I’ve had a lot of people ask me what the perfect diet for pregnancy is. Actually, before I was even pregnant, this was a common question I found in my inbox. Woman want to how how to best nourish the little baby that is growing inside them. There is so much controversy and conflicting information on the internet and in books. It’s overwhelming! I never worried much about prenatal nutrition till I actually was pregnant. I knew the basics, but I didn’t really know the emotional component that is involved with growing a human! I used to give woman a very basic meal plan for pregnancy that covered all the bases and gave them proper nutrition, but now, I see pregnancy nutrition in a new light.
As many of you know, I am a raw vegan. I don’t eat meat, dairy, gluten, sugar or any processed foods. I’ve been very true to this lifestyle and love it for myself, however, when I became pregnant a lot changed. Pregnancy eating needs to be based off of intuition. I call it intuitive eating (listening to your body’s needs and following what you feel (not think) is the right path for you). I felt very strongly that I needed eggs. As a vegan and raw foodist, this was VERY hard for me to process. I found my mind constantly getting in the way of what I really felt my body needed. I was eating vegan (not raw) but had not added any dairy, eggs, fish or meat into my diet. I felt like if I started to eat something I had sworn off of, the I was some how betraying someone or something. But, I also had a great understanding of food, nutrition and the building blocks of life. I knew that in order to carry a healthy baby, I needed to be open to breaking my strict diet and being flexible with adding well sourced non vegan foods into my diet.
I slowly did this, seeing how it effected my body, mind and baby. I noticed right away that once I added eggs, my energy levels went way up! I was so energetic and even a bit more positive. I also added a bit of stream caught (alway wild) fish. The results were amazing. I felt so much better at night. I could sleep through 7 hours and my skin started to clear up. I worked my way through feeling that I was ‘betraying’ my diet and focused on the fact that right now at this moment, this is what my body needs.
This is my example of intuitive eating. I’m not saying that if you’re a raw vegan you should go eat eggs and fish, all I’m saying is follow your body (not your mind or your cravings). Cravings are often for sweet, fried, salty or heavy fat foods. Although I do think it is important to indulge once in a while, it’s also very important to really look into your cravings and see where they are stemming from. When woman become pregnant, they often let it all go…meaning they become very unhealthy gaining anywhere from 50-80 pounds. This is clearly unhealthy for your body and your baby. The recommended amount of weight to gain during pregnancy is between 25-35 pounds. This is a healthy natural weight. Gaining more than that can lead to health issues later on in life such as diabetes and heart trouble. Remember that you are eating for the baby, nurturing a little one, not taking vengeance on every diet you’ve ever been on. My point, indulge, but don’t gorge, enjoy, but don’t take it past a healthy point.
Here is an example of the foods and supplements (no diet here) that are working for my body and my baby- I drink lots of water all day long with minerals added in.
Super Smoothie or a Raw Food Breakfast
Grapefruit or a piece of my favorite in season fruit (mangos have been amazing!)
2 pieces of hemp toast with flax oil and 1/2 an avocado
Sliced tomatoes, goat cheese, boiled egg
Handful of walnuts or almonds
Prenatal Vitamins, DHAs, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3, Calcium
Hearty vegetable stew with quinoa or grilled fish with vegetables and rice
Big salad or blended green soup
- 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds
- 2 scoops of coconut bliss ice cream (vegan)