Everyone wants to be healthy during their pregnancy. It’s a given. That being said, it’s certainly not always easy to be healthy during pregnancy. We are extra tired, our bodies are working extra hard, we typically don’t feel that well (lets be real. we can feel like garbage) and we’re often not sleeping like champs either. All of these things combined wreak havoc on our bodies and our immune systems, especially for someone with an autoimmune disease like me, and the last thing we feel like doing most of the time is hitting the gym and eating a bowl of greens. Here’s how I’m staying healthy from the inside out in my second trimester.
1. Make the Most of Your Smoothies.
I have shared many times how much I love the Kelly Leveque Fab 4 System of having protein, fat, green and fiber in every meal but the easiest way for me to do that in pregnancy especially is through a smoothie. Even when I could hardly stomach greens I could do an ice cold smoothie and it felt so good to know I’m fueling my body for at least one meal a day. My suggestion is first to use frozen fruit and greens to make the smoothie as cold as possible without watering it down. Secondly, add a date which is so good for our bodies while pregnant and it makes the smoothie that much more delicious!
2. Finding Cookbooks I Love.
Flipping through a cookbook and looking at beautiful imagery inspires me like nothing else. I love adding sticky tabs to recipes and dog-earing pages and seeing the book get splattered with oil throughout the year. It’s great to pin things on Pinterest but I do my best to print recipes out to have the tangible copy on hand. Here are my three current favorites for clean eating that cater to my food restrictions:
3. Meal Prep.
I stopped meal prepping for the beginning of my pregnancy because, well, who even does that. BUT. It really cost me on the backend once I started feeling better. I always felt rushed to make dinner, spent half of nap time making my lunch rather than just grabbing something that was already set to go and just wasted lots of time. Now, I dedicate a part of each Sunday evening to prepping easy lunch items as well as things I know we’ll use for dinner and having clean kale ready for a salad at lunch keeps me from grabbing a bag of plantain chips and calling it a day.
4. Working Out When I Can and How I Can.
I snapped this photo last week at 21 weeks pregnant before heading to a strength class with my sisters but most days out of the week, this very spot is my “gym.” I really had to let go of the idea of what my pregnancy workouts would look like. I still love watching fitness YouTubers smash their prenatal workouts and get so much inspiration from them but mine have been pretty low impact and definitely less frequent than I dreamed they’d be. With Oshiolema I was able to workout all.the.time. I went to a weekly prenatal class, went to the gym a few days a week, walked every single day and did a workout DVD at night. I had no kids. It was simple. This time around I’ve just found myself so much more tired and my free time is obviously less than ever. Working out three times a week is my goal and that often looks like working out in my room when the kids go to bed. And guess what? That’s oh.kay. My goal is to be healthy and strong-not shredded and super fit.
5. Creating a ‘Meal Queue’ I’m Happy With.
I recently listened to this podcast episode by the Lazy Genius (if you’re not hooked yet, go listen today and you will be) where she talks about the importance of a Dinner Queue. The premise of it is that you create a list of 30ish meals that work well for the literal season you’re in (Winter, Summer…) and the figurative season you’re in (newly postpartum, recently left a job, solo parenting more than usual…) and utilize it. This leaves less room for me making unhealthy choices and also eliminates added stress to each day. The plantain, veggies and salmon patties in the photo are random items meal prepped before and I’m so grateful to be able to grab and reheat prepped food in a pinch.
What helped you stay healthy during your pregnancies? For all the mamas currently walking through pregnancy with me, what are you finding most helpful?