Prenatal Nourishment w/ Line Bak Rothstein

Chef, Author, & Mother.

When I read your IG bio "Cooking in a Waldorf kindergarten, currently on maternity leave" I honestly got giddy. I used to nanny littles in New Zealand and bring them to a Waldorf school and later found myself interning on an organic farm and Waldorf school on the peninsula in Washington. I love the foundations of this alternative learning environment. What kinds of food are you cooking for these kids?

I am so honored to work at Waldorf kindergarten where all the ingredients I work with are either biodynamic or organically grown, and I really try only to use products from Denmark or at least from Europe to limit our impact on the environment. I only do vegetarian food and we use only a small amount of milk products – butter, ghee and fermented milk products such as kefir or yogurt.

I start my day by taking the einkorn sourdough bread out of the fridge and turning on the oven. Then I prepare the morning snack for the kids, which is often some apples, avocado and cucumber and a pot of tea, typically mint or chamomile. And then I start making the lunch which varies from day to day, but always follows the same scheme (varies from season according to what veggies we have). Rice porridge on Mondays, barley with a veggie stew on Tuesdays, millet with daal on Wednesdays, sourdough rye bread with toppings on Thursdays and whole oats on top of a veggie soup on Fridays. And each day we get the einkorn sourdough with butter and some fresh or roasted veggies for afternoon snack.

How are you nourishing yourself during pregnancy?

Due to my big interest in food and due to our really long fertility story, I have had a lot of focus on nourishing myself and thereby my little baby well. I have been on the bean protocol for some years and I haven't been totally following that during my pregnancy but I have still used it a lot. Focusing on fiber, not eating sugar every day and just a sencha tea now and then. My go to has been sourdough bread with butter, oatmeal, sauerkraut and kimchi, eggs, fish cakes and chicken broth. It has really kept me going though the whole pregnancy and I still crave all of it.

It looks like we share so many food foundations like soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. How did you get into this?

In my teens I really got into food and started to cook for myself at home. And I got to work in a veggie shop with only biodynamic and organic veggies and really got into this world. Later on I got a job at a Biodynamic farm with a restaurant on top of the main house and here I really learned how to get a lot out of only a few ingredients. And that is exactly what you get through fermenting. And suddenly one day it felt like our whole apartment was fermenting kraut, sourdough, kombucha, milk kefir and so on. It is so much fun and you really feel the care for yourself and your environment.

How are you preparing for the postpartum season?

I have started to stock up the freezer with bone broth, sourdough, daal, veggie bread, cooked beans, sweet potato flatbread, and stock up our pantry with canned fish, oats, activated nuts, beans, lentils, and nettle tea. And then of course I have also been thinking about the physical part by doing yoga, and looking into small movements and breath-work that I can do from the bed. We have booked a summerhouse in nature for 4 weeks as a getaway after the birth, to get out of the city and let nature be a part of our first time together.

What are some of your wintertime rituals?

I’m always taking my husband to one of the snow covered forests on the outskirts of Copenhagen with a cup of hot chocolate and a bag of popcorn. When at home I prefer to have porridge in the morning, and knitting and mending different pieces of clothes in the evening - preferably with a good TV series in the television at the same time.

What is the very best book you've read lately?

I really enjoyed the Seasons Series by the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knuasgård, especially Spring. It was very interesting to have a man’s perspective of becoming a parent. And it’s very well written.

How do you relate to the feminine? The cycles within?

I haven’t actually been that engaged with my own femininity or cycles over the years, but during our fertility process I’ve become aware of my body and different cycles in a completely different way. In the last few years I’ve been reading and researching a lot in order to get familiar with my body and get to know its strengths and vulnerabilities. And now that we’re having a daughter, I think it will continue to be on my mind, so I hopefully can pass on some of that knowledge to her.

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