Let me explain: My name is Anna and I am six months pregnant. I have a love/hate relationship with this blog already: on the one hand it is really inspiring, on the other hand it is sad to be inspired to lose weight when you definitely can’t.
Still, Katie asked me to write about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant, and if there is ever a time to be healthy it is while you are trying to grow another human in your body. I am not terrific at doing this, but this New Year’s I identified my hang-ups with eating healthy and have made some goals that have been working pretty well.
Hang ups for eating healthy:
1.It’s more expensive.
I love saving money. Love it, love it, love it. Unfortunately, one of the easiest ways to save money on food (using coupons and sales) is buying and eating junk food. Why cook a meal when I can get frozen pizza for $2? Why cook healthy snacks when I can get Hostess cupcakes for free?
2.It takes more time.
Being pregnant and having a toddler makes me want to go to bed at 6:00-- not cook dinner. Even not pregnant, cooking dinner was often the last thing I wanted to do. Once again, a frozen pizza requires no preparation except preheating the oven, which I never do for a frozen pizza anyway because, hey, it’s a frozen pizza, not a culinary masterpiece.
3.I like junk food. Do you really need an explanation here? Every time Katie mentions Oreos in one of her posts my mouth waters.
So here is how I am countering my hang ups:
1.Expensive. First of all, I took a big gulp and just decided that I would have to be willing to spend a little more money on food. Healthy is more important than cheap. Even with sales and coupons, whole wheat bread will almost always be more expensive than regular wheat bread. Vegetables are more expensive than high fructose corn syrup.
Second, I try to buy frozen vegetables as much as possible. They are cheaper, last longer, and often contain more nutrients than “fresh” vegetables that have been sitting on a grocery shelf for days. This way I don’t end up with a lot of rotten produce that I forget about in my fridge, and I can get a good selection in a stir-fry mix at the store’s regular price for $1.50 without having to buy a whole bundle of each vegetable I want. Fresh spinach is so expensive! But a brick of frozen spinach is around a dollar when it is not on sale.
Finally, like Kathy, my family eats the same thing for breakfast every day: cream of wheat and fruit (well, my husband eats oatmeal, but my toddler and I have cream of wheat). (We buy cold cereal when we can get a good deal on it [less than a dollar] but then we consider it a snack.) Unless there are leftovers from dinner, we eat the same thing every day for lunch too: milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some canned vegetable.(FYI canned is cheaper than frozen and has the same nutrients but also contains some additives and sometimes a funky taste.) I am not completely convinced that PB&Js are super healthy so if anyone has strong feelings about eating them feel free to comment about it. I know at least the fat in peanut butter is the good kind…
2.Takes up time. Again, just like Kathy, I made a prepared list of recipes to cycle through during the week. I actually did twelve days and leave one day a week open so that we can eat frozen pizza if I want it. And just so you know, we had frozen pizza last night—and it was so good. I also tried to pick fast meals like stirfrys, or meals that I could prepare earlier in the day when I still had energy. Crockpot meals are wildly successful right now because not only can you prepare them earlier, they also cost you less money than using the oven. I am excited to try Polly’s refried bean recipe.
3.I love junk food. Well, I do just what you all do. I tell myself that sometimes we want things very badly that we just can’t have. Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn’t. Mostly I am learning how to combat that from this blog.
I suppose this is a long-winded explanation of my eating goals. I am definitely just beginning. Feel free to offer your own tried and true tips for eating healthy when you are a lazy, junk-food-loving, pregnant penny-pincher.