cucumber every day.
*eat 60-80 grams of protein daily. Basically, protein every few hours. Be strict with yourself about this if you are truly pre-eclamptic.
*salt food to taste. You need salt to hold fluids in your body.
*eat foods high in Calcium (greens, seaweed, nettles, dandelion leaves, cheese, yogurt, salmon, tahini.)
*eat often and well (at least 2400 calories a day for one baby)
*increase your daily intake of potassium- bananas, potato peels, mint, seaweeds, watercress, nettles
*drink 4 oz. of raw beet juice daily. This balances your sodium/potassium ratio of your blood and is also one of the fastest and most effective ways to increase available calcium in the body. If you don’t have access to a juicer, grate one raw beet and one raw apple together for a crunchy snack.

Whether you use Susun Weed’s, Brewer’s, Goldbeck’s or WAP’s diet, or a blend of all four (which I plan on doing), they all have the same basic guidelines that are different from the standard guidelines pregos are given. They emphasize high protein intake from real food sources, salting to taste, and being proactive to get the right amount of calcium, potassium, etc, from food, not just supplements, etc.

Happy eating… :
post #39 of 71
Is there any major issue if you get too much protein? I happen to REALLY love protein-rich foods, so I get something like 90-120 grams a day. I get a lot of yogurt, cottage cheese, and skim milk, so that sort of bumps up the protein. I don't get much in the way of simple carbs at all, but I end up with about 50% carbs in my diet, 20% protein and 30% fat. I've been tracking it all at Babyfit.com, and they say to get between 60-80 grams of protein. I couldn't keep it that low if I tried.
post #40 of 71
Thread Starter 
Double Buckeye,
as far as I can tell you cannot get too much. Our bodies don't store protein, so we have to eat it for our babies to use it. Therefore I think it would be really hard to get too much. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but that is my understanding
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