Pressed Juicery was founded with one goal in mind- "to bring delicious, premium, and nutritious juice to everyone." We're true fans (and customers) and have turned to co-founder Carly de Castro for advice on bringing this kind of delicious nutrition into our homes and lifestyles. She's sharing her doable and super helpful tips as a mom and healthy food advocate, below.
When I co-founded Pressed Juicery in 2010, I knew that food could change lives. I had witnessed this in both my own life and the lives of those around me, from my partner Hayden, who’s introduction to green juices became a catalyst to him leading a healthier life – to myself, as discovering healthy and functional foods finally broke me of yo-yo dieting and fads.
As a mother of two kids (soon to be three!), the way that I eat is hands down one of the most important ways I fuel my body to both take care of my family and continue to stay healthy during my pregnancy. While it may seem simple, I believe it to be life-changing and am excited to share a few of my go-to tips on how to evolve what you eat for every phase of motherhood:
Fermented foods have become a major staple in my daily diet. I learned many years ago about the power of probiotics to heal the gut, which is where I believe the journey to vibrant health begins. After a few nasty bouts with sinus infections and stomach bugs throughout my last two pregnancies, and after having to take more antibiotics than I would like to admit, I became vigilant about not only taking probiotic supplements but in eating my probiotics multiple times a day.
Fermented foods go through a process where natural bacteria feed off of the sugars in the food and form lactic acid, resulting in the creation of enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and b-vitamins.
My favorite ways to consume fermented foods is through sauerkraut—I always have at least 3 different kinds in my fridge, sheep’s milk yogurt, kimchi, preserved lotus root and daikon radish, and other products from Dave’s Gourmet Korean, which I pick up at various farmers’ markets throughout the week.
Each week, my husband and I have our own version of macro bowls, which always start with a healthy grain (brown rice, jade rice or quinoa) mixed with green onion and chopped kale, sautéed or roasted veggies (mushrooms, cauliflower, matchstick carrots, zucchini), sauerkraut, avocado, sea veggies (usually hijiki), adzuki or black beans, topped with gomasio, a condiment popular in macrobiotic eating and an alternative to salt. The one I like is made from toasted sesame seeds, dried kelp and nettle. It’s an incredibly powerful way to alkalize the digestive tract and assimilate food. I could go on about the list of minerals- copper, selenium, magnesium and more- that sesame seeds alone contain.
Incorporating dinners like this, along with ayurvedic Kitchari (another nutrient-rich meal) into our weekly rotation rebalances our diets. They are a way of making sure that we are both getting the dose of “medicine” we need to balance out our exhausting schedules and on-the-go food choices (sometimes you have to take what you can get!).
Iron Rich Foods
Around the midway point of pregnancy, the body starts to produce more blood to support the growth of the baby, and if you are not getting enough iron, your body cannot produce enough red blood cells to make this extra blood. It is very common to be mildly anemic during pregnancy, but this time around I became extremely low in iron and had to rethink some of my dietary choices. I had been eating mostly plant-based, and opted to add more mineral-rich bone broths and iron-rich grass fed meat to my diet. I also learned that simply adding an iron supplement isn’t all that helpful if you’re not absorbing the iron! This is where the fermented foods come back in—they just so happen to be rich in probiotics and vitamin B-12 as I mentioned, which are both essential to the absorption of iron.
I actually find it so fascinating how all of this works together, and how you can get so many of these incredible health benefits from eating whole foods, rather than just supplements and pills.
Immunity Boosting Foods
During my first pregnancy, I never got sick. I attribute this to the fact that I didn’t have any pre-schoolers living with me and bringing home an array of fascinating germs each week! During the second two, I did not get as lucky. Add the little petrie dishes that I live with to the fact that as pregnant women we are running at a lower immunity speed and you have a recipe for possible disaster.
Pressed Juicery’s Orange Turmeric juice and our wellness shot have become my two best friends, along with a supplement called Congaplex which I take every day for maintenance and even give to my kids. Between the vitamin C and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, and of course the ginger (which is nature’s cure-all in my opinion), I feel supported and ready to tackle any rogue germs that come my way.
Feeling run down is part of all of our lives- pregnant, breastfeeding, as parents, and just in general. In order to stay as energized as possible, I have made hydration a priority. In addition to regular water, Pressed Juicery’s Coconut H2O gives me the necessary electrolytes I need, and I am always experimenting with adding cell food and different minerals and salts to up the ante even more.
Healthy On the Go
I feel super blessed to live in a place where I have access to easy, nutrient-dense foods that can be popped in my car or bag. And of course, I don’t take for granted that I have a juice company that makes it easy to get my daily serving of fruits and veggies in one fell swoop. Greens 3 is my go-to for on the go nutrition, and often times I combine our light vanilla almond (my new favorite thing!) with frozen fruit, veggies, collagen powder, and a host of other favorite supplements (ashwaganda, turmeric, he sho wou, maca, lucuma… the list goes on) and make a powerhouse smoothie. My only rule has ever been—there are no rules. I’ve even gotten my husband on board and now he’s better at flavor profiles than I am. He has managed to come up with the mint chocolate chip smoothie to end all smoothies, using our juices and milks as the base.
Friendly For You and Your Littles
One of my proudest moments of being a mom and a business owner has been watching families walk around town with juices in hand. When I see children drinking green juice (and now bright blue algae lemonade!) and not flinching, I realized that this has become in many ways the norm, and as much as we can joke about how “LA” that concept is, there’s nothing trendy to me about fruits and veggies in their pure and natural form with no added sweeteners or preservatives. This should be the way every child is able to eat, and I hope one day it will be.
In the last couple of years, introducing Freeze (our vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free version of soft serve) has been an incredible way to introduce a better for you dessert option that is pleasing to both kids and adults. It’s now possible to not only drink your greens but to enjoy them frozen, with a spoon! The fact that no child I’ve met really recognizes the difference between our Strawberry Almond and strawberry ice cream from a carton means that we are doing something right.
Freeze is a staple of our diets- we go at least once a week to satiate my sweet tooth, and of course to give the kids the treat they look forward to.