Fit (Breastfeeding) Momma Nutrition Plan

Hey Moms!

I’m super flattered by all of the questions about pre and post natal nutrition. Remember, I’m not a doctor and not nutritionist, I’m an Herbalife health coach and a healthy momma with results. So with that, I am happy to share my current “shred” (LOL) plan!

One of the biggest myths out there is that you can’t exercise or try to lose weight while breastfeeding. That is 100% false. What you don’t want to do is consume less calories than your metabolism (the calories that support your day to day functioning). I used this awesome calorie calculator for breastfeeding moms. If you don’t eat enough one of two things will happen: 1) Your milk supply will dry up, 2) You won’t lose weight.

My initial struggle was eating enough clean foods. I was coming up about 300 calories short each day, by focusing on 3 meals and 2 snacks. So what has become easier for me is focusing on the six small meals. It doesn’t really matter what you call it as long as you get those in.

**note** On Mexican or pizza night, 2 shakes, and 2 snacks + your indulgent plate of heaven will suffice.

I eat every 2-3 hours and drink water all day. Here’s a little sample:

Meal 1: Hot oatmeal with 2 scoops of Herbalife Formula 1, 1/2C of berries, Herbalife hot Green Tea, and warm water with lemon (this meal pretty much NEVER changes because it has everything I need, it’s warm, it’s easy, and keeps me full. Come Spring/Summer this will probably be a shake, but in the winter I like a warm breakfast).

Meal 2: 2-3 Egg whites, rice cake and some berries -OR- if I worked out I will have a Rebuild Strength and a banana

Meal 3: Shake! Herbalife Formula 1 with 2 scoops of Protein Drink Mix and Prolessa Duo

Meal 4: Garden salad with spinach, romaine, carrots, tomato, tuna and vinaigrette dressing and tea

Meal 5: Chicken, sweet potato and garden salad or other vegetable

Meal 6: Beverage Mix and Active Fiber Complex

Fit Momma Flyer.001I currently workout 2-4x per week, consisting of one 90-minute Vinyasa yoga class, one intense athletic workout, one Fit Momma Camp and then potentially 1 more of any of the previous (but let’s be honest… that’s actually rare).

Additional Vitamins and Supplements that I take:

Cellular Nutrition

Weight Management

Heart Health, Brain Development and Joints

Probiotics and Immune Health

Bones and Calcium for Breastfeeding

Sore muscles from working out, shoulders and back from breastfeeding, and recovering hips from labor

I think the name says it all…

(This program may not be for everyone but I feel AMAZING, even on 6 broken hours of sleep).

The moral of the story is that you can be a FIT MOMMA! With support, nutrient-dense foods, and the right tools!

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Lyla’s Birth Story: 27 Hour Natural Labor and Delivery

I feel the need to preface this by saying, I am in complete support of any amazing heroin that informs herself of her birth options, cares for and nurtures her baby in utero, and makes the best decision for the safety and health of her and the baby. 

This is simply our story.

Everything about pregnancy was different than I imagined. My whole life I have been in awe of pregnancy and babies. I thought it was simply beautiful and empowering. But from the moment I became pregnant, it was somehow just different than what I anticipated for myself. I suppose it is safe to say that that feeling carried on to the very end. Even though my pregnancy was less fun than in my dreams, I was quite certain that I would get through the labor and delivery part with a fair amount of ease. I was strong. I do yoga. Oh how naive…

Long before getting pregnant, I knew that I would want to give birth at our local birth center. It felt much more inline with my beliefs about women, health, and birth. I get that it might not be for everyone, but there are multiple reasons why it was the best choice for me. Some of my reasons are simple: I don’t like hospitals, have never been a fan of going to the doctor, and have fairly poor reactions to medication; I am a wellness professional and always prefer preventive medicine. Others might be more complicated: my core values are about women’s empowerment and I believe that women have been equipped to deliver babies naturally, forever. I also wanted my sweet infant to have the most healthful “welcome to the world experience” that she could, and again, for me, that’s drug-free. It was a simple choice to deliver there and my care throughout was great!

At 39 weeks, 1 day, I began experiencing labor contractions at about 11:45pm on Thursday, October 24. I had three intense contractions about 5 minutes apart when I woke my husband and told him to started timing. About two minutes later, my water broke. We called the midwife and she instructed that we continue to labor at home, try to get some rest and call back when the contractions picked up to every four minutes, lasting a minute, and to the point where I was not able to talk through them. That took about all of two minutes. They began to pick up in time and intensity. Some were coming every four minutes, others were coming every two minutes, all lasting about 45 seconds to over a minute and a half. We called back about 45 minutes later and she encouraged us to come in. So we packed up the car and I began to prepare myself mentally for what was about to happen. I don’t think there is any amount of mental preparation that could have equipped me for what was ahead.

We arrived at the birth center somewhere around 2am (all of my times could be completely off but these are the best of my recollection to give some point of reference). I measured in at 1cm. Ugh. The contractions were still intense and frequent enough where I didn’t see myself getting sleep so we just turned on some meditation music and chilled. In that time, I labored on a birthing ball both in the shower and out. Somewhere around 5ish, measuring at 1.5cm, the midwife asked if I would like a small dose of morphine just to help me sleep. She encouraged that I had a long process ahead of me (most first births average 12-24 hours) and I needed rest. I asked to delay it an hour to see if any progress would be made. I really believed that I would be a woman that would hit some speed and pop this kiddo out. An hour later at 2cm, I took the morphine and took a nap. Nearly 3 plus hours later, in a morphine hangover, I was only at 3 cm.

I was still incredibly hopeful. Bummed, but hopeful, thinking at any moment it was going to pick up. No problem. One of the birth center perks is that you can eat and drink as frequently as you want, so I nibbled on my groaning cakes, Formula 1 shakes, and H30. My contractions remained inconsistent. They continued to go back and forth between every 2-4 minutes, lasting 1-3+ minutes. It was getting exhausting to cope with the pain. In the beginning I was grabbing my husband’s hand and squeezing tightly, but soon learned that I had to conserve that energy. By mid-afternoon, I was coping with a gentle moan. I continued to labor trying different things- walking outside, another shower, side-lying. The contractions were moving from back to front and back again. We determined that my lil munchkin was posterior (aka, sunny side-up or her back to my back). This was causing the intense back labor that literally felt like my tailbone was going to break in half. The tricky part about all of the changing contractions was learning how to cope with the new pain. Just as soon as there would be some sort of pattern in time or location and I could hone in on, then it would change.

Now I was really starting to get worn down. 15 hours + and I was starting to feel lost. I was praying and encouraged my team to do so to whatever they believed. I wasn’t sure why this was happening to me or what the outcome would be. I was starting to lose some faith, but still held on that at any moment, I would be a ten and then surely, it would be an easy push.

At this point, I started a homeopathic regimen to increase energy and something else ( I think to manage the pain). I climbed in the tub and labored there. My mom and Chuck were there and we had the best nurse keeping us company. The problem was, the contractions slowed way down. A welcomed break for me but dismay for the midwives and our goal of progression. So now they wanted to try an herb cocktail that would both speed up and intensify the contractions. I was game. It worked. Dreadfully. Besides tasting like the nastiest version of absinthe, I was in so much pain and my contractions were lasting 3 minutes! I was so exhausted from the pain and only dilating at a 7.

This is the low point in the process. I began to ask about my options because I had started to lose my mind. I was so tired, I was becoming delirious. I felt an out-of-body experience. The scariest thoughts I had ever had started to come into my head: I truly think I may die. I have gotten myself pregnant, and I absolutely have no clue how to get this baby out. That might sound crazy to you because some of you might be thinking, “Just go to the frickin hospital, get a c-section” and while I was asking about what a hospital transfer would look like, I had two different thoughts: 1) I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. I’VE COME SO FAR! 2) I don’t even have the energy to go to the hospital… to pack up, change scenes, get checked in, get a late stage, heavy duty epidural and still continue to labor for God knows how long. I will probably die in the meantime. In my head, hospitalization truly meant there was something wrong, because prior to labor, I had processed the potential of having to go to the hospital and to me that meant that my baby and I were at serious risk and in that case, I accepted that doing whatever necessary for the safety of us would be ok. But, I never believed that I would come remotely close to having to make that decision. And in my state of delirium, at that moment, it equivocated death. Dramatic, maybe? But I knew that given the length of my labor, my water already broken, and a late-stage epidural would mean an even longer labor, and with the great amount of birth stories I have heard, knew that I would end in a cesarian. Again, I have no judgment for anyone that has gone that route, whether elected or not, it simply was the opposite of my birth plan.

What kept me rational were our vitals. They were checked frequently (like every 10-15 minutes) and both me and the baby were stable. I looked to my team for guidance and while my mom and my husband both looked scared (probably from seeing me in such distress) no one was pressing for me to go to the hospital. The birth team continued to give me options. The director of the birth center was called in for a consult and my birth team seemed very optimistic that if I didn’t want to be transferred that I could continue on.

So I did. I ended up resting on the toilet, facing the back with my head propped on pillows. After I got off, I was recommitted. I started another round of herbs, drinking more H30 and pressed on. My cervix continued to inch along, but would not wear through. At some points there was talk about scarred cervical tissue from a LEEP procedure I had 10 years ago, but I am not sure if that was the ending culprit or not. My munchkin also couldn’t make up her mind as to her position. She kept turning her head and going from her side to her back, she had a hand up by her head, changing the contractions. Many variables played into this labor process and we never hit the ground running.

FINALLY, around 10pm, after manual assistance (immensely painful manual assistance) of getting the last piece of cervix out of the way, we hit a 10 and I could PUSH! My hope returned and again, I asked the whole room to pray that this is where it would get easy! An average push for first babies was 90-120 minutes. I could totally do this!!

But just like the entire labor, this proved to be more challenging than expected. My contractions continued to space apart up to 5 minutes, probably losing ground. They were so intense in the back that it made pushing a challenge. My birth team now consisted of my mom and husband, the main midwife on duty, the nurse on duty, the midwife director of the center, and the back-up midwife!! Every single one of them was in the room supporting me. We changed positions several times, someone helping with two legs or supporting me on each side while I squat, manual assistance opening my cervix, someone massaging me through the contractions, someone else feeding me water, maybe another wiping sweat.

FInally we could see the head, which they pulled out a mirror for me to see, giving me determination. As long as I could focus on my baby and the progress, we had a visible goal, and I was committed. Several pushes and 4 hours later, my most precious baby girl arrived on my belly and WE DID IT. The only feeling I can describe at that point was relief. I don’t think I had tears or euphoria (maybe I did), just utter relief. It was over. We were alive.

I am sure that anyone that knows the story will immediately wonder if I regret my decision of the birth center and my answer is 100% NO. If there was any possible way that I would have known that that would be my experience, would I have opted differently? Maybe. And I say maybe simply for the thoughts that passed through my mind were the most scared I have ever been in my entire life. But then when I think about the incredible support that I had, I am completely blown away. It brings tears to my eyes to know of the roomful of committed people that were there for our success.

Prior to the labor, I never dreamed that I would stop at 1 baby, but I said several times throughout the 27 hours that this very likely would be the only one. I was reassured about the amnesia that would accompany the baby, but I thought that there was no way that I would forget this. I was traumatized. Amnesia was for the 8-18 hour labors. Probably for the epidural labors. Not for the agony that I endured. But it’s funny, being home, feeling healthy, recovering without complications (not even stitches or hemorrhoids) and having the most beautiful, healthy, precious angel makes it all worth it. Processing the experience with friends and family and through writing has given me so much perspective and taught me great life lessons on patience and faith. I’m sure she will have a sibling at some point. And more than likely, I will opt for the same birth plan. Because in the end, it’s all about surrounding yourself with people that make you feel strong, loved, and positive. And I am not sure I have ever felt more of that than I do right now.

Pregnancy Must Reads

Like I’ve mentioned, I’m an avid reader and researcher. I love finding out as much information on one topic as possible, taking what applies to me to find the best formula. I’ve read, flipped through and scoured books, and searched blogs and reviews.  These were my favorite reads during pregnancy to help me navigate everything from symptoms to moods to baby gear and most important, parenting.

Favorite Blogs and Websites

Baby Center: This was my favorite go-to for the week-by-week fetal growth and progression. There are many but this is the one that I chose. I also found it the most helpful for community questions and reviews. It was just easiest to scroll through and navigate. There are also some decent less biased articles for your basic baby info, like sleeping, nutrition, pregnancy symptoms, etc.

Fit Pregnancy: The meat of this website is less substantial, but I enjoy the health perspective. There are simple exercise routines, easy recipe ideas, and sometimes their product reviews are good. It gave me a framework to go from.

Dear Baby Blog: I didn’t get into this until late in pregnancy but enjoyed this light read. The writer is local, so the Raleigh references are fun. Her writing is very poetic and makes a great read to relax before bed. Her perspective is romantic and whimsical but also centered and grateful for the moment.

Amazon: I was never an amazon junkie before getting pregnant but since fell in love. You can’t beat the prices or selection. The reviews are abundant (and usually pretty inline with the rest of the reviews out there when you cross compare), and for a busy mom-to-be like me, I simply didn’t have time to drive all over town to research products and selection (which seems pretty poor where I live) and I refuse to settle on quality, especially when it comes to products made with harsh or dangerous ingredients. My registry was held exclusively on Amazon.

Favorite Books

Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: This book by Chopra was much more my “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” It’s a holistic guide to pregnancy with a very non-scary, non-threatening, and non-judgmental voice. It has practical advice for yoga postures and exercising, as well as communication with your partner, and preparing for birth. The only portion that I didn’t completely connect with was the nutrition, but even that section was wonderful at illustrating, eat a variety of whole, nutritious foods and if you have the occasional craving, satisfy it. Zero guilt. Loved it. Probably the best part of the book was about centering yourself body, mind, and soul and visualizing your pregnancy, birth, and beyond. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in pinterest, comparisons, and worries. This book helps to keep your grounded.

Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting: I referenced this book in an earlier post and just really appreciated it. I know that I am not the only mom that was impacted emotionally by all of the physical changes in my body- lack of sleep, inability to complete daily tasks like I once could, having to cut back on work, and the stinkin preggo brain that just makes me feel like I am losing my mind, not to mention the cluster of hormones. All of the symptoms really made me feel less empowered, not more. This book was just a fantastic reminder of validating what’s “normal” and what might constitute the need for a little more help. The encouragement of seeking support and the guidance to create a post-natal plan (genius) were immensely helpful at calming my mind and relinquishing control.

Bringing Up Bebe: I loved this alternative perspective by Pamela Druckerman. This book was a comparison between the American and Parisian cultures on raising newborns. Now, while this book was completely generalizing the two cultures and looking at the masses, not breaking down different parenting styles, it was a general overview, which I preferred. I am not a one-size fits all, follow this manual step-by-step, subscribe to this parenting style completely, kinda woman. I never have been. So similarly, I didn’t subscribe to everything in this book (i.e breastfeeding, or lack thereof), but what I did like was her take on learning how to become in tune with your baby so that you aren’t looking to a book to read his/her emotions, and being fully attentive to your child, when appropriate. I am a big believer that this is how to get your baby to sleep and behave through toddler years, which this book is advocating. Now, I am still a naive pregnant person, so we may revise this after Baby L gets here.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: I know, I know. I just about lost ALL credibility by listing this one. And for the most part, I hated it (to be totally honest, I didn’t even finish it), but the only section that I really liked was the nutrition. For a junkie like me, it was great to see which essential vitamins you need to bump up in your diet. I hear there is just a nutrition version, which may be more beneficial to check out. But I cannot stress the importance of good nutrition while you’re expecting. I completely give all credit to my nutrition and health (before and during pregnancy) for the abundance of sweet compliments I have received.

The Book of Nurturing: This book isn’t a pregnancy book per se, but much more of a personal development read in regards to family and parenting. Again, this helps to keep life into perspective beyond sore nipples and exhaustion from sleep schedules. It helps you to be in tune with your family, keep communication open, love, protect, and nurture, but know when to let go and let growth happen. I think these principles are so key for new parents to remember so your start good habits early.

Other Good Reads

SleepI read a number of books on sleep including Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karpp. The most humorous part about all three of these reads were how redundant they were. They were definitely written with sleep-deprived parents in mind reiterating the same principles. I initially found it annoying but could appreciate the tactics and began to skim through them. The techniques in Happiest Baby were helpful and I appreciated the principles in No-Cry Sleep Solution. Having a toolbox of tricks is essential, but I am a big believer of going into this with a rough draft and a lot of room to edit your plan.

Breastfeeding: I really enjoyed So That’s What They’re For, by Janet Tamaro. It was well-writtten and very funny (but not in the brash humor that so many pregnancy and parenting books are written in these days). This book would have made my Top Reads list until I went to my breastfeeding class and realized how much this book frightened me with the long list of what-could-go-wrongs.  My class seemed to simplify things more and return the confidence that I think you need to get the job done. However, still highly recommended for any mom that is wavering a bit about breastfeeding, or with no breastfeeding mentor (my mom didn’t breastfeed), simply to strengthen your conviction in the health benefits for your child.

Vaccines:  Touchy subject, I know. But with all of the hype out there, you owe it to yourself to be equipped. I thought my opinion on this topic was one way, went through it very confused, and came out with a better, more confident decision. An unbiased book that just gives you the facts is The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I often found myself just wanting the author to tell me what to do but after careful reading, note-taking, and conversations with my husband, we are on the same page. It might be more homework than you want to do, but again, with the controversy, you might just want to feel as educated as you can so if anything arises, you felt you made the best decision possible.

At the end of the day, or your pregnancy, you may not be a big reader. That may work for you. But I think the goal of every parent is to become better everyday. Work on yourself, your relationships, communication, and your ability to be open and learn along the way. Maybe that’s through books for some and mentors for others. But knowing that we are all going to make mistakes and learn from each one of them will make us all a little bit better and hopefully let go of some of this infamous parent guilt.

Body After Baby and Why I am Getting in the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE

If you have read any of my recent posts, you may already be familiar that I have not been one of those women who have adored pregnancy. I wanted to be. Really I did. I thought I would be. And I have my moments, like when she is moving around, that I think this is pretty, freakin cool. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bond and connect with her before she arrives. But at the end of the day, you could say, I’m Over Being Pregnant.

I have been a long time advocate and professional in women’s health. I am all about empowering women through health and wellness. How we portray that can be tricky. When you slam pictures up on the internet, it can easily be taken two ways: motivating for some and self-depricating for others, usually more of the latter, especially if we don’t know where or how to start. Approaching health and fitness for women has to be done with care and precaution. I never want to alienate anyone… especially a new mom. We are going through enough as it is.

However, I will be quite clear: I don’t buy into women’s (or anyone’s) excuses to be overweight. Yes, genetics plays a role in our size. No, we do not all need to be a size 6 or smaller. However, embracing obesity (defined by the CDC as 30 lbs overweight or more) is unacceptable to me. When you embrace obesity, you are actually hurting yourself, your culture, and your gender. The health problems associated with obesity are insurmountable and this is the first generation where parents are predicted to outlive their children. NO THANK YOU!! When we embrace being overweight, we excuse ourselves from changing and that’s the message that we pass on to our children.

I don’t always vocalize this opinion loudly, because while obesity runs in my family (and I have lost family members to obesity), I, myself have never been obese. Even when I was carrying my extra weight, I was still in a healthy BMI and weight. So, I am fully aware that my statement above may seem like I lack empathy, but it lacks no more empathy than if I were to be ok with the other side of my family getting away with alcoholism because they are Irish.

For me, pregnancy has been very eye opening as to what carrying extra weight is like. While, I know I am growing a baby (which is awesome), it is still extra weight on my body. At my last weigh-in I had gained 29 lbs in 7 months and I weigh more than I ever have. That’s a lot of new weight for my body to adjust to. So, it’s no wonder that I have been tired, stiff, achy joints and muscles, back pain, hip pain, and S L O W. I actually have to contemplate things like how to get off of the couch, how to tie my shoes, or climb a few flights of stairs.

So here is why I have decided that I vow to get into the BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE: Because I refuse to live my life that way. I refuse for my daughter to grow up with a mom that can’t run and play with her. I have taken advantage of my health many times. As a child, I was small, weak and unathletic. It didn’t bother me because I was skinny. Then in college, I started to work out. I felt stronger. I was no longer the weakling and I liked it. Working out empowered me. Then I became very comfortable with a maintenance level. Maybe we call it complacency, or maybe we just call it a shift in priorities at the time. My health and weight were good. I worked out. I was content. But now, after a glimpse of a life that is slower, more lethargic, heavier, I don’t want to take advantage of my opportunity to be in my best shape possible. I want to be the best me, not just for me, but for my daughter; for my family.

The life that I envision for my family is active! It includes Sunday hikes with the dogs, surfing and adventure sports, walking through cities as we explore, running and chasing each other at the park, Family 5Ks, lots of lessons in nutrition and cooking healthy foods together, and endurance through the days.

So if my body changes after this awesome baby or the next one through stretch marks or sagging boobs, so be it. But I refuse to excuse the baby weight and let it slow me down. Because the extra weight that we carry isn’t just in our bodies, it’s in our minds. And I have way too many other important things to worry about than my own self-guilt or body image. It’s just not worth it.

Let’s Document the Journey… Stay tuned…

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Favorite Smoothies… YUM!

I see so many smoothie recipes out there these days. It’s a popular, yet sensible thing to do. Grind all of your goodness up and take it on the go. I love it! The one ingredient that many people neglect in a smoothie is the protein. A key element! There is a lot of debate out there on how much protein one needs. Most experts will agree that 10-35% percent of our daily calories should come from protein, but that is a pretty big margin. How do you determine if you are ok at 10 or should be getting closer to 35? Protein does 3 things for the body:

  1. Boosts Your metabolism
  2. Helps with appetite control
  3. Assists in building lean muscle

So essentially if you are looking to burn fat, lose weight, or build muscle then you probably should be hitting the higher end of that recommendation.

The other concern with smoothies is that often times they have too many calories and too much sugar for the average American. So even if you are putting yummy, nutritional goodness into your smoothie, you must be careful that you haven’t built yourself a 700 calorie breakfast (unless you are trying to gain weight), or doused yourself in sugars (which will turn to fat).

Here are a couple of my absolute FAVORITE Healthy, High Protein, Calorie/Sugar Controlled Smoothies. In each smoothie, I start off with one serving of Herbalife Formula 1. It is a Healthy Meal, complete with heart-healthy veggie protein, fiber, and 19 essential vitamins and minerals. From there, every additional ingredient is bonus healthy!

Pumpkin SpicePumpkin-smoothie2

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Blueberry-Kale Mega Antioxidant

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Banana Bread

Sweet Heaven

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Maternity Shoot

Before becoming pregnant, I looked at pregnancy as something magical. I was adamant that women should be Gods in our society. Superheroes! I mean growing another human being is as close to superhero power that we were going to get. And then I became pregnant and I felt more like a sacrificial lamb. There was nothing super about me. I was slower, weaker, tired, stripped of my memory and quick processing. I would cry on a dime. It felt more like someone zapped me of my superpowerism. I thought that I would love being pregnant and be able to take the negative side effects with the emotional and spiritual connection that I am doing something so much greater and bigger. Not so much. Turns out I really like being articulate and having endurance.

With that said, my husband repeatedly asked me if I wanted to get maternity photos done and I repeatedly said, no. I did not feel beautiful and confident. And as much as I thought I would regret it, I had no interest in recording this pregnancy. I wanted to get through it and get to the part of enjoying our amazing little girl and the adventures of parenthood.

But after his last plea, with a sweet look in his eye and his endearing words of how beautiful he thought that I was, and then his boy-like disappointment when I again said no, I decided to reconsider. For him. He has been such a martyr, dealing with demands, emotions, and most appreciated, picking up the slack wherever I may drop it. He deserved this.

So I called on our favorite photographer and arranged for a surprise maternity shoot that I could give him for his birthday.  I scheduled a hair appointment with one of my best friends, put on some makeup and sucked it up.

Now I can say that I am so grateful to my husband for his persistence and reverie of me and this baby. On that day, I truly felt beautiful. Maybe not superhero, but angelic. And we will get to share these photos with our sweet baby girl as she asks about what it was like when mommy was pregnant. So Happy Birthday to my amazing husband and Thank You for your gift in return- your love and belief in me.

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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!