Prenatal Nutrition 411: My Regimen

One of the biggest questions I get asked as a Nutrition Coach is, “What do you eat, ” and “What do you take?” It’s probably one of my favorite prenatal topics because I LOVE nutrition! And prior to becoming pregnant I could talk everything about weight-loss, allergy-free diets, vegan/vegetarian, raw, gluten-free, local and organic, sports performance, and on… but I really didn’t know the ins and outs of a prenatal diet.

So here I will share some of the important nuggets that I have picked up as well as a sample of what I eat and the supplements that I take. I would like to disclose that I am not a doctor and you should always discuss your choices with your medical professional. End fine print.

There is an overwhelming amount of information about what you can’t and shouldn’t  eat out there with a lot of confusing information about what you should be eating (just like any other diet). I found that focusing on a few key elements was very helpful. So here is what I chose:946245_10151710206369371_94838216_n

  1. Protein: eggs, lean meats, nuts, dairy, and Herbalife Formula 1 and Beverage Mix
  2. Iron: Spinach and lean meats, but I eat A LOT of spinach
  3. Calcium: Yogurt, milks (almond and cow), almonds, fruits and veggies
  4. Water: Water all Day!!
  5. Supplements: Guaranteeing I got everything that I needed on the days I just wanted to eat popsicles

More fine print: Am I perfect with what I eat? Of course, not. I have plenty of days where the fiber is giving me a tummy ache and all I want is a grilled cheese… which then backs me up so more fiber. I have also had more than one dessert on more than one occasion. But most days, most of the time, I make the best choices that I can. I ensure this by keeping the bad foods out of the house, keeping the pantry stocked with variety, making all of my meals as simple as possible, and dropping ALL guilt if I am eating a bit atypically.

But for the most part here is what my meals look like:

Breakfast is one of 4 things always:

  • Plain oatmeal with 2 Scoops Formula 1 (cookies and cream), blueberries, and a splash of milk
  • Super Smoothie with spinach, blueberries, banana, plain greek yogurt, Formula 1, and maybe like Chia seeds, flax or oatmeal… with either water, milk, or juice
  • Formula 1 pancakes with banana, egg, and topped with peanut butter
  • 2 eggs with spinach and cheese, sprouted toast, and fruit

Lunch tends to follow a similar trend… Again, I keep it simple

  • A Shake
  • Spinach Salad with fruit and nuts or eggs and veggies
  • A sandwich, maybe chicken or tuna salad

Dinner could be anything, really depending on my mood, exhaustion level, and hunger level. Often times I am less hungry in the evening and will have something very simple.

  • Cereal… My favorite option… I pick a high fiber, high protein cereal like a Kashi or organic raisin bran
  • Lasagna with low carb noodles, cottage cheese, and spinach
  • Lean meat, veggie, grain of some sort
  • Something less healthy like steak tacos, macaroni and cheese, pizza, or whatever sounds tolerable. (Full disclosure right??)

And snacks could be anything from fruit (slightly addicted this Summer), a protein bar, yogurt parfait, cheese and an apple, nuts and nut butters, a shake, etc.

And finally, here is the list of my supplement regimen. Again, please consult your healthcare pro as well, but this is what works for me. I use all Herbalife products and only Herbalife products. They are a brand that I trust and can rest assured that I am getting what I need with the highest quality ingredients. (There is one exception when I had to use an additional Vitamin D 2,000 mcg dose for about 2 months. Oh and maybe the occasional chamomile tea).

Following this nutrition regimen, I have had a completely healthy pregnancy- stable blood sugar, healthy weight gain, normal blood pressure, completely on track with baby’s growth and development, and a very ACTIVE little girl squirming around, but the best part is that my mind is at ease knowing that we are both getting everything we need.

Now, I can’t wait to share my journey post baby! Breast feeding and pregnancy weight loss is my new fascination! Stay tuned!


But I Don’t Ask for Help… and Other Genius Ways of Getting through Pregnancy

Yesterday started off like any other day at 28 weeks, 5 days pregnant (but who’s counting). I ate a healthy breakfast, got a morning swim in and headed into our nutrition club to blend smoothies, follow up with clients, and get a productive week started. Oh, yes! And I was also sleep deprived, overheated from a muggy Carolina August day, and aching in my low back and hip. But these are all just “normal” daily occurrences at this point.

Well the nutrition club was slammed and I struggled to keep up. My mood, my hobbling hip, and constant need to use the restroom every 14 minutes. It’s all good, really. We have an amazing and supportive team but I don’t like to ask for help. So, in my interim to eat a quick lunch before heading to my prenatal appointment the tears started flowing. (That’s better than asking for help, right?) I was in pain, frustrated, over being pregnant, I felt nauseous, and then frustrated again for crying over relatively nothing. It drives me bonkers. My amazing husband consoles me and we head to the midwife. 

I knew I was still a bit flustered and looked at it as a positive opportunity to showcase the other side of what I had been feeling. Up until that point, I mostly reported that everything was going pretty well (and it has been) but not sharing much about both my physical and emotional complaints.  Well, our Midwife sits down, asks how I am and the tears start flowing. She was all well and good but after a brief consolation, she hands me a depression screening to complete. The sad part was, I felt insulted and invalidated. I should have been more insulted by the glucose screening. My nutrition is impeccable!!! You see, I knew what I was experiencing was pretty normal and that I had a great support system and a bagful of healthy coping mechanisms. I used to be a therapist and knew the signs of depression. I noticed more tearfulness in myself but did a regular check-in. And she was being responsible with follow up. This is a midwife practice so she had never met me. And, heck, everyone should probably complete the screening.

My inventory came back under the score for concern but still a healthy eye-opener for me. Great reminders of necessary tips and tricks that I would have used with clients in my therapy days. So, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and peanut butter cookie (err, nutrition is mostly impeccable) and headed to the library, one of my favorite places to read, browse, and just spend some quiet time. I picked out a couple of books, one entitled, “Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting,” by Lucy Puryear. Actually a great read for anyone who is pregnant, because I know we are all feeling some version of WTF during any number of the changes.

I have pretty much plowed through the book in the last 12 hours and have tapped into some great reminders.

  1. Ask for Friggin Help. Man, I am bad at this. Even when I am trying to get better, I am still fairly abysmal. I have realized that I can ask for help from 2 people- my husband and my mom- but that is still not without the fear of feeling incapable and guilty. Time to let some of my Super Woman Complex go. Even when my mom gives me pep talks on letting go of some responsibilities, I usually say, “Yeah, you’re right,” but then secretly think, “Yeah. That’s not going to happen. I will find a way to do it all.”
  2. Stop feeling guilty about pampering myself a bit. Right now we are being ultra conservative with money. It’s all good. We want to make sure that we have everything we need for Lil Miss. But with aches and pains and not sleeping, a pedi would sure feel good right now. It’s cheaper than therapy, right??
  3. Start enjoying the fun part of prepping for a little one. Again, my mindset is so focused on getting the other ducks in a row right now- work more to work less later, and just wait until we see what gifts we get before setting up the nursery. Ugh. It’s simply stressing me out by waiting, and it’s taking away the fun of the process. I should be enjoying this time. Instead I am feeding my “what’s next” mentality.
  4. Finally, start sharing some of my thoughts and feelings a little more openly. Come on, B! That’s Therapy 101.

So with 77 days left until due date, it’s time to implement changes that will prep me for a calm state during birth and beyond. I am so grateful for all of the love and support in my life. While there will be hard days and times, there is so much more good to focus on.

Pound. Life Lesson.

Sunday Morning Breakfast

I am not quite sure there is anything that I love more than Sunday Morning breakfast. I don’t even know where this came from because I didn’t grow up with a Sunday Morning ritual or a certain affinity towards breakfast, but out of no where this has become my favorite thing to do out of the whole week. Monday through Saturday, I almost always have a smoothie for breakfast, which I LOVE! But the opportunity to take my time, enjoy my husband, enjoy the weather (if applicable), sip a cup of coffee (which I do not do Monday-Saturday), and savor a good meal is a great highlight for me.

Lately, I have been playing with pancakes. I make them from scratch and always use our Formula 1 Healthy Meal as a base, but today I was a little more adventurous and tried my hand at Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes. One Word. Incredible!

IMG_1498Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Pancakes

1/2 C Vanilla Formula 1 Healthy Meal

1/2 C Spelt Flour (that’s just what I used but I bet any healthy flour would be great)

1 C Plain non-fat Greek Yogurt

1 Tbs Lemon Juice

1 tsp Lemon Zest

1/2 C Blueberries

Mix the flour and Formula 1 together, then add the wet ingredients. Use 1/3 measuring c to pour pancakes into hot skillet. Made about 5. ENJOY!





Reflections from the Mat

My heart belongs to yoga. So many of my greatest insights and my personal self-acceptance have come from my mat. Today was no different. Since being pregnant, I have neglected my practice. Just your standard excuses- time, money, I’m tired, I’m not used to this new body… There’s never really a good reason because it’s your mat where the excuses need to be sorted.

Anywho. I returned to my favorite yoga studio with one of my favorite yoga teachers. Lately, I have been feeling really anxious to get to the finish line of the pregnancy. I have been missing what I was physically capable of prior to pregnancy. Walking up the stairs without losing my breath, climbing off of the couch without an ordeal, reaching, running without having to pee, sleeping on my belly, and of course, twisting and flipping my body in ways that make me feel strong and confident. I have been completely neglecting the total gratitude of being pregnant. It wasn’t but 8 months ago, I was lying on that same mat sending cosmic energy to my abdominal  area, praying for the capability to create and carry a baby. Now, one of my greatest dreams has come true and I am completely neglecting it, almost rejecting it. I am ignoring the strength and the constant challenges that my body is facing to be able to provide for and grow an entire new human being. So what if it’s a little taxed! It should be!

Who knows whether my enlightenment will stay with me throughout the home stretch or if pregnancy hormones will continue to wreak tyranny on my gratitude, but I am grateful for that moment. And today. That I have today to really stand in awe of moving slower, side-sleeping, and maybe even a little gasiness. My body is doing something WAY more important than a headstand.