Healthy Pregnancy Q&A with Candice Chan

A huge congratulations to our very own CEO, Candice Chan, on her pregnancy! As a Canadian-certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, Nutritionist, and business-savvy entrepreneur in the health and wellness space in Hong Kong, we wanted to hear all of Candice’s inside tips for a healthy pregnancy. From pre-conception, to cravings, and more, we sat down with Candice for LifeHub’s first Q&A on healthy pregnancy.

1) Congratulations! How far along are you?

I’m 26 weeks this week!! Time flies! I’m a bit more than halfway already and we can’t wait to meet her.

2) How did you prepare yourself and your body for a healthy conception?

To prepare for a healthy conception, I did a few tests to understand my body first:
  1. Heavy metal test
    This was to see what type of toxins I had in my body so I don’t pass them onto my baby. I have seen so many young clients myself that are suffering from eczema, ADD, autism, or allergies and I see a huge correlation with heavy metal toxicity in the body. Also from this test, I can understand my mineral profile much better and see how well my body is utilising calcium, which is much needed during pregnancy.
  2. Food Intolerance Test
    I did the food intolerance test to see what types of food I need to stay away from during pregnancy so my baby is not growing under an inflamed environment, which would make her more susceptible to allergies and inflammations as well.
  3. Micronutrients Test
    I wanted to make sure my body has all the essential nutrients it needs to grow a little human! I had already started taking Pure Encapsulation’s prenatal 3-4 months before trying, which eases my worry of not having enough folic acid in the body, but I wanted a comprehensive assessment of my nutrient status.

After the tests, I had some key findings. Firstly, I found out that my heavy metal levels were high, so I started going on an EDTA suppository protocol and taking some supplements for heavy metal removal before becoming pregnant. Meanwhile, I took some mineral supplements to re-balance my body’s minerals levels which can get depleted from chelation. Secondly, I found that I am intolerant to gluten, dairy and eggs, and even though I cannot cut them out completely from my diet, I tried to reduce them as much as possible (though I had a lot of cheat meals). Thirdly, I found out that my vitamin D and K levels were extremely low and needed supplementation. But since the last time, I was able to balance my glutathione and vitamin B levels throughout the past months of IV and supplementation, which is great news.

Preparing for pregnancy I would also get the Life Drip IV which includes B complex and antioxidants to help me replenish any deficiencies as well as NAD Drips so that I feel my best mentally and physically. There are studies that show that having enough NAD in the body makes your body bounce back from pregnancy much faster and also reduces the chance of postpartum depression.

3) Have you adopted any new healthy habits during your pregnancy?

I’ve been trying to meditate more to connect with my body and baby. It’s a time that I can give to the baby since she’s not yet out. Also, I tried to take walks with my husband and my dog more (usually it’s just my husband walking him) for around 45 mins after dinner. It gives me much more bonding time with my family, and it’s such a great way to boost digestion and adding some steps into our daily lives.

4) What books or podcasts have you been loving during this time?

I love Christina Orecchio’s “Pregnant after 30” and this Taiwanese writer Shou Yun. These two books are my bible during my pre-conception period and pregnancy days.

5) What are you looking forward to the most about being a mom?

I honestly don’t know what to expect about being a mom. It’s a bunch of mixed feelings. I am also preparing myself to achieve a healthy work-life balance. I really want my children to be my priority in life but at the same time, to continue my mission and passions in life. I also want to set a good example for my children.

6) Are you taking any pregnancy supplements?

I’m taking a wide range of supplements mainly to support myself and my baby’s growth. In addition to the prenatal I mentioned and some key supplements to address my nutrient gaps, I follow Dr Deborah Wong’s protocol for supplementation, which can be found here.

7) Any strange cravings?

Fruit! A lot of fruit!! But I’m really trying to control my sugar intake.

8) What’s the worst thing about being pregnant or is there anything you’re missing out on?

I was actually being a bit naughty with sushi. I had some during my pregnancy but I made sure that they had safe handling. I ordered my Uni straight from Hokkaido and ate it right away when it arrived from the flight. I also had some pasteurized Ikura and caviar as an indulgence.
The hardest thing is probably the taste of coffee! I really miss my daily oat flat white. Another hard thing is needing to pee throughout the night. Not fun!

9) Any pearls of wisdom for moms-to-be out there?

I’d say my top tips would be:

– Detox before and DO NOT detox during pregnancy.
– Do not think “I’m eating for two”. This isn’t a healthy or accurate mindset as all you need is a couple of hundred extra calories extra per day, and preferably these calories are coming from protein sources.
– Eat the rainbow!
– If you have morning sickness, take vitamin B6.
– Remember to keep moving.
– Make sure you know your allergies and intolerances so your baby doesn’t have to be grown in an inflamed environment.
– Take time to enjoy this beautiful journey!

Candice Chan

Candice Chan, CEO of LifeHub

Candice Chan is a Canadian-certified Doctor of Natural Medicine and nutritionist who co-founded LifeHealth Group, a private healthcare group based in Hong Kong which owns and operates both clinics and consumer health care spaces devoted to creating a new way of health care; and previously founded Younibody, a chain of 7 functional medicine based wellness centers in Hong Kong. Candice holds a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from the University of California at Davis and an International Certificate for Doctor of Natural Medicine, from the Canadian Board of Healthcare Practitioners and International Naturopathic College, and is also a certified reiki practitioner, bioresonance therapist and yoga teacher.

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