Fit Pregnancy Nutrition Round Table
Hi Blog Readers!
As a follow-up to my Fit Pregnancy Interview Series that I featured two weeks ago with 9 fellow fit pregnant mamas, I'm profiling today a round table discussion with some of the contributors on how and what they ate while pregnant.
From topics such as supplementation, food cravings, nausea and dislikes, we'll briefly talk about what these fit moms did while they were incubating their growing babies. They did this all while maintaining their very fit pregnancies and produced very healthy babies.
Later this week (or next... it depends on how much I have to chase after my daughter the Hurricane this week), I will profile breastfeeding in these fit Mamas: Did they breastfeed? How long? What made them stop? Breastfeeding while exercising, etc.
Today though the topic is Nutrition and Healthy Fit Pregnancy.
(PS - when I was trying to find a suitable picture for this round table, I was super annoyed that all the pictures were of these super cute pregnant women eating apples or carrots... seriously??? We all know we eat a heck of a lot more than that!)
Question #1: Did you have strong food cravings during your pregnancy? If so, what trimester did these occur in and what foods were they?
Helen: Nope, didn't get any food cravings at all. Though I was drinking juice (which I don't normally do) the first trimester because I was constantly feeling hypoglycemic.
Sarah: I craved nuts and seeds through out my pregnancy. I'm not sure if this was a pregnancy thing since peanut butter was my favorite food before pregnancy, but during pregnancy I branched out and started making my own nut butters (I'd thrown nuts in my food processor with some flax oil, salt and stevia and hit go = instant yummy nut butter).
Becky: The strong cravings I had were for really odd things, things that made me think that there were some sort of minerals or specific substance in those foods that I must've needed more of (but who knows if that's actually the case). I craved steamed oysters like crazy in my first and early second trimesters; tomatoes with sea salt from early second trimester through the very end of the pregnancy; anything with apple cider vinegar from early second trimester on; and towards the third trimester, basil. Tons and tons of fresh basil - I could've eaten it straight off the plant!!
Cassandra: I had MAJOR carb cravings for things like sushi rice and corn chips in my first trimester. I was such a carboholic that I thought I was going to end up a diabetic. But, it passed after a few weeks and everything normalized for the most part. Maybe this was my attempt to battle the hypoglycemia I too was experiencing? The second and third trimester I ate a lot of seafood - must of wanted those omega 3s!
Brianna: I really craved citrus fruits in both pregnancies. Also, I loved frozen blueberries and cherries (I ate them frozen blended together in a type of "sorbet").
Christa: Yes, for both of my pregnancies (I have a 2 year old, and am 22 weeks pregnant with my second now) I craved carbohydrates during my first trimesters. I am also NOT a junk food eater, but craved junk. Chips, bagels, pizza, oh my! Luckily that lasted only 2 months, and once the nausea passed around 12 weeks I was back to (almost) normal eating. During the second and third trimesters I craved a lot of fruit. This pregnancy I am craving citrus, like oranges and pineapple.
Question #2: What supplements if any did you take during your pregnancy?
Brianna: Fish oil and prenatal vitamins. I also used natural whey protein and rice protein powders (with no added sweetners).
Cassandra: A natural pre-natal from the health food store (the pharmacy ones were colored blue and that really bothered me). Fish oil high in DHA and krill oil, Choline (440 mg), Whey protein with no added sweeteners.
Helen: I took prenatal vitamins throughout & while I was breast feeding on the advice of my naturopath. I have to check the brand & dose as there were 6 pills/pack, minerals, mutli, fish oil & vit E...I think. I also was taking concentrated DHA in the last trimester to help with the baby's neural development and fend off baby brain.
Sarah: I Have quiet a long list so here goes-
-Juice plus+ both fruit and veggie blend. I did this to help get extra nutrition.
-Spirulina- I'd take about 12 a day (6 in the early am, and 6 in the afternoon). I'd do this for the chlorophyll to help me be able to better absorb other nutrients. It's a super food so there are many other reason I took so many.
-B-complex. Pregnancy takes a beating on your b-vits so you pretty much can't get enough of them.
-b-6 (see above)
-Folic acid (again that b vit thing)
- Krill oil- for the omega 3s
- Cod liver oil (for the D and E vits)
-Calcium/Magnesium (1:2 ratio)
- Digestive enzymes
Becky: I took a prenatal vitamin for probably a year or more before I actually got pregnant (just in case), then I added a DHA supplement with it for a few months, then I switched to a prenatal with DHA in it. But that was it! Well, maybe downed a few glasses of Benefiber here and there, haha...
Question #3: What foods/drinks did you like to eat a lot of (ie, fruit, meat, coffee)?
Sarah: I ate a lot of whey protein powder, eggs, nuts/seeds (Lots and lots of pumpkin seeds), beans, kale, lots and lots and lots of bee pollen (it's a super food with some of the most absorbable amino acids) salmon, and veggies in general
Becky: I ate a lot of big bowls of romaine lettuce with olive oil, sea salt, and parmesan; a lot of whole grain pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil; cold cereal with whole milk; and during the later and hot months of my late-summer/early-fall pregnancy (I gave birth mid-September), I had a decaf Starbucks iced latte just about every other day. I made a lot of bran muffins with dried fruit and walnuts mixed in, also.
Brianna: Fruit, fruit, fruit. And lots of peas. Oh, and after the first semester I loved eggs. Lots of omelets!
Cassandra: Lots of EGGS (best food for baby's brain), hemp seed butter, and lots of fresh fruit, veggies and more carbs than I currently eat now (like rice and sprouted grain bread).
Helen: My preferences were pretty much the same as before pregnancy, but with more carbs. I was eating oatmeal in the morning instead of a protein shake for example.
Christa: Lots of fruit, lots of meat (and I was a vegetarian when I got pregnant with my second. My body was telling me I needed meat, and so I added it back in, and I have to say, I am really enjoying it! ;) Lots of veggies, especially kale and sweet potatoes, and eggs. I get the fortified eggs and eat about 10-12 a week (whole- no whites for me!).
Question #4: What foods/drinks could you absolutely not tolerate?
Christa: I could not tolerate veggies and meat the first trimester (of the first pregnancy), or coffee. I LOVE coffee, and during both pregnancies have had almost none. Simply because I just didn't want it, or it really made me nauseous to think about drinking it.
Cassandra: Nothing that I can think of... I love food :)
Becky: I really could've gone meatless during my pregnancy and been mostly okay with it. I did not like chicken, and my old favorite Salmon suddenly made me want to hurl.
Sarah: Nothing actually. I didn't get any queasiness so foods didn't bother me.
Brianna: Chicken. Which is odd because I love chicken.
Helen: Nothing. I could eat anything I wanted without having any negative reaction. Though I avoided the usual, don't eat if pregnant things: raw fish, soft cheese, artificial sweetener, etc.
Question #5: Overall, were you happy with how you ate while pregnant? If so, why? If not, what would you have done differently (if you could)?
Sarah: I was very happy with how I ate. I felt great, and my babe was very healthy. I got sick of EATING during third trimester because I didn't feel hungry, but needed to gain weight. But I was very pleased. Next time around I plan to eat more fermented foods, hemp seeds, and coconut products. I didn't learn about the benefits of these in pregnancy till AFTER I was pregnant. Next time around I guess :-)
Cassandra: If I could, I would try to control those insane carbohydrate cravings during the first trimester - honestly, I would stand in the cookie aisle and the grocery store and almost cry because I couldn't believe that I was desiring cookies so badly. Ugh!
Brianna: I was very happy with how I ate in my 2nd pregnancy. I worked hard to have a high protein, nutrient rich diet, and it seemed to pay off with the health of my baby! The only thing I would do differently would be to add in choline which I learned about from Cass afterwards!
Christa: The first time I was pregnant (almost 3 years ago) my diet was not as good as it is now. I now eat very clean, and feel even better this time with less weight gain (About 9-10 pounds in 22 weeks.) I eat much almost no sugar, no processed foods, eat out very seldom, and don't drink any juices. Only whole grains and lean, high quality meats, some fish, nuts, eggs, some dairy (greek yogurt, some cheese) and lots and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I think this will reflect a healthier body weight for me and baby with less weight gain and an even quicker recovery. I feel so much better about my diet this time around. I know I am feeding my developing baby the best, most nutritionally dense foods I can find, and that feels good!
(Pic of Christa at 19+ weeks)
Helen: I was happy overall, but in retrospect all the juice drinking in the beginning did nothing to help with how I was feeling. The hypoglycemic feeling was just the hormones due to pregnancy so the juice did nothing.
Becky: I LOVED food during my pregnancy, and I actually kind of miss how everything just seemed to taste...better (haha). I definitely turned into a bit of a foodie while pregnant. I look forward to doing that again in the future.
Thank you for your time ladies!
Readers: Comments are appreciated! :)