Healthy Pregnancy Meals
First off, I am not an expert in health or nutrition. I would highly recommend consulting with your OB to discuss any health-related questions during your pregnancy. However, I wanted to share a few healthy meals and tips that have worked for me, so far.
I am not going to lie. Experiencing your body change during pregnancy has its ups and downs. It's truly a beautiful thing and I am so thankful to get to have this experience. But it hasn't always been easy to feel my body change during pregnancy, emotionally and physically. I've felt anxiety over gaining too much weight at times. I know I'm still in the first half of it, but I am hoping that by implementing healthy habits now that I will feel so much better as we get closer to the baby.
In the 1st trimester, it was an accomplishment to just find something I wanted to eat. I really didn't set any plans at the beginning of pregnancy. My main focus was just eating and doing whatever I could to maintain a healthy pregnancy at the beginning. My body didn't start physically changing until around week 13 or 14. I definitely indulged in the occasional splurge meal (burgers + fries, please!) but stuck to the basics (i.e. carbs and smoothies) that were easy to digest.
As I entered the 2nd trimester, I started to feel SO MUCH better. Much more energy and fewer food aversions. I re-introduced a few of my favorite healthy foods back into my diet and made a point to start looking at consuming as many nutrients as possible. I've also been super hungry these past few weeks (14 weeks - 17 weeks) and have added more calories to my overall diet.
Nothing is off limits this pregnancy. I am eating carbs, dairy, veggies/fruits, and protein daily, along with healthy fats and sweets. I do try to eat my carbs & dairy for breakfast or lunch because my tummy gets upset and bloated if I eat too much at night. Pre-pregnancy, I really tried to avoid carbs and dairy but know that baby needs both of these in small doses!
A few of my go-to healthy meals include:
- Fruit & Nut Butter Bowls (dairy-free): A mix of banana, blueberries & raspberries with a spoonful of natural peanut butter or almond butter. This is by far my favorite breakfast or afternoon snack!
- Protein Smoothie: PB protein, a splash of almond milk, 1/2 banana and a mix of fresh fruits and spinach and/or kale. I switch up my smoothies weekly! Sometimes more protein/nut focused, other times more fruit or veggie based.
- Oatmeal: I like the ThinkThin brand from Target with whole oats, almonds, and vanilla
- Egg & Spinach Scramble: scrambled eggs mixed with spinach - sometimes with turkey sausage or bacon. You can also mix in peppers or sweet potatoes. Topped with sriracha sauce. Full of protein and filling!
- Southwest Salad + Avocado: this is my favorite lunch, by far! I buy the pre-made bagged Southwest Salad at Target, TJ's or Aldi's and add 1/2 avocado with Greek Yogurt Cilantro dressing. Sooo yummy. For the days I'm super hungry, will top with extra sharp white cheddar.
- Snack Plate: I love a good snack plate! Mine typically include some mix of hummus, pita chips, grapes, carrots, and cheese.
- Wheat Bagel with Cream Cheese + Avocado: perfect for the days you are super hungry and craving carbs.
- Zucchini Noodles + Sausage: This is one of my favorite dinners! I buy zucchini noodles at Trader Joe's or Target and mix with sausage, onions and tomato sauce.
- Greek Bowls: I love Greek food and will mimic by mixing together chicken, Tzatziki sauce (Trader Joe's is my favorite!), cucumber, and grape tomatoes on top of couscous.
- Shell-less Tacos: If we have leftover ground beef, I will mix together with quinoa, black beans, lettuce, cheese, avocado and salsa for a Chipotle-inspired bowl or use bibb lettuce as the shells!
Snacks are my favorite part of the day! There are so many I love, but my favorites include:
- Dark Chocolate - dipped in peanut butter (2 pieces)
- Oikos Greek Yogurt cups - top with fresh berries
- Banana & Coconut Popsicles - when you crave something cold & refreshing
- RX Bars - I always have one in my purse for sudden hungry cravings!
- Chips & Guac - I know I should sub chips for veggies, but love my tortilla chips with guac
- Apple Slices with PB - so yummy, full of fiber and the peanut butter keeps me full