By Crystal Manjarres - [email protected]
I just wanted to say that there is nothing better than living on Marco Island—except being pregnant in paradise! I have to say that life just doesn’t seem to be able to get any better than this (and yet I know that the best is still yet to come).
I am blessed with a loving family, wonderful clientele and awesome readers. Thank you to all who have shared their blessings with me and my family—it is truly appreciated and will not be forgotten.
As my second trimester began, I got an amazing surge of energy! I went from zero workouts to working out six days a week, even having a few days of extra cardio and walks in addition to my regular fitness regime! I went from eating no vegetables to juicing, salads and veggie lasagnas. I went from utter exhaustion, to unlimited pep in my step. What a wonderful blessing that second trimester is!
I began my nesting urges early and every weekend my husband and I do major spring cleaning to prepare for the baby. We’ve already gotten rid of furniture, added new baby furniture, and are working on the house, section by section, top to bottom. It’s amazing how an infant has so much stuff and needs so much space!
After avoiding food during my first trimester, all I want to do is eat—and preferably have something different for every meal, every day. That’s not too much to ask, is it? I’ve learned that I can go to virtually any restaurant on Marco and have my needs accommodated. It’s so easy to eat healthy, people! We just have to know how to ask.
If you eat animal protein, most restaurants are happy to prepare your meat in any way you prefer it. Don’t be afraid to ask for a grilled chicken breast sans butter instead of the fried. I usually start off with a salad and have lots of veggies and either a plain baked potato, sweet potato, or grain as my side. Since I do not eat animal protein, I will usually have my plant based protein prior to the meal. Of course, I could always have beans and rice, or corns and beans, or add chickpeas or another bean/legume to add some protein as well. I never even have to check out a menu ahead of time anymore, as I know how to “clean” up any food.
Since I fill my palate with a big salad (and usually no dressing unless it is fresh and preservative/artificial flavors/dyes free) and lots of vegetables, I do not have to worry about portion sizes. Now, if I poured lots of creamy dressing on top complete with croutons (my least favorite food in the world) and lots of other unnecessary “fillers,” then yes, it is a calorie bomb waiting to explode, so I don’t (and plus that grosses me out). I do only eat half of my starch, however. If it is a baked potato, then I’ll have half, if it is brown rice, maybe a quarter cup to a half cup and so on.
One powerful and overlooked way of eating is the act of chewing. Most of us are either chowing down because we’re famished or aren’t paying attention (i.e. watching T.V. or dining with friends). This causes us to eat quicker than usual and consequently more than we should as well. When we combine this fast eating with gulping down the beverage of our choice (even water), we mess up our delicate digestive system. Food is meant to be chewed until it is in particles small enough for our digestive system to utilize. After food passes from your teeth, it does not get “chewed” again, so your body has a difficult time breaking down these large particles of food; this coupled with drinking liquids during our meal wreaks havoc on our gastrointestinal tract. By taking smaller bites, chewing each bite thoroughly, and avoiding drinking anything until after your meal time, you will not only improve your digestion, but you will also be more mindful. This will enable you to stop eating when you are satisfied and before you are full. You will also stay fuller longer (provided you are eating a balanced, healthy meal), which will prevent you from mindless snacking and overeating at your next meal.
These tips can apply to every meal, every day—pregnant or not. Remember to start each plate with a clean slate. You can do it! If you need help, I’m just an email away: [email protected]