By Carlie Hanson
Pregnancy can throw your eating routine into a frenzy. From morning (or evening, or afternoon, or all day) sickness to sporadic daytime cravings, Food & Body Coach Jamie Dougherty shares her top food tips for expectant moms.
Eat when you feel nauseous
Eat something that is whole foods based that will sit well for you. Try to catch yourself before your nausea window – that time in the morning or afternoon that you usually become sick. Even if you don’t feel like eating, you’ll prevent the nausea from growing into hours where you can’t eat at all, which spirals into growing hunger pains that could make you eat whatever you see. Jamie recommends eating healthy foods such as whole wheat Ak-Mak crackers, a few bites of organic cheese, a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts, or ½ avocado sprinkled with salt or lemon juice.
Make hydration fun and buy a cute water bottle that will entice you to tote around your H20. To make it taste more interesting, flavor it with wedges of fresh lime, lemon, or mint leaves.
Carry Healthy Snacks
This is especially helpful for pregnant women working in an office who might be inclined to splurge on break-room sweets such as muffins, cupcakes, and candy bars. Instead, opt for “self-love” snacks, as Jamie Dougherty calls them, which can also be used to avoid nausea. Some of Jamie’s clients favorite snacks include Medjool dates stuffed with organic peanut butter, tamari toasted pumpkin seeds, and veggies with Muhammara dip.And, if you’re going to splurge on chocolate, go for the healthy stuff. Buy organic chocolate that is at least 70% cacao – the higher percentage of cacao, the lower the amount of sugar and the higher amount of antioxidants.
Most new or expectant moms are desperate to do everything right. You want to eat perfectly and make sure that you’re doing everything right for the baby, except that perfection can lead to some serious food sabotage. Eating healthy can easily become an “all or nothing” game. Challenge yourself to be “good enough” and focus on little ways to be healthier. For instance, most pregnant women cannot stomach leafy greens. Without staple greens like spinach or kale, women often stop trying because their green meal has become obsolete. Instead, focus on little ways to eat dark leafy greens that are more palatable. Try the hiding game: hide Swiss chard greens (finely chopped) in a smoothie or in spinach in a chicken veggie or lentil soup. If you can handle eggs, hide some cabbage or kale (chopped finely) in omelettes.