Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Eating healthfully is so important for our bodies, not only for when we are not carrying a baby, but also especially when we are. While I am pregnant I try to pack my body full of nutrition. I try to make every bite count for something good and worthwhile. I think this effort is in part a reason as to why I don't gain an insatiable amount of weight with my pregnancies. I do gain the average recommended amount, but it's not astronomical and I lose it fairly quickly after giving birth. I'm not bragging by any means-I also am fairly (to extremely) sick during my first trimester-so I am sure this helps as well in the weight gain aspect! But I do want to point out a few things that have really been beneficial to me during my three pregnancies that I have thus experienced! Like I said-make every bite count. Don't fill yourself on empty calories. As tempting as that bag of potato chips may seem, don't give in! Instead, reach for a box of whole grain crackers (Such as SpecialK) and some hummus to dip them in. In this way, you'll be providing nutrients and protein for your body to feast on. Strive to eat primarily whole grains. When making spaghetti, I like to mix whole wheat, white and spinach spaghetti together. It looks really nice on the plate, but it also provides alot more nutrients than just the plain white spaghetti would. Not only does it have more vitamins, but it also has more fiber, which is also quite important! If it's a bagel you're wanting, make it a whole wheat one instead of a white one. Make whole grain cereal's for breakfast's. You can even take whole wheat berries, put them in your crockpot with water and a touch of salt and cook them overnight on low. In the morning, you'll wake up to an extremely nutrient dense breakfast. Whole grain muffins are totally tasty, and when you're making those cookies-put at least half whole wheat in-you'll hardly know the difference. Brown rice versus white. (or you can at least mix the two for more nutrition.)
Green smoothies provide a wonderful taste of nutrition! I love mine with banana, and frozen mango,pineapple and peaches, a couple spoonfuls of orange juice concentrate, spinach, soaked Chia Seeds and water with a few icecubes all blended together for an incredibly yummy drink! This is an awesome afternoon pick-me-up snack when you're so hungry, but you don't want the extra calories.
Eat LOTS and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Pack your days full of variety. As much as you can! During the summer this is, of course, much easier than winter. But, do your best! Strive for a variety in color. Red, yellow and orange bell peppers, (either raw or lightly steamed in a stir-fry) Broccoli, Swiss Chard and Broccoli Greens, Beets, Eggplant, carrots (steamed, raw or in juice), greenbeans, etc etc... Eat as much fresh as you can. (Frozen is also a great option because things are quick froze and the nutrients are not lost)
Eat a vast array of colorful fruits too-Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pears, apples, bananas, mangos, kiwis, oranges, raspberries, you name it! You can never go wrong with a fruit or veggie. They are low in calories and high in nutrition.
Another big thing to get is your protein. Freshly soaked and cooked beans of all kinds, tofu, Fish if you eat it, (think Salmon), etc...
Also remember to add things like freshly made yogurt, whole butter (no transfats!) whole milk (which can be added to smoothies and other things). I went through a time with this pregnancy where I crazed Iced Mocha coffee drinks-and folks-I don't drink coffee! So where I got this craving, I don't know, but I really wanted some! So, I made my own. I used a decaf grain coffee substitute (like Pero or Postum) added some powdered milk along to the liquid milk (double the milk and it made it creamy) maple syrup and either carob or unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend it all together with ice and it was soooo delicious and also made a nice afternoon drink.
Things like Flax seed oil, walnut oil and Cod liver oil are beneficial for babies brain development. I add some to smoothies or breakfast cereal. I also add ground flaxseeds to alot of things.
For light and yummy snacks think cold juicy Watermelon chunks, homemade frozen fruit yogurt pops, whole grain crackers and hummus, a veggie tray full of veggies and a homemade veggie ranch dip made with navy beans, yogurt with a sprinkle of homemade granola and frozen beries. The possibilities are many. Just think healthy and lite!
There are so many ways to eat healthfully. I feel so vibrant when I am incorporating more of the fresh and alive into my diet. Of course, this way of eating is good to do all the time! Not just when you're pregnant. But when you are nourishing a life within, it is also depleting you much quicker of these needed nutrients, so keep up a good supply! Your body will thank you. ;)
And remember to drink plenty of fresh water and some good ole Raspberry tea (for your blood)! I'll have to share another time the delicious tea that I drink every day while I am pregnant!
After the sickness if over, it's not all that bad being pregnant-except for the aches and the pains-and I'm told that these would go away if I would only be more consistent in my exercise! Hehe!
have fun and eat healthy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi sarah, that is my name as well. We are God's Princesses for sure. I found your blog from the Women living well challenge. I loved this post of yours for healthy eating. Thanks for more examples of healthy eating. God Bless~