Why Healthy Eating Is Even More Important During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be full of surprises.
“Your energy, taste, tolerance, appetite, and mood will fluctuate week to week — and even day-to-day,” says Ilana Muhlstein, M.S., R.D.N., mother of three and creator of 2B Mindset nutrition plan and 2B Pregnant on BODi.
But there’s one thing you can always count on: Nutrition is more important than ever when you’re expecting.
That’s why 2B Pregnant is designed to help give you the tips and tools to make it easier for you to nourish yourself and your growing baby through every trimester.
The Importance of Pregnancy Nutrition
Good nutrition during pregnancy can help you get the nutrients you need to support your baby’s growth and development.
And if you focus on establishing healthy eating habits when you’re pregnant, it can help make it easier to stay on track nutrition-wise once your baby arrives, Ilana notes.
Of course, we know that pregnancy cravings — combined with the old adage that you’re “eating for two” — can make healthy eating even more challenging than usual.
So, it’s important to reframe your mindset when it comes to pregnancy nutrition.
“You don’t need to eat for two — you need to eat what’s best for you,” Ilana says.
And on those days when healthy eating feels extra-challenging, stay focused on your big-picture goal of keeping yourself and your baby healthy.
“What gets me motivated to eat healthy, exercise, and stay calm through the unknowns is to think about my future self and baby — and how the choices I make today will affect me as I approach my due date and beyond,” Ilana says.
Ideal Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Choosing the right foods during your pregnancy can seem like a daunting task.
“You’ve probably received a lot of information about what to eat and what not to eat, which can feel overwhelming,” Ilana says.
Instead of stressing about what you can’t eat, she suggests focusing on “Superstar Foods” you can fill up on to help nourish your body with the key nutrients you need during this important time.
There are a few nutrients in particular that you need more of during pregnancy to help support your health and your baby’s development, including iron, choline, folate, and more.
In 2B Pregnant, Ilana explains which nutrients you need, what role they play in pregnancy nutrition, and how to help you make sure you’re getting enough.
Here are three of her favorite “Superstar Foods” for moms 2B:
Carbs provide much-needed energy, while the combo of protein and fiber can help you feel fuller for longer. Beans can also help you get more folate and iron in your diet.
Berries provide vitamin C and fiber. Stock up on fresh berries — or frozen berries with no added sugar — for a healthy way to satisfy your sweet cravings.
3. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt provides calcium and iodine, and it’s high in protein, which “is essential for our growth and the growth and development of our babies,” Ilana says.
One sweet and satisfying way Ilana enjoys Greek yogurt when she’s pregnant is with her Wonder Whip recipes.
She adds a bit of stevia and cake batter extract to plain Greek yogurt for a healthy snack that tastes like birthday cake frosting.
Get Ilana’s complete list of “Superstar Foods” and key nutrients for expectant mamas when 2B Pregnant launches in January 2022.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Even though you can enjoy a wide variety of foods in moderation during pregnancy, there are certain foods you should avoid during this time, including:
- Alcohol (ask your doctor about drinks like kombucha that may contain trace amounts of alcohol)
- Raw or undercooked animal products like steak tartare and sushi
- High-mercury foods like swordfish
- Unpasteurized cheeses and dairy products
- Unwashed produce
If you have any questions about whether a certain food or beverage is safe to consume during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.
Building Healthy Eating Habits for the Long Haul
Following the 80/20 rule — eating healthy 80 percent of the time, and allowing for mindful indulgences the other 20 percent of the time — can be a helpful way to create a healthy relationship with food.
But Ilana cautions that “it’s really easy for 80/20 to quickly slide into 50/50 or 20/80,” especially when you’re dealing with pregnancy cravings.
2B Pregnant provides tips and strategies that will help you navigate those cravings and find the right balance in your diet, so you can thrive during and after pregnancy.
“I know as a busy, stressed, and hectic mom myself, these are strategies that will only make your life more streamlined and efficient and give you better energy to tackle it all,” Ilana says.
Ready to take control of your pregnancy nutrition?
Check out 2B Pregnant and join BODi to connect with other moms 2B in our exclusive community for support and motivation!
Friendly reminder: We want you to be safe, so don’t forget to get your doctor’s approval before you start taking any supplements or make any changes to your nutrition plan (including this program) to make sure they are right for you and your specific needs.