Eating While Pregnant: What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me!

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Image via Elizabeth Durham

Positive!  I’ll never forget my first positive pregnancy test and of course the ones that followed. It was my birthday and I received the best gift ever when those 2 blue lines showed up on that test. We had plans for lunch, which was shortly after we found out.  My first thought about going for lunch was, FREEDOM to eat what I wanted!  I was eating for two now, so in my mind that meant an appetizer, main course, and of course dessert.  This kind of eating sent me straight to gaining 70 pounds, having elevated blood pressure, and difficulty moving around.  Now, when I look back on my recklessness, I realize it didn’t have to be that way.

What I didn’t know before I became pregnant was that what I ate was not only important to my health, but the health of my baby as well.  Eating healthy is a necessity while growing a little human.  Eating highly nutritious meals and snacks is one of the best starts you can give your baby before he or she is born.  I’m sure you’ve heard about the extra calories needed while pregnant and you will want to check with your healthcare professional regarding your specific needs. 

{ MORE: Is One Drink Okay During Pregnancy? A New Study Says Yes }

A good rule of thumb to follow, if you are a healthy weight is, in the 1st trimester you don’t need extra calories, in the 2nd trimester you want to consume around 300-350 extra calories per day and in your 3rd trimester you want to consume around 450-500 extra calories per day.  

What does a nutritious 300-350 calories look like?

  • 1 cup prepared oatmeal – 145 calories
  • 2 tablespoons raisins – 54 calories
  • 2 hard boiled eggs – 148 calories
  • Total calories – 347

A small 1 ¼ cup serving of vanilla ice cream contains 325 calories.

What does a nutritious 450-500 calories look like?

  • ½ avocado – 175 calories
  • ½ cup hummus – 218 calories
  • 1 cup carrots – 50 calories
  • 1 medium apple – 50 calories
  • Total calories – 493

A burger from a fast food restaurant contains 550 calories.

The food you consume and digest is helping create a new life and also supply you with the energy you need to get through your day. Pregnancy puts stress on your body and you’re already tired because of it, but when you eat foods that do not provide you with the proper nutrients, including protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, you will feel the effects even more. If you’ve ever wondered what these nutrients are for, let’s take a look.

Protein

The amino acids that make up protein are the vital building blocks of your baby’s cells making up skin, muscle, hair, and bones.

Healthy Protein Sources

  • Grass fed meats
  • Free range, organic eggs
  • Grass fed, organic dairy
  • Wild caught, low mercury seafood
  • Quinoa
  • Chia seeds
  • Organic Beans

Fat

Healthy fats are important during pregnancy because they help the body absorb vital nutrients as well as provide an adequate source of energy.  Fat is an essential part of any diet and even more essential during pregnancy.  Fat contains substances that are important for brain development.

Healthy Fat Sources

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Grass fed butter
  • Avocado
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Olive oil

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide your body with the fuel it needs for energy, which also supplies your growing baby.

Healthy Carbohydrates

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chick peas
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas

Your caloric intake doesn’t need to be something you obsess over.  Take it as a guide and pay attention to your serving sizes, weight gain, and how you’re feeling. Strive to eat a rainbow each day, meaning you want to eat a variety of foods across the food groups to ensure you and your baby are getting the proper nutrition. It’s not too late to eat healthy! 

{ MORE: 5 Reasons It Rocks To Be Pregnant In The Fall }

Love & Health,

Elizabeth

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Eating While Pregnant: What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me!

Elizabeth Durham helps others bring joy into their everyday life. She is the creator of ElizabethDurham.com, where she encourages women to stop hiding and take control of their health so they can live in their purpose while living a happy and healthy life. She also runs Lettuce Heads Organics to provide families with fresh and affordable organic produce. ... More

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