real food and pregnancy: a day in the life

Food has gotten complicated in the last fifty years. Additives and chemicals and by-products have slipped into much of our food supply without notice and with a number of side effects that don’t seem to be working out well for our health. But however you eat, whatever you eat, whether you are vegan or vegetarian, into macrobiotic or into GAPS, into eating locally or organically or consider yourself a real foodie, I believe that the most important element of our food choices is consciousness. Putting some thought into what we eat and learning to listen and respond to our bodies is always a good idea.

I was a health-conscious eater before getting pregnant, and Peanut has only exacerbated the tendency. And yet there are still days when I am too tired to cook more than a bowl of ramen. This made me feel guilty at first. How could I eat such packaged crap that barely deserves the name “food”!?! How could I know what I know about packaged crap food and still eat it?! And while pregnant??!! But sometimes exhaustion wins out over perfect nutrition and just managing to get by is enough. When I realized that despite the occasional ramen lunch or frozen cannelloni dinner I eat pretty damn well, I managed to let go of that guilt. Perfectionism is over-rated.

As many of you have landed at Click Clack Gorilla through real food blogs, I wanted to have a conversation about real food and pregnancy and to share a fairly successful real food day in the life. A warning and an apology to all my vegan and vegetarian readers—this post contains a lot of dairy and meat—though I have to admit it’s not emblematic of my eating habits at the moment, but rather during my second trimester. These days I only find myself craving meat once or twice a week, and instead have been chugging milk like I’m getting paid for it. I generally feel my best when I’m eating heaps of vegetables, both raw and cooked, and I seem to be back in that pattern now.

keeping it real: pregnant and hungry

Breakfast: Oats, sunflower seeds, and grapes in raw milk, with a glass of raw milk on the side. (Now in the third trimester, I’m up to a liter of milk a day. Whoa.) Real food faux pa: Hardcore raw foodies soak (or sprout) grains before eating, if they don’t cut them out of their diets completely, because of the phytates and enzyme inhibitors present in them. Soaking grains (and legumes) beforehand is said to maximize their nutritional value. With variations in the fruit, this is my staple breakfast.

Lunch: This is one of my favorite “fast food” meals: Savoy cabbage, bacon, and eggs, all cooked in bacon fat with a little butter. During my second trimester I craved meat constantly, and I satisfied the urge, more often than not, with bacon, it being so quick and easy to prepare.

Late afternoon snack: I love onions. I love them so much that I have one tattooed on my leg. And I love this variation on spring onions best of all, when it comes to a side dish or an afternoon snack. Preparation is easy: cut off onion roots and any dead leaves, place them in a hot pan with a thick layer of olive oil, brown them, add a few splashes of water and brown them some more. Sprinkle in a bit of salt and pepper to taste and mmmmmmmm.

Dinner: After onions, savoy cabbage may be my favorite vegetable. Beside it I have an ear of corn and a salmon filet baked beneath a heap of onions, butter, garlic, and a dash of soy sauce. (Though I believe soy sauce is probably another real food faux pa.)

And a cob snail for dessert. :)

What have your pregnancy diets looked like? Any easy real food suggestions for the expecting?

This post was featured on Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Real Food 101 at Ruth’s Real Food, Make Your Own! Monday at Nourishing Treasures, Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager, Healthy 2Day at the Humbled Homemaker, and Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

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Monday January 16th 2012, 9:00 am 13 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,food

13 Comments so far. Please leave a comment.

I have never been pregnant, and I’m not planning on it (getting a bit late anyway, me being 42 now), but you might find my blog funny where I post pictures of my (mostly rdiculouly healthy and all-organic) breakfasts: http://www.my-daily-breakfast.com (I’m planning to make a film out of the pictures in summer ;-)

Comment by Sascha 01.16.12 @ 10:25 am

Sascha: Oh my god those pictures are beautiful! I’m sitting here eating my fruit-and-oats breakfast and feeling like it looks like a pile in rags next to a silk ball gown in comparison. I am not huge on aestetics when I prepare food, but damn, look at those purdy plates! Love it.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 01.16.12 @ 11:01 am

Oh. Thank you! :-) It’s all meant to be a joke, really; the taking pictures I mean. I admit that appearances matter to me, though. Comes with the job I suppose (or vice versa ;-)

Comment by Sascha 01.16.12 @ 6:45 pm

I was trying to be good while preggo and eat balnced meals- as I usually do too but I (for the only time in my live) craved beer. So started a quest for the best (read best liked by me) Non-alcoholic beer in Germany. I think I was longing for the bitterness of the hops becasue I ended up seteling on Jever. However by the time my second pregnancy rolled around I was in the us of A and they had no alc free Jever :-(
By now we brew our own beer and have giant hop plants in the backyard :-) as well as ambitous plans on extending our vegie gardens
Oh and the whole birth/parenting thing…I allways figured that woman have done this since the beginning of time and so could I
Don’t let anyone stress you! out enjoy all those miracles that’ll come your way

Comment by Astrid 01.17.12 @ 3:39 am

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was SUCH a healthy eater. Once the nausea set in, I hardly ate at all. I lost a few pounds and got down to a not-healthy 108 pounds. Finally, when my appetite returned, all bets were off. I avoided really nasty things like McDonald’s and such, but I ate whatever I wanted. Haha, so much that I gained over 50 pounds and ended up over 170 lbs. By the end of it, I was able to eat two or even three times what I ate before getting pregnant. I was probably consuming 3,000 calories a day. I think it’s different for everyone – you just have to go with it and be as healthy as you can! LUCKILY, I lost all the baby weight by four months postpartum. Whew.

Comment by Lauren 01.17.12 @ 8:38 am

Astrid: MMmmm, alcohol-free beer. My personal favorite is Erdinger alcohol-free weizen beer.

Lauren: Oh man the nausea. Every time that I think something happening now is annoying, I think of that and think “well this isn’t so bad.” I lost weight during the first three months from all the puking too. Ech. I tried to eat, but it wasn’t much use. I didn’t even really think about healthy eating at that point (besides sometimes taking a folate tablet that I would usually then proceed to throw up), no point until it stopped. I’m not really changing my diet much because of the pregnancy (though I’ve been re-incorporating meat into my diet, but that started pre-pregnancy), having realized that I was a pretty healthy eater before. Just try to stay away from too much white sugars. Hard to do as the Beard is a sugar junkie and always seems to be munching on a chocolate bar next to me in bed… :)

Comment by clickclackgorilla 01.17.12 @ 11:00 am

I think you’re doing a great job! Of course this is coming from a woman who ate peanut butter pie at least once a week during her first pregnancy and once was unable to keep herself from eating raw stew meat. The full-time nausea through the next one actually caused me to make BETTER food choices. but since both boys are now taller than me and healthy as horses I guess I did okay ;)

Comment by Angie 01.18.12 @ 3:54 pm

Awesome food pictures! Have you had any food aversions? We eat pretty traditional foods, but I couldn’t stomach eggs for my first trimester (right when my chickens started laying too! Bummer!). Hope you’re feeling great, and congrats!

Comment by Danielle 01.18.12 @ 5:11 pm

Angie: Well thanks. And you have just given me a craving for peanut butter pie, and I don’t even know what that is. :) Raw meat? That’s kind of hilarious. I used to steal raw hamburger from the counter when my mom wasn’t looking when I was a kid. But haven’t had any cravings for that. Although, strike that, I have had a number of sushi cravings, if that counts.

Danielle: Bummer about the eggs. I haven’t really had any food aversions… Although, wait. I went on tour with my band for ten days at the very beginning of my pregnancy and the puking, and as we play country music, EVERY show organizer got it in his/her head to feed us beans and chili, which not only totally fucked with my already fragile stomach, but kept me from being able to even look at chili or beans again for another three or so months. Haven’t had any weird cravings either.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 01.19.12 @ 1:23 pm

Looks like a pretty reasonable day of eating! I’m another mostly-healthy eater who takes guilty pleasure in ramen. I actually ate more ramen than normal during pregnancy because I had very LOW blood pressure, to the point that I was fainting and having dizzy spells; the salt, plus the extra water I drank because of it, was good for me.

Although I love the taste of bacon, I eat it only once in a while because of the preservatives, which are linked to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. We don’t eat meat other than fish at home, and I didn’t have meat cravings until the final month of pregnancy, but at that point I began going a couple times a week to a local steak sandwich place where you can see them slice and cook the meat and it’s all very clean. I read that having dairy with meat inhibits iron absorption and having citrus increases it, so I would pick up a bottle of orange juice at the nearby store (sandwich place only sells soda!) and get no cheese on my sandwich…but plenty of onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes!

Check out my Lentil Rice recipe–perfect for easy, affordable, high-iron, high-fiber meals to counteract the calorie drain of breastfeeding! And it has several flavor variations.

Happy gestating! I haven’t seen your site before; I am going to check out some more of it.

Comment by 'Becca 01.19.12 @ 8:57 pm

OMG your food looks so yummy!!! and those grapes are HUGE!!! and the bacon… and the salmon and oooh and and and… peanut butter pie!!! such a thing exists… god its no wonder I’m a chub chub lol!

Comment by Eyecon 01.20.12 @ 6:25 pm

I am not pregnant yet, so I have no idea what one should eat while expecting. Your food day sounds great and super healthy, though! Good for you. Have a wonderful weekend.

Comment by Malisa 01.21.12 @ 9:14 pm

Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

Comment by Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures 01.23.12 @ 4:43 am




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