Healthy Pregnancy: Nutrition

This is a continuation on the healthy pregnancy posts I wrote during my last weeks of pregnancy with Speedy.

During my pregnancy with Sugar, I was training to be a Bradley instructor. I followed the Brewer Pregnancy Diet completely, often manipulating it to fit my tastes. For instance, I needed to consume four servings of milk/dairy products a day. Since I didn’t always feel like drinking a glass of milk, how about I bake some chocolate chip cookies to go with that milk? Never mind that I would eat several balls of dough and three chocolate chip cookies later to go with that milk. Craving fettucine alfredo? It works! Dairy, protein, fats and whole wheat pasta (not to mention a whole stick of butter). I would eat whatever I felt like and however much I wanted. I baked cookies, muffins, and bread galore. It was wonderful. I swelled up like a balloon, broke out in a horrible pregnancy rash the last few weeks, and my rear end couldn’t fit into any of my maternity pants by the end of my pregnancy. I carried an extra 20 pounds around for over 6 months after she was born until I began working out gradually and I lost it over the next six months or so.

Over a year ago, I started working out at a really awesome gym. I loved the workouts and how strong I got, and I enjoyed learning so much more about nutrition and how food affects our bodies. Over the course of several months, I started changing the way that I was eating and the way I was viewing food. Our gym did a 30 day food challenge, where we kept food logs about how we were feeling with our diet changes, and sought to eat as much meat and veggies as we wanted, eliminating sugar, grains and dairy from our diets for 30 days. It was tough. I learned so much, and I’m so thankful that I did it. I lost the sweet tooth that seemed to have plagued me my whole life.

All this was just two short months before I found out I was pregnant again. I continued trying to follow the things I had learned about my body and how grains and sugar caused me to feel terrible, and just tried to incorporate plenty of meat, veggies and fats into my diet. It was difficult at the beginning of the pregnancy when there were times that nothing sounded good, but as I started feeling better and better, it got easier and easier.

Now, my diet has not been perfect this pregnancy. There have been times that I have eaten desserts and grains, but I always feel bad physically afterward (bloating, fatigue, etc.). Limiting grains to only one or two servings a day has caused me to eat a lot of quality protein and a ton of vegetables. I have had several benefits this pregnancy including:
-more controlled weight gain (over 10 pounds less this time)
-no swelling (I could wear my rings the entire pregnancy, with Sugar I had to stop at 20 weeks)
-more energy
-no cravings
-excellent iron levels (my midwife gave me the best compliments on my blood profiles. She said, “whatever you are eating and doing, keep doing it! These are the best numbers I have ever seen.”)

The other night, I was driving home from a late meeting and I realized I had $10 in my wallet and I was rather hungry. I thought about stopping and getting myself a treat. With my last pregnancy, I would have gotten a milkshake or something at Marble Slab (or something equally decadent), but I really didn’t want that stuff. I thought about getting some meat somewhere, but decided I could just go home and have some leftovers.

If you want to learn more about following a primal foods/paleo diet, you can check out some of the following links:
What is the paleo diet? -Robb Wolf
Mark’s Daily Apple
Sugar, Insulin & Fat Loss (great article that makes a great case for a 30 day challenge)
CBS news spot on primal diets

Next up… exercise!

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