Eating for 2: What You Need To Know
As you enter into the beautiful phase of motherhood, eating for two becomes something of a mystery, doesn’t it?
I remember getting the confirmation from my doctor.
I called my best friend to tell her to come over, I had something to tell her. She arrived at my apartment and the minute I gave her the news she insisted we go out to lunch to celebrate. I remember feeling so hungry, starving even, as we sat in that diner in the Village. I ordered a grilled cheese and tomato with a side of fries (my usual diner order) and I added a milkshake. No harm in a milkshake, after all, I AM eating for 2, I thought.
You hear the stories about crazy cravings, and nauseating moments and overeating; but until it happens to you, you may still feel a bit like you're stumbling in the dark.
What to eat, what not to eat? Here are a few things I have learned and figured out along the way. Keep in mind, I am in no way an expert! I am, however, a mom of 4- so I do know a thing or two about this very subject.
Doctors in fact, recommend eating similarly to the way you have always eaten, but trying to add in some extra layers to your diet. These layers could include extra vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats.
In this post I hope to provide you with knowledge of a holistic approach to eating, which you can use along your own journey through pregnancy. Think of the following foods as various shades of color you can use to paint your perfectly balanced picture.
Immune Boosting Foods
One of the most fascinating facts about being pregnant has to do with the way a woman’s immune system functions. Logically, when you get pregnant, your body should fight it off since the fetus contains cells from the father… or in other words, foreign entities to your own body. Miraculously however, your immune system comes into play here, suppressing itself in order not to fight the fetus off.
While this can cause you to come down with a case of the sniffles, fatigue, or cough, you can rest easy knowing your baby is nestled inside the womb, protected from all bugs.
Some great examples of these immune boosters are:
- Foods containing Vitamin D such as: salmon, egg yolks, and there are plenty of fortified foods like cereals and breads
- Foods containing healthy probiotics such as: kefir, yogurt and miso
- Foods high in iron such as: Spinach, tofu, broccoli, lentils and even dark chocolate.
Foods High In Fiber
You may be surprised to find out how much fiber you will actually need to consume when you are pregnant to prevent constipation. Let's just say it's necessary to keep things moving more now than ever before!!
Some great sources of fiber are:
- Dried Apricots- great source of soluble fiber. This will help keep your bowels smooth and regular as well as have a ton of other important qualities.
- Bananas- not just a great source of potassium , essential for heart health, but also high in fiber
- Avocado- Yay! High in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, folate vitamins C and E! (side note, I detested Avocados my whole life until I was pregnant with baby #2 and all of a sudden NEEDED them in my life. Listen to your body!!)
- Berries- great source of carbohydrates, Vitamin C and fiber and the juice can give you a little added hydration.
Now for the tricky part: what NOT to eat when you are pregnant!
- Sushi or raw fish. Sorry ladies! you will have to call Nobu and change your reservations to a post baby celebration.
- Unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses. Sadly for this cheese lover, these types of products can harbor harmful bacteria that is a NO NO!
- Alcohol (Enough said here!)
- Caffeine- this usually does not need to be cut out completely, but it should be considerably cut down. Remember, its not just coffee that contains caffeine! you have to think big picture- soda, chocolate, some ice cream, energy drinks, some teas and of course our beloved Matcha lattes!
- Junk foods and foods with empty fat and calories. We know they are delicious, but if you wouldn't have 5 donuts pre-pregnancy.... definitely don't have 'em now. It will be that much harder to shed that extra weight if they come from junk you don't normally eat!
Remember, our body is really great at telling us what it needs, by telling us what it wants- so the next time you find yourself having a weird craving, a quick google search may reveal that whatever you are in the mood for contains a high amount of say, iron, and that may be just what you need! Listen to your body!
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