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Prenatal Meal Planning

November 28, 2020
walnut crusted salmon

Deciding what to eat while pregnant can be a daunting task. I’m currently almost through the second trimester, but the memories of endless nausea in the first trimester are fresh. I relied heavily on morning smoothies, eggs, peanut butter sandwiches and daily evening dashes to the store by my husband. Some days we wouldn’t know what I could tolerate for dinner until as late as 4:30pm. Luckily, those days are long gone. Well into the second trimester, I’ve still kept up my daily smoothie habit. But I’m also trying to eat plenty of protein, with whole grains, fruit and veggies. Some days the plan works well and some days it doesn’t. I try not to beat myself up too much. Before pregnancy I followed an anti-inflammatory diet to help with my endometriosis symptoms, but during pregnancy those symptoms have all but disappeared. So if that means I can indulge in pizza or chocolate right now, I’m all about it!

But a couple weeks ago, I felt like my sugar cravings were getting the best of me. It may have been all the leftover Halloween candy, or just the freedom of enjoying that second trimester appetite. After checking in with my naturopathic doctor I decided that I needed a little more planned meal structure to finish out the second half of this pregnancy. That’s when I reached out to my friend Jamie Adams for recipe ideas. Jamie is registered dietician who specializes in prenatal nutrition. She just launched a new prenatal recipe e-book and it was exactly what I was looking for. The recipes are simple, easy to follow and made with affordable ingredients. I flipped to the second trimester section and tried out a few of the recipes last week. First up was the Walnut Crusted Salmon:

walnut salmon
Walnut Crusted Salmon and Crispy Roasted Brussel Sprouts, recipe by Jamie Adams

This was so easy to make and really delicious. I’m used to cooking salmon on the grill or on the stovetop, but this was baked in the oven which made clean up very easy. The topping with walnuts, green onions, lemon juice and seasonings kept the fish moist. I like how each section of the e-book details which nutrients are important for that trimester and why. I am much more likely to eat healthfully when I know the specific effects it’s having on my body and the baby’s. With omega-3 fatty acids in the fish and the walnuts, this dish is great for building the baby’s brain! I paired it with another recipe from the e-book: Crispy Brussel Sprouts roasted with avocado oil. I had to dig in the back of my cabinet for that bottle but I’m glad that I did! Avocado oil has a wonderful rich taste, and it was in another recipe that I tried: Zucchini, Mushroom and Egg Breakfast.

Zucchini, Mushroom and Egg Breakfast, recipe by Jamie Adams

I will typically eat a smoothie for breakfast (and there are several tasty smoothie recipes in this e-book!) and some kind of eggs for lunch, so this dish really hit the spot. I loved that this recipe and others were simply seasoned, but options were given for adding further flavor. I added cayenne pepper and garlic powder to the veggies, then cooked the eggs in the same pan, which added tons of flavor. The choline in eggs are great for the baby’s brain as well, just be sure to cook them thoroughly. Next up, I tried the Apple Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Brie:

apple turkey brie burger
Apple Turkey Burger and Sweet Potato Fries, recipe by Jamie Adams

This dish was so decadent and delicious! Definitely saving this recipe for use after pregnancy. The burgers are mixed with shredded apple, coconut oil and dijon mustard and topped with brie cheese, green apple slices and caramelized onion. The brie gets all gooey and melted, making this a perfect fall or winter dish. I paired it with the Sweet Potato Fries recipe, also made with coconut oil, and it was amazing.

I really recommend this recipe e-book to any expecting mothers or just anyone looking for a fresh set of simple and healthy recipes. Jamie also includes a whole snacks and dessert section, which I can’t wait to try. The Breakfast Oatmeal Cookies with dark chocolate chips look divine. And also a section of meals that can be prepped and frozen, ideal for the first several weeks after the baby arrives. Alex and I will definitely be making a few of these in February to prepare for our “4th Trimester” in March and April. Be sure to get yourself a copy. Jamie is offering a $10 discount with the code CYBERWEEK10 now through Friday 12/4. You won’t want to miss it! And you can follow her on Instagram @mamastenutrition for more tips on prenatal nutrition.

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