So I sure have been learning a lot over the last 26 weeks of pregnancy! I definitely meant to get to writing this blog sooner and that just didn’t happen, but here we are finally back at it to discuss Intuitive Eating during pregnancy!
Quick Pregnancy recap:
I have been extremely fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy thus far and have overall felt pretty good. Weeks 7-10/11 were probably the worst as far as how I was physically feeling. During those few weeks I did have some mild constant nausea and was extremely exhausted 24/7. Was grateful to have never actually gotten sick and eating regularly and often really helped with the nausea. Since then I have had pretty good energy and appetite. Over the last couple of weeks’ sleep is getting harder with just finding a comfortable position and not having to get up every 10 seconds to pee, but tis life and I can’t complain! I can imagine as I approach the third trimester energy levels will probably decrease and that is okay, definitely taking time to listen to my body and rest as much as it needs!
Throughout this time, I have heard a lot of comments, opinions, experiences, and suggestions from others. I think this is pretty common and thankfully majority of these have been respectful, which I appreciate. One thing I heard a lot in the beginning of my pregnancy from others was how great it is to be pregnant and not worry about what you are eating or how it will impact your body size or weight. It sounded like a lot of people use pregnancy as a way to stop listening to diet culture and actually eat what they want and potentially overeat or binge at times. I had heard this before and knew it was something perpetuated by diet culture, but hadn’t really thought too much about it until I was hearing it pretty constantly and reflecting on how it was or wasn’t impacting me. Thankfully I have had a healthy relationship with food for years now and that has helped me throughout this pregnancy. Before getting pregnant I already ate what I wanted, ate dessert, ate pizza, fast food, or whatever other food some people might restrict on a regular basis and then let themselves have while pregnant. Having a healthy relationship with food and being an intuitive eater means you give yourself full permission to eat any and all foods and no foods are morally better than others. This has been super helpful throughout pregnancy! Don’t get me wrong body image thoughts have certainly surfaced and maybe that will be another post, but food is going great! If you felt this way during your pregnancy or feel this way now I highly highly encourage you to work on your relationship with food and your body and consider Intuitive Eating and letting go of diet culture!
An intuitive eater is defined as a person who, “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.” There is not one right way to be an intuitive eater and it will look different for everybody! It will also look different throughout different seasons of our lives, including pregnancy. One way to think about Intuitive Eating is our body being the pilot and our brain/head being the co-pilot. Our body is going to tell us what it needs, however at times it might be skewed for a variety of reasons and then our brain can tell us I still need food. For example one day maybe all I want for breakfast is toast with butter, but I know that won’t be super filling or satisfying so I might add eggs to it or yogurt or something else if I can stomach it. Asking yourself what your body needs right now can be really helpful! Here are some helpful tips to get starting on your Intuitive Eating journey!
- Give yourself permission to eat all foods
- Remind yourself no foods are better than other foods, just different
- Talk back to the food police in your head or others around you
- Let go of dieting (easier said than done, I know!)
- Listen to your body, notice where and how you feel hunger and fullness. If you aren’t in touch with these ques right now remember you still need to eat consistently throughout the day and that will help you get in touch!
- Be flexible, there is no such thing as perfect eating!
- Give yourself grace! It is a journey and takes time and patience.
I keep getting asked what I am craving and I really haven’t had any like HAVE TO HAVE IT RIGHT NOW cravings like are described sometimes during pregnancy, but there is still time for that! Here are some foods I can’t get enough of lately, all of which I normally really enjoy anyways aside from pregnancy.
- Bagels of any kind, bagel + peanut butter, bagel + cream cheese, bagel breakfast sandwiches
- Baked goods like muffins, cookies, cake, any pastry really
- Oatmeal, but specifically quick oats (texture) + all the toppings
- Fruits of all kinds, especially berries
- Blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes
- Ice cream sundaes
- Biscuit breakfast sandwich
- Potato chips + french onion dip
If you aren’t sensing a theme here, it is primarily breakfast foods and desserts haha! My favorites! Our bodies are going to go through so much change throughout our lives, pregnancy being one of these potential changes. Intuitive Eating will look different for everyone and letting go of the should have’s or judgments will help your physical and mental health whether you are pregnant or not!
Happy eating ya’ll! Let me know in comments or on our contact page what you want to hear about on the blog or if you have any questions or comments! I’d love to hear from you!