A new chapter…
Posted by Arja on June 1 in
I’m now in my 16th week of pregnancy which has me thinking about nutrition in a whole new way. I’m no longer just eating to sustain my own health because now I’ve got a whole new person developing inside of me! This is exciting and daunting all at the same time. This is my first pregnancy, and to be honest with you I always believed that when my time came, given my background, I would be a model of healthy and balanced eating. Well, as any mommy or mommy-to-be will tell you, just surviving the first 3 months can be a feat in and of itself, forget about trying to maintain a near perfect diet!
“Morning sickness”, which is really more like “all day” sickness can make eating a real challenge. Add to that a myriad of aversions to different smells and tastes and it’s like learning how to eat all over again. Things that were previously your go to foods for easy meals are suddenly out of the question, and if you are anything like I was, cooking itself was an epic battle in the early days. Exhaustion combined with a bionic nose made cooking and smelling foods quite difficult.
So, what’s a healthy mommy-to-be to do? The first hard lesson I learned was to just go with the flow. Being stressed out about not eating what you think you should be eating is not worth it. Just because you can no longer stomach steamed broccoli is no reason to punish yourself. There are always alternatives! If your thing is starchy carbohydrates, then find your healthiest alternatives. Complex carbohydrates like those found in whole grain products will not only satisfy your appetite and settle your stomach, but they also contain vital vitamins and minerals that you and baby need to develop and sustain energy. This is not time time for white pasta and bread as you will only be consuming empty calories which will pack on the pounds too quickly. Getting a sweet tooth? Well take advantage of your new bionic tastebuds and enjoy the bounty of taste that fruit has to offer! Not only will the natural sugars satisfy a sugar craving, but you’ll be getting fibre, antioxidants, and hydration. Fresh squeeze some oranges and pour the juice into homemade popsicle moulds and freeze for a treat. Or blend up a mix of your favourite fruits (orange, banana and strawberry anyone?) and do the same.
The most important thing you can do at this time is eat the healthiest, cleanest foods that you can. It’s good for you, and good for baby. But, don’t deny yourself life’s small pleasures and give up on treats, just don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat with abandon. Once you get past feeling hungover all the time, start focusing on a healthy, balanced diet again. Get back into the kitchen and get creative with your cravings!
If you are finding making healthy choices a challenge, or don’t really know what you should be focusing on at this time don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a nutritionist. It’s never too late to make healthy changes!