Friday, February 24, 2012

Eating and Pregnancy

Once word of my pregnancy got out, friends often asked me what I've been craving and if I've had any unusual or crazy cravings.  I really haven't.  Most of the things I like to eat, I have always liked to eat.  I've had some crazy food aversions, like my new distaste for hot beverages, but other than that there hasn't been much out of the ordinary. 

For a while all I wanted was cereal, so I bought several kinds and usually ate it for breakfast and dinner (much to Jason's dismay).  Once I got through the weirdness of the first trimester, my desire for cereal diminished (somewhat) and was replaced by the craving for fruit and fried chicken.  These two things made my taste buds sing and dance, and while I tried not to indulge in fried chicken too often (mostly Chick-fil-a or Zaxbys), I bought all the fruit I could find in season, eating large amounts in one sitting.  I figured I couldn't really overdo it on the fruit and my "what to expect" book said that fruit eased morning sickness, was a good substitute when vegetables were hard to get down, and helped with the myriad of other strange pregnancy symptoms.  I tried to get some vegetables at dinner, but they were never very appealing so I went with the fruit substitution thing.

Before I got pregnant I ate pretty well, but believed that when I was pregnant I would be motivated to eat even better.  After all, I'd be eating for a little one's health and development as well, and I just knew that would be enough motivation to keep me on the straight and narrow where nutrition was concerned.  I didn't take into account that constant fatigue would affect what I wanted to eat and how much effort I was willing to put in to what I ate, or that I would long for Chick-fil-a every day.  I didn't plan on a full time job, coaching with Running Start, LLC, attending fitness courses at UAH, and pregnancy all at the same time, but it just sort of happened that way.  So when I'm not doing one of those things, I am sleeping.  Or thinking about sleeping. I can hardly get through 1 hour of TV these days without beginning to long for my bed (talk about cravings!).

So what is busy pregnant lady to do when it comes to eating right?  Well, I have some strategies.  First, I enlist the help of my sweet husband when it comes to dinner.  Last week he cooked almost every meal we ate.  This week we kind of fell off the wagon, so I'm already planning what I will do about next week.  And that is another strategy for a busy pregnant lady and eating right.  PLAN!  I will make a grocery list and make a trip Saturday or Sunday.  Then I will plan out quick and healthy meals for each night (crockpots help tremendously).  I will buy lots of fresh, easily portable fruit for lunches, along with healthy options that are also easily packed in a lunch box (soups, beans, rice, frozen meals, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts), reading labels to make sure ingredients are good for me and a growing little one.

Drinks are also important with a pregnant runner and a training husband.  I feel like I am ALWAYS thirsty these days.  I drink a lot of water but I get tired of it too.  I look for drinks that have some nutrients but nothing harmful in them, and I have to watch for caffeine amounts too.  Some favorites are Honest Tea (green tea with honey or white tea with peach) and Honest Kids drink boxes (I know, we are adults but these fruity drinks are just enough to quench our thirst with refreshing flavor and only 40 calories per bag).  I like Simply Orange Juice and Simply Grapefruit Juice, and in the summer I indulge in Simply Lemonade and Limeade too.  I will occasionally drink a Sobe Lifewater, doing my best to make sure ingredients are okay, and I also brew green tea at home with a touch of honey in it.  And of course, there is the daily iced coffee, but that is more for enjoyment than nutritional value.

Some other helpful articles on eating while pregnant can be found below.  Check them out for helpful tips and insights into keeping mom and baby as healthy as possible!

What to Expect - Planning Meals During Pregnancy

What to Expect - Eating Well During Pregnancy Week by Week

Fit Pregnancy - Tell Me What to Eat

Fit Pregnancy - Amazing Grains


  1. of course i am eating m&ms as i read this. :) ha! just a teeny little pack, though.

  2. Well, chocolate is a necessary food group to ANY pregnancy. I just forgot to include it. :)