Monday, March 24, 2014

Feed Yourself Health


I wrote this blog post for the Circle of Life Network.  Circle of Life Network is committed to providing parents with the knowledge they need to become empowered self-advocates.  Our community is a safe, reliable place that offers credible evidence-based information, resources, and support from like-minded peers and birth and child professionals. 
Lisa and Amy, founders of Circle of Life Network, asked me to write for the blog, what and honor.  Thank you Lisa and Amy. 

I needed to remind myself what I said about health eating before I got pregnant with Baby Niall #6.  I hope this healthy piece inspires you and me to recommit to eating healthy!  I sure did forget the tips. I know I will be reinstituting them into my shopping and menu planning. 
I remember when my husband and I got married and started thinking about having a baby.  I have type II Diabetes, so we were not sure what it would take to get pregnant.  Once we decided to try, we started to eat healthy.  Little did I know, this was very important (I know – how can you not know eating healthy is important, but I didn’t)  and it was going to be a continued work!
Pregnant and nursing moms lose so many nutrients to their babies.  I have been pregnant 4 times and have nursed 3 babies.  After every pregnancy I wondered why I forgot more and had less energy.  Since the loss of our last baby I have been researching and learned about what our bodies do when we’re pregnant and/or nursing.
It is important to take care of your body with good nutrition, no matter how hard it is.  It’s easy to say “I’m having a pregnancy craving so I am just going to eat what I want,” regardless of it’s nutritional value.  I know it can be hard to take care of yourself when you are pregnant, especially when you have other children in your care.  Sometimes it’s just easier to eat the children’s leftovers.  It is like the oxygen mask on an airplane – the flight attendant always says you must put your oxygen mask on before you can help others.  You can’t take care of your children or husband’s health and nutrition if you are depleted.
heart raw fruits and veggies
Your diet should consist of 80% raw vegetables and fruits (60% vegetable and 20% fruit).  Some tricks you can try to eat healthy through pregnancy and nursing include:
  • have vegetable and fruits you enjoy on hand all the time
  • take 30 – 40 minutes 2 days a week to cut up vegetables and fruits to have on hand
  • menu-plan with meals that are vegetable-heavy
  • keep trail mix heavy in nuts and dried fruits in your car
  • only drink water or kefir water
  • when cooking vegetables, make 2-3 times more than you need and immediately store the extra away to eat later
  • add fruit and vegetables to your breakfast
  • start your day off with a good portion of vegetables…add them to your eggs and/or add fresh fruit to your yogurt or oatmeal
  • have a salad with lunch or dinner every day
I want to address menu planning.  I know this can be daunting to many people.  I actually take the easy way out.  I plan my menus months at a time.  It does take a little time when I sit down to plan, but I repeat many of our family favorites each week.  Does your family like spaghetti squash?  We love it!  You could have spaghetti squash with tomato sauce once a week,  leftovers at least twice a week, and salad with meat at least once a week.  I know every family is different, but if I can get four days of dinners done, then I only have to be creative 3 days a week.  Be flexible! Things come up, and if there is food on sale that you can’t pass up, adjust your menu as needed.
Eating vegetables and fruits while pregnant and nursing will help you to stay healthy.
Do you eat enough vegetable and fruits while you are pregnant? 

Linked up to Wellness Wednesday.


  1. I thought eating too much fruit is what might lead to gestational diabetes & such? I thought you were supposed to eat a lot more veggies & complex carbs/fruit 2nd. Good read!

    1. Hi Stephanie. Thanks for reading. Yes eating too much fruit can elevate blood sugars. Eating fruits are important but if you are diabetic (like I am) you need to make sure you know how many grams of carbs are in the fruit you are eating. Dried fruit have more sugar that fruit with fiber. I want to emphasize that the ratio of fruit to vegetables, 20% fruit to 60% vegetable. So yes you are correct more vegetables!! FYI, that is stated in my post. Again thanks for reading. :)

  2. That is really smart about planning your meals out in advance. I had GD and the hardest part was not having anything 'ready' and my desire to just eat something junky instead. There are some great tips here!

    1. Kim, Diabetes and GD are so hard when pregnant. I usually have Larabars on hand to eat when I am out and about but being sure I have something is so helpful. Like I was saying to one of my friends I may not have a snack for my children but I better have a snack for myself.

  3. Thank you for this post, with common sense planning ideas for healthy eating.

    1. You are welcome Birgit. Hope it is helpful!

  4. It is so important to have these reminders for healthy eating! -Gina

    1. Hi Gina, Yes, just little things like planning are so helpful. Hope they are helpful to you.