A SIMPLE HEALTHY EATING PLAN FOR MATERNITY

Many people will already be familiar with some sort of healthy eating regime or diet, but if you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I wrote a blog early on about my take on the clean eating phenomenon as well as the effect that it had on me.

If you haven't already you can read it here

Anyway, at the time of me writing this, I am in my final trimester and for the last couple of weeks I've tried to be very cautious with the way I've been eating.

I noticed that my hair was beginning to shed quite noticeably at the front, my skin had already broken out ridiculously in eczema and generally I've just felt extremely tired and run down.

As much as I didn't really want to, I had to re-evaluate my eating habits because the reality is whatever is happening on the outside of our bodies is a reflection on the state of the inside.

I've broken it down into categories to make it slightly easier to digest.

#1. Cereals and Wholegrain

I feel that this is something that people tend to run away from because it sounds horrible and scary but it doesn't have to be if you don't want it to be. At the moment, my breakfast consists of either a bowl of Jordan's Strawberry Granola or two slices of Hovis Seed Sensations. If I'm still hungry afterwards I may have more or eat a little yoghurt. 

Now the reason why I love the strawberry granola is because generally, I struggle to eat raw fruit. Either I don't like the texture or it gives me a slight allergic reaction, but the cereal has dried strawberries in it which don't feel so much like the real thing but still taste delicious.

Also the Jordan's brand make it clear on their product packaging that it's free from GM, which if you've read my previous healthy eating blog you'd know that is music to my ears.

As for the seed sensations, if you've never tried wholegrain before, I dare you to try this. I find the bread is so tasty and sweet. Honestly, everyone that has spent any amount of time with me has been converted. I would go into detail about the benefits of wholegrain bread but that would take all day, but what I will say is white bread has been stripped of every inch of goodness to get it white, so essentially there's no use eating it. If you don't feel like jumping into the deep end start with bread like 5050 until you get there.

 

 

#2. Water and Vitamins

If you're wondering why I put the water in a flute instead of a normal glass, it's because I wanted to communicate how 'expensive' water is to our bodies. Water makes up a huge percentage of our bodies' construct, so it only makes sense that a good amount of water should be consumed daily to maintain a healthy eating habit. 

Prior to myself getting pregnant, I used to drink so much water it was unreal. I could literally say without hesitation water was my favourite drink. I would go to a restaurant and order water, but since then it hasn't been the same. I explained in my pregnancy announcement blog here, that in my early pregnancy this time round, drinking water made me feel sick. So although all that has eased off now my relationship with water just hasn't been the same. 

As I said earlier, I noticed my hair had begun shedding really badly, especially at the front, and my skin is having a mare. I knew I had to something about it and going back to drinking water is definately something I know will make all the difference. A good water intake is essential for both hair and nails. Especially for black women as our hair is so naturally dry. 

I've also gone back to taking extra vitamins to boost my overall intake. At the moment I'm taking liquid pregnacare, iron and chewable vitamin C. Can you tell I hate swallowing tablets!

I'm challenging myself to aim for 2 litres a day, but I can't lie, I'm really struggling. Although I aim for 2, if I can at least get 1 litre a day it's better than nothing.

I find it quite daunting and overwhelming drinking from a 2 litre bottle so I drink from a 500ml bottle and keep re-filling throughout the day. It is so much easier looking at a smaller bottle because in your mind you know you can manage it.

How important is water in your diet?

#3. Organic Alternatives

As much as I can I try to eat organic alternatives,  again you'd have to refer back to the original healthy eating post from previously to understand my take on it, but generally I feel that wherever you can eat organic you should.

If I'm honest, I don't get to eat as much organic food as I'd like because it is so expensive to maintain, but I still buy organic dairy. My husband is probably the biggest enemy of progress when it comes to this because he does most of the food shopping now I'm so heavy, and he's just not into it! He always comes home with normal milk so when I can I just nip down to Waitrose and grab it myself. 

Out of the few organic yoghurts I've tried, I really do think Yeo Valley is the best. It tastes so creamy and very full of flavour. I love all the flavours to be honest, but for me strawberry and and cherry are my all time favourites.

A few other things I do that I've always really done is make sure there's alot of veg on my plate. My favourite vegetables are broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. I have at least one of these with every meal and every once in a while I'll add maybe some cucumbers or a mixed bag of ready made salad. 

This month I'm also making it a point to stay away from red meat as my husband cooks it almost every day!

Luckily for me, he's been taking over the cooking for the last few months, which although I'm so grateful, I still feel as if I need a red meat detox! 

For at least this month, I'm only eating chicken or fish, which I don't mind at all because chicken is probably my favourite meat anyway! Also salmon, for the past year or two has really grown on me, but not smoked. It has to be cooked properly!

Lastly, I've been trying my hand with green tea because apparently it has a few major health benefits and is a lot more beneficial than drinking black. 

I was gifted this pack of tea from the goodie bag given to me at the blogosphere tea party I went to last month and I have to say it's not that bad. I didn't even have to add sugar to it. 

Apparently it's pineapple flavoured with a mix of other herbs and spices, so until it's finished I'm going to replace my black tea with this one. 

 

Before I close off, I just wanted to say that although what I've outlined above is a very simple guideline for me and my healthy eating regime whilst I'm pregnant, it's not regimented at all. 

For the same reasons as before, If I'm in a situation where I can't eat white meat or there's no cereal, I don't feel a way reaching for less desirable alternatives because it's better to eat something than nothing at all. 

Even when it comes to snacking. I've done the noble thing by buying rice cakes and nuts etc but if there's nothing of the sort in the house, I will eat a bag of crisps if it's there. 

I feel the most important thing by far is ensuring that you're eating as best you can but still eating none the less.

Don't beat yourself up about it, but rather do the best you can and enjoy your pregnancy...

If you're expecting, what kind of changes have you made to your diet to help you?

How have these changes helped you or the ease of your pregnancy?

 

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