My Prenatal Pantry Staples
Generally speaking eating the right foods for your body is important when it comes to being healthy. However, when you’re “eating for two” it’s super important to make sure you’re getting the right combination of nutrients for your body and baby’s. I found this a little challenging early in my pregnancy when I was having food aversions and morning sickness. On top of that, I had started an elimination diet prior to pregnancy to combat food intolerances that had left my body in pretty bad shape. With the help of a holistic wellness counselor and lots of trial and error, these are the pantry staples I found myself turning to over and over throughout the second trimester.
ALIVE! Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
During the first trimester, I couldn’t stomach the regular prenatal vitamins or the liquid vitamin I’d been taking before pregnancy. (Liquid multivitamins are more easily absorbed.) Despite taking them with food they left me feeling queasy and far too many prenatal vitamins (and vitamins in general) have soy and other additives that I had cut out of my diet. Enter ALIVE! Prenatal Gummy Vitamins. They make me feel like a kid eating them but they’re good for me and baby.
They’re a source of healthy fat and oh so tasty. I chopped avocados into my salads daily and mashed them up into guacamole which went on just about everything during the second trimester of my pregnancy.
There were a few rough weeks in the first trimester when eggs totally turned me off. However, once I got into week 14 eggs became an almost daily protein staple, especially at breakfast time. It’s important to eat the yolk and the whites during pregnancy, though, so no egg white omelettes for me.
Maybe the old wives’ takes about craving red meat and having a boy are true because there was a stretch of time when if it wasn’t steak I didn’t want it. However, lean steak is a good source of protein and iron and it’s not bad for you. At a certain point, though, I did cut back on red meat (err…steak three times a day is a bit much…) and started eating more fish, especially at dinnertime.
Canned Pink Wild Caught Salmon
Salmon is a good source of protein and Omega 3 oil. And you can call me a “fish snob” if you want to, but I turn my nose up at the farm-raised, color-added, antibiotic-treated variety. Luckily Whole Foods sells a brand of wild caught pink salmon that doesn’t break the bank. Having it in the can made it easy to take to work and put on salads for lunch.
I love fresh vegetables. Love them. But pregnancy left me either loving something or hating it, which way too often was resulting in spoiled food in my fridge. The amount of wasted fresh foods was driving my husband crazy (rightfully so) so I stocked up on frozen veggies instead of fresh. Fun fact: frozen veggies often have more nutrients than fresh veggies because they’re flash frozen as soon as they’re picked whereas fresh veggies sit on the shelf for longer periods of time, allowing nutrients to seep out.
Let’s just get something straight: I LOVE BEETS. As far as I’m concerned these beauties (ok, I know, they’re actually kinda ugly…) are the best kept secret in super foods. I would buy 2 lbs. of fresh organic beets, put them in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and then turn down and let simmer for 3 hours. After that I’d refrigerate the juice and drink it twice a day — once first thing in the morning and one before lunch. It’s delicious, promotes kidney function, and wards off constipation which can be a major not-so-fun side effect of pregnancy.
Do I really need to explain this? Yummm!!! This is my favorite brand.
Oranges were my favorite during second trimester. They were sweet which made me feel like I was eating dessert and provided Vitamin C which helped give me energy and stave off headaches and stuffy or bloody noses. Another fun fact: stuffy noses, headaches, and bloody noses are more common during pregnancy because hormones cause blood vessels in your nose to expand. Put down the medicine. Grab and orange — or two!
Flourless Banana Muffins
I’ve cut out gluten and haven’t really eaten flour products during pregnancy as a result. However, there were days when all I wanted was the doughy chewy comfort of a muffin or similar “baked good.” This recipe for flourless banana muffins from Running With Spoons was a life saver. I used gluten free oats and a chia seed flax seed blend for added fiber. They are soooooo good.