Welcome to my first blog. Over the coming months, I will write a regular blog, concentrating on a certain topic around my pregnancy and how my life, training, eating habits have changed.
I have been a professional athlete for over 10 years now and, as you can imagine, the pregnancy has changed my life completely and turned it upside down. It is challenging but exciting and I am learning every day.
This month, I will talk about the nutritional side. I am 23 weeks pregnant now and my belly is definitely starting to poke out. When you are a Professional athlete, food is such an important part of your life. Your body is your capital and your motor, so you try to make sure that you are always getting all the right nutrients in, and getting enough calories. I have done so much research and I feel I like I have figured out what my body needs and what is best for it.
Whether you are pregnant or not, I believe you should always make sure that you get all the important nutrients in your daily food intake. I am a big believer in real food. This means I try to get most of my nutrition from fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, real food with no wrapping paper around it and no added preservatives. Of course, when you have a busy lifestyle and you don’t always have the time and opportunity to cook your food or it needs to be quick, alternative snacks like the healthy Nutrimeal and snack bars from USANA are a great substitute.
I will write down a few of my favourite meals and what I believe is important in your daily intake.
As I said, I believe it is important for everyone, but it is even more important when you are pregnant, that you get all the right nutrients in. You don’t want your growing baby lacking anything.
I make sure that all my meals include carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and want to make sure to get enough of certain minerals, Iron, Iodine.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Make sure, that you have a good breakfast and don’t skip it. Some people skip breakfast as a way to lose weight, but it will have exactly the opposite effect. A healthy breakfast is the perfect start to your day:
My favourite breakfast:
Porridge made out of oats, buckwheat, amaranth and dried fruits. I cook it with water for about 5mins; add sunflower seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, a bit of coconut oil and a mashed ripe banana. You can add whatever you have got in your pantry or fridge. You can add a bit of honey, if you prefer it a bit sweeter. (chia seeds and nuts are a great protein source).
Favourite snacks for in-between:
Apples, Carrots, (since I am pregnant, I could eat carrots and apples all day, I seem to have a real craving for these), nuts or one of the great tasty USANA bars.
Favourite lunch or dinner recipes:
Whatever suits your lifestyle best, some people would rather have a bigger lunch or dinner. I normally have more time in the evenings to cook a proper meal, because that’s when my boyfriend and I have time to sit down and eat together.
I prefer really simple dinners. I don’t like to prepare and cook for a very long time. So my meals are easy and quick to prepare, but healthy and include all the important nutrients. I don’t add any fat sauces, because they just add unnecessary calories and preservatives and make you feel heavy.
My favourite choice:
Chicken breast cooked in a fry pan with ginger (good protein source).
In a separate pan or wok, I cut up all different vegetables of the season, like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach etc. I make sure I have got a lot of healthy green vegetables, but also have a great variety of vegetables. That way you make sure you cover all the vitamins and minerals. I just cook it on low heat until it’s soft but don’t overcook it.
Separately, I cook rice or quinoa in a rice cooker, which is the easiest way. (carbohydrates)
I mix it all together; add good olive oil and herbs or spices. For me, this is the perfect healthy dinner, ready within 15 minutes.
As an alternative, I make fish or once in a while a piece of red meat for additional Iron.
To make sure I get enough of all the important vitamins, minerals, fish-oil, calcium, magnesium; I make sure I take my USANA supplements daily. Being pregnant, I feel like I have an even higher demand and want to make sure I am not lacking in anything.
I used to eat similar when I was training and competing full time, the only difference was the portions were usually a little larger and my carbohydrate intake was higher. At the moment, I still try to exercise every day, but not as many hours and the intensity is a lot lower. But that is exactly, what I will cover in next month’s blog – the change in my training and what kind of exercise I am still doing at the moment.