Nutrition for Pregnancy Prep
As a mom of many kiddos, one of my favorite things to do is help eager moms-to-be get ready for pregnancy. It is by far the most miraculous time in life.
Preparing your body for a healthy pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby. By optimizing your health BEFORE pregnancy, you’re giving your baby the best start in life.
What does it mean to prepare your body for pregnancy? It means getting rid of foods that take away from your health, and adding an abundance of foods that build your health. And, this preparation is not just for you. It’s for your future baby’s father, too.
Foods to Avoid Eating for Healthy Pregnancy
Foods you’ll want to eliminate are things we call depleters.
‘Depleters’ is a term we use to describe foods that use up more nutrients in metabolism than they provide. These foods are taking more than they give. Your body needs extra nutrients to run the detoxification pathways so reducing the low nutrient foods and increasing the nutrient dense foods is key.
You can read more about depleters in an earlier blog post about detoxing.
Even without reading the detoxification posts, you can probably guess what depleters are:
- Caffeine from coffee or soda
- Bad fats, like trans fats and rancid fats*
- You may also need to eliminate gluten and processed dairy for a while.
That’s a lot to eliminate but there is even more to take its place–
Foods to Eat and Enjoy Before Pregnancy
On a daily basis you’re going to want to eat 6-8 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, and 3 servings of protein along with nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.
Let your plate be filled with color. Eat a rainbow of colors every day, white, blue, red, orange, yellow, and green. This is an easy way to naturally get a broad range of nutrients into your diet.
Earlier I told you to avoid “bad fats”…but fats are not created equal. Some fats are excellent for us. In fact, they are essential to our health and well-being, whether we want to get pregnant, are already pregnant…and even if we aren’t concerned about pregnancy at this point in our lives.
There are so many different fats available to us. And the information can be confusing. Sadly most of them are not healthy–even the ones that are touted as being “healthy” often are not. This is really an entire blog post all by itself! In fact, it is one I have already written. Click here to check out which fats are best, and to learn some of the truth about even “healthy” fats that you find in the grocery store.
Fruits & Veggies
I suggest you get some of your veggies in at breakfast, otherwise it can be challenging for most of us to get enough servings in every day. Aim to eat some of those vegetables raw and some cooked. Raw and lightly cooked vegetables provide you with a wide array of nutrients that support health.
You can steam, sauté, roast, or boil your vegetables, just don’t overcook them or you will lose the nutritional value.
If your digestion is weak and you can’t tolerate raw vegetables, give me a call so we can work to strengthen your digestion.
Enjoy a bowl full of berries with fresh, raw cream if you can. You can also cook your fruit to enhance the natural sweetness for a perfect dessert.
Eating animal protein is best when you’re getting ready for pregnancy and while you’re pregnant. Animal protein is complete. That means it provides your body with the full range of essential amino acids.
Be sure to get the healthiest sources of protein you can by choosing grass fed/finished beef; free-range, organic chicken and eggs; wild caught, cold water, fatty fish. Eat a serving of animal protein at each meal for about 50 grams each day. Once you become pregnant, you’ll want to increase this amount as your pregnancy progresses.
So, we’ve covered foods you should avoid eating when you want to get pregnant and foods you should definitely eat for a healthy pregnancy. Next, we’ll cover snacks, yep—you get to have snacks! And we’ll discuss beverages, and answer one of the questions I get most often.