The Pregnancy Journey - Real Food for Pregnancy Book Review

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Feeding Every Craving

Before I had my daughter, I was under the impression that pregnancy cravings were just that – cravings. I’ve never been particularly “thin”, thanks to my genetics, body type, and growing up playing soccer, but I figured if I could beat PMS cravings, this whole pregnancy craving thing would be a walk in the park. Oh, self. Oh my sweet, sweet, naive self.

My first pregnancy was filled with cinnamon rolls, chocolate milkshakes and banana splits. I didn’t gain much weight until around month 5, when I stopped walking across the Texas Tech University campus (I was an adjunct professor for a few years) when the semester ended and my hips shifted, causing me to stop playing soccer. Hey - I talked to my doctor about it, she and my husband were fine with it. It’s not like I was playing in the World Cup – it was the lowest women’s division. Competition level: -10%. Needless to say, I stopped weighing myself after I gained 80 pounds. 

My second pregnancy has been a complete 180 from my first. With my first, I felt nausea, but I rarely actually got sick. With my second, I felt every wave of nausea and “purged” daily, sometimes multiple times a day. After receiving the flu vaccine (move on anti-vaxxers), I felt flu-ish for a day or two, then I had a sinus infection that WOULD NOT GO AWAY. Because decongestants containing phenylephrine are not recommended during pregnancy, Benadryl, acetaminophen, and Grainbow Hotpacks became my best friends.

Then, one magical, glorious day sometime after week 12, it all just … went away. I was a new woman! A new woman who was down 10 pounds before getting pregnant! This time around I vowed to not double down on pregnancy weight gain and not give in to every little craving.

A Roadmap to Eating Healthy While Growing Your Baby Bump

This nutrition guide helps keep your body and your baby healthy. While a good chunk of advice you may have heard about what to eat and what not to eat may have every great intention in mind, most of this information is outdated and not evidence based. Author and specialist in prenatal nutrition, Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, clears the air on what to eat and why, and each recommendation has research to back it up.

I am a whole-hearted believer in “Real Food” and especially why it’s important during pregnancy. At our house we believe you’re either going to pay the farmer or the doctor, so let’s get on the preventative care and stop any potential health problems before they get started. I’m looking at you – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis and even certain cancers.

I get it, not every meal can be scratch, and we are far from eating “perfect” at every meal but making a little effort can make a big difference in the long run. I shoot for at least one meal each day to be made from fresh ingredients in our kitchen. Unless you’re the kind of person who is looking to spend half your day and just really love your kitchen, I don’t suggest you take this book and immediately swear off processed food forever. Baby steps friends, baby steps. Maybe start with one or 2 meals a week.

Covering nutrition basics that are good to know even when you’re not pregnant to meal plans, supplements, even toxins and the importance of your mental health, this book is a comprehensive and well-referenced resource on prenatal nutrition. Real Food for Pregnancy is a guide you can trust with information about which foods are needed for optimal health during pregnancy and for growing a developing baby. With the information and recipes in this book, you won’t have to doubt or be skeptical if you’re on the right path of wellness because Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, will be there to keep you and your little family accountable!

Available in paperback and on Kindle.

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