Pregnancy All-in-One For Dummies
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If you want to feel great during pregnancy, radiate good health, wake up refreshed and energetic and stay that way all day long (well, most days, anyway), avoid major health problems, and provide all the nutrients your baby needs, you must regularly eat well. Here are five tricks that will set you on the right path during your pregnancy:
  • Fill up on the good stuff. When you need a snack, grab an apple or banana, not a cookie or box of crackers. Eat before heading out for errands and bring healthy snacks with you in your purse. When you’ve had a bad day and think that the pint of your favorite comfort food or memory food is the only way to solve your problems, first make a big stir-fry with lean chicken (or pick up a container at your local Chinese takeout restaurant), drink a large bottle of water, and then — if you’re still hungry and stressed — put a scoop or two of ice cream in a small dish and see how that feels.

  • Don’t completely deny yourself anything tasty. A doughnut once a week doesn’t compromise your health, but a doughnut every day, combined with other unhealthy eating habits, quickly has negative effects on your health.

  • Turn off or otherwise ignore all food-related advertisements. The companies advertising food don’t care about you; they care about profits. Whether you struggle with illness or general feelings of blah is completely irrelevant to them, as long as you keep buying those foods. Take charge of your eating by eliminating the influence of commercials on your healthy lifestyle. This goes double for the many unhealthy recipes found in the food section of your local newspaper, many home and garden magazines, and gourmet food publications. Look for publications that cater to healthy eating, especially those that provide recipes that are low in fat and include fresh vegetables.

  • Immediately look for the one or two healthy choices upon entering any restaurant, party, or other social gathering. If you’re not doing the serving or bringing a dish with you (as is the case at a restaurant or wedding), search for the veggie plate, a big salad, a lean meat option without any sauces, or a legume or whole-grain food.

  • Serve or bring healthy foods, and limit the number and size of treats. If you’re serving the meal, offer an enticing array of brightly colored vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean meat, and then offer small slices of a delicious fruit pie with a spoonful of low-fat frozen yogurt. Your guests will be amazed at how colorful and delicious a nutritious meal can be and will be clamoring for recipes. If you’re at a potluck gathering, such as an office party or baby shower, bring one or two healthy dishes that you know you’ll eat, and quickly evaluate what other healthy foods are available at the gathering.

All that said, if you’re unable to keep food down during any part of your pregnancy, find foods that you can tolerate and, until you’re able to keep down other foods, don’t worry about whether what you’re eating is healthy. Sometimes, pregnancy causes you to reject even the healthiest foods, so make gaining weight normally your number-one priority, with healthy eating number two on that list.

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