When I first found out I was pregnant I had actually just started a diet, because I had gained 40lbs since moving in with Jack. By diet I actually mean I was just watching what I ate and counting calories making sure I was only eating 1,250 calories a day. After I found out I knew that I couldn't continue only eating 1,250 calories a day and then I literally went on a feeding frenzy.
|This was essentially my life|
I was so excited I ate everything in sight, unfortunately this included McDonald's, pizza, fried foods, pretty much anything unhealthy I could get my hands on. In my mind I was thinking I can't prevent myself from gaining weight so I might as well take this time to enjoy eating whatever I want. Well folks this was, needless to say, the worst idea ever. When I went to see my doctor for my second trimester appointment she informed me I had gained a whopping 13lbs since my last visit only a month prior. She also let me know that I should only gain a healthy 20lbs during my entire pregnancy due to me being slightly overweight before the pregnancy. Now obviously I can't diet while pregnant so she let me know that I should be eating 1,900-2,100 calories a day, but healthy calories not a double cheeseburger meal for lunch and three pieces of pepperoni pizza for dinner (which is a total of just about 2,000 calories). I was now on a mission, I knew I couldn't exactly loose weight, but I could change my eating habits so that I didn't continue down this same path.
To overcome this I came up with a new plan of eating healthy and nutritious meals. Being with child I need more nutrients than ever and to be honest it's not the easiest thing to find meals and snacks that have all the protein, calcium, fiber, and Iron that I need (ESP with my picky eating habits) I track these by using myfitnesspal which I talked about in a previous post. Another great tool I found is an app on the iphone (it could also be on the android), but it's called Fooducate. I highly recommend this app for any one looking for healthy alternative foods. There is also a website for those of you who do not have a smartphone. This app has several features like a grocery list feature and a FAQ section, but what I use it for is to find healthy alternatives for the items in my grocery list.You can scan or search a product and it will give the product a rating that ranges from A+ to D. If it has a low score it lists out the reasons why the product received a low score as you can see from the example. If the product receives a high score it will tell you why it received that grade. It has a great section where you can click alternatives and it will show you better options. Before I eat or purchase any item I use this first to make sure that I am actually buying the best product with the most nutrition. Even if what I am choosing to purchase receives a decently high score I always check the alternatives to see if there's something better for me. I am absolutely addicted to this app and highly recommend it to any one who is trying to eat healthier.
This leads me to my healthy snack choices I have done a lot of research on which snack products have the most nutrition and get awesome ratings. Here is what I found:
I was eating Activia Strawberry yogurt which I thought was really good for me, because it is yogurt which is a super food for pregnant women and it was higher in fiber. When I searched it on Fooducate I found out it wasn't my best option. It had a rating of a B- because there are 4.5 tablespoons of sugar in one serving. I looked at the alternatives and discovered Chobani Greek Strawberry yogurt which received a rating of an A. I love this yogurt for many reasons. For one reason it's delicious, it has 20% of my daily calcium, and 14g of protein. For somebody who is not a huge meat eater this is the most important part. It does have 140 calories, but you can always opt for the lighter version of this. Also, I don't ever buy the actual chobani brand I usually just opt for the store brand version as it has the same nutritional value and is cheaper.
I actually haven't managed to find a good fiber bar that gets a decent rating on Fooducate, but I need a lot of fiber in my diet and this is hard to find for some one who hates whole wheat products. What I did is went to the website of my local grocery store and compared different fiber bars to find one that has the most nutrition what I discovered was Kellogg's fiber one plus antioxidants. I like this one because it has 9grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and has 4% of my iron. Now the reason it gets such a bad rating on fooducate is because apparently it has controversial additives in it so if you're one of those people that stays away from those sorts of things than I would recommend staying away from all these fiber one and fiber plus bars, because they all contain these additives and every single one gets a D on Fooducate.
Another product I enjoy that has a decent amount of fiber is goldfish whole grain. It has 140 calories per 55 pieces, only 5 g of fat, 2g of fiber, and 4g of protein. This is a really good snack to eat between breakfast and lunch it helps so you're not starving and it's not incredibly bad for you. Also, there is no taste difference between these and regular goldfish, I'm serious they taste the exact same. These get a B on Fooducate compared to the regular kind that get a B- so they are definitely the better choice.
Sargento light string cheese is also a great option it only has 90 calories, it is delicious and has calcium yaaay! They also get a B+ from fooducate as they are naturally high in calcium and a top product in their category.
I eat a lot of green grapes and watermelon since they are currently in season and they are both my favorite fruits. As all of you I'm sure know watermelon is a perfect snack because it is a fat burning food and one of the lowest calorie fruits. I eat watermelon for dessert a lot instead of ice cream.
So these are all the snacks I have switched to and I try to eat at least 2 on a daily basis. Since I've started this whole health regimen I've actually have a hard time eating 1,900 calories a day I usually get about 1,500-1,700 calories a day so I find myself desperately searching for the last couple hundred calories. This weekend I will post what I have been doing for lunch and dinner to eat nutritious and low calorie meals.