There is tons of information on what pregnant moms should be eating out there in the world- I’ve seen baseline recommendations of 75 grams of protein daily, 3-4 servings per day of dairy products and other benchmarks, none of which I paid too much attention to! After all, this is the time where your body is averse to so many flavors and smells and when its most likely to crave ridiculous food combinations. Some people get morning sickness so bad, they are lucky to get ANY nutrition in the first three months of pregnancy and these guidelines should be renamed “guiltlines”!!
Here’s how I dealt with my food in the first trimester and there are some tips for you mommas that are pregnant:
I did my best not to feel guilty for any foods I ate or didn’t eat. A lot of the information on the Internet made it seem almost irresponsible for a mom not to follow their guidelines- after all this is your baby’s most precarious time and its growth is vital. I read Lana Asprey’s The Better Baby Book, which outlines some of the HARDEST TO FOLLOW GUIDELINES for a healthy baby. I took notes, absorbed the information she set forth and then decided it was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE TO BE HER. I think its more healthy to keep in mind that perfection is NOT THE GOAL! I kept an open mind both to what my body was telling me and what my brain knew about prenatal nutrition. On some days, I ate Ezekiel toast with Earth balance (which is a breakfast I consider completely devoid of nutrition). On other days, I ate fruit (there’s no protein in that). On other days, I had eggs for the first time since going vegan two years ago. There was no rhyme or reason to my foods, but I did learn that sometimes a craving or aversion was mild enough that I could just eat a salad. My body craved dairy, so I gave it cashew cheese- I did find ways around the cravings and aversions and tried my BEST to eat a whole foods diet. One time, I ate some organic tortilla chips with guac for dinner, another time I ate an oatmeal banana bread with almond butter for dinner and still #noguilt. I knew I was sometimes fighting an uphill battle.
That being said, some things are non- negotiable. For me, taking a prenatal every single day was non- negotiable and I didn’t care when or how I got the pills down. If it took drinking a can of Coke each day to get those f*ckers in my body, I would have done it (PS- it didn’t, it only took some grapefruit juice, green juice or coconut water). As someone who HATES supplements but considers them a necessary evil, I was VERY adamant about getting these in my body. I took a prenatal multi, a EPA- DHA supplement, a calcium- magnesium supplement, and choline. I hope to add in a probiotic soon when I can better tolerate more pills.
I did NOT meal prep AT ALL: Meal prep was absolutely impossible because I could not figure out what I would want to eat or not eat in advance. Within 5 minutes of thinking something sounds good, I’d get nauseous of the idea and change up what I wanted to eat. There was no logic to my eating. I found myself eating a can of chickpeas for lunch one day when nothing else appealed to me. Another time I ate peas for dinner. Yet another I ate lentils straight up. Legume cravings sound WEIRD but true. I also craved all foods be doused in Earth Balance. I’m not proud of these so don't ask me why.
How does all this crazy eating apply to all of you? Well, the takeaways are true for people in any stage of life- not just pregnancy: Perfection is never the goal, don't feel guilty about past diet “failures” make sure to accomplish things that are important for you. Oh and never forget that being weird is always ok. LOL.