**Disclaimer: I am by NO MEANS an expert on pregnancy nutrition, nor am I promoting this type of lifestyle for everyone. This is just some observations on what has worked for me, and how it’s made me feel! Make sure you ask your Dr. FIRST before changing up the way you eat. Nutrition is the most important thing for you and your little baby.**
Before we first started to try getting pregnant, I of course did a LOT of online research about what to expect during the first trimester. What I found was slightly terrifying. I found all the horror stories of people being sick for months on end, feeling awful during pregnancy, and using pregnancy as an excuse to just eat whatever junk they want. I was super nervous, because of course eating clean is super important to me and Jesse, and we have a passion about teaching our child(ren) how to do the same.
When I got the positive pregnancy test, I decided to keep eating as clean as I could and not change much about our eating. As I wrote about in a previous blog, I (Thank God!) only got sick ONCE during the first trimester. But I wasn’t eating like normal either.
My desire and stomach for meats and veggies completely went out the window, and I was a carb-o-holic! I think the best things I craved were fruit and dairy, but I knew I needed protein. Now I am not at all saying that eating pretty clean was the reason why I didn’t have morning sickness, because I’ve known plenty of women who eat great and still get sick. However…these were some general rules of thumb that helped me feel GREAT, as well as my favorite foods I have stuck with during this pregnancy.
8 Tips for that hard first trimester, as well as the rest of pregnancy!
1. Never, never, never let yourself go without food for longer than 3 hours. When baby wanted food, my hungry meter went from 0 to hangry in about 5 minutes. Carry snacks ALWAYS.
2. Eat protein with every meal. I aim for 120g protein every day. Protein shakes really helped me with this one. This was an easy habit to transition from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy. For me it greatly helped me feel full longer and not get to hangry as quickly.
3. Eat right before bed. I also kept a protein bar next to my bed for the middle-of-the-night hunger pangs. And I never felt guilty about tearing it open and eating at 2am and then falling back asleep! I am used to listening to my body when it’s hungry and acting immediately! And this was not just for the first trimester either. I woke up and ate a snack 2 nights ago and I’m 28 weeks now!
4. Drink plenty of water! If you think you’re drinking enough, drink more! Water was so essential for me. There are 2 other drinks I couldn’t live without. One is an electrolyte-replacement that I drink daily (with 1/3 the sugar of regular sports drinks). I also love Organic milk now. Milk was not a usual food for me pre-pregnancy, but it has protein in it and no added hormones, so I hopped on the milk train and haven’t looked back 🙂
5. Stay away from the salt. It’s just not worth it. And with this, be careful of processed meals and restaurant meals because often they are just loaded with sodium. Earlier on, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but now that I’m almost into my 3rd trimester, I can absolutely tell a difference! Too much salt and my hands and feet swell up and NO ONE wants that! Besides, salt dehydrates, and you need plenty of fluid for your baby. Did I mention drink water?
6. Take your prenatal and fish-oils at night if you get nauseous.
7. Have heartburn? Stay away from spicy foods (goodbye for now, Chipotle 😦 )
8. Figure out how to get your veggies in. Juice, salad, steamed, or straight up raw, just do it. This goes for fruits too, but it think the majority of preggos don’t have a problem eating fruits. I know I still love most any fruit I can find.
Foods that I have loved:
Organic Greek yogurt (great for the protein, just get one with low sugar!)
Protein bars and shakes
Fruits – my favorite are pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Eggs and pancakes made with meal replacement shakes
Ancient grains granola with almonds
Chicken salad, homemade with fruit and veggies
Spinach salad with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes
Tomato and cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Any kind of baked fish with carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, or squash on the side
Baked chicken with sweet potatoes
Homemade burritos with beef and beans
Favorite treats (because you’ve got to splurge once in a while, right?) Also, useful if you travel, like we do!
Tropical Smoothie Café’s Asian Chicken Wrap
Chick-fil-A Market Chicken Salad with Berry Balsamic Viniagrette, with NO blue cheese. Delicious on-the-go treat.
Chick-fil-A chocolate chip cookie (side note, most people don’t know Chick-fil-A has cookies…if you don’t want to get hooked on the best cookie you can buy, served warm… then don’t try them!)
Jesse, me, and a sweet friend of ours, Brandi McElhaney, in Ft Worth Tx last week. 27 weeks pregnant! Whoo hoo! Brandi and her husband Kyle are superhero parents, raising two amazing sons who are going to change this world because of their amazing parents!