My first pregnancy was very exciting to me. I couldn’t wait to have the baby bump! However, I didn’t know much about nutrition and honestly thought I could eat for two people. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I craved sugar and ate Whitey’s ice cream at least once a week. I didn’t exercise much, other than the occasional walk. As a result, I gained a lot of weight and it wasn’t just baby weight. Now, I am not judging myself or any other moms out there. Being pregnant is hard work. We do need to eat and our hormones often take over! But the truth is, I wasn’t happy with how I was eating and most importantly, I didn’t feel good. With baby number two, I tried to do better about what I was eating and to exercise more, but I still gave into a lot of temptations.
Now I am on to pregnancy number three. I can definitely feel the benefits of my lifestyle change, which began about three years ago, of eating well, avoiding toxins and practicing self-care. Here are three changes I have made this pregnancy which are allowing me to feel better now and hopefully bounce back a little bit easier when the baby comes.
- Being mindful about my cravings
I have cut back on processed foods over the past few years, so the craving for sugar isn’t there like it used to be. If I do get a sweet tooth, I go for dark chocolate. I make sure to keep 70% cacao or higher in the freezer, so if I am going to indulge, there are some nutritional benefits for me and the baby. I also like to make energy balls, because they are easy and I can keep them in the freezer for convenience. I use gluten-free rolled oats, organic peanut butter and raw honey. (To learn what they are and how to make them, visit https://teattotable.net/ohenry-balls/.)
I do have cravings for spicy and salty foods, which I am not restricting. I figure there are people in many cultures eating spicy food every day. I love spicy food, always have, and I don’t believe it’s the main cause of indigestion like many claim. Plus, the more diverse diet I am on now, the better off my baby’s immune system will be. Bring on the spicy peppers! For salty foods, I go for Boulder Brand potato chips, that have only three ingredients: potatoes, sea salt and avocado oil. I don’t eat a whole bag in one sitting though. I try to eat a handful (or two) and then put them away.
- Moving every day
I was pretty nauseous until about eighteen weeks, so exercising was the last thing I wanted to do. Luckily, I had been working out regularly when I found out I was pregnant, so taking ten weeks off didn’t make it impossible to get back to it. I alternate now between 20 to 30 minutes of running and walking and doing YouTube strength training workout videos. My favorite youtube girl is Shelly Dose https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixcTWO6Zcdk. I often have to modify her workouts by doing things on my knees, stepping instead of jumping, not lying on my back, and just listening to my body. If something starts to hurt, I stop, but even so, it’s a great workout! My favorite workout class to go to has been prenatal yoga with Roberta Kelinson https://www.borntobreathe.net at Shine Yoga Body Works http://www.shineyogabodyworks.com in Moline, IL. Not only is it a great workout and a place to find inner peace, but I love being surrounded by other like-minded pregnant moms, and Roberta is such a wonderful human to learn from about pregnancy and yoga. Check her out!
- Nourishment for the baby
We all have our downfalls when it comes to food, and that’s okay. It’s more important to focus on which foods will help with our growing baby’s development. I have made sure to eat:
- A lot of green leafy vegetables daily
- Alaskan wild caught fish at least once a week
- Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, avocado oil and coconut oil, and grass-fed/free range animal products daily
- An organic protein at least twice a day
- Fresh fruits and smoothies daily
- A variety of whole foods, so I am diversifying tastes for the baby and helping to grow his/her gut microbiome in the womb.
- Garden of Life Raw Prenatal vitamin https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/product/vitamin-code-raw-prenatal-multivitamin/?gclid=CjwKCAjwur7YBRA_EiwASXqIHL1Pq2Vj5-2A8ZbbO_KelCqByYbli_TEi0XZkECDmsQvlwaA_KWTdxoC3CgQAvD_BwE
- B complex
- Fish oil
- Iodine supplement
If you listen to what Dr. Group says about iodine, you will learn we are all so deficient. Not only do we need it for many functions of the body, especially the thyroid, but pregnant women need even more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fqhrWoqQ3Y
Please discuss any changes in your diet, workout routine or supplements with your doctor before making changes.
For more information on healthier eating for your growing family, contact me at
Mandala Integrative Medicine