How to Create a Pregnancy Diet: A Recipe for a Healthy Pregnancy

How to Create a Pregnancy Diet: A Recipe for a Healthy Pregnancy

noahnameIdeally, your pregnancy diet should ideally start 3-6 months before you start trying to conceive. However, it is never too late to eat nutrient dense foods. The ideal diet for each person may vary depending on food sensitivities, stress, hormones, genetics, and ultimately, what you like to eat. However, every diet should focus on real food and nutrient density. The more you demand of your body, the more nutrients and not just calories it needs. For me, this means lots of vegetables, moderate protein (mostly organic, grass-fed), whole food, healthy fats (4-6 servings per day), small amounts of whole food starches, some fruits (preferably low fructose like berries), and occasional real food sweeteners.  Finally, making occasional less than optimal choices is not an opportunity to beat yourself up. A nutrition plan should not be a life sentence to never have something again. When you have those moments where you indulge, enjoy it, and you will find that you crave those moments less. Your nutrition journey may be a slow process and develop over time. I continually change my definition of healthy eating with what makes me feel the best.

Your baby’s body and brain have certain compositions required for normal functioning. Your baby will pull these from the food you eat, those stored in your body, or not form properly.

The Human Body

  • Water – 51%
  • Fats – 29% (mostly saturated)
  • Proteins – 15%
  • Minerals – 3.7%
  • Carbohydrates – 1%

The Human Brain

  • Water – 77%
  • Fats – 12% (mostly saturated)
  • Proteins – 8%
  • Minerals – 2%
  • Carbohydrates – 1%

So, your diet could look like 50-60% fats, 15-20% protein, and 10-30% protein. Though our bodies are not comprised of carbohydrates, we need a certain amount of whole food carbohydrates to give our body energy for the processes it needs to complete. A plate should be composed of 1-2 servings of non-starchy vegetables, 1 serving of protein, 1 TBSP of healthy fats, and 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of carbohydrates.

I want to talk about good choices for some of those categories:

Healthy Fats

  • Grass-fed butter
  • Raw cheddar cheese
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Seeds: Pumpkin or sunflower
    • Nuts: Brazil, cashews, pine nuts, pecans, macadamia, almonds, walnuts, pistachios

Healthy Protein

  • Good Sources
    • Eggs
    • Wild-caught fish (low mercury): salmon, tilapia, flounder, sardines, trout
    • Beef and lamb (grass-fed is ideal)
    • Chicken and turkey (pasture-raised is ideal)
  • Collagen = building block for cells and tissues
    • Prevents stretch marks
    • Easy to make smoothie meals if you feel sick or need something quick

Healthy Carbohydrates

  • sweet potatoes
  • taro
  • plantains
  • squash
  • fruit
  • pumpkin
  • white rice
  • quinoa

As always, the focus needs to be on nutrient density for you and your baby. This will create a healthy baby, an easier labor, and a better postpartum recovery.

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