Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest blogger post: "Healthy Eating for Expectant Moms"

I was recently approached by fellow blogger Katie Moore, who wanted to submit an article to be posted on my blog...
Even though I had considered guests posts in the past, I had never gotten around to actually doing it so this was a great opportunity to start...
Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

Thank you, Katie for showing an interest in my blog and for lending your article to be published on "Stories of a Happy Mom"...

Healthy Eating for Expectant Moms

Before my pregnancy, I never gave too much thought to health and wellness. I was young and in good health, so I figured I was one of those lucky people who could eat whatever they wanted without gaining weight or developing any health problems. However, when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I had to stop taking such risks with my health, both for my sake and my baby's. I started becoming increasingly aware of what I was putting into my body and I knew I had to make a change.

My pre-pregnancy diet was decent but also consisted of fast food, caffeinated, sugary beverages, processed snacks, and frozen meals. Upon closer inspection of these foods, I realized they were not only full of fat, calories, sodium and potentially harmful chemicals, but they were also completely devoid of any real nutrition. Although I didn't know a lot about prenatal nutrition, I did know that I could not, in good conscience, continue to eat these foods during pregnancy. My baby was completely dependent on me and I knew I had to make smarter, healthier choices. 

Making Diet Changes
With my doctor's help, I
formulated a meal plan. The processed, fatty and sugary foods had to go. In their place, I stocked my kitchen with fresh, all-natural foods. I traded starchy carbohydrates for whole grains, which boosted my energy and body function without causing spikes in blood sugar. Since my mother had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, I knew whole grains and a low-sugar diet were especially important.

Instead of relying on fast food lunches and dinners, I began preparing my meals at home. I traded burgers and fries for green salads topped with grilled chicken or fish, and vending machine snacks for trail mix or fresh fruit. The change I felt was almost immediate. Instead of that mid-afternoon sluggishness I'd always experienced, I started feeling energetic and alert all day long. My performance at work improved, as did my overall attitude and mood.

Before I got pregnant, I was always a big meat-eater. However, once I researched healthy protein options, I decided to cut back on the meat and stock up on beans, nuts, legumes and seeds. These sources of protein have all the benefits of meat, but without the calories, sodium and cholesterol. 

Don’t Forget Your Liquids
Since caffeine isn't recommended during pregnancy, I gave up coffee, tea and soda in favor of water, juice and decaffeinated green tea. To my surprise, my energy levels didn't suffer at all. With all the vitamin-rich foods I'd been eating, I felt better than I ever had. The extra water also helped ensure healthy amniotic fluid levels, as well as increased blood flow to my baby.  
With the help of your doctor and strong willpower, any expecting mother can make big, positive changes in her life that will benefit baby and herself. Speak to your doctor about exercise recommendations as well as become educated on signs of labor, delivery options, and post-delivery choices like cord blood banking. Starting your baby’s life off in the healthiest way possible will make you and baby happy and healthy. 

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