Pregnancy is a special time that messes with just about everything in your life: your body, your hunger, your sense of self… It can’t be helped; after all, you are eating for two! Except that you are not, really. You only need a few hundred extra calories each day to grow a new life; it is the quality of those calories that really counts. You want to be sure to be building the right cells in baby (brains, bones and muscles) and keeping your own weight gain within reason. Here’s how:
- Be sure to eat as much dark, leafy greens as you can. If organic is available to you, it’s best
- Eat four or five smaller meals each day containing all food groups
- Avoid deep fried or overly fatty foods. Good fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado are great
- Focus on lean protein like chicken, tofu (1-2x per week) and wild fish (2-3x per week)
- Snack on small amounts of nuts and/or whole grains to keep nausea at bay and energy up
As for what to avoid:
Dr. David Greenberg, Obstetrics & Family Medicine says:
- Soft cheeses – try to avoid raw milk/ non- pasteurized cheese (often from Quebec) as they may contain Listeria, a bacteria which can be deadly for mom or child but could also make anyone very sick
- As little caffeine as possible as there are links between caffeine consumption and miscarriages and too much of it causes heart palpitations and impaired sleep
- Avoid fish high in mercury like swordfish and shark and limit fish that have mid-range levels of mercury like tuna and halibut as they can affect a developing brain and accumulate in cells
- Aspartame should absolutely be avoided if trying to get pregnant. If the baby has PKU (Phenylketonuria), (rare but exists), it would be very dangerous. A little bit of sugar is much healthier than an artificial sweetener.
When you look over this list, you will see that it is no different than any healthy day recommendation. This is not the time to restrict food or diet but it is the time to respect what’s going on inside you.
For an easy fish recipe, try this:
Pan-Fried Turmeric Fish
Reprinted from www.myfriendinfood.com (now www.theresaalbert.com)
Check the watch list at www.montereybayaquarium.org (click on “seafood watch”) occasionally to avoid eating fish that are caught with practices that are damaging to fish stocks or to the health of our oceans. They will also indicate which fishes are low in mercury.
Preparation time: 12 minutes
- 1 egg
- 1 lb catfish or halibut fillets
- 2 tbsp turmeric (or curry powder)
- 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
Beat egg in a shallow bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Mix together turmeric, whole-wheat flour, sea salt and white pepper in a separate bowl. Dredge fish in egg and then set into turmeric/flour mixture, turning to coat. Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat and add butter and oil. Quickly add the coated fish. Cook for 2-3 minutes and turn once to cook through for 2-3 more minutes. Set fish onto paper towel to absorb any excess fat.