With pregnancy, food takes on a whole new meaning. Like everything else concerning your body, it’s suddenly no longer just about you! I doubt that I’m the only mom-to-be feeling the pressure of striking a balance between indulging in pregnancy cravings while eating as well as I possibly can… I have to admit, sometimes I just don’t want to dig into a giant salad or plate of veggies with the same gusto as in my “normal life.”
So therein rises the question, what do I eat?
I have been incredibly lucky not to have had terrible nausea, morning sickness or any serious food aversions while pregnant. Though my tastes have somewhat changed, I’ve been talking to girlfriends who can’t stand the sight or smell of chicken, meat or fish. It’s interesting how different it is for each of us. That is definitely not me at all! Perhaps it’s because I’ve been exercising so much, but I’ve found that most days I really need a lot of protein and extra dairy too. Example, yesterday I packed the healthiest, most gorgeous vegan quinoa salad for lunch with greens, avocados and tomatoes. I devoured it along with an organic apple but was still a bit hungry after and had to run out after for a chicken soup because my body was craving extra protein.
I’ve also noticed that I’m much more interested in foods that I loved as a kid. Organic peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread with a big glass of skim or unsweetened almond milk are a favorite. Pre pregnancy, I cannot remember the last time I drank milk with a meal! Same for cold cereal. In my first trimester I was crazy for cereal, especially as a snack before bed in the evenings. I had a fair amount of heartburn in the beginning and for whatever reason this was one of the only meals that soothed it for me. And while we are on the subject of yummy carbs that I loved as a kid, have you ever tried Eziekel’s whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread?
It’s now a staple in my diet.
It’s probably pretty obvious from the above but one of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced with my diet since becoming pregnant has been finding a way to balance out my need for more carbs with plenty of fresh produce. If I took a photo every time I have eaten a bagel in the last six months, it would take up a significant part of my instagram feed! I’m fortunate to have an incredible bagel shop right by my apartment that serves up a big variety of whole wheat or whole grain bagels fresh every day so even when I do indulge, I can make sure it’s whole grain.
This whole grain rule has helped me make sure that the carbs that I am eating are as nutritious and satisfying as possible, while keeping my blood sugar in check. I also really make an effort to sneak in extra produce when possible, adding avocado and tomato to my toast with eggs in the morning and berries to my oatmeal and cereals. If I’m cooking pasta (whole wheat, of course!) I’ll also buy some extra spinach to steam and enjoy on the side. Steamed spinach is one of the fastest super foods to prepare and enjoy! My favorite are baby spinach leaves because they also work beautifully in a salad and give me more flexibility when planning meals. All in all, preparing yummy and balanced meals has been much easier in the second trimester and I’m hoping the the same will be true for the third!
Now it’s your turn to spill… what did you go crazy for while pregnant? Can’t wait to hear!
With love xoxoMH