Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Menus and Nutrition for a Mama

As most of you know, I am considered a "pescatarian."  Which means, I don't eat any kind of meat except fish or seafood.  As my husband, jokingly says, "don't label me."  It is not a label to us, it is a lifestyle.  We have chosen as a family for health and environmental reasons to not eat meat.  It has been 6 years with no meat for me and about 10 years for my husband.  So this means, when I am pregnant, I really have to pay attention to my diet and make sure I am getting all the nutrients I need to help this precious little baby grow inside of me.  The BIG thing....PROTEIN.

Protein plays a very important role in helping to grow a little baby.  The amino acids that make up protein is what helps build cells in the baby, the development of the baby's brain, and builds a healthy placenta.   So, being a "pescatarian" I have to really pay attention to how much protein I am getting and eat the right foods.  As a pregnant mama, I need 70-80 grams of protein a day.  That is a lot when you don't eat meat at every meal.  Yes, eating fish helps with the protein but I have to limit my intake of fish to twice a week because too much fish or seafood can be unhealthy in a pregnant diet.  So I have to be creative with......beans, brown rice, tofu, whole grains, green veggies, leafy greens, eggs, any kind of dairy, peanut butter, and other nuts.  It has been kinda fun finding different ways to get some protein.  Usually my snacks include cheese, yogurt, pb & j sandwiches, a glass of milk, etc.  Those all help my protein rise.  On top of making sure you are getting enough protein, eating a very well balanced diet from every food group is SO important. 

How do I even keep track of this all?  That was the hardest part for me in the beginning of my first pregnancy....so I started a "protein chart" with my first, and I continued with this pregnancy.  I want to share this with you, in case, there is a pregnant mama out there that wants to keep track of their protein or diet.  I bought a dry erase board for my refrigerator.  On the board I have a few different boxes that say...water, protein, veggies & fruits, dairy, grains & bread, fish & beans, and exercise.  I use tally marks to track everything on a daily basis.  Protein- I tally every gram of protein I get that day.  Water- I tally every ounce of water I drink.  The food groups- I tally every serving I eat.  Exercise- I tally every time I exercise that day.   Does this all makes sense?  Here are pictures to better understand....





I love it!  I love being healthy and knowing I am doing everything to help my little bean grow!

On to our menu for the week!  Last weeks meals were awesome and our African dishes were delicious.  I am preparing to write about them in the next two days.  I am continuing my interest in cooking international foods and trying a Jamaican dish this week.  I am excited to try it!  Our last weekend got a little mixed up with our meals, because I was feeling under the weather.  So I moved a recipe to this week.  No biggie, we roll with it.

MENU:

MONDAY- Spinach and Lemon Orzo Pasta (We used only one lemon.  It probably would have even been fine with a half of a lemon.) 

TUESDAY-  Baked Spaghetti with roasted broccoli and homemade tomato sauce.

WEDNESDAY-  Homemade pizza with homemade dough!  (A family favorite)

THURSDAY-  Baked salmon, mashed potatoes, and steamed garlic broccoli

FRIDAY-  Leftovers and a big green salad

SATURDAY-  Jamaican Curried Shrimp & Mango Soup served with brown basmati rice

SUNDAY-  Broccoli and Mushroom Quiche and a green salad.  (We love to make quiche and to eat the leftovers for breakfast!)

For more meal planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie every Monday.

Happy cooking,

Alyson

"Children and mother never truly part.  Bonding in the beating of each others heart." -Charlotte Gray

3 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I have so much to write but I always feel like my comments are so long-winded.

    I was a vegetarian for three years and then, ever since I've been with my boyfriend I've fallen into some pretty awful eating habits for the past three years. I'm trying to clean up our plates, both for our health and the impact it has on the cute fuzzy animals of the world and our environment. For the past week and a half We haven't had any meat aside from fish one night and have been eating mostly organic veggies with basic whole grains in between and I feel so much better already.

    Anyway, I input my meals into livestrong.com every now and again to gauge my nutrient intake and I was shocked that for the past week I've been exceeding my protein recommendation - mostly thanks to quinoa, bean soups, and nonfat greek yogurt.

    Have you tried Bolthouse Farm's Protein Plus Mango? I love it! It has 16grams of protein per 8oz serving! That and quinoa muffins have been my go-to breakfasts lately.

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  2. What a wonderful way to have peace of mind. I've been into healthful eating since I was around the age of 20 when I went vegetarian.

    My husband and I were vegetarian for 17 years, 7 of those years we were vegan. I started consuming eggs and a little dairy when I was pregnant with my first son 9 years ago and within the last 2 years we've added a little meat. Most of the reasons we were vegetarian still apply and we will only buy local, organic, free range, humanely raised. Probably eat meat a few times a month I would guess.

    My 8 year old on the other hand is a vegetarian, so I have to be sure when we eat meat that he is getting a protein source as well. He only likes cheese on a couple of things, but he loves yogurt, beans, nuts and the occasional backyard egg so that helps:)

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  3. Caroline- I LOVE your comments, keep them coming. My readers are what keep me writing. Thank you! Doesn't it feel amazing when eat good whole foods. I have never tried Bolthouse Farm's Protein Plus drinks! I am pick some up soon. Thanks for the idea! I love quinoa and I need to make more of it!

    Julie- I love to hear that you have continued to eat healthy and have taught your son the importance of healthy sustainable eating. And since you were 20. Good job, lady. It is so important to teach our children good eating habits and the importance of eating organically and locally. They are our future.

    Thank you for commenting ladies!

    -Alyson

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