One struggle for me so far during this pregnancy has been making sure I'm eating everything I need to eat to make sure Baby and I make it through these nine months healthy and strong. When you're tired, sick and have ever-changing aversions and cravings, eating healthfully can definitely be a challenge. Nevertheless, a nourishing diet during pregnancy is really important and can prevent a lot of complications during later pregnancy and childbirth.
Our eating habits have changed a lot since my pregnancy with Katie, and I'm not willing to fall completely off the real food bandwagon just because I feel yucky (and especially since what I'm eating directly impacts the health of my precious baby!). From my research, the Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a good plan to follow. While my diet is certainly not perfect, the following are some of the things I've done in recent weeks to survive the first trimester without turning into a junk-food junkie. Hopefully it can help some of you other pregnant mamas who are in the throes of morning sickness!
::Don't freak out. Don't spend your time obsessing about checking off all the items on a list of foods you're supposed to eat in a day. While you should try your best, many (if not most) women have a hard time eating everything they're supposed to in the first trimester, and their babies turn out fine. If your diet is mostly healthy, but you eat the occasional
::Focus on protein. As far as I'm concerned, getting enough protein is one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet during pregnancy. In addition to being so important for the health of the developing baby, a high protein diet can help prevent blood-pressure related problems at the end of pregnancy. I try to eat at least 80-100 grams of protein per day, and I've been amazed at what foods have decent amounts of protein--it's definitely not just meat! The 100% whole wheat bread I've been getting has 5 grams per slice, an ounce of cheese has 7 grams, and the list goes on! If you make a slight effort to eat foods with protein, it doesn't take a whole lot to get up to 80-100 grams, and eventually, counting protein becomes second nature as you learn the amounts in the foods you eat most often.
::Don't buy junk. No matter how badly you crave something unhealthy, if you don't have it, you can't eat it. Just walk on past the delicious smelling donuts at the grocery store bakery and resist. Often, you can find a healthier option that will satisfy a craving. For example, if you have a few moments when you feel up to it, bake up a batch of healthier cookies or brownies and eat a small one when you have a craving for something sweet that just won't go away!
::Allow some wiggle room in your grocery budget. I know for some people this is not an option, but if it is, it's something to consider. If you have some extra, you can buy that pineapple you wouldn't normally buy because of the price but have such a craving for, or the red bell pepper that sounds so good. A little extra also allows for more meat in your diet, which, if you can stomach it, is great for getting extra protein. Dark chicken and red meat are also great for keeping your iron levels up. Just be sure not to over-buy, because if you're anything like me, what sounds good today might be repulsive tomorrow!
What are you doing/have you done to survive the first trimester while still eating healthy, nourishing foods?
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.