No Drinking, No Smoking! (obviously) No raw fish, no unpasteurized dairy. Well I can see that…No undercooked meats or “freshly squeezed” juices from restaurants or farmers markets!? No raw cookie dough 🙁 limited tuna?! Watch out for deli meats! Ceviche and smoked fish. No, no, no. Apparently, there are lots of bad bacteria out there. And no please dear god… cut back on caffeine!!!!! Nooooooo!
There are so many “no’s” when you are pregnant, so many “watch out” and “be careful of” moments, that it’s hard to remember them; then you have to restrain yourself for at least 9 months (more if you are breast feeding). What you can eat while pregnant is limited and it can be intense. My mantra of “it’s for the baby, it’s for the baby” helps but I still want to cry when I’m out with friends and they want to go for sushi and drinks.
The nice thing is when you take care of yourself during pregnancy, you feel better. And not just physically, there is an emotional pay off to that, too. Also, there are so many “super foods” to combine and discover that it can actually be kind of fun to play around and branch out from your normal diet. I’ve gotten to experiment with combos I never thought of before and now they are some of my favorite meals.
Here’s a list of some amazing pregnancy-safe foods for woman and their developing babies:
Leafy and super green veggies:
Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, etc–All really are great sources of foliate, fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin A. Also, they have stuff you’ve probably never heard of like lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids. You can stir-fry it, roast it, make salads, and sneak it into smoothies. Just eat it!
Brightly colored fruits and berries:
Blueberries, mangos, kiwis, strawberries, plums, bananas, etc–all packed with good carbohydrates, an alphabet full of vitamins, potassium, foliate, fiber and phytonutrients. Eat them on their own or with yogurt, cereal or pancakes or make smoothies or fruit salads.
Nuts, beans and seeds:
Garbonzo (chickpeas), lentils, black beans, soybeans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc–These are full of protein, iron, fiber, foliate, zinc and calcium. These little wonders are good brain food and great for snacks, salads, soups, chili, pasta or hummus.
Dairy (pasteurized), eggs, salmon and lean beef:
Protein, Vitamins A, D, B6 and 12, niacin, zinc, iron, choline, omega-3’s to name a few and all help with baby’s development. Cheeses, yogurts, omelets, grilled or in a sandwich.
These are just off the top of my head. To find out what you can eat while pregnant, all you need to do is Google “pregnancy super foods” and you’ll get list after list along with some amazing recipes too. And if you’re like me, you’ll go “pin” them all on Pintrest so you can decide later what to have for dinner. 🙂
The main thing is to just not stress. Take care of yourself and the baby will benefit from it, too. If you slip up, it’s ok; just try to get out of bad habits and routines. So much less will weigh on you when you just make a conscious effort to be healthier in what you eat. You’ll have more energy and clear peace of mind that you are doing what you cannot just for you, but for that dependent little life inside as well.