Nutrition for a Healthy & Vibrant Pregnancy

Wow! What a roller coaster ride pregnancy can be. The first three months carrying my baby boys (yay for twin boys!!) were extremely difficult. Nausea, extreme fatigue, lower back pain, and side pain parked me in my bed for weeks, not wanting so much as to peek at the outside world. Let alone talk to anyone who was a part of it. But now, at six months, I am so happy to say that I feel amazing. I have a good amount of energy, my weight gain is steady and healthy, and I mostly feel positive, happy, and excited for the arrival of our two new tiny family members.

Per usual, I have found that during the past few months of my pregnancy, diet and lifestyle have had a strong correlation to how I feel. In other words, poor diet, little exercise/movement leaves me feeling awful! On the flip side, when I  eat well, get outside, stretch, and walk….I feel amazing! It is so easy (and common!) to use being pregnant as an excuse to dig in on treats of all kinds and let your healthful lifestyle fall to the wayside. But this is the optimal time to eat healthy, live healthy, and feel wonderful. Your body has to be up to the task to grow another human (or humans) which means more vitamins and minerals are necessary for your body to perform and function optimally. Quality nutrition is so important to support and give your body everything it needs to feel amazing and create people! Processed foods, cakes, cookies, and caffeine aren’t giving much to your body; in fact they actually strip the body of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and overall goodness. This can lead you to feeling more of the negative affects of pregnancy like fatigue, constipation, extreme moodiness, and even depression. Enjoy treats in small amounts, but keep the mindset most of the time when you are eating: What is this food giving me? Antioxidants? Vitamins? Minerals? Quality Protein? Great! Don’t pick the foods that take away from you feeling your best and from the development of your little one.

I have put together a guideline of some optimal foods to consume while pregnant and which are ones to stay away from or consume in minimal amounts. Also, I listed some lifestyle tips for feeling great and building a strong body and mind to assist you in experiencing this wonderful time in your life as best as you may. Yay for babies and happy, strong mamas!

Eat Up! Specific Foods for Support During Pre-Pregnancy & Pregnancy

seasonal fruits (berries, citrus, plums, prunes, bananas)
dark green leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach, arugula)
fresh vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cucumbers, sweet potatoes)
non-gluten grains (millet, rice, quinoa, corn)
soaked nuts & seeds (almonds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds)
cultured foods (yogurt, sour cream, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut)
organic animal protein (lamb, chicken, low mercury cooked fish, eggs, beef)
plant protein (spirulina, legumes, nuts, seeds, lima beans)
healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, low mercury cooked fish, walnuts)
herbs & spices (parsley, turmeric, lavender, chives)
booster foods (nutritional yeast, seaweed)
bone broth
best treats in moderation (dark chocolate, raw cacao, raw desserts, this recipe!)

Foods Best to Avoid

fried foods (i.e. french fries, onion rings, fried chicken)
salty snack foods (i.e. pretzels, chips)
sugary treats (cake, candy, ice cream, fast food sandwiches/pizza)
gluten containing foods (bread, cookies, cakes)
fast food
regular & diet sodas
tap water
coffee
alcohol
overeating/stuffing yourself
large fish (tuna, swordfish, mackerel, shark)

Healthy Snack Ideas

Rice cakes with almond butter, banana, and chia seeds
Green Smoothie with spinach, coconut butter, oranges, vanilla, and walnuts
Celery with Hummus and baby tomatoes
Lentil Soup with organic sour cream
Corn tortillas with black beans, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice
Organic yogurt with berries, flax seeds, and maple syrup

Build Your Healthy Pregnancy Lifestyle

attend a weekly yoga class or prenatal yoga class
go for walks outside in nature
take a quality prenatal vitamin (Rainbow Light, Garden of Life, MegaFoods)
seek out information or a support group
work on relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, prayer, and/or journal writing
hydrate with filtered water
talk to your baby/babies
try to not cross your legs to promote optimal circulation and help prevent clotting
chew your food well!

I hope this information helps and inspires all you moms to be out there. Best of luck feeling great and with your new little love.