As a Registered Dietitian, one of the most frequent questions I get is, “What should I eat now that I’m pregnant?” Well, the truth is, there is no secret diet to be on while pregnant. It really should be how all of us eat on a daily basis with an additional 300-500 extra calories a day. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” well, while pregnant you can kind of think of it as, “Your baby is what you eat.” Imagine. An intricately detailed little human is being formed inside of you at this very moment: lungs, heart, brain, liver, kidneys, arteries, veins, a spinal cord. If never in your life have you wanted to live a life filled with wholesome, nutrient-dense, fresh, organic foods, I professionally & personally hope that during these next 9 months you put the health of yourself & baby before your lack of motivation! Opps, sorry if that was harsh, but I’ve noticed some health professionals fail to do optimum nutrition justice. From encouraging a newly pregnant mother to clean up her diet, to motivating a breastfeeding mommy to get through those first few weeks of possible nipple sourness to get her baby breastmilk. Optimum nutrition is important during pregnancy for both mother & the growing fetus. Therefore, I’m encouraging you to take responsibility & start eating less processed, sugary, salty, greasy foods & start eating more:

Blueberries

Blackberries

Strawberries

Bananas

Peaches

Mangoes

Papaya

Kale

Spinach

Avocadoes

Carrots

Eggplant

Melon

Zucchini

Bell Pepeprs

Oatmeal

Quinoa

Barley

100% whole grains

Raw Nuts

Eggs

Yogurt

Beans, Lentils

Wild Salmon

Wild Rainbow Trout

Wild Alaskan Halibut

 

Sometimes during the first trimester, many women feel nausea, have some vomiting, and may even have a feeling of always being full while still hungry. Whether or not this sounds familiar, it’s good to start eating small, frequent meals to help stabilize blood sugar, avoid feelings of nausea, helps with constipation & heartburn, and to help keep energy levels up. Your body will be going through many feelings with the amount of crazy amount of hormones being released and eating small meals every 2-3 hours can help harmonize the changes that are going on.

How big is small? A small meal could be 6 Triscuit crackers with 1 string cheese & a few tablespoons of hummus, 1 cup full of chopped up vegetables with hummus, a banana with peanut butter, a piece of toast with avocado & an egg, or a cup of fruit with some cottage cheese. These are all examples of small, nutrient-dense meals that can help keep you energized & feeling healthy during this special time. This method of counting the nutrients you eat instead of counting the calories you eat will help ensure your baby is getting an abundance of essential & non-essential macro & micronutrients.

 

The Plan:

  1. Eat 6-8 small, frequent meals during the day.
  2. Make each meal count! Antioxidant-rich fruit, colorful vegetables, lean proteins, beneficial fats, & fiber-rich grains.

    *If you’re craving something sweet:

i.      A piece of dark chocolate
ii.     A piece of whole grain toast with honey & peanut butter
iii.    A fresh fruit smoothie.

* If you’re craving fast food:

i.     Buy free-range, organic beef, make it into small patties, and come up with a healthier, less-processed version of  a nice juicy burger at your home! J This way you’ll be satisfying your craving by combining flavor with a ton of rich-protein & iron.
ii.    Homemade, baked fries: put the oven to 400 degrees, cut up potatoes (Rustic or Sweet Potato), line a pan with tin-foil, cover with fries, sprinkle with Olive Oil, salt/pepper/rosemary, bake for 40-50 minutes…enjoy!

3.   Sip lightly on your water all day long!

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