I am Stuffed!

I mean I am bursting at the seams with all the food I am supposed to eat!

I’m not a huge eater, I normally eat very low calorie healthy stuff and I need very little of it.

But this pregnancy is demanding that I eat at least 2000 calories a day! Yikes! That’s a LOT OF FOOD! (note: all calorie calculators say at my height and weight I should eat 2300 calories plus an additional 300 for pregnancy. I found that my body is different and never fit into Bmi and calorie calculators, probably because I’m so tall and naturally thin. So my normal calorie intake has always been 1700, possibly because I mostly eat vegetables and fruits and those are low calorie. So adding 300 calories for the baby, I’m at 2000 for the first trimester)

When you don’t eat hot pockets or burgers or meat lover’s pizzas all day long, 2000 calories is a difficult goal to achieve.

I eat salads, and fruits, and sauteed vegetables, whole grains ( that make you full really fast), I drink milk and kefir( yogurt-ish drink), I even have a cup or so of coconut milk ice cream when I can fit it in, but all that isn’t enough to get my 2000 calories a day.

I get excellent nutrition and a ton of it. Nothing bad, tons of good stuff. I get a perfect balance of carbs and protein, no added sugar, 35 grams of fiber a day, less than 40% DV of saturated fat. All my good nutrients are maxed out by the end of the day ( I enter everything I eat and track the vitamins and minerals from food), sitting at 200% of Daily Value and over, but I’m still at 1800 calories. And I feel FULL! So full that a thought of another glass of organic juice, or piece of whole grain bread or even an orange is a painful one.

What do you think is more important? Getting the recommended amount of calories or making sure every single bite you take is PACKED with nutrients? Eating whatever you can to fill up your calories? Or eat as much as you can of super healthy nutrient packed foods, making sure you get everything a baby and you need on daily basis?

Tomorrow, look forward to a bump update – I will be exactly 9 weeks 🙂

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Jaymi
    June 22, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    I’ve always heard that you only need to take in an extra 100-300 calories a day when pregnant than what your used to. Did your doctor recommend the high calorie diet? Just curious! Oh and just add a little bit of cheese to your diet and the calories will stack up in no time! 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 22, 2011 at 9:25 PM

      2000 calories is what happens when I add 300 for the first trimester. For my height I am really supposed to eat 2000 calories a day but I don’t really think the calculators have it right for me. It’s usually 1700 that my body needs. So now that I’m pregnant the additional 300 make it 2000.

      I try to do cheese but I’m not a fan and it’s just too fatty tasting for me…

  • Reply
    cocoschmoco
    June 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Check out the book “Real Food for Mother and Baby”, by Nina Planck. She has really goods ideas about eating while pregnant. I would really try to worry less about eating x amounts of every nutrient everyday, because if you’re eating a wide variety of whole foods, you’re getting what you need. Do you like things like bean dips or hummus? I think you don’t eat meat, but it fills you up, and is a really great thing for pregnancy.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 23, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      Relax, your comment is here, I just haven’t had the chance to approve it, jeez 😉

      I track nutrients because I don’t take the traditional prenatals but separate pills for each vitamin and mineral based on the need. Like if one day I didn’t get enough iron, I supplement iron and so on.
      I do like beans, but heavy things is exactly the problem right now. I get full way too fast. Especially with beans, grains…. By the end of the day I feel I just can’t eat anymore.
      I nÃĐed smth light but full of calories and healthy lol

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      And you know, your hummus idea is actually not bad. I just bought a loaf of homemade whole grain bread from the bakery to somehow add calories to everything I eat and I’ve been struggling finding use for it… But if I spread hummus on it, it’ll be a perfect snack!
      Thanks! I haven’t thought about it.
      And avocado dips and guacamole … Wow I just completely forgot about dips and spreads… That’s brilliant!
      Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Darls
    June 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    That’s great that you have figured out what works for YOUR body and don’t just go by ‘what the books say’

    It would be so awesome if you did a post on everything you ate in a day- give the rest of us some healthy ideas 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM

      I keep meaning to do a post like that. I promise I will as soon as I can. It definitely changed a bit since I got pregnant because of certain aversions.

  • Reply
    Irina
    June 23, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Eat till you full. My girlfriend only ate healthy foods in the amount she felt was just right for her. I believe she gained about 25 lbs. It was the minimum weight gain as she told me and she had a healthy baby.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 23, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Yeah, but you always gotta be careful with that. Effects of malnutrition or low birth weight don’t show up for many many years. If she ate all healthful things until she was full , it’s probably fine.

      • Reply
        Irina
        June 23, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        How much do you intend to gain? Do you have a limit set? Obviously, YOU won’t gain too much, but I’m curious if you have set an absolute top number for yourself?

        • Reply
          Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
          June 23, 2011 at 5:28 PM

          I really haven’t thought about it. I doubt I’ll gain too much so I’ll just go by guidelines each week and adjust as I go. First trimester you’re supposed to gain 0-6 lb so I’d like to be somewhere in the middle.

          • Irina
            June 23, 2011 at 5:32 PM

            I read somewhere that gaining too much – as some mother’s think there should be no limit and take it as excuse to let go,- is just as bad as gaining too little.

          • Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
            June 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

            That’s very true. The whole “eating for two” is an excuse. You only need extra 300 calories, plus some additional vitmain mineral requirement. The funny thing is gaining too little and having a low birth weight baby and gaining too much can result in the same problems for the baby: obesity, diabetes, heart desease, especially later in life.

  • Reply
    Miranda
    June 23, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    I say stick to how you eat now. If your body and baby need more from you then eating more will be your bodies natural response. As a woman you where created to have life in you so just trust what your body tells you. Even if its less food.

    And I ment that you glow. I never saw it either but everyone always commented on it.

  • Reply
    veronika
    June 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    elena—i think the most important thing is to listen to your body. If you are stuffed, it’s not a reason to eat more because that will be uncomfortable for you. I think you are eating such healthy foods that your baby is getting the best nutrition possible.

  • Reply
    tootiesmama
    June 23, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    I say don’t worry so much about what you eat and try and enjoy being pregnant. If you don’t eat the maximum recommended amound of calories everything will be fine. As long as you are eating and not starving yourself you will be just fine. But yeah, don’t worry so much about the technical side of things and just enjoy yourself.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 23, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I say just eat until you’re full, you eat so well I don’t think it will be a problem if you don’t reach 2000 but I’m no expert!

    I pretty much didn’t eat during my first pregnancy. I lost 15kg (not sure what that is in lb but I’m guessing a lot!) and weighed less at 9 months than I did before I fell pregnant, eek! The doctors did keep telling me if I didn’t eat, bub and I would be in serious trouble but everything I ate just came straight back out :/
    My daughter was 6lb 6oz and is now a healthy, very intelligent 4 year old (although she does have a delightful temper…lol) So she’s had no problems yet, she’s very tall and slim, her fav foods are salad and sushi hehe. My hubby is a Type 1 diabetic so she’s already a higher risk for that anyway :S The jury is still out on her behaviour ha! She breastfed for 25 months too, so she had a great start!
    Second pregnancy was the same food & weight wise. My little man arrived a month early, they think because of the stress of being so sick but he was already 6lb 10oz! He’s 22 months now and no problems yet either (fingers crossed!) and he’s still BF too 🙂

    Sorry if I go on a bit :S I just wish I’d had a blog when I was pregnant so I could’ve heard everyone’s stories and not been so in the dark about everything!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 23, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      No, Michelle, what are you talking about? I love reading every single detail of your experience!
      So what DID you end up eating? Obviously, you had to eat something.

      BTW, I don’t believe malnutrition was ever associated with behavioral problems (I’ll let you know if I ever read otherwise).

      I think the most important thing was that your babies did end up having a good weight at birth, so somehow they got the nutrients. At the same time, when there’s not enough food, their body is programmed to take as much food as possible and keep it, so maybe that helped them. Either way, there was nothing you could have done- you were sick. It’s not like you chose not to eat, cuz it was too hard. You did what you had to do in your situation. And if you only knew how much I feel for you, because even a little bit of nausea is miserable, but the whole 9 months- ugh!

      BTW, was there ever an explanation for why you had it that bad? Were your HCG levels really high?

      • Reply
        Michelle
        June 23, 2011 at 8:04 PM

        Yeah my HCG levels were through the roof! I remember when I had my 1st pregnancy confirmed by my doctor he came back with the results and said “Well you are VERY VERY pregnant!” lol. I don’t remember the numbers though. My Mum and Grandma both suffered from really bad morning sickness, not quite as bad as I had it but definitely above average sickness so I was pretty much doomed to begin with!

        With #1 I would suck on lollies mainly and orange flavoured ice blocks, then towards the end I used to eat sticks of carrot and green capsicum dipped in crushed tomatoes LOL. And peaches & nectarines too.
        With #2 I had a major passionfruit craving! I used to put the call out on facebook begging for people to bring me passionfruit! Also popcorn and lemonade. Towards the end I had awful reflux and heartburn and I used to drink chocolate milk for that. So not very healthy!!
        I also kept getting admitted to hospital for dehydration (drinking water was like drinking acid, it burned!) sometimes I’d just stay in Emergency on an IV but if I was really bad then I’d have to stay in for a few days, which sucked. I also had to have a Potassium IV once in my second pregnancy.

        They said that basically they were getting everything they needed from my stored body fat etc and thats why I lost so much weight, along with not eating. So I guess I was lucky I had a little extra padding on me, lol! I remember one day when i finally crawled out of bed and I saw my reflection I burst into tears because I looked so different!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    June 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Have you read anything on nutrition in pregnancy? It’s not the same as what you’d do to keep skinny and lose weight. Look up the Brewers diet. Protein is key, and while a ton of fruit and veggies are great, fats and protein are what makes the baby grow and develop, prevent pre-e, pre-term labor, etc. . From what you describe, there’s no way you’re getting even close to the recommended 100g of protein a day. You’re filling up on fiber. Also, the weight you gain in the 1st tri has more to do with determining birth weight than the weight you gain at the end. That’s why they suggest twin moms gain 20lbs by 20w.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 24, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      Yes I have read a lot about nutrition during pregnancy. I normally get 75-85 grams of protein a day which is optimal for the first trimester. In the second trimester I will have to add a few things to get up a bit higher. I drink milk, kefir, eat lots of whole grains that have a decent amount of protein, so far it has not been a problem. Plus all veggies and fruit has a small amount of protein.

      And yes I agree with you on the weight gain during the first trimester. It’s most associated with birth weight and future health problems.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 24, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Btw, I do see your point in the fact that I’m filling up on fiber. But what do I do not to? I can’t eliminate fruits and veggies and whole grains. Those are very important and that’s where I’m getting most of my fiber.
      Any ideas? (note: I’m still nauseous so I can eat anything fatty. I just introduced whole milk instead of fat free to up my calories a bit)

  • Reply
    Cathy
    June 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Also, since you’re so thin (underweight BMI?), you probably need to gain more than the normal recommended amount, or at least at the higher end.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 24, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      I was in the underweight Bmi before pregnancy ( though like I said, I don’t believe the standard BMI works for me). Right before I got pregnant i made sure to gain 4-6 pounds to get in the normal range. So now I’m in the normal range and even when I wasn’t my doctor told me that I don’t need to worry about, since I don’t seem to fit into the standard Bmi.

  • Reply
    Angie
    June 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Smoothies have always been my go to when I need more calories while pregnant or breastfeeding. One of my favorites to sneak in some extra calories and good fats is an avocado smoothie. I do kefir (We do our own with whole organic milk), a banana, strawberries and 1/2 an avocado. Sometimes depending on the strawberries I put a teaspoon of raw local honey in as well to sweeten it. And when the morning sickness is really bad I would freeze the smoothie into popsicles because the extreme cold helped soothe my stomach.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      Oh that’s helpful, thanks! I read about the smoothies in an article about twin pregnancy nutrition and started doing that a few days ago. I bought whole organic milk instead of non-fat and use a banana and strawberries too. Haven’t thought of adding avocados. What do they do to the taste? I can’t seem to stomach certain things that taste too fatty.
      And how do you freeze them for popsicles? What container do you use? I’d like that. I have a killer of a heartburn and cold things is the only thing that soothes it.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I always heard you don’t add the extra 300 until you hit the second semester.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      July 17, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      I don’t know, the books say 300, my doc told me 300 and all the pregnancy calculators seem to think I need to eat 2400 calories for my height and weight in the first trimester, which seems ridiculously much.
      After I posed this question to the doc, he said eat healthy as much as you can (since I had trouble getting up to 2000 cal), and if in the 2nd trimester I don’t start gaining weight, he’ll put me on dairy queen milkshakes lol
      I’ve been doing better though, it took me a few weeks to learn what to eat to get there while staying super healthy. I can finally eat nuts again which has been a huge help in the calorie department.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    errr- trimester NOT semester. I swear I know the right word after having 4 full-term pregnancies 😉

  • Reply
    Janelle
    August 6, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Hi Elena,
    I hope you still check comments on your old posts. I came across this one a while ago and wanted to ask, what program or website do you use to track your vitamin and mineral intake? I’m trying to make sure I give my toddler nutrient-dense foods and meet his rda requirements and haven’t yet found a recipe calculator that I’m happy with.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      August 6, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      Nutrition data from self.com
      I don’t remember the actual URL but if you google it , it should come up. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

      • Reply
        Janelle
        August 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        Thanks, found it easily!

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