Food consciousness for a healthy pregnancy

Just when I thought it would never come, I made it to the second trimester!

Pregnancy Update: I am feeling much better than I felt in the first trimester and my appetite is back. It is as if a major brain fog has lifted and I am better able to re-engage with the world.

Development: the fetus is about the size of a fist, and is developing hair, straightening out, and the left and right hemisphere of its brain is developing.

Symptoms: bloating, gas, constipation. More energy and less nausea – starting to feel like myself again!                            Source: Wikimedia

However, my body is changing and it is hard getting used to it. When I bend down to tie my shoes I lose my breath; after I eat I get hungry again almost right away and if I don’t feast I am super moody; when I see something that triggers happiness or sadness I weep; etc. All this to say, I feel like my hormones are so wacky right now and I think nutrition and exercise will help keep me more balanced.

In order to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby I need to learn more about good nutrition during my 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

By simply doing a Google search on ‘pregnancy nutrition’ there are many articles that come up that provide suggestions for how to gain weight, eat well, and warnings not to pack on too many pounds during pregnancy. It is all quite overwhelming.

Via Giphy

In order to get a better sense of how much weight I should be gaining, so that I can avoid pre-term labour or a baby with a low-birth weight, I went to visit the What to Expect website. They suggest the first step is to determine my Body Mass Index (BMI). Since I started my pregnancy at 128 pounds, in the normal weight range (22.7 BMI) I am supposed to gain 3-4 pounds in the first trimester, 14 pounds in the second, and 10 pounds in the third. Based on this calculation, by April 2018 I should be a healthy weight of 158 pounds.

How am I going to put on all of this weight in healthy ways?

Pregnant or not, I have never followed the old or new version of Canada’s Food Guide. However, since I need to eat for me and a fetus I want to make sure I am following a trusted source on Canadian nutrition. Health Canada suggests that Canadians eat the following servings of food each day and it is broken down by sex and age. The new version does not have specifications for pregnant women.

Now that I am equipped with the knowledge of how much food I need to eat based on the food guide and how much weight I need to gain, now all I needed was a food tracker or menu planner. I looked at a couple of websites to try and find one that would work for me, and then I came acress the Eat Right Ontario Weekly Menu Planner, which served my needs.

This website was such a useful tool! Once I was done the process of developing my menu, I received a 40 page report of my selections along with a grocery list and recipes to go with these meals. I plan on getting groceries the rest of this week and begin prepping the foods so that I can begin this diet on Sunday.

If you have any healthy vegetarian recipes that align with my diet (daily servings) please share them!!

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!