When I found out I was pregnant, I talked to my midwife about a healthy diet during pregnancy.
Some of the changes she suggested seemed radical to me at first because I was used to eating fast food. I figured I’d be satisfying stereotypical pregnancy cravings such as pickles, and ice cream topped with potato chips.
By giving up gluten, genetically-modified foods and restaurant foods, I started to feel healthier. My skin glowed. I didn’t have morning sickness as often. I also felt more energetic. I continued on with many of the same dietary changes after having my son.
Going totally organic during pregnancy
It was not easy to go organic when I was pregnant with my first son because most food products were not labeled as having genetically-modified organisms or GMOs.
I decided to grow my own organic fruits and vegetables to be on the safe side.
My midwife said it’s extremely important to avoid foods that contain synthetic and toxic chemicals during my pregnancy.
I also shopped at farmer’s markets and the health foods stores that carried organic product and other food products clearly labeled as having no GMOs.
According to an article I read at Food Matters, even the American Academy of Environmental Medicine encouraged doctors to inform their patients about the health risks of genetically modified foods.
Keeping it gluten-free during pregnancy
I didn’t know about the problems with gluten when I was pregnant with my first son. However, during my second pregnancy I started to hear more about the gluten-free diet.
My doctor said I did not have celiac disease, a digestive disease that can sometimes be triggered during pregnancy. However, I did have intolerance for wheat and some grains containing gluten. By ditching the gluten during my pregnancy, I felt more energetic.
Some of my friends and relatives worried that I wouldn’t get the proper nutrition without eating breads, but my dietician introduced me to brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat, which does not contain any wheat despite its name.
Steering clear of restaurants
I avoided fast food and restaurant food during my pregnancy since most of the establishments where I lived were not known for using organic or wholesome ingredients. I was also worried about how sanitary some of the restaurants were. It was a radical shift for someone who used to frequent the fast-food lines.
At first, the move seemed to cramp my social life. But my best friend at the time took an organic foods cooking class. She thanked me later for inspiring her to take up organic cooking. We made cooking healthy foods together a social activity.
One of the misconceptions people have is that if you adopt a healthy diet during pregnancy, you won’t gain too much weight. I still gained more weight than I should have gained for being a small-boned person.
It goes without saying that I gave up alcohol and caffeine during my pregnancy. Those aren’t really radical changes. But, not eating out and growing my own foods was radical enough to feel like a full-time job. But
I was grateful for the learning opportunity since I grew my own produce to make baby food for my son.