From morning sickness, to cravings, pregnancy can throw your normal eating habits into quite the spin, and at 17 weeks pregnant, I am only too familiar with the lure of a carb cravings, sugar cravings (bread, pasta, potatoes, cheese and pickle sandwiches, carrot cake – you name it!) and being turned off my usual healthy choices including ALL vegetables other than lettuce and sweetcorn! It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least!
Many of you are asking me how I deal with my cravings during pregnancy, or how and what I’m eating, and the answer is I’m trying to eat as best as I can and stick to healthy choices like protein smoothies, fruits, yoghurts and rice cakes with choccy or nut butter. However, there has been many a day, when I couldn’t face cooking or eating and only a cheese and pickle sandwich with a diet coke will do! It’s such a challenging time but try not to feel guilt or anxiety around your cravings, and remember it’s all just a phase, which will pass as your pregnancy progresses – or once your bubba is here.
So what do I do to TRY and tame these cravings?
My top tip is to exercise! It’s the only thing that really helps me feel good. All those feel-good endorphins seem to set me on a better path to eating well. However, when I haven’t been able to work out, brushing my teeth also works!
If I’m still climbing the walls after a workout, a big glass of water and a good old pep talk – then I just try to have something good for me that’s still sweet or satisfying, such as fruit with yoghurt and homemade granola.
I try to stick to the 80/20 rule too – if I’m having healthy, nutrient-dense foods 80% of the time, then I know that there’s a little room for satisfying those good-old cravings.
Homemade granola with strawberries, greek yoghurt & honey
Suddenly feeling peckish?
Yes I’m getting that too!
Often fluctuations in blood sugar levels, lack of sleep and tiredness can upset your hormonal balance and appetite, so I’m eating little and often, and being really careful about my sugar intake – I know all to well that by constantly allowing my sweet tooth to win will change my tastebuds so that I continue to crave sweeter foods. It can easily spiral out of control!
NutriStrength vanilla pea protein blended with blackberries, banana & coconut butter!
I could literally go on and on and write a whole load of guidelines for nutrition in pregnancy, but honestly, I just say do your best and don’t beat yourself. Just try to do some damage limitation by incorporating as much as you can of the good stuff (when possible) and use my blog posts and Guide to a Fit & Healthy Pregnancy for inspiration and recipes.
Above all, remember to listen to your body and don’t focus on weight loss during pregnancy! Your focus now is to create a healthy environment for your unborn baby –you’re not going to build muscle or create an amazing physique during this time, and no matter how hard you try, it’s inevitable that your body will store body fat to protect your baby, prepare your body for birth and breastfeeding. Remember that this is just a short phase of your life and there is plenty of time to get your body back to how you want it once your baby is safely in your arms.
It was so easy to stay active first time around, pregnancy no.2 is already a little more difficult!
Mums to be, are you struggling with your diet or eating habits during pregnancy? If so please feel free to drop me a line and I will see if I can help.
In the meantime why not give this healthy(ish) chocolate cake a try – see below. Hopefully it will hit the spot – it works every time with me!
You can also find more recipes in either my Pregnancy ebook or my Sweet Clean Eats eBook.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 5 eggs
- 200g coconut sugar
- 300g 70% Lindt dark chocolate
- 2tbsp ground almonds
- 1/2tsp mixed spice
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- 225g coconut oil (or you can use organic butter)
- Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil in bowl over saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk the eggs with sugar, mixed spice, salt and ground almonds, then fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Grease a cake tin with coconut oil and sprinkle with ground almonds before pouring mixture in (you may want to use baking paper to stop the cake from sticking depending on your tin – my tin was around 8” in diameter), then bake in an oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes.
- When cooked (test by sticking a knife in the middle. If it comes out clean it’s done) leave out to cool.
- Place in a fridge for approx. 8 hours before eating (if you can wait that long!)