My Pregnancy Food Diary: Introduction


Eating well during pregnancy is hard.

Before I got pregnant with my first child, I thought it was a no-brainer. Of course I'd want to eat as healthfully as possible and avoid the junk that wouldn't nourish his growing body or mine. But it's not always that simple. You're tired, nauseous, achy, and dealing with the demands of normal life on top of being pregnant. You may want to eat well, but it's a different thing entirely to follow through on that desire. Though I've eaten mostly well during both my pregnancies, I confess to a few frozen pizzas, a couple trips to Subway, and one excursion to fulfill an intense fried chicken craving. During my first trimester of both pregnancies, there have been a couple stretches during which I ate little more than french toast and crackers and cheese. Not exactly a diverse diet of super foods. :)

I make much better food choices when I do two things: 1) plan meals ahead of time, and 2) write down what I've actually eaten.

I discovered the second one while spending a week recording everything I ate on a worksheet provided by my (amazing) midwife. It included a handy checklist at the bottom of each day to help you make sure you're getting enough of various foods. I realized that I was eating a lot better just because I knew I'd be writing down what I ate!

So I'm going to start sharing my food diary with you. My goal is to post each Monday with the foods I've eaten one day during the prior week. It will motivate me to make good choices about what I eat, and it will motivate you to eat well, pregnant or not!

Every week I'll let you know how I'm doing according to these guidelines given to me by my midwife. Here are the recommended number of servings of various foods:

Protein: 4
Eggs: 2
Dairy: 4 
Butter: 3
Grains: 2
Veggies: 3-4
Greens: 2
Fruit: 1
Citrus: 1

Here is what I like about these numbers:
1. They show the importance of protein and healthy fat during pregnancy.
2. They emphasize nutrient dense foods, like eggs, dairy, butter, vegetables, greens, and citrus.
3. They do not over-emphasize the role of grains in the diet, which should be eaten in moderation even if whole and properly prepared. 
4. They keep fruit in balance, which, though nutritious, is high in natural sugars and should be eaten in moderation.

Those might be different than recommendations you've seen elsewhere for what to eat during pregnancy. And that's precisely why I like them. At my first visit to the OB with my first pregnancy, the nurse practitioner handed me a food pyramid and told me all I needed to do was add a little more calcium to my diet (but definitely not by consuming raw milk!). Of course there was no mention of avoiding processed foods, trans fats, refined vegetable oils, or white flour and sugar, and including nutrient dense animal foods and vegetables into my diet. But I've learned a few things along the way about what is important to eat and avoid. And I'm excited to share them with you! I'm still learning and I'd love to hear from you about what you think it's important to eat (or not eat) during pregnancy.

What do you think about these dietary recommendations? Would you add or change anything based on your knowledge of nutrition during pregnancy?

On Monday I'll post the first entry in my food diary, along with some info about why I'm eating what I'm eating. See you then!

This is part of Fight Back Friday.


  1. Joanna

    Thank you so much for addressing this. It is SOOO hard for me to eat well during pregnancy--esp first trimester.

    This second time around,I have been way hungrier, but feel aversions to a lot of foods. Most of what I've been eating: green apples, fruit in general, ummm and a lot of cookies and sweets over the holidays. I have to force myself to eat meat and the things I know are good for me. It's very frustrating since normally avoiding the junk is not hard for me.

    I think I'm so hungry though because my pre pregnancy diet for the last 1-2 yrs has been very low calorie and probably lacking in essential fats, vitamins, and minerals.
    I think I am actually malnourished!

    So, I'm pounding the raw milk, butter, and just ordered some cod liver oil/butter oil and I'm in the process of making liver pate'. I hope it helps cause the incessant hunger is driving me crazy!(getting up 1-2x in the night to eat!)

    Any thoughts/ideas on this? Do you think it will pass? I'm 13 wks today.

  2. I like that this list includes 3 servings of butter. I'm pretty sure I'm getting at least that, I crave butter!

    I also had intense fried chicken cravings my first trimester...lots of fast food for a couple weeks, but I'm doing much better now!

  3. Joy, I think it will pass and get better! I know that feeling. I was a lot more like that with my first pregnancy. I had to eat all the time, but nothing sounded good. One thing that helped me was smoothies. Blend together yogurt or kefir, raw milk, frozen fruit, melted coconut oil, and a couple egg yolks (from a a trusted source). Packs in a lot of nutrients and is easy to consume. I also think it is really important to eat a good amount of protein and healthy fat in the morning. Eggs, healthy breakfast meats (or any meat that you can stand), or cottage cheese are all good options. (I sometimes add cottage cheese to my smoothie to up the protein, too.) I hope things get better for you soon! It is exhausting to take care of yourself when you're starving all the time! Good luck!

  4. Sarah, I agree! I crave butter all the time, too. Isn't it freeing to know it's not bad for you!?

  5. Food journaling is such a good tip! I'm definitely filing this one away in my brain for when I get pregnant. I know I want to eat as healthy as possible, but I've seen too many friends in their first trimester to know that it will be easy :-P

  6. Thanks for writing this! I'm currently 13wks with my 2nd and have learned so much over the past year or so about real food! I've always eaten whole foods in general, but I just know so much more now.

    I've been feeling really guilty because I just haven't felt well this 1st trimester. I'm glad I'm not the only one that has had trouble following through with what I know I should eating!

    I'm tracking my food for my midwife starting this week too! My queasiness is gone, my energy is back, and I'm ready to jump head first into nourishing myself and this baby!

  7. Lori, it is helpful! I'm not the most consistent, but I try! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. Kathryn, I'm glad you're going to be tracking what you eat. It will help motivate you even on days when you're not feeling the best. It's great that you're feeling better - good luck as you try to eat well for two!