…more like 4 days per week, but hey, I try… Most weeks I manage to go up to four days per week of eating healthy and keeping my cravings in place, but I confess that there are some weeks when I don’t even make it to three days without craving something sugary or fatty. As for the other two to three remaining days of the week, well, since recently I have become able to ingest some meat, I try and incorporate it into my diet because I feel that animal protein is important during pregnancy and my baby should not miss any nutrients because of my eating choices – this does not mean that I am a vegetarian or a vegan in my day-to-day normal non-pregnancy life, but usually I only eat meat once per week at best because of some digestive problems that I discovered a few years ago. That being said, as you can see I do not feel sick towards cheese hence I have to keep it under control as I do tend to over-indulge in all cheesy things. YES, I looooove cheese!!! It is the glue to my life, but I confess that cheese immediately travels on my beee-hind so no over-eating it for me!
I am the type of person that weights every single food that is on my plate, to the point where some might say that I have mental problems, but over time I have come to realise that this is the only way to know exactly what goes into my body and when. Before my pregnancy, I ate way less fruit and I think fruit is actually responsible for my weight gain so far – well, that and the fact that I am having three cheat days per week as opposed to 1 1\2 before. Since I am not allowed to go to the gym, I have to keep everything in check hence the 1200-1300 kcal per day and the abundance of small snacks (that are actually not so small). Before, I ate my last meal of the day at 5 p.m. and then off I was at the gym for two hours and by the time I got home there was absolutely no way I was prepping a meal, no, my only goal was to reach my bed as fast as possible, but now, I feel hunger striking as late as 9 or 10 in the evening so I always keep cucumbers at hand as they seem to not disturb my sleep much.
These photos represent my actual situation and they were taken on Tuesday. While I try and keep everything as easy as I can, both the calorie count as well as the food options depend on the actual season I find myself in. For example all of last summer I craved garden tomatoes and watermelon and I have to tell you, the amount of watermelon that I ate on a daily basis is somewhat illegal hence I did pack a bit more calories than this autumn menu provides. Now I am currently dreaming of iceberg salad and kiwis even though iceberg salad was never my favourite, on the contrary actually, I have always hated it, but now I absolutely love it. On Tuesday I did not have any cottage cheese at hand, but I have to tell you that I try and eat one serving (175 gr) of cottage cheese – try the lighter versions – just for the high protein levels it provides. While during the summer my menu was way redder than my autumn picks (this one is mostly green), I do try as much as possible to eat all the colours of the rainbow but I do tend to listen to what my body craves right now and apparently it wants green stuff.
I always try and have a healthy full breakfast and, if you look closely, this is the one meal that packs the most kcal as well as fibre and good fats and that is all thanks to the half avocado I eat daily no matter what. I always start my day with a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water because I have to tell you, catching a cold during pregnancy is the worst thing that can happen to you (no nose-drops hence lack of sleep and mental sanity) and this juice provides lots of vitamin C on a empty stomach. At first I started eating avocados because of the high cholesterol levels in my blood, but now, since that is sorted out, I eat it for the all-around benefit it provides. I like to eat it raw as dessert after I indulge in two hard-boiled egg whites – great source of protein – and one yoghurt – much needed calcium. I always have a cup of coffee and my usual choice is a Nespresso capsule. This quantity is fine during pregnancy and it gives me the much-needed energy throughout the day. Since I was never one to drink my coffee black I like to top it up with coconut milk – but no sugar for me because as you’ll in the nutritional analysis at the end of this post, I get a lot of sugar from the fruits throughout the day therefore I do no add sugar in anything.
Lunch is probably my favourite meal because it is both sweet and hot. I like to have a cup of tomato soup and most of the time I do not make it myself but buy it ready-made from the supermarket. I will try and make some more varieties of cream soups myself – I really want to try and make a mushroom soup for a while now – as I always love a good hot soup in the middle of the day. This is the only hot meal I eat throughout a normal day and I think it is very important to not skip cooked meals. For dessert I love to eat a big bowl (about 300 gr) of seedless grapes. These are the only grapes I like and I am always quite happy during autumn the moment D starts buying them for me.
For dinner I usually have some sort of leafy green salad with a dash of avocado oil and a bit of cheese. I think it is important to eat your leafy greens daily as they provide lots of iron and fibre while not packing virtually any kcal and definitely no fats or other nasty stuff. I know, it would be a lot better if I replaced the iceberg salad with baby spinach, but hey, cravings are cravings! I usually put no more than a teaspoon of avocado oil in it and about 40 gr of light white cheese (calcium and proteins), but normally I use a cup of cottage cheese (it is a lot healthier!). For dessert – it seems like I can’t have one meal without something sweet and that must be curtesy of the little lady growing inside me – I like to eat a Granny Smith apple. As with the grapes, I am very strict about my apples – I only like the Granny Smith type. The apple provides lots of fibres and vitamins and is very good for the baby.
I usually have two snacks per day and while you might think that they are evenly distributed, they are not! Both of them are after lunch and both of them contain cheese (did I mention I love cheese?). The first snack of the day consists in a cup of cherry tomatoes – I already miss summer’s garden tomatoes – about 20 gr of cheese and a kiwi fruit. Ever since I got a cold in August and could not really treat it with anything I try and ingest as much natural vitamin C as possible and therefore kiwi is a daily must!
The second snack usually comes later – at around 9:30 in the evening hence the reason it needs to be lighter than the other – and consists of two, maybe three cucumbers, 20 gr of cheese and a kiwi fruit. This snack does not disturb my sleep at all and it is quite satisfying thanks to all the water content of the cucumbers. Usually after this snack, both D and I go out to walk our doggie (here she is) for about 30 minutes and that’s all the exercise I get during the day.
Before being pregnant, I usually drank 5 l of water per day, but now my usual consumption comes at about 3,5-4 l daily. I always try and listen to my body where hydration is concerned and never try and force myself to drink more or less. The glass of lemon drink in the morning is included in this quantity. I think it is very important to drink lots of water throughout the day, but mainly I trust my body to tell me when and how much water I need.
That’s it, this is what I eat during the week, from Monday to Thursday and sometimes Friday (very rarely!) during my pregnancy. These eating habits haven’t changed much, besides the extra 200-300 kcal per day and a lot more fruit, but then again, I used to go to the gym daily for about two hours, so most of the weight gain is explained solely by that. On the remaining days of the week, I try and satisfy all my cravings (see here 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) as well as some other things that I never usually eat (yes, I had a bucket of KFC twice during this pregnancy – let the shaming begin!). All in all, I try and stay sane and eat whatever I like but mostly healthy, hence the 4-5/2-3 ratio. I find it a lot easier to stick to my diet for longer it we manage to do our shopping for the entire week on a Sunday. For some reason throwing food away does not sit well with me so I feel obliged to eat it. I feel lucky that my last month of pregnancy will be during Christmas as I am going to get big by then anyway and I will be able to indulge in all the Christmas goodies without feeling guilty or fat – yes tons of gingerbread and panettone included! But until then I am trying to not pack lots of kgs as I am well aware that this is not healthy for me nor for my baby.
Scroll down a bit more to see a full nutritional analysis of what I ate on Tuesday – vitamins and all – all curtesy of the new apple watch D got me and the lovely MyNetDiary app which is quite complete where nutrition is concerned.