Traumatic Birth Part 3

According to Cheryl Tatano Beck, traumatic birth is defined as “an event occurring during the labor and delivery process that involves actual or threatened serious injury or death to the mother  or her infant. The birthing woman experiences intense fear, helplessness, loss of control, and horror” she had later revised that statement to include the woman feeling stripped of her dignity.

What is the cause of women perceiving their birth experience as traumatic? It is the systemic elimination of protective care during the birthing process.

In Beck’s study of 40 women she says that there were four themes that emerged. Theme #1 was to care for the women and treating them as human beings. Theme #2: Lack of Communication.  Theme #3 was safety. Theme #4: The ends will justify the means.

With theme #1 women feeling they were objectified, and treated arrogantly and with a lack of empathy. The women were left alone, and abandoned. The birthing mother’s needs were not met by the hospital staff. An example given was of a woman from Puerto Rico who was on all fours, when a nurse brought in 20 students to observe…without her consent.

In theme #2 no one communicated with the woman in labor. They were described as having conversations with one another within earshot but not directly talking with or to the laboring mother. As if she were non-existent.

In the third theme the laboring mothers felt that the staff (nurses and doctors) did not adequately deliver safe care. The mothers were not being allowed input into the care being given for their own selves and actually fearing for their own and / or the infant’s life!

In theme #4 entailed the sense that what was endured and experienced by the mothers was the sense of being “pushed to the background” as everyone around them were celebrating the baby’s healthy birth. These women felt invisible, only the infant mattered.

The experiences mothers have had led to severe post-partum trauma and depression.  Beck, Driscoll, and Watson’s book Traumatic Birth goes into detail about feedback loops [pp. 10-12] that describe the interaction of the mother and child after a traumatic birth, with a listing of the causes and consequences of the cause. Sometimes even breastfeeding is difficult, creating “…intruding flashbacks, disturbing detachments with their infants, feeling violated, enduring physical pain, and insufficient milk supply…” Often the anniversary of a traumatic birth amplifies the feedback loop.

My own reaction to the shared experiences the women in this book had illustrated the barbarism of western medical professionals, a barbarism that is completely contrary to those principles I listed from the ACOG website in part #2.

The women who tell their story of childbirth weave an astounding sense of personal alienation.  It is no wonder that there is PTSD, depression, self-destructive behaviors, socially isolationist behaviors and pelvic floor injuries as a result of the improper calloused form of care received. Many of the women feel as though they were raped, yet most had no “history of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse” so birth precipitated  a sense of having “the loss of the soul”.

Traumatic Birth Part 2

What can you do to prevent problems in labor, and miscommunication with your doctor? My recommendation is to follow the recommended diet, exercise, drink a lot of water, and attend to the prenatal visits.

Never be afraid to ask questions! Why a certain test is being done, what does that word mean, etc. Some things I can assist you with during the Childbirth Education coursework…but asking the questions of your doctor is important. You get to know your doctor, and he/she can get to know you.

Your right as a patient is to have any procedure or test explained by your doctor. Is the particular procedure / test done because it is required? Who requires it? Why is it required? Is it because of doctor concern? What precipitated that concern?

Your doctor is not GOD.

this baby was born by c-section
Image by: Huffington Post

It is especially true when you are in labor. SOMEONE, your husband / mother / Doula can be present, and act in your behalf. You can also construct a birth plan, have it placed in your chart…but it’s not always honored.

If the doctor is not responding to your questions or you are not comfortable with the explanation / or attitude of the doctor you still can address the issue. Sometimes just a rewording of your question is helpful.  If still you are not being listened to, the following outlines your rights…

HIPPA law outlines a patient’s rights:

To Clear Communication

The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics clearly states that it is a fundamental ethical requirement that a physician should at all times deal honestly and openly with patients. Patients have a right to know their past and present medical status and to be free of any mistaken beliefs concerning their conditions.
[https://www.emedicinehealth.com/patient_rights/article_em.htm#communication ]

To Informed Consent

Informed consent involves the patient’s understanding of the following:

  • What the doctor is proposing to do
  • Whether the doctor’s proposal is a minor procedure or major surgery
  • The nature and purpose of the treatment
  • Intended effects versus possible side effects
  • The risks and anticipated benefits involved
  • All reasonable alternatives including risks and possible benefits.

[Informed Consent]


Within the perimeters of informed consent, the doctor ethically understands the responsibility of:

  • The patient being told what the doctor is going to do
  • That the patient is helped to understand the medical implications
  • Whether it is a minor or major procedure
  • The risks and benefits
  • Alternatives with the information about risks and benefits


The patient rights also include:

  • Freedom from force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion
  • The right to refuse or withdraw without influencing the patient’s future healthcare
  • The right to ask questions and to negotiate aspects of treatment

This is hardly possible while in full labor. Informed consent implies that information is given, which would be hard to process while in labor.

Traumatic Birth Part 1

Many things come up during the labor and birthing of a baby. These may or may not be emergency-level events. A woman in labor is focused on the process they are involved in: birth. The woman may not be aware of what is discussed around them, or the things happening that may alter their ideals of the “perfect”  birth.

doula at work

Here are some things that may occur:

  • Slow dilation of the cervix
  • Labor stalling
  • Movement of the baby stops
  • Blood pressure of the mother rises

Often doctors in the hospital will want to intervene. The remedies may be interventions that you really do not need.

These interventions could possibly be:

  • Monitors
  • IV insertion
  • Inducing labor (Pitocin)
  • Or even the decision to have a c-Section (read my blog post on this here: )

The first two can be alleviated by using gravity (walking, dancing, leaning forward onto the labor bed with feet on the floor and doing squats). Usually stressors or nervousness are the cause. With Labor stalling, if already dilated 6-7cm, it could very well be a natural stall while going into the next stage of labor.

Remember: Babies are birthed when they are READY. Not on some sort of perceived time schedule.

If the baby stops movement, inform your doctor. You can use “kick counts” as a method to monitor movements if you are concerned. In active labor, the baby tends to move in a spiral as baby moves into birthing position.

Blood pressure issues could be gestational diabetes, or just stress. The cause needs to be found. bvcIt is a symptom of pre-eclampsia but if you were not having signs of this condition and diagnosed in pregnancy (which is why prenatal visits are essential) then it may be something else. Here is suggested reading for you to understand the seriousness of this condition: https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preeclampsia-and-High-Blood-Pressure-During-Pregnancy

So now we move onto the second part of this discussion.

A Good Question

[republished from December posting and updated]

Mortality rates are rising in the United States.  It’s true especially for women of color [Birthing Mortality]. This has been steadily rising even as some states have lowered C-Section rates are starting to lower in some states [C-Section Rates MAP].

What needs to happen, in order to fix a broken system? Your probably wondering what I mean by a broken system. I am talking about the care of women, and especially birthing.

In a nation that has been considered “advanced” we are so far behind the eight-ball that it becomes shameful. Our C-Section rates were seriously through-the-roof, and although some improvement has been made, the United States is still higher than most “civilized” countries! The average being around 31%.

Along  with that outrageous number of c-Sections are the ever-climbing mortality rates of women in birth, predominately women of color. This is shameful in a country that is supposed to be “advanced”!

On top of both high c-Section rates, and high mortality rates for birthing, is the across-the-racial-board birth trauma. It should NEVER happen! But, we have nurses and doctors who force women into procedures, who intimidate and threaten.

The media (film and television) makes it seem that birth is both dangerous and extremely painful. When that consciousness is embedded in the psyche of women, and you have a medical field that relies on mechanical means to monitor births… the stage is set. We have normalized bad birthing practices, and outdated concepts about birth.

That is without discussing the current political scenarios.

The next few blogs will address the history behind, and the current information about birthing in the United States. The outdated concepts surrounding birth practices need debunking. The normalization of bad birthing practices needs to have a light shown upon it, in order to make it STOP.

It is time to become educated,

Get angry,

and create a change!

Essential Dietary Minerals

Calcium

Requirement: 1,300 mg. for women 18 years and younger, 1,000 mg for women 19+ years.
Needed for: helps build bones for baby and helps maintain mother’s bones, teeth, may prevent pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, inhibits lead mobilization from the bones.
Sources: Lowfat milk products, soymilk, sardines, canned salmon (with bones), tofu, dark leafy green vegetables, dried beans and peas.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Chromium

Requirement: 50 to 200 mg.
Needed for: Regulation of blood sugar. Helps build proteins in baby’s developing tissues. Might aid in baby’s growth and reduce pregnancy-induced diabetes (gestational diabetes.
Sources: Whole grains, wheat germ, orange juice.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Copper

Requirement: 1.5 to 3.0 mg.
Needed for: normal pregnancy outcome, energy metabolism, connective tissue, and red blood cell formation.  Aids in development and maintenance of baby’s heart, arteries, and blood vessels; skeletal system and nervous system.
Sources: Chicken, fish, extra-lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Fluoride

Requirement: 3.0 mg.
Needed for: For strengthening bones and teeth, reducing risk for cavities in mother and baby. It increases the bioavailability of calcium and helps to buffer acids present in the mouth.
Sources: Not found in nature, but is found in the body through combining with other constituents in the body. There are 3-12 mg. of fluorine per liter of untreated water.
Toxicity: Dental fluorosis, also called mottling of tooth enamel, is a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.[i]

Iodine

Requirement: 175 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for thyroid gland function
Sources: iodized salt, seafood, and sea vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Iron

Requirement: 30 mg.
Needed for: prevention of Anemia, helps baby develop and gain weight, prevents premature delivery.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, fish, poultry, cooked dried beans, dark leafy green vegetables, raisons , prunes, whole grains.

Magnesium

Requirement: 350 mg. for women who are 19+ years, 400 mg. for women 18 years and younger.
Needed for:  Energy metabolism, blood-sugar regulation, helps normal muscle contraction and nerve transmission, maintains uterine relaxation during pregnancy and aids contractions during labor.
Sources: Low-fat milk, peanuts, bananas, wheat germ, whole grains, cooked dried beans and peas, dark leafy green vegetables, oysters.

Manganese

Requirement: 2.0 to 5.0 mg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, tea
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Molybdenum

Requirement: 75 to 250 mcg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, beans, milk.
Deficiency: jaundice, nausea, and fatigue, due to liver disfunction; headaches, tachypnea, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea and coma, due to sulfide toxicity (created by lack of Molydenum)[ii]; certain genetic disorders.
Toxicity: Liver damage, Kidney damage, weight loss

Selenium

Requirement: 65 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for growth, protects tissues in baby and mother from free-radical damage.
Sources: Whole grains, seafood, lean meat, low-fat milk products.

Potassium

Requirement: Pregnant women: 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day
Nursing moms: 5,100 mg per day.[iii] 
Needed for:  helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, sending nerve pulses, helping muscles to contract, releasing energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Sources: fruits and vegetables, red meat and chicken, fish, milk and yogurt, nuts, and soy.
Deficiency: weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Toxicity: rhabdomyolysis, insulin deficiency, metabolic acidosis or extensive tissue or red blood cell damage, and kidney failure.[iv]

Zinc

Requirement: 15 mg.
Needed for:  It is essential for conception, reduces the risk for spontaneous abortions, helps prevent birth defects, aids normal growth, helps development of bones, vision, and taste.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, turkey, cooked dried beans and peas, wheat germ, whole grains.
Deficiency: dry skin, hair loss, acne, spots on nails, poor wound healing, poor immunity.
Toxicity: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches[v]

[i] Dental fluorosis: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/dental_fluorosis.htm#a2

[ii] http://voices.yahoo.com/molybdenum-deficiency-symptoms-causes-4735632.html

[iii] http://www.babycenter.com/0_potassium-in-your-pregnancy-diet_655.bc

[iv] http://www.livestrong.com/article/24690-symptoms-potassium-overdose/

[v] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

Caffeine, Tobacco, and Alcohol

Caffeine

Caffeinated beverages do not seem to cause birth defects or preterm labor and delivery in people…but there are other risks.  Such as: fetal growth retardation, miscarriage, and low birth weight.

Woman who drink more than 300mg of caffeine are at the highest risk.  That would be about three, five ounce cups. Those that both smoke and drink caffeine are at even a higher risk for babies with stunted growth.

Coffee (5 oz. cup) 60-180 mg
Tea (5 oz. steeped 4 minutes) 38-77 mg.
Cocoa (5 oz. cup) 2-20 mg.
Chocolate milk (8 oz.) 2-7 mg.
Cola drinks (Jolt, Mr. Pibb, Mountain Dew, etc.) 36-72 mg.
Non-prescription drugs (Excedrin, Anacin, etc.) 30-65 mg.
 

Tobacco

Cigarette smoke is full of chemicals. Many of these migrate to the sperm cells when they fertilize the ovum, and then continue to bombard the fetus when the mother smokes or is exposed to tobacco smoke.

Women who smoke are more likely to experience preeclampsia during pregnancy, preterm labor, premature rupture of the membranes, and premature delivery.  The baby born to a smoking woman tends to be lower in birth weight, and more likely to die soon after birth than those who do not smoke.

The damage to the baby can persist into later life. They are at more risk for cancer as an adult, susceptible to middle-ear infections, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and wheezing.

If raised in a household where smoking is allowed children are more likely to develop hypertension, as well as neurological and behavioral problems such as attention deficit disorder.  They also tend to score lower in intelligence tests later in life.

Men who smoke have a considerable higher risk of having children with birth defects and childhood cancer. This is probably due to the lowering of vitamin C levels in seminal fluids and sperm.  Not even the best of nutrition can make up for the damage done by smoking!

Alcohol

Alcohol freely enters the placenta and directly exposes the developing baby to its toxic effects.  It travels in the baby’s blood stream at the same concentration as that of the mother.  If mother is “buzzed”, so is the baby!

Some babies born develop a condition called “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” or FAS.  They are shorter in length, lighter in weight, than other babies. They do not “catch up” eve with special postnatal care. They also have abnormally small heads, irregularity in their faces, limb abnormalities, heart defects, and poor coordination.  Many are mentally retarded and may develop behavioral problems as they grow up (such as hyperactivity).

No one knows how much alcohol it would take to damage a baby. Since it causes permanent physical and mental birth defects and no “safe” amount is known, the best bet is to abstain from alcohol.

Be aware of the alcohol in certain foods. Such as Irish Coffee, wine coolers, rum and fruit cakes, liquor-laced desserts, and cough medicines.

A Good Question

What needs to happen, in order to fix a broken system? Your probably wondering what I mean by a broken system. I am talking about the care of women, and especially birthing.

In a nation that has been considered “advanced” we are so far behind the eight-ball that it becomes shameful. Our c-Section rates were seriously through-the-roof, and although some improvement has been made, the United States is still higher than most “civilized” countries! The average being around 31%.

Along  with that outrageous number of c-Sections are the ever-climbing mortality rates of women in birth, predominately women of color. This is shameful in a country that is supposed to be “advanced”!

On top of both high c-Section rates, and high mortality rates for birthing, is the across-the-racial-board birth trauma. It should NEVER happen! But, we have nurses and doctors who force women into procedures, who intimidate and threaten.

The media (film and television) makes it seem that birth is both dangerous and extremely painful. When that consciousness is embedded in the psyche of women, and you have a medical field that relies on mechanical means to monitor births… the stage is set. We have normalized bad birthing practices, and outdated concepts about birth.

That is without discussing the current political scenarios.

The next few blogs will address the history behind, and the current information about birthing in the United States. The outdated concepts surrounding birth practices need debunking. The normalization of bad birthing practices needs to have a light shown upon it, in order to make it STOP.

It is time to become educated,

get angry,

and create a change!

NOTE: I am still doing research, the next two topics are valuable as well, and allows me time to get things done.

Also published at my sister site: Hoksiyuhab Oti

Anemia

blood-75302_1280
Normal Red Blood Cells

What is it?

Anemia is a condition of the blood in which there are less red blood cells (hemoglobin) than what would be considered normal. This would indicate a low amount of iron in the blood. The main function of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to the lungs and body tissues and remove carbon dioxide. The symptoms of this condition reflect the lack of oxygen and build-up of carbon dioxide.

There are three classifications: excessive blood loss, excessive red blood cell destruction, and low red blood cell production. To identify which of the classifications, a series of labs are necessary. Just in the “excessive blood loss” classification are many causes, such as a slow-bleeding ulcer or excessive menstruation. Deficient production is the most common cause, but even it can have different causes. It could be due to iron deficiency, low B12, or lack of folic acid.

Symptoms

If the deficiency reaches appoint of concern, it has already become serious. The symptoms often do not get recognized.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Coldness of extremities
  • Pallor
  • Pale and brittle nails
  • Soreness in the mouth
  • Cessation of menstruation

Anemia often is the indication of an underlying health issue.  It should always be investigated, lab tests will assist in determination of the classification of deficiency and the treatment used. It is not recommended that you self-diagnose due to the problems that arise from iron supplementation when not necessary. Too much iron will damage the liver, heart, pancreas, and the activity of immune cells, it has been linked to cancer.

Recommendations 

Certain foods bolster the levels of iron in the blood.  These are: calves liver, Blackstrap molasses (at least one tablespoon twice a day), broccoli, egg yolks, asparagus, red raspberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, bananas, kelp, whole grains, yams, and squash.

Oxalic Acid in certain foods will block or interfere with absorption of iron. The foods high in Oxalic Acid are almonds, cashews, chocolate, cocoa, rhubarb, soda, spinach, swiss chard, and most nuts and beans. Eliminate these foods or at the very least, limit their consumption.

Note: eating fish with vegetables high in iron will increase the absorption of iron. As does the elimination of sugar from the diet. When taking iron supplements, avoid taking calcium, vitamin E, zinc or antiacids…these will interfere with absorption.

The Following Herbs Are Also Helpful[1]

  • Alfalfa (as a tea)
  • Bilberry
  • Cherry
  • Dandelion
  • Mullein
  • Nettle (tea)
  • Red Raspberries

REFERENCES

James F.  Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 2nd Ed. (1997) Avery.

Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised 2nd Ed. (1998) Three Rivers.

[1] Other herbs that are not listed may helpful, but not recommended in pregnancy.

How to Maintain Your Gynecological Health

Women tend to leave all the charting of our gynecological health in the hands of our doctors, no one at all.  We can, and we should, and we need to keep our own records for ourselves, at home.

This would entail a few moments a day, at most, of inputting information. I will be creating a down-loadable blank chart you can use for this purpose.

Much of what we see in our charts at the doctor’s office, may seem to be a problem, only because we women do not understand or are not taught about normal feminine health. We can understand them better when we see what would be our “true” gynecological conditions.

These would be:

  • Vaginal infections
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Breast lumps
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS[i]
  • Nabothian (cervical) cysts

“…charting enables a woman to understand her body in a practical way (Wescheler, 230)”. A woman who charts every day is so aware of what is normal for her own body, that she can actually assist her doctor in determining what is not normal based upon her symptoms. Keeping the chart of her menstruation cycle assists In well-being, and working with the doctor.

Normal Healthy Cervical Fluid VS. Real Vaginal Infections

We live in a culture that advertises douche and sprays for vaginal “discharge” giving women the idea that they are “dirty” all the time. Douching and sprays only act to confuse the identity of healthy cervical fluid and what would be a real infection.

Wescheler explains in her book, that doctors say you don’t need either. On a talk show she watched, she says that the doctor stated that the infections from these products were “…enough to send his children to college (Wescheler , 231)”. Then there is also the yeast infection products that women self-diagnose and take every month for a “recurring” problem.

But, using the chart, detection of an actual infection will be easier, and discovered earlier. You can get treatment before discomfort sets in.  Secretions mid-month are normal, but late in the month may indicate infection.

Symptoms of Vaginal Infections That Can Be Distinguished from Normal Cervical Fluid

Once you have routinely charted your normal cervical fluid, an infection can be distinguished by the unpleasant symptoms that set them apart from what is normal.  Vaginal infections can range from STIs (See: The Effects of Sexually Transmitted Infections on Pregnancy) to a variety of forms of Vaginitis and of course the generic “yeast infection”.

  • Abnormal discharge
  • Itching, stinging, swelling, and redness
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Blisters, warts, and chancre sores


Avoiding Infections

Besides the consequences of douching, you should not wear clothing that is damp or too tight, as these create an unhealthy vaginal environment. Also you should wear cotton underwear, or at least cotton crotch underwear as these allow your body to breathe.
Normal VS Abnormal Bleeding

Normal menstruation lasts about five days and usually will follow a pattern, here are two variations:

Light –>  heavy –> medium –> light –> very light
Heavy –> heavy –> medium –> medium –> light
Also, some women may spot (ordinarily brownish) or bleed at other times in their cycle besides actual menstruation. Spotting is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a woman’s cycle. A common mistake is to assume any type of bleeding episode is menstruation.  True menstruation occurs after ovulation, about 12 to 16 days after.  Any other type of bleeding is either anovulatory bleeding, what is considered normal spotting, or is symptomatic of a problem.

[i] Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

 

Based upon: Weschler, Toni.  Taking Charge of Your Fertility.  Rev. (2006) William Morrow.

 

 

 

Plains Paleo-Vegetarian Nutrition for Pregnancy

(this information was taken from my sister site hoksiyuhaboti)

The first thing you should know is that there are many types of vegetarians and styles of eating vegetarian.  The two most common are Lacto-Ovo (milk and eggs) and Ovo (eggs). There are also “semi-vegetarians” who mostly eat a vegetarian diet, with occasional additions of chicken, or fish. My vegetarian cookbook mentions crusto-vegetarians who eat shell fish; mollo-vegetarians who eat clams, scallops, oysters or mullosks; repto-vegetarians who eats snakes and other reptiles…as examples of the few of many variations on the vegetarian diet.

For the Lakota, your diet could be called a Paleo-Vegetarian diet.

alaska from scratch on pinterest
from Alaska From Scratch on Pinterest

What??

As Lakota people, consider this: your fore-mothers gathered tinpsila (wild turnips), beans (there is story about this vegetable and the importance of “giving back”), blo (wild potatoes), berries, corn (wagmeza), squash (wagmu) and many other fruits and vegetables.  There were healing plants that would have also found its way into the pot, as well.

The people gathered eggs when possible, traded for corn and squash, and gathered wild rice (before coming out to the plains).  In the old stories about the first Huƞka “making of relatives” ceremony,  with the Arikira.  Corn was given in the ceremony, by the Arikira. Corn is used in soup with Tinpsila and Tripe (buffalo guts).  This soup is used in ceremony.

Since many of you do not gather up your fruits and vegetables in the old way, what can you do? First, get fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible, when in season (less expense).  Next to that would be dried or frozen.

Unfortunately, most of the dried foods found in stores around Native country are sulfured. “Organically made” dried foods are hard to find, and disproportionately expensive.

You can create a garden.  To do so you would need to use an old traditional practice of “the three sisters” for planting.  The garden would consist of beans, corn and squash. You can create low mounds with the squash at the center of the top, a circle of corn surrounding it interdispersing some bean bush plants. The center of the top would have a slight indent to catch water from the summer thunder storms.

Grains are not a part of the Paleo diet, with an exception of wild rice by the northern bands of the Oċeti Ṡakowiƞ. Baked or fried bread never was a part of the old traditional diet, not even unleavened flat breads. But I was told that there was a dumpling made from starchy vegetables and formed into balls then placed into the soup.

Nuts were also gathered when the people were encamped.  So you can add some nuts to your diet for protein.  The best nut is the almond, and of course walnuts would have been gathered a long time ago, from the walnut trees.  If you choose to use acorns, make sure you understand the method to process them into edible food.  Pine nuts are excellent, too.

The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

If you have Diabetes, obesity, kidney or heart disease you can be assured that the vegetarian diet will help you to build your way back to good health. Too much meat eaten at a meal is hard for the digestive system, and often is transformed into acids.

“Most digestive disorders, such as indigestion, nausea, bloating, gastric reflux, are symptoms caused by excess acid in the gastric region and not enough alkaline minerals in the intestinal tract.[i]

Can you go Paleo AND do vegetarian? Why, yes.  Remember there are many types of vegetarian diets. You can play with the type of meats you use… but, always remember you need to purchase grass-fed, free-range, and you will be much healthier!

If you add eggs, these too should be free-range.  Milk should not be raw, but you should consider this: it was not a part of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota diet.  Women breastfed their babies sometimes until 7 years of age, and then no other milk was consumed.
Acid/ Alkaline pH Considerations

Many diseases are caused by pH imbalance.  Such as: diabetes, heart disease, arthritis to name a few.  Also disorders can be healed by eating correctly such as: acid reflux, morning sickness, migraines, and constipation.

A vegetarian diet is mostly alkaline in nature.  This is due to the ratio of vegetables and fruits in the diet to proteins. Meats (red meats, beef, mutton, pork, salmon, herring, mackerel, lobster, shrimp and crayfish), millet, white rice, couscous, semolina, white breads, soda crackers, white refined sugars and items coated with it, lard and some lard-like products (Crisco) used for cooking, are all foods high in acid forming elements.

In general, a good rule of thumb is to plate your food with 2/3 alkaline foods, and 1/3 acidic. Of the alkaline types of foods, you should choose any leafy green vegetables, but the ones highest in minerals and vitamins for re-building and maintaining good health are Kale, Bok Choy, and spinach.  In the Orange to yellow vegetable bracket are squashes, pumpkins, and carrots.  Citric fruits should be eaten early in the day for better digestion.

Foods to avoid:

Refined sugar, all processed foods (white bread, rolls, etc.), any of the typical sweetening substitutes such as Sweet and Low (a carcinogenic) except for stevia (which is plant-based). Even though you may love your fry bread (as I do) that needs to be very limited (only at ceremony or special occasions). Most of the canned fruits used for Wojapi have an additional amount of corn syrups, so use fresh fruits instead.

 

REFERENCES:

Goodman, Ronald.  Lakota Star Knowledge.
Vasey, Christopher.  Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, The.  (1999) Healing Arts Press.

[i] How to Balance Your pH to Heal Your Body. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6243/How-to-Balance-Your-pH-to-Heal-Your-Body.html.