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