Monday, June 10, 2013

Pregnancy Nutrition

In the 24 weeks I've been pregnant, my diet has changed a ton. During the first trimester, it was "eat whatever sounds okay because not much does." Now that I'm almost through my second trimester, I've focused more on well-balanced nutrition to help me and my little one push through to the end. I purchased this book: Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be, by Catherine Cheremeteff Jones and Rose Ann Hudson, RD, LD 
(RD-Registered Dietitian, LD-Licensed Dietitian)

It is fabulous. The first part of the book walks you through everything from healthy weight gain, to types of foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals essential for you and baby. The authors even provide specific brands, of bread for example, which are the most well-balanced (100% of your daily fiber, high in folic acid, etc.). Another thing I love is that they explain exactly what certain foods contribute to healthy growth and development for baby. 

The next part of the book lays out a week's worth of sample meal plans-full of variety-and all are well-balanced. 

Next comes the recipes! At the top of each recipe, there's a statement about the health benefits of the recipe for you and baby. Some recipes are more involved, to be created on a weekend, but many of them are quick, easy and delicious.

This week I started my summer job, so I had to be prepared with breakfast, lunch, and snacks to take with me. 

Last night I made their chicken salad recipe, which, while a semi-common lunch recipe, this one is packed with ingredients for baby like fresh herbs, red bell pepper, sliced almonds, and dried apricot. I just finished my sandwich for lunch today and was completely satisfied. Crunchy, sweet, herbaceous, meaty, salty, enough said. When eaten between two slices of hearty, whole-grain bread, this sandwich will keep baby and me full for awhile! 

I coupled this sandwich with hummus (there's a recipe for home-made hummus in the book, but I bought mine:)) and carrots, and a small spinach salad with light Greek dressing. 

In thinking about a well-balanced pregnancy meal, let's review this lunch:

Protein: Chicken in chicken salad, chickpeas in hummus, almonds from chicken salad, seeds from my whole-grain bread

Fruits/Veggies: red bell peppers in chicken salad, carrots, spinach

Grains: whole-grain bread  

As you can see, dairy is missing from this list, so I will have a yogurt for snack later!  For me, visually seeing a daily meal layout in this book really helped me think about planning intentional snack and meal choices, ensuring that by the end of the day, baby and I have gotten exactly what we need.

I hope to post more as I work through the meal plans and recipes. On a final note, the authors took great care in creating meals that the whole family will love and benefit from, not just mom and baby. 

Happy Eating! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pregnant Pinspirations

I've been absent-lost in the whirlwind that is the first trimester. While I have been extremely blessed to have made it through without one bout of morning sickness, my eating habits have changed, needless to say. I have been doing loads of research about healthy, safe foods to eat during pregnancy, and I have done my best to eat healthy whenever my brain lets me.

My biggest concern was with getting an adequate serving of daily vegetables, since my brain can no longer bare the thought of consuming them to the degree I did before pregnancy. And did I mention that I have had zero desire to cook? Hmm. My food world has definitely been rocked.

So here's my ammended eating plan. It does contain some carbs, because that is basically all I've felt like, but I have stayed within my healthy weight gain range, so my body must be processing things properly.

Ammendments to daily eating:

4:30 am: Breakfast #1
    Whole wheat English muffin with with either cream cheese or crunchy peanut butter

6:00 am: Breakfast #2
     Smoothie: 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries, a huge handful of spinach, a splash of apple juice (the all natural kind, not from concentrate), water

9:00 am: Snack #1
    Oikos Greek Yogurt (those commercials with John Stamos really got to me :))

11:00 am: Snack #2
    1-2 clementines

12:30 pm: Lunch (I only eat 1 lunch, thankfully)
    Hard boiled eggs, veggies (carrots, red bell peppers, broccoli, etc.), cheddar cheese, grapes

3:00 pm: After-School Snack
    Terra Chips or some other crunchy item

6:00 pm: Dinner
    This has been my downfall. If I'm being open and honest with the world, dinners have ranged from Chiak-fil-a to build-your-own gormet sandwiches from a local market (for Dallasites: Eatzi's). Gone are the days of a carb-free dinner full of home-cooked veggies and meats...for now anyway.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apple Dip

So this isn't the absolutely healthiest recipe, but if you want/need a sweet snack, it's better than many others! I changed the recipe from the original one I found on Pinterest to make it healthier:

1 block cream cheese, room temp
Jar caramel ice cream topping
Dark chocolate chips or chunks
3-4 Granny Smith Apples

Spread cream cheese in layer at bottom of your serving tray. Top with caramel and sprinkle with chocolate. Cut apples (green really are the best for this because they're so sour) and arrange them around the dip.

The original recipe ads 2 tbsp of powdered sugar to cream cheese before spreading, and it includes crushed Heath bar as an additional topping.

Other ideas I had for toppings: chopped walnuts or peanuts, flaked coconut, butterscotch or white chocolate chips, yum!