I’m pausing in between housework and managing the kidlets to give an update on the pregnancy, which I haven’t talked about for awhile.
I’m beginning my third trimester. The weight gain so far has been about 20 pounds (yes, I know I wasn’t going to step on a scale during the pregnancy, but I realized that is not realistic or responsible, at least for me), which is more than I’d like but 15 of those occurred in the bleak, bleak, nauseating non-vegetable days of my first trimester. I’d like to keep my weight gain in check for the remainder of the pregnancy while ensuring that my body and baby are getting all the nutrients we need, especially since the baby will be gaining 5 or 6 pounds in the next three months.
So…I’m recommitting myself to eating the way I used to, before I was pregnant–lots of fresh and cooked veggies, nothing refined, and healthy sweets and flour products (bread, I LOVE bread!) only on special occasions. I have to admit once you stop paying attention, it’s easy to let higher calorie foods (bread, muffins, sweets, Cliff bars, ect.) creep in and crowd out the more nutritious, lower calories veggies and making weight gain pretty effortless. Of course I want the baby to gain weight, but I have no desire to add to my own fat stores, which have clearly not been neglected.
I feel a bit more tired now that I’m in third trimester, so I try to get more sleep each night. At night I mostly want to lay around and watch movies (just watched Legends of Fall last night, oh, the tragedy, I think I cried for 3/4 of the movie!) or read books (right now I’m cozying up to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, a lovely spooky literary tale perfect for the Halloween weekend). Exercise, thanks to my profession, is not a struggle, and I’m still teaching all of my classes, which keeps me fit and feeling strong and energized (although it’s getting much harder to do burpees!).
As far as what I’m eating, I’ve focused on more clean, colorful, and fresh foods. I know this may sound silly to someone who is not vegan. Wait a minute, you already eat healthy, right? I’ve mentioned this before but vegan is not synonymous with healthy AND just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you necessarily eat a lot of nutrient dense foods. And thanks to Whole Foods and the like, we now have our pick of vegan convenience foods (frozen dinners, burritos, ect.). I admit to have been pretty lax about what I’ve been eating (too many lower-nutrient, higher calorie foods, not enough vegetables).
One of the perks of eating this way is that I feel great! No acid-reflux, indigestion, constipation, you know, the “regular” symptoms of later pregnancy. One of the downsides: I have to plan more, and spend more time washing, chopping and preparing fresh food. I still manage to make things quickly, but it DOES take more time. And another thing, I spend more time eating because I have to eat more frequently. I’m one of those who, although I love food, sometime feel inconvenienced by it, and sometimes wish I could just eat once a day, get it out of the way, and have time to do other things that I need and want to do. Alas, this is the best approach I’ve found. I keep my weight gain in check, I’m getting uber amounts of all the nutrients my baby and I need, and I feel great, which to me, is the most important thing.
Here’s an interesting observation. During my first trimester when all I could eat was bland, high fat, junk food, my nails stopped growing. The past month or so, especially since I’ve recommitted myself to better eating, my nails have been growing like crazy, are strong and shiny. I admit, I haven’t been faithful in taking a prenatal daily, although when I do, it’s Garden of Life’s RAW prenatal. I’ve tracked my nutrient intake with CRON, and considering that when I eat this way I always exceed my RDA’s for pregnancy, I think a prenatal is bit overkill for me. So the only thing I’ve been really vigilant about is taking daily drops of B-vitamins (primarily for the B-12) and eating a few walnuts (for omega-3s–just a few a day will meet your omega-3 needs) or a tablespoon of hemp, chia, or flax seeds.
Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been eating lately:
Corn Salad Tacos
The lettuce serve as the “tortilla.” Green leaf works best, but romaine leaves would also work.
2 c. frozen sweet corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
small bunch of cilantro, to taste, chopped
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Green leaf lettuce leaves
Defrost the corn (I get mine from Costco) in a colander by running under hot water for a few minutes, or until completely defrosted. Combine ingredients and dress with 1/4 c. of Dijon vinaigrette. Serve with lettuce leaves. Recipe for the vinaigrette (save the extras to use on other salads, will keep in the fridge forever!): 1/4 cup deli-style or dijon mustard, 6 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar.
Leftover sweet potato hash from breakfast (from Dr. McDougall’s McDougall Program for MWL), I used sweet potatoes instead of potatoes), jicama salad (recipe also from McDougall’s MWL book), and kale slaw (recipe below, it’s super easy!).
1/2 head of kale, sliced very thin
1/2 red bell pepper strips
Dress with some ginger sesame dressing: 1/4 cup regular or seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4 tsp. Asian ginger powder, 1 TBS. sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp. sesame oil, 1-2 TBS. maple syrup (depending on sweetness desired).