This post was originally published December 13, 2011
By Sara, Contributing Writer
Whether you are pregnant or are nursing, with SO much yummy food around during the holidays, it is easy to fall into the “I’m-eating-for-two” mindset. Yup, you are eating for two! For you and one weighing (and needing) WAY less than you!
All that sugar, caffeine and preservatives that holiday foods are laden with (I say this as I just ate some sugar cookies my husband brought home from school) get to the baby as well! With our first, the ultrasound technician could not get her to move around; finally, they had me eat a candy bar to get her to start moving.
Instead of the eating for two concept being in quantity, apply it to quality! I have always found it much easier to eat healthy when pregnant and nursing–easier to deny myself bad for you foods and force upon myself those good, nourishing foods.
Being mommies, not necessarily nursing or pregnant, but having others depend on us, should we not ALWAYS strive to be our best? The things we put into us affect what comes out of us. Our mood, our patience, our energy levels are all a direct result of how WE are nourishing ourselves. In Daniel 1, there is a great biblical example of healthy eating.
Everything in moderation
I am not saying, “No, don’t eat that! You’ll hurt your baby!” God made our bodies in an amazing way. There have been many “healthy, long-living people who have abused their bodies–and healthy babies born to mothers who ate horrible things or abused drugs, alcohol and cigarettes during pregnancy. We are amazingly resilient.
A New day
Did you have a bad eating day? Too much? Not enough good? Tomorrow is a new day. Don’t beat yourself up. Just strive to do a bit better each day.
Here are some things to keep in mind when filling your plate and stuffing your mouth:
1. Take a LITTLE of everything
I have found taking half of what my eyes think I can eat is a great start to not overeating. It’ll force you to really think, “Am I still hungry or do I just want more?”
2. Eat SLOWLY
It takes that food a while to get to the spot! Especially while pregnant, I HATE that too-full feeling. And these days, baby doesn’t like it either – if you know what I’m saying . . .
3. Choose WISELY
Instead of your mama’s green bean casserole (cause you know it has Campbell’s mushroom soup and French’s crispy onions – both full of a ton of stuff you don’t need) go for the roasted veggies. (My recipe has simple ingredients with a little caramelization!) OR, go for a healthier green bean casserole.
4. Less is more
Pick things that have fewer ingredients. Go for that fruit or veggie platter instead of all the baked goodies . . . FIRST. Then allow yourself a small indulgence.
5. Listen to your body
Are you craving something sweet? Apple, cantaloupe, strawberry . . . see if these things satisfy you! What is your go-to fruit for a little sweetness? Sometimes a really good carrot can do it for me. Wanting a big hunk of steak? You may just be in need of some iron, so go find some broccoli or spinach. Then have your meat.
6. Pick something good
If all else fails, choose the nut-covered cookies over the snickerdoodle. Think about what it is filled with and decide what at least has some nutritional value rather than empty calories.
7. Fill up on WATER
There are LOTS of yummy drinks being made around the holidays. Fill yourself up on a glass of water first, then have your small cup of yumminess!
Once you eliminate your body’s tolerance of these foods it’ll be harder to start eating them again.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland or sweetless. There are many great resources online for alternative recipes and a wealth of eBooks packed with them. Here are books to get you started (affiliate links):
Have you ever spent a holiday season pregnant? How did you navigate holiday eating while pregnant?
Top image by nem youth