I am thrilled to be a few weeks into my third trimester. While my pregnancy has flown by thus far, I am wondering if that will continue or if the last two months will feel like an eternity. At this point, I have gained about 20 pounds, and I’m packing on about one pound a week. My provider gave me a clean bill of health after my last round of blood work, which was a great feeling, especially with the thyroid issues I had in my first trimester.
Five months ago, an older gentleman who practiced as an OB-GYN for 40 years shared with me his thoughts on weight gain and eating healthy while pregnant. “People will jokingly tell you that you’re eating for two,” he said. “But if you adopt that as your mantra, you could easily end up gaining too much weight and being at risk for gestational diabetes.” He encouraged me to eat when I’m hungry and to focus on key nutrients, like calcium and protein. Under the supervision of my health care provider, I take plant-based prenatal vitamins, fish oil (not just any brand–certain ones are unsafe during pregnancy), vitamin D, magnesium, and a B vitamin that helps my migraines.
Like many pregnant women, I have found that eating smaller meals more frequently works best for me. (Eating as much as I used to for lunch or dinner almost always leaves me feeling uncomfortable.) I rarely ever leave the house without snacks because allowing my stomach to become empty brings on morning sickness. Some of my favorites are Greek yogurt (Costco sells a 20-pack of Chobani for a great price), homemade trail mix (raw nuts, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and raisins), fruit, low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks, protein bars from Trader Joe’s, and spinach salad (I love GreenWise Organic Caesar Dressing from Publix).
I still crave sweets, but I try to satisfy my cravings with less sugary options, like dark chocolate, partially frozen mango or blueberries, or small portions of homemade desserts (so I can control how much sugar is added). I know it sounds crazy that a bowl off slightly thawed blueberries could satisfy a sweet craving as well as a bowl of ice cream, but oddly enough, it often leaves me feeling more satisfied because it contains more nutrients. If you avoid desserts containing refined sugars for a few weeks, you’ll find that your body starts to feel satisfied with fruit and lower sugar options.
Don’t get me wrong though–I do indulge in “regular” desserts every once in a while. Last weekend, we attended an event at Mr. Handsome’s office, and it definitely turned out to be a “cheat” day. But even on my “cheat” days, I try to remember the little human who solely relies on me to provide him all the vitamins and nutrients that he needs to grow into a full-sized person. When I keep that in mind, somehow a slice of pie with two scoops of ice cream doesn’t sound so good anymore.