Preparing for Pregnancy

From the desk of Laura Foresta…

Great nutrition and regular exercise are important for preparation for pregnancy. Being in good nutritional “shape” before pregnancy can help your body and your baby’s, especially during the early and important developmental stages of pregnancy.

Nutrition Ideas:
Take a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid.
Avoid trans fats (hydrogenated oils in many processed and fast foods).
Limit refined starches (white bread and rice, refined sugar, cakes, cookies, crackers).
Choose higher-fat dairy products if you have an ovulation disorder (return to lower-fat dairy after pregnancy for weight maintenance and heart health).
Follow the Plate Method for lunch and dinner: 1/2 plate colorful veggies, 1/4 plate lean protein primarily from plant sources (tofu, beans, nuts, seeds), 1/4 plate whole grain or high-fiber starch (whole wheat pasta, brown rice, beans, quinoa, millet, corn, peas, sweet potato with skin).
Snack on fruit and veggies.
Bring lunch from home instead of buying it out.

Exercise Ideas:
Choose exercise you enjoy so you will keep doing it.
Meet friends for walks instead of lunch.
Have family biking outings instead of watching TV.
Hire a trainer to guide you.
Join a gym.
Try exercise classes at your local adult education center.
Join a running, walking or hiking club.

There has been a lot of buzz in recent years about nutrition and fertility. Causes of infertility most related to nutrition involve body weight and ovulation. Women with low levels of body fat, especially those that do not menstruate are at risk for fertility problems. Women who are overweight (BMI 25-29.9) or obese (BMI 30 or greater) are also at risk for ovulation-related infertility. It has been noted that women who carry extra weight in the belly might be at particular risk.

A natural approach to increasing fertility is to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of a healthful diet and regular exercise. Crash diets are not recommended, as they often eliminate healthful nutrients necessary for good health and to prepare the body for a healthy pregnancy.

Preparing for pregnancy can be an exciting undertaking. It can also produce stress. We know hormone levels are affected by stress which can impact the ability to conceive. As much as possible, reduce stress related to fertility and conception. Enjoy the healthful changes you are making. Celebrate all the ways your body moves and choose exercise you enjoy. Consider stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, journaling, counseling, etc. And have fun!

Laura Foresta is a registered, licensed dietitian with more than 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. Laura owns a private nutrition counseling practice at OMBE Integrative Health Center and has experience working at Albany Medical Center, at the Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology, Nutrition and Weight Management at Boston Medical Center, and in the Diabetes Management Program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Laura coauthored a book chapter on the nutritional consequences of bariatric surgery, in Bariatric Surgery, A Primer for Your Medical Practice. She provides community nutrition workshops, and corporate lunch-and-learns and wellness programming.

Laura is passionate about helping clients prevent or manage chronic disease with a healthy diet and regular exercise. She focuses on collaborating with her clients to develop techniques to help them make permanent change. Laura grew up in an Italian-American household, and has first-hand knowledge that healthy foods can taste great! Laura’s goal is to help you discover a healthy lifestyle you can live with.

International Stretching Month

From the desk of Dr. Erik S. Vose…


Why is it that people give me such strange looks when I stretch in public?

Apparently it is not socially acceptable to put your leg up on a chair and stretch out a hamstring while having a conversation with someone. It also seems as if doing a split while giving a presentation is not OK. When I am in line at the grocery store and I stick my side out and reach my hand over my head to stretch out my lower back my poor wife gets so embarrassed. Why is that?

I tend to think that I am being a good influence to others by reminding them that they should do some stretching, and usually…the more the better. I have repeatedly found that people who have a regular stretching routine have a greater chance of staying injury free. I have also found that people who ARE injured recover much faster if they faithfully do the stretches that I suggest. Think about it this way: the human brain can send an impulse to make a muscle contract, but there is no impulse that will make a muscle relax… you have to stretch it!

Because of this, I have designated May as International Stretching Month. I am encouraging everyone to stretch as often as possible, not just in the morning and night, but periodically throughout the day. When you are at work and talking to the guy next to you about the baseball game, feel free to grab your foot, pull back on your leg and stretch out those quads. When you are waiting for the train, don’t be bashful about doing those neck stretches that feel so good. Why not? As long as you are being safe and aren’t wearing inappropriate clothing I see nothing wrong with a little spontaneous stretching. And remember if you DO see someone stretching in public, don’t give them strange looks, congratulate them on a job well done… and maybe even join in.

Just imagine a world where we all took the time to treat our bodies to a well deserved stretch break…

To learn more about our how you can increase your flexibility, visit or contact us at

Erik S. Vose D.C.

Doctor of Chiropractic

Erik Vose is a Board Certified Chiropractor in Massachusetts. He holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in California and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado. After earning his doctorate degree, Erik received two years of additional chiropractic and sports therapy training in Walnut Creek, CA. Erik is a member of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and the American Chiropractic Association.

Dr.Vose treats patients for a range of conditions from sports injuries to chronic pain by focusing on the entire musculoskeletal system. Erik combines soft tissue therapy with ultrasound, electric stimulation, stretching, and chiropractic adjustments. He is proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of extremity injuries as well as those associated with the spine. Erik develops comprehensive treatment plans that focus on both alleviating symptoms and helping his patients achieve optimal strength and well-being.