Fit Pregnancy & Health Routine

In a less-than-Brief nutshell, my routine for the past 8 months has been:

Healthy Eating

Health has always been a top priority of mine, and that hasn’t changed during pregnancy. If anything, I’ve become even more aware of what I put in my body. I haven’t used my pregnancy as an excuse to “eat for two” or to go wild with pints of ice cream or fast food. I don’t eat that way normally and I definitely wouldn’t start when I’m growing my sweet little bub! I don’t believe in restriction when it comes to food but rather, moderation (I’m no stranger to an occasional pizza). Let’s be clear - the goal should never be to gain as little weight as possible. A healthy pregnancy requires substantial weight gain and it’s important to find a balance between nourishment and overindulgence.

I have found that things like french fries literally taste better while pregnant and some sort of biological magic happens where cravings are very real. I recently found a guide that explains what these types of cravings could actually mean and it’s been really helpful. Here are some examples.

Disclaimer: I’m obviously not a doctor, scientist, or a dietician, these are just generalized helpful replacement guidelines!

  • If you crave CHOCOLATE… you actually need magnesium (nuts, seeds, veggies, fruit)

  • If you crave SUGARY FOOD… you actually need chromium (broccoli, grapes, cheese, chicken) carbon (fresh fruits) phosphorus (chicken, meat, fatty fish, eggs, nuts, veggies, grains) sulphur (cabbage, cauliflower) tryptophan (cheese, raisins, sweet potato, spinach)

  • If you crave BREAD, PASTA, CARBS… you actually need nitrogen (high protein food, meat, fatty fish, nuts, beans, chia seeds)

  • If you crave OILY FOODS… you actually need calcium (organic grass-fed milk, cheese, green leafy veg)

  • If you crave SALTY FOODS… you actually need chloride (fatty fish, goat milk) silicon (cashews, nuts, seeds)

Some specific replacements I use to curb my unhealthy cravings are:

  • A simple fresh banana and strawberry blend (with a dash of ice water) in lieu of unhealthy sweets (or really just fruit in place of any refined sugar)

  • A piece of whole grain toast topped with almond butter to satiate a carb craving

  • A squeeze of lemon or various spices instead of salt, soy sauce, or high sodium things

  • Wild rice cooked in bone broth instead of white pasta

  • An almond milk, banana, spinach, almond butter, hemp protein, chia seed smoothie instead of a sugary salad dressing on greens

  • A sparkling ginger lemonade (I always order or make with less sweetener) instead of a soda or virgin cocktail drink

  • This cereal instead of those sneaky-sugary childhood favorites

Exercise

The “dangers” of exercising during pregnancy have been generally debunked and it has been proven that exercise is beneficial for the baby. With encouragement from my doctor, I’ve been going to Bar Method (a ballet / barre style workout) a few times a week because I was very experienced with the workout before getting pregnant. In my third trimester, I have dropped that down to a max of twice a week but it still feels great. I never let myself get to the point of excessive sweating or huffing and puffing and always make sure I can still carry a conversation.

I try to go on a walk with my husband every day. These walks range from 2 to 4 miles. The 4 mile walks were frequent in my second trimester but not quite as much in my third. I worked hard when I had the energy in my second trimester so I don’t feel so bad that now that I’m slowing down a little more in my third.

In the final stretch, I’m currently finding it a little challenging to reconcile the feeling of wanting to continue being active and listening to my body when I’m tired and need to rest. In general, I feel so much less swollen and lethargic if I get out and get the blood flowing but on some days I just need a cat nap by 3pm.

These have been my absolute favorite activewear pieces I’ve worn during pregnancy. I have found over-the bump pants to be more comfortable when my bump was a little smaller and under the bump to be more comfortable after month 7…

Plenty of Water

Water consumption is crucial but can easily go to the wayside. I picked up a 40ml Hydroflask bottle with a straw lid (nerd alert but this lid is the absolute best and makes it so easy to drink more) so I could keep track of how many times I fill it up (2-3 times).

I got an ultrasound one morning after being slightly dehydrated and it was anxiety producing to say the least. Baby’s world is directly affected by hydration, so skimping is never an option!

I’m also admittedly a bit of a water snob. I don’t touch plastic water bottles while pregnant (if they have been exposed to heat you are consuming chemicals like BPA and so is baby, not to mention they are horrible for the environment) and I try to drink mainly mineral water for better retention.

Ignoring Unsolicited Advice & Negative Stories / Mental Health

Everyone from the UPS guy to the checkout lady at the grocery store will have comments, judgements, or unsolicited advice to throw your way while pregnant. It can be really frustrating and often feel rude but generally I try to remember that people are just trying to relate.

There is one area that I really try and steer conversations away from and that is doom and gloom stories about birth and motherhood. Once someone starts talking about a scary pregnancy or birth, how terrible life will be with a baby, how little sleep there will be, or how much work it is, I quickly change the topic. There’s nothing helpful about these types of conversations and while I can understand that motherhood is very hard for some people, it’s not a feeling I want to have going into what I perceive as one of the most exciting times. I see motherhood as the greatest adventure yet so what actually matters most to me are my mom’s, aunt’s, and grandmother’s positive stories of how great motherhood was for them. It fills me with gratitude and excitement for what lies ahead!

Self Care

I’ve only cut my hair once during pregnancy and my hair is naturally blonde (I’ve never dyed it or had highlights, etc) so staying out of the salon was easy. I also rarely get my nails done so nail salons have been easy to avoid as well.

Hair

As far as my beauty routine at home, I switched out my hair care and beauty products for all-natural and non-toxic options. I found the Carina Organics line through the EWG and I absolutely love the way they smell! I originally got the baby wash to test out on me before using it on the baby and I love that one as well. These are my absolute go-to’s:

Makeup

I’m not a huge makeup girl so a little tinted moisturizer, blush, and mascara is generally all I use. I found cleaner formulations to replace my regulars. Glossier has a good EWG rating and so far I’ve loved the efficacy of the perfecting skin tint and the cloud paint. The Ilia mascara doesn’t perform as well as say, DiorShow, but it gets the job done and has way less chemicals.

Body

I’ve also been religious about keeping my belly and hips oiled throughout my pregnancy. I don’t believe there’s any way to truly prevent stretch marks but I’m sure this helps and taking a few moments to rub it in is really relaxing :)

This was fun to write and I hope some of you soon-to-be-mamas out there can relate. Drop by in the comments below if you have any similar things to share!

Jen KayComment