A Pregnancy Diet For Today
The thought of having the perfect pregnancy diet is enough to overwhelm us. Yet, if we are overwhelmed, we don’t make great decisions or forward progress. So, here we’re going to look at the basic important steps in any pregnancy diet. We are all unique. We are in unique places in our lives, with health and nutrition, I do not believe that we can take one rule and apply it to all of life. We may have a species diet, but we are often so far from it that our way back to our natural diet is a unique path that only we will walk. Therefore, listening to our own highest wisdom always wins out over following the herd, or someone else’s advice. As always it’s our life, it’s our responsibility!
Focus On Nutrients!
The basics of any healthy diet are an abundance of live fruits and vegetables; this is even truer for a pregnancy diet. Organic fruits and vegetables provide us with so much of our daily nutrients. They are what our baby needs to grow in a balanced environment. The average American diet falls very short, because we often turn to “fast foods” or “filler foods”. Foods that fill us up rather than give us all the nutrients we need. But with our pregnancy diet, and even after, lets focus on providing our body with more and more nutrients! We don’t need to stress about what serving size we should get if we focus on an increasing percentage of our diets coming from a variety fresh, unprocessed, live fruits and vegetables.
Getting Our Greens... Greens Build Life!
Getting our greens is one of the most important parts of our pregnancy diet! We hear so much about taking our folic acid… but all that’s really about is folate, a B vitamin that is found in its natural state in foods. Folate is located in abundance in dark green veggies (like Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli…see the green!) and citrus fruits. When we think greens, we can think about Pop-Eye! How else did he grow big and strong, and smart (he picked a cutie didn’t he!)?… He ate his spinach, dark leafy greens are not only filled with folate, but also iron and a whole host of other goodies that we need to help our little one build a strong healthy life. I happen to love spinach, but if you don’t, or just want an easier way to get down massive amounts of greens I recommend green smoothies! Put as much green leafy salad (it's good to rotate greens) as you can into a blender, add a few bananas and a bit of water to make it blend-able, to the consistency that you like…and if you prefer your drinks cold like my husband, either use cold water or add a bit of ice. Blend until smooth and you’ve got a green drink (full of yummy nutrients) that goes down like smooth banana! As you enjoy them more and more, you may be like me and prefer less banana and more greens. Or you might enjoy trying other fruits instead of banana, that just happens to be my favorite... be as daring as you like!
Focus On What The Body Feels.
The body is an incredible instrument, and if we listen to it, it can be our best guide to our pregnancy diet. When we lead with fruits and veggies we know that our body will naturally pull towards the healthy things it needs. For example, once we’re eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, we can easily feel how a greasy fast food meal just doesn’t feel good in the body. And we can use this as a wonderful guide in choosing what best serves our babies and us. Even with so-called “healthy foods” our bodies like some fruits or veggies better than others on any given day and this is very unique choice. And then there are those pregnancy days that our bodies just want foods that we might consider less healthy... I know in one of my pregnancies, I just couldn't get enough potatoes. I ate every sort of potato, prepared every sort of way. This is not "normal" on my day-to-day basis, but for that pregnancy, I couldn't get enough! So tune in. Listen to what you need, not what you "think" you should have.
Just by simply looking at how we feel after what we’ve just eaten, we notice a great guidance system. Checking in 10 minutes, 30 minutes and an hour after we’ve eaten, just observing how we feel. Are we feeling like we want our babies to feel? They are experiencing our world, so lets show them how we can listen to our bodies and use how we feel in our body as our biggest tool of clarification.
In our pregnant state we want to eat abundantly! If you're anything like me, your body quickly lets you know when it's been too long since eating...and you feel you must eat NOW! Now, if we’re focused on lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and listening to what our bodies like… it would be really hard to overeat! If on the other hand, we’re going for all the deserts and the filler foods, we’re not feeding ourselves or our babies the nutrients, much less the abundant nutrients that we need.
We need an abundance of yummy, fresh foods. We don’t need any processed, unnatural foods. I understand there are some days when life just calls for other things. Either our stomach can only handle the bread or our lives are too over-booked and we choose the quickest foods to sustain us. So for these occasions, we do the best we can. But on these days we can observe how we feel and be ready to move forward with more self-understanding and maybe more ways to handle our life. We must be gentle with ourselves, we can’t expect to radically change our life-long habits overnight, just because we’re pregnant! It normally is one step at a time, the more observant of ourselves we can be, the more we can find ourselves naturally changing.
Okay, so lets get the protein thing under order. For most of us, we need to let go of the protein worries in our pregnancy diet! In the United States, most meat or dairy eaters eat way too much protein and most vegan eaters get plenty of protein without ever having to think about it. As long as we are eating in abundance with our healthy fruits and veggies leading the way, we can let go of the worry, and just focus on how we feel. Do we feel well-fed, like our bodies have what they need? We really need to pay attention to the body, if we feel the body needs more protein, eat more protein. Along with plenty of fruits and veggies as sources of protein, whole grain are sources of protein, as are raw nuts and seeds, of course we know meat and dairy are also sources of protein...it all depends on how your body responds to protein...which does your body need now? For me, when I felt like I needed more protein in the beginning of my pregnancy, I tried upping the beans (because I thought I should get it from a vegetable if I could)...well, I was left with gas pains. I tried the salmon, which is usually my favorite fish, and I just couldn't handle the fattiness of it...finally, I tried beef (even though I was mostly vegetarian at the time) and it went down perfectly. I was to be honest a little bummed, I don't like to eat other animals, but that's what I needed at the time, and I felt I needed to respect that. That went on for months, but then one day, I could enjoy my fish again...and the filet mignon lost it's appeal.
Again, it’s listening to our own unique bodies on any given day. Again, let’s not get stuck in the mental “shoulds” or societal worries for our pregnancy diet, lets really respect what the body is reflecting to us individually, at this particular moment.
Let Our Spirit Guide.
After I experienced two miscarriages, we were preparing for pregnancy number three. And I was having so many dreams about nutrition. So many dreams that were showing me what foods my body needed. I know it may sound a bit odd, at least to me it was a little odd, but mostly super-cool! I’d be wondering about these things in the day and getting all this understanding in my dreams at night. I was shown how my body needed coconut oil, shown how my body could use red clover sprouts and an anti-fungal. Oftentimes, we will be pondering something in life and we meet someone who “randomly” answers the question, or we have a dream where we’re shown what to do! We can be guided by forces greater; we can trust that if we have a question, it can be answered. So, don’t hesitate to look at your dreams, or really pay attention to what are your pregnancy diet questions… and notice how the answers come into your life. It’s oftentimes so subtle, unless we look for it, we don’t notice it. And yet it’s so fun to celebrate this guidance and share this with the people we love!
I know many of us really like to have laws, follow this law and everything will turn out okay. The fact is, we can affect our babies, but our babies also have their own plan. If their path is to come in with certain health difficulties taking all the prenatal vitamins in the world and eating the most perfect diet won’t help out. We need to do our part, and relax about the rest! We can use this time to learn to understand and trust ourselves more...and share that sensation with our babes in the womb. If you are one of those people who want a little more input from outside “experts”, check out
to get a few more ideas. But know the pregnancy diet is not a plan that we can make at the beginning of pregnancy and follow; it’s not like taking some prescription every day. Our body is different every day, with different needs depending on how we are
handling our stress,
our exercise, our pre-existing conditions… and many other emotional and spirit considerations. It’s up to us to pay attention and be in today’s body today, feeding our baby and our own body our needs today! Our pregnancy diet isn't about the perfect foods, but about eating in a way that really feeds our babies and us on many levels.
Pregnancy Diet to Natural Birth Main Page.