One of my most popular posts of all time is How To Eat Healthy During Pregnancy [+ What I Eat In A Day While Pregnant] – so I figured I'd do a little follow up and share what I eat in a day while pregnant with baby #2 currently.
Eating this time around is a little different, since I have a toddler to look after and a business to run. Long gone are my leisurely 2 hour lunch breaks! My diet also changed quite a big last year…
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Quick health backstory:
I'd consider myself a generally healthy person. I struggled with some disordered eating habits in my teens (listen here!), but really healed my relationship with food/exercise/my body in my 20s.
My husband was diagnosed with arthritis around 25 years old. And while he too is a generally healthy person, he grew up in a very “90s diet culture” household with two parents who were extremely picky eaters. Chinese food and ice cream were essentially considered their own food groups in his house growing up.
WATCH how + why we changed our diets:
So when I got pregnant with our first child, I didn't think much about passing our “toxin load” onto our children. Heck, I don't even think I knew that was a thing… but it is. Apparently we can actually store the toxin load in our bodies going back TWO generations (since we are technically formed in our maternal grandmothers uterus). Meaning if your mom's grandma had some stuff going on, it likely got passed to your mom, and then you.
Our daughter started having health issues around 2 months old. That's a story for another time. But the short version that you need to know is we ended up being refered to an allergist around 6 months old by our pediatrician where she tested positive for an egg allergy. Personally, I never felt like it was a “forever” allergy, I intuitively had this gut feeling it was a sensitivity due to an overburdened toxin load. Fast forward to a week after her first birthday when we landed in the ER after she had an anaphylactic reaction to cilantro. Two days later we learned she had parasites passed down to her from E. They both started working with a functional medicine doctor to reverse their health stuff.
Over the next 8 months, we cut all grains, dairy, sugar, and various other foods that would come up in the monthly tests/scans from our diets. Okay… I still had some grains (that is WAY harder than just going gluten free friends!).
Ultimately it wasn't until we started this heavy metal detox that we ALL THREE started passing parasites, candida overgrowths, and really healing our guts and so much more.
I preface all of this because my diet changed A LOT from my first pregnancy. And also because I got REALLY used to cooking EVERYTHING (from cookies, to breads, to chips, to sauces and whatever else you can think of) from scratch because we had to for our families health.
Now we eat out once a week, but yes, I still cook and make almost everything at home. I can't tell you the last time I bought a cookie or used a boxed baking mix.
I know for some people watching this, our diet/lifestyle may seem like a lot, but it's not something we rushed into overnight. It's something that we transitioned towards over 3 years and were under a pressure cooker with that last year.
PHEW OKAY! Now with that said I'm going to group these by breakfast, econd breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert.
That's another little tip for you guys when it comes to “meal planning” – I just create a list of 5 things for each category and rotate them on the fly. I am not someone who can write out “on tuesday we'll eat X, Y, and Z, and on Wednesday we'll eat A, B, C.” I need to go with the flow of my taste buds in the moment and if I plan each meal I feel restricted. But working off a group of “emergency/on hand meals” works really well for me to still feel free/flexible while nourishing my body.
VIDEO What I Eat In A Day While Pregnant + Feed My Toddler:
Breakfast I actually only eat 1 thing: The VERY BEST Healthy Pregnancy Smoothie with Protein + Spinach!
This is the exact same recipe I used my last pregnancy. It's the easiest/best way to ensure I'll hit the daily suggested amount of protein during pregnancy. It's packed with veggies, fruit, and serves up a whopping 30-40 grams of protein (about half your daily recommended intake while pregnant!)
I eat this at 9 am every morning.
I usually (whether I'm pregnant or not) eat a “second breakfast” around 11:30 or noon. This typically consists of just fruit.
Right now I've been on a mandarin kick. I'll eat 3-6 of them at once. During the spring/summer when our mango tree is dropping fruit I'll eat 3-6 mangoes or a half a watermelon. I also love a good organic pink lady apple with a banana and two dates or a bowl of grapes. I'm not picky, but I do get a BIG bowl of fruit in before I start moving over towards starches or cooked food for the day. I've been doing this for roughly 3 years now and feel SO good eating this way even though I know some people will probably @ me for “so much sugar” but honestly there's sugar in EVERYTHING (go look at your bread!) and the natural sugar from fruit is way better for you than the refined stuff hidden in most pantries and fridges. I found getting my sugar fix this way allowed me to drastically cut the refined sugar in my diet.
Eating a “raw” morning like this is what I did my first pregnancy too and it seems to work well for my personal digestion. I did have “morning sickness” for the first time this pregnancy which I shared about here – but I realized after a few weeks that it was my prenatal pill triggering it. Since switching that to right before bed every day I haven't deal with nausea/reflux or anything like that.
Tomatoes, cucumber, goat cheese with a little oil and vinegar on sourdough or a really clean bread with a balsamic drizzle. I used Deland bread right now – it's only 4 ingredients and has no sugar.
Salad. Mixed greens, goat cheese, almonds, cucumbers, carrots, hemp seeds, chickpeas or whatever we have on hand.
Daily Harvest Flatbreads. LOVE these! They are some of the cleanest ingredient flatbreads I've found. I do add a slice of cheese to them for added protein, but they are delicious either way. My favorite is the Sweet Potato Kale.
Read my full Daily Harvest Flatbreads Reviewed: Taste Test
Buddha bowl. I've been obsessed with this local one that's curried chickpeas, kale, quinoa, carrots, with a sesame aioli. I'll add my own rice or quinoa to it so it lasts like 2-3 servings. I also make my own with any ingredients on hand (rice, mushrooms, avocado and pickled red onion is a fave!).
Leftovers from dinner. I LOVE leftovers.
Vegetarian Lasagna. I originally found the recipe here, but I adapted it and it was hard to follow on IG.
Here's my slightly adapted version of the recipe: EASY Vegan Lasagna With Walnut Meatless “Meat” Sauce
It's SO good and makes a huge serving! We eat this for at least 3 nights. When the kids are older, I'll probably make 2 at once for the week. I don't mind cooking a longer meal, but my rule of thumb is: at least 1 meal per 20 minutes of cooking. So if it takes me 40 minutes to cook, we better get it for dinner that night and lunch the next day. If it takes an hour, we better get it for 2 dinners and a lunch.
Potatoes, broccoli, and beans. Literally just clean some golden potatoes, rough up the outside with a fork, add to a baking mat like this one, roast at 400 for an hour with a light drizzle of olive oil with some broccoli on the pan. Take it out, add a big heaping pile of black beans (I used canned or make a big batch in my instant pot for the week)
Gluten free pasta, broccoli, and any other veggies on hand with Rao's Homemade pasta sauce (the BEST!!)
Masala Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe from Minimalist Baker
And then we usually eat out/take-in 1 night a week which lasts us 2 nights. For that we'll do Fresh Kitchen (I really love buddha bowls guys haha!), pizza from Anthony's (where I used to work), Thai/Sushi (I just get veggie roll while pregnant), or if I'm craving something “dirty” we'll do either BurgerFi (their VeggieFi burgers is my FAVE) or brisket nachos from El Camino, or Tucker Duke's (they have a chickpea burger called the Sami that's SO good, and I actually craved a real burger twice this pregnancy so I just go with those cravings and I can't resist their mini corn dogs).
I'm not a big snacker since I generally eat every few hours between 4 meals a day and dessert. If I do want a snack it's usually because I didn't finish my lunch or something and I'll just eat the rest of that. However I do make a really good homemade hummus and will eat that with cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, or crackers in the afternoon if I had a light lunch.
Protein balls. I make a big batch of these for my daughter and I every couple weeks. They make a great pregnancy or postpartum snack; full of nutrients and minerals! Just don't give them to under 1 year olds!
Occasionllllyyyy this pregnancy I found that I wanted to snack on chips. I don't really eat chips typically, but I think because I got dehydrated during the first trimester (readp about my water aversion here), my body instinctively craved the salt to retain the water. For chips, we just get organic blue chips from Trader Joe's or the Dark Russet potato chips.
Organic pink lady apple slices dipped in honey – especially when I was going through my water aversion/nausea period! The apple helped settle my stomach a ton!
3-5 dark chocolate pretzels dipped in almond butter
Chickpea chocolate chip cookies. I've shared this recipe adapted from Earthy Andy on my IG so many times! These are SO good and SO clean and packed with protein! Recipe:
- 15 ounces of organic chickpeas (1 can),
- 1/3 cup maple syrup,
- 1-2 dates soaked in warm water,
- 1/2 cup peanut butter,
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (can skip if using dates; or vice versa).
- Blend in a high speed blender (we use a Vitamix), transfer to a bowl and hand mix in a couple handfuls of HU chocolate gems or whatever chocolate chips you prefer, let the batter chill for like 30 minutes in the fridge. Preheat oven to 350 and just form the dough into balls and bake for 20 minutes!
Flourless “healthy” Brownies recipe via Rachel Mansfield. I use a 1/3 a cup of coconut sugar (less than her) and 1/3 a cup of maple syrup (more than her). I've have made them with peanut butter before when I ran out of tahini – and they do come out THICKER so possibly add a little water to the batter. I do a mix of HU chocolate and some Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chunks since this is really the only refined sugar I get in my diet other than eating out. Either way, they are good and will definitely get your chocolate fix in with WAY cleaner ingredients!
Healthy Eating Tips While Pregnant
During my last pregnancy, I shared a ton of healthy eating tips plus what I ate in a day back then! Read it here: