Wednesday, December 30, 2009

pregnancy nutrition

i put together this meal plan for my friend, teri, who is pregnant, and thought i would share it in case any of my readers are pregnant as well. actually, it's a good way to eat anytime, but especially important for nourishing a growing fetus. i adapted it from the brewer diet for pregnancy, which was created by dr. tom brewer. dr. brewer has spent his career studying the effects of nutrition on pregnancy, and his recommendations are the result of 5 decades of studies. when the diet is followed correctly, it is supposed to have an almost 100% success rate against preventing preeclampsia. ironic i would give advice on the diet when preeclampsia almost killed me and resulted in an emergency c-section and blood pressure of 267/120...ha! i didn't say i followed the diet...just that it's a good idea. i was sick until the day i delivered k and b, so the only thing i could choke down most days was french fries and mcdonalds coke (anyone think it tastes different than other coke? i always have), but if you're lucky enough to not be sick and have a hearty appetite, this will give you and your baby what you need for a healthy pregnancy. the meals i've come up with should get you to about 100 grams of protein, which is dr. brewer's suggestion, but if you are pregnant with twins you'll need more like 150. yes, it's brutal to try and stuff 2 babies plus 150 grams of protein in your belly, but it's worth the effort so you don't have my same issue. remember, i'm not a nutritionist; just love it and have studied it a whole bunch...

each day, you'll need to eat the following; these are the minimums, but you can eat whatever else you want to too (but once you eat all of this food, you probably won't be able to hold a whole lot more :)). break all of it up by eating often to keep a steady supply of nutrition going to your baby:

4 servings of milk products
2 eggs
6-8 oz protein
2 servings green vegetables (a serving being about a cup)
5 servings whole grains
2 servings fruits or vegetables high in vitamin c (orange, grapefruit, strawberries, tomato, cantaloupe, green pepper, potato)
1 serving fruit or vegetable high in vitamin a (apricots, sweet potato, carrots, winter squash)
3 servings fat (each serving being 1 T oil, butter, peanut butter, or mayo or 1/4 avocado)

in my opinion, the best way to make sure you're getting all of the produce you need is by having a big salad for lunch every day. i still eat 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, and i always get it by eating a salad. it may get boring, but it gives you so much energy, and you can do a lot to make it fun. also, i did (and still do) avoid artificial sweeteners. here are some examples. choose one food from each line. let me know if it's confusing:

-2 pieces whole wheat toast with 1 T peanut butter or 2 waffles with 1 T butter or peanut butter or 1 cup whole grain cereal with 2 T ground flaxseeds added
-2 eggs (if it's a pain to have to cook them in the mornings, boil a bunch every week and keep them in the fridge. that's what i do and they're not as good, but much easier)
-1 cup milk

mid-morning snack:
-1 orange or 1/2 cup strawberries or 1/2 grapefruit or 1/2 cantaloupe
-1 cup yogurt (if you eat yogurt, make sure it's not light. low fat or fat free is fine, but not the kind with fake sweeteners. if you want less sugar, buy plain and sweeten it yourself with honey or agave nectar)

-salad with 2 cups romaine or other type of dark lettuce (spring mix, etc), 1/2 cup beans, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 T oil based salad dressing (preferably full fat) or oil and vinegar (and anything else you want to add to it for fun...those are just the minimums; i like craisins, feta cheese, etc)
-whole wheat muffin (find a good recipe and freeze a bunch :))

mid-afternoon snack:
-orange or 1/2 cup strawberries or 1/2 grapefruit or 1/2 cantaloupe
-1 string cheese

-4 oz steak, chicken, turkey, etc
-sweet potato with 1 T butter, sprinkled with cinnamon or 1 cup carrots steamed with 1 T butter
-whatever vegetable you want
-whole wheat roll or piece of bread

bedtime snack:
-1 cup whole grain cereal or 1/2 cup granola or whole grain granola bar
-1 cup milk


  1. you're so good! you should be a nutrition consultant! For real! And, btw, Zaxby's has my favorite "coke" :)

  2. I love reading your health tip posts!

    Thanks for all the great info!
    Nataly Higgins