I don’t know about you, but being pregnant is HARD. Not only am I WAY more exhausted than normal and WAY more hormonal than normal, I also have to feed myself and baby girl often. Making the right choices can be hard, especially when you’re a busy and on the go mama like me.
But I DO personally know, that it IS possible to have self control while pregnant. Seriously. I JUST turned down a cake pop at Starbucks and ate a few nuts and pumpkin seeds instead. Is that what I truly wanted? NO. But is it better for me and baby girl in the long run? HECK YES.
I am fortunate enough to have some awesome friends over at Mountainside fitness who have provided me with some excellent resources and tips for maintaining a healthy body for me AND baby while I’m pregnant. So I’m sharing them with you here.
As your baby belly grows and fatigue sets in during pregnancy, finding the energy to cook healthy meals may seem a nearly impossible task. But nothing is more important to ensure optimal health for you and your growing baby. Combined with light exercise, eating healthy can actually boost your energy levels and help you sail through these nine months. Taking a few extra moments for self-care creates a good foundation for healthy living that will come in handy after your baby is born and life becomes hectic.
Breakfast is a great time to sneak some fruit into your diet. Eating healthy early sets a good tone for the rest of the day. Try a delicious smoothie with frozen fruit, coconut milk, greek yogurt, and – if you’re feeling adventurous — a handful of spinach. You won’t even be able to taste the spinach, but you’ll still get the health benefits of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and vitamins B, C and E. Best of all, a smoothie takes just minutes to make, involves no cooking, and you can drink it on the go. The yogurt offers extra protein and calories to keep you feeling full longer.
Another breakfast option if you have more time, is oatmeal. For extra zing, toss in fresh or frozen berries, nuts and sweeten with honey instead of sugar to keep it healthy. Oats contain iron and fiber, both important nutrients for you and your baby. This carbohydrate-intensive breakfast will keep you full and energetic until lunch.
Lunch often falls in the busiest part of the day when finding time and energy to cook is incredibly difficult. Don’t fret- plenty of quick, healthy options are available to keep you from ordering fatty, unhealthy takeout. One easy option involves spreading hummus on a pita and packing it full with vegetables, lettuce, and, if desired, tuna or chicken. Sliced avocados placed on top provide healthy, unsaturated fat and a delicious taste. Hummus, made from chickpeas, is high in protein and fiber to nourish both you and your baby.
Another option is a taco salad. Create a bed of rice and beans, and then cook a mixture of corn, tomatoes, red pepper and zucchini to layer on top. Garnish with fresh, chopped spinach and perhaps a sprinkle of cilantro. Feel free to drizzle shredded cheese on top and eat with a handful of tortilla chips. This fiesta is so flavorful you won’t even miss the margarita!
A fresh salad with lettuce and your favorite vegetables always makes a good lunch. A gourmet option might include spinach, goat cheese, pecans and dried cranberries, topped with thin slices of red onion and cucumber.
By the time dinner rolls around, you’re probably ready to just dial the local pizza place and call it a night. But taking a few extra minutes to cook a healthy, simple dinner can support the health of both you and your baby.
One easy dish is whole wheat pasta served with sautéed vegetables and a side salad. Picking up prepackaged salads from the grocery store saves you time and energy, while still offering important nutrients. Add on shrimp or meat for an optional protein boost. A variation on the Italian-style dish is to cook stir-fry noodles instead of pasta, top with teriyaki sauce instead of spaghetti, and add slices of fresh (or powdered) ginger instead of garlic.
If noodles and vegetables sound too exhausting, try boiling ravioli for 10 minutes, and enjoy with a side salad.
While you’re pregnant, exercising is important to keep your blood flowing, manage stress and lift your energy levels. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes of daily activity for pregnant women. Of course, all exercise routines should be discussed with your doctor, especially if you do not already exercise. The amount and type of exercise you’re able to do while pregnant will greatly depend on your existing level of fitness.
An exercise regimen designed with your physical condition in mind can alleviate pregnancy-related pain and even improve your posture, according to WebMD.
Walking is the safest and easiest form of exercise to implement. Visit your local gym and try out the treadmill, where you can control your speed and incline. Other options include prenatal yoga, swimming, weight training and low-impact aerobics. Take care not to over-exert yourself, but elevating your heart rate is perfectly fine.
Exercising won’t hurt your baby, and you’ll be creating healthy habits with your child before he’s even born.
And NOW, the GIVEAWAY!
TEN lucky people are going to win a free 5 day pass + free childcare at Mountainside Fitness location of your choice!!
Be one of the first 10 tweets to share this blog post AND tag @stellardayblog, @mtnsidefitness, and #StellarFit and receive a free 5 day pass + free childcare at the Mountainside Fitness location of your choice.
Seriously SO rad and so simple. Ready? GO.
*As with anything, consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program or implementing any nutritional changes to your diet.*
**This is a guest post by Mountainside Fitness, a locally owned health club chain in Arizona. Mountainside Fitness writes about health, fitness, and nutrition on their blog.**