WIAW #59: Finding A Balance {In Pregnancy}

Hello!

Here we are with another What I Ate Wednesday post thanks to the fabulous Jenn!

Peas and Crayons

WIAW is going to be a little different around here today… I’m going to talk type at you about some of my thoughts revolving around my eating habits lately with my eats from yesterday interspersed throughout, mmkay? Here we go!

Something I’m finally coming to terms with now that I’m about half way through my pregnancy is finding a balance when it comes to eating. My first trimester wasn’t pretty – literally and figuratively. I didn’t feel well, my appetite was pretty much nonexistent, and there was a lot of white and very little green in my meals.

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applecinnamonoats

My breakfast of choice was this oatmeal:

1/3 cup oats

1/2 tablespoon chia seed

1 egg (whisked in while oats cook)

1/2 chopped apple

1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

topped with almond butter

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Then came my second trimester when I started to feel a lot better, my taste buds were starting to return back to normal, and I pretty much wanted to eat everything in sight. Not only was my body needing the extra calories, but my taste buds were craving flavor and the delicious foods they missed out on for a couple months.

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My morning snack was half of a sliced banana with a big spoonful of peanut butter.

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Unfortunately I let my taste buds win the majority of the time for a few weeks there and probably ate a few too many desserts, spoonfuls of Biscoff spread, and French fries. I remember telling myself at the beginning of my pregnancy that I would not be one of those pregnant women that gave myself permission to eat unhealthy or extra large portion sizes because I was “eating for two”. Yes, I am in fact eating for two, but it does not mean I’m eating for two adult humans. It does mean that I need a healthy amount of calories plus only about 300 extra per day for the little babe growing inside of me.

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Lunch was Amy’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup with half of a grilled mozzarella cheese sandwich for dipping. I LOVE this soup! It’s one of the best canned soups I’ve ever tried.

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Even though I’ve been trying to be more mindful of what I’ve been eating the last few weeks, I also don’t want to become obsessive. There is a fine line between these two that I find myself teetering on at times. I want to make sure I’m giving my baby and my body the nutrients it needs, but I also want to occasionally enjoy the goodness of a brownie without feeling guilty.

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I couldn’t stop thinking about cereal when my stomach started to rumble mid afternoon, so that’s exactly what I had – Vanilla Almond Special K. This is a new-to-me cereal, and even though the nutrition stats aren’t the best, it sure is tasty!

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I’ve been striving to figure out this balance by doing my best to follow these “rules”:

  • Intuitive eating – eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full
  • Focus on eating nutrient dense foods that I love
  • Honor my cravings
  • DON’T try to eat perfectly – it won’t happen
  • Treat a treat as a treat!

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Dinner was this recipe and it was delicious! It’s super easy to throw together, makes your house smell fantastic, and is tasty to boot.

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I think the above “rules” can apply to anyone, pregnant or not. Finding that healthy balance isn’t always easy, but it’s key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and that is a priority to me.

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Last but certainly not least was the snicker doodle from my dear husband! He had a meeting at Paradise Bakery today where they have the best cookies in the whole world so he brought one home for me. I always eat the outer edges first and then save the best for last – the center where it’s soft and chewy. Yum!

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Questions:

  • Do you ever have a difficult time finding the balance between being mindful and obsessive?
  • What is your favorite kind of cookie? (Mine is a toss up between chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snicker doodle. It depends who makes them.)
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Comments

    • Ashley says

      Nah, the 1st tri doesn’t bother me so much… I think the abundance of treats I ate for a few weeks right AFTER my 1st tri is what got to me (and my butt). ;)

    • Ashley says

      A chewy oatmeal raisin cookie can be good, but oatmeal chocolate chip is better. ;) No I didn’t get a new camera… I just put a little more effort into my photography yesterday. :)

  1. says

    You’re definitely hitting the right notes — it’s all about the balance. Sure — you might be eating 90-100% clean all the time, but are you happy and fulfilled? Or you might be treating a little too much, but do you feel energized? I think that it’s that combination of intuitive eating, getting the dense nutrients, and knowing how much your body needs to work at its prime. Your food needs to have heart and it needs to feed not only your belly and your brain but your soul too! ;)

  2. says

    Finding a balance is definitely hard. There are days when vegetables sound so unappealing, and when I eat them anyway, I still crave that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I wanted in the first place! I do my best to just have what I want, when I want it (within reason).

    Good luck!

  3. says

    l love your rules for yourself – definitely things that can apply to everyone and I try to follow them myself! I have the most trouble with “treating treats as treats”. I have such a habit of eating dessert after dinner every night and it’s so hard not to do it!

    I’m the opposite with my cookies – I break them in half and eat the middle first and save the crispier edges for last to dip in milk :-)

    • Ashley says

      Oh I love white chocolate macadamia nut too… Man, I guess I just love cookies in general! It has to be a quality one aka soft, chewy, and dense though! ;)

  4. says

    I think you’ve got a great handle on how you should treat eating throughout your pregnancy!

    Special K cereals aren’t the best, stats/ingredient wise but they do make it tasty. :-p I love the yogurt and berries version!

    Favourite kind of cookie: I would have to say oatmeal chocolate chip or white chocolate macadamia nut. But really, I’d be hard pressed to find a variety I didn’t like. :-p

  5. says

    Great rules! I am following these more and more everyday and it feels great. My favorite cookies are the smiley face cookies from eatnpark (found in pa) and chocolate chip cookies!

  6. says

    Thank you for being so honest! I can guarantee you that many many pregnant women think the same way you do, especially healthy living bloggers… They may just not admit it! Even though you are pregnant and 100% concerned about your baby’s health and growth, I am sure it still can be mentally exhausting to let yourself relax and to adjust to the scale going up. Hang in there lady, you are one smart momma! :)

    • Ashley says

      Oh yes, that’s a good one too! I really don’t think I’ve ever tried a cookie from Paradise Bakery that I haven’t liked!

  7. says

    Well said, girl! I totally agree with everything you said, and I love your attitude about everything. :)
    Favorite cookie?! Oh man, I don’t know if I can even answer that?!? Oatmeal raisin chocolate chip are always a favorite, but I do love me a snickerdoodle. I’ll be making them soon enough for the holidays!!

  8. says

    I definitely struggle with being obsessive. I am way to tied to counting calories everyday.

    My favorite cookie is chocolate chip, but snickerdoodles run a very close second. I actually made some pumpkin snickerdoodles recently that were amazing!

  9. says

    AHHH that cookie looks SO delicious!!! I feel like I’ve just been doing the best I can with my eating, on the days I can! Some days definitely sucked, and some rocked. I hardly ever beat myself up because my mentality totally did shift when I became pregnant, which I’m thankful for, because I was afraid it wouldn’t!!!

  10. Daybelis says

    All your meals look delicious as always , I always read your blog posts but hardly have time to comment due to classes. I have to tell you that during recovery, your blog helped me so much Ashley. There were days I felt horrible , days I felt that eating a “cookie” would make me gain 18835858 pounds , but I realized that this isn’t possible and that we must enjoy our everyday lives as much as we can. I think you are a beautiful person both inside and out, and you don’t need to worry about extra calories or treats here and there because you have made it a long way!!! Being healthy isn’t watching your calories so strictly 100% of the time, that’s crazyyy, its all about balance. Your baby is gonna be lucky to be blessed with such a strong woman as his/ her mother. God bless

    • Ashley says

      Thank you so much Daybelis! That means so much to me. Agreed – I’d go crazy if I counted calories religiously! I don’t know how I ever did that!

  11. says

    I definitely agree with everything you said, and your attitude about it all is top notch! It sounds like you are doing great with everything so far! I definitely struggle with balance sometimes, since my mind is a tad obsessive, it’s a work in progress!

    • Ashley says

      Yes, definitely a work in progress! I think being able to take a step back and recognize it is a HUGE step though. ;)

  12. says

    You said it so well! AMEN to balance. I have found that the second I start feeling guilty about a food or treat, it makes the treat LESS special. So I just eat whatever I want (usually my body craves the healthy stuff anyways), and just roll with it.

    YAY for being out of the 1st tri ;)

    Fav cookie: dark chocolate butterscotch cookie. MMMMMMM! On top of caramel ice cream of course!

  13. says

    Great outlook! It would be so easy to just eat ice cream, cookies, etc., but I love that you’re thinking long-term (about your own health) and also about the health of your baby (don’t want them to be fed a sugar-laden diet!).

    Myyyy fav cookie is probably good old fashion chocolate chip (right out of the oven!)

  14. Leslie says

    Girl, 2nd trimester started off with a sweets overload for me too. Now in my 17th week, I’m trying to temper it with the occasional mug of hot cocoa but it sure it hard. I hope as I progress in weeks, I eat as well as you are!

  15. says

    Definitely and to the extreme (having suffered from eating disorders for the best part of my life) finding the balance is much more about finding peace with your body and mind than it has to do with the food. Glad you’ve found it! :) Those oats looks amazing btw! Which almond butter is it on top? Looks so rich!

    • Ashley says

      It’s Maranatha Roasted Almond Butter! It’s good, but it’s honestly not my favorite. I bought it because it was on sale.

  16. says

    I’ve had the same journey through pregnant eating habits as you – I’m still probably eating a few too many sweets (and with the holidays, it will just get harder) but I’m not beating myself up over it. As long as I’m eating other healthy food and getting in my fruits/veggies/dairy/protein, and not gaining weight too fast, I’m ok with eating a few more sweets than I would if I were not pregnant.

  17. Alison says

    Love how you’re approaching this! Finding balance really is key. That snickerdoodle looks darn delicious! My favorite cookie is a tie between peanut butter and snickerdoodle for sure.

  18. says

    Girl I totally get it – I have eaten TONS of spoonfuls of Biscoff spread, apple pie, ice cream sundaes, you name it, and then hate the guilt I sometimes feel afterwards :( I thought that would go away once pregnant but not so much! Like you I’m going to try to honor my treats and treat it like a treat! After all we’ve been through we deserve it girl ;) And I’m going to write you back soon!! xoxo

  19. says

    I’ve definitely been surprised at how difficult it’s been for me to keep eating healthy during this pregnancy. Prior to being pregnant, I figured I’d want to eat super healthy all the time, for the sake of my little one. But it’s not as easy as I thought. I really am craving all of the bad stuff. So now I’m trying to be patient with myself, eat as much of the healthy stuff as I can, but also not beat myself up about the not-so healthy stuff!

  20. says

    I love these “rules” and totally agree with them! Even though I’m increasing my food intake and gaining weight, I still beat myself up some over my extra indulgences and how I should have had x instead of y. Ya know?? Such a hard mindset to get out of!

    • Ashley says

      Oh yes, I know the feeling. Beating ourselves up make it even worse though… Gotta remind myself of that regularly! ;)

  21. says

    Finding a balance is definitely tricky. I think it is even harder when you’re pregnant because sometimes you’re sooo hungry, sometimes you’re sick and your taste changes! You’re doing a great job! You seem to have a really balanced attitude!

  22. Naomi says

    Oh a favorite cookie….what a decision! I love homemade snickerdoodles, and classic chocolate chip is always wonderful too. However, my current favorite would have to be new-to-me pumpkin chocolate chip…so good!

  23. says

    I love the way you put that, yes you’re eating for two but not for two adult humans! Such a smart realization that so many people don’t understand. And I struggled in the past trying to eat too perfectly and make sure I got x amount of this and x amount of that, it definitely wasn’t healthy in the long run for me. Now I eat what I crave, and for the first time in months I actually do crave vegetables pretty often. The body knows what it needs!

  24. says

    I think this issue needs to be discussed more! Pregnancy used to be something women enjoyed and found happiness in. Now I feel like the media has really taken some of the joy out of it by either telling women they are “eating too much” or need to loose the weight asap/not look preggers. It seems like you are doing a good job in finding out what works for YOU. You are going to be such a great mom :)

    • Leslie says

      Kailey – I totally agree. My husband was under the impression that after the baby comes, I’ll be able to return to pre-pregnancy body within a couple weeks. I had to laugh at how preposterous it was but there IS this pressure because the media makes it this HUGE accomplishment to get to pre-preggo body so fast. Grr!

      • says

        I am only 20 so I won’t be having a child soon, but I just feel like there is this expectation now that isn’t realistic. A couple years back it seemed like only celebs “had” to bounce back fast, but now I feel like there is more pressure on the everyday women. I’m not saying that it is okay for celebs to feel that pressure either, but at the same time, most actors/actresses will tell you it is their job to look good. The every day women shouldn’t feel the need to fit that mold.

  25. says

    I love Trader Joe’s Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies! What can I say? I love butter. ;)

    And yes, intuitive and being obsessive is definitely a thin line. I try to strike a healthy balance but I can never say no to sweets or cereals. I believe it is my kryptonite.

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