For those of you who have been following my Instagram, it will come as no surprise to hear that I’m pregnant. And if not, surprise! I’m nine months pregnant with a baby girl, and I’m very ready to meet her.
If you have been pregnant before, you know how tricky food can become. I, for one, spent my first trimester snacking on Gingersnaps & sipping Ginger Ale to ward off nausea. My second trimester was spent counting down the seconds between meals, feeling constantly ravenous. My third started off with the return of dreaded queasiness and a dependency on carbs.
Unfortunately, this newfound dedication to bread lead to a disappointing Ultrasound — the baby was tracking too large for a natural delivery. My doctor advised that I slow down on the sugar & bread, and stick to smaller, healthier meals. For everyone who knows me, giving up sugar is a dagger to the heart. And anyone who knows pregnant me, is aware that losing bread could prove catastrophic. However, baby’s health is most important, so off I went to change my diet!
It’s important to note, my doctor told me to cut down on these items — not give them up 100%. I have always been a strong advocate for Cheat Days, even in the strictest of diets (hence the name of this blog). Giving up anything completely often results in epic relapses and slips. Also, you deserve to treat yourself! So, while I stuck to smaller & healthier meals like the ones below most days of the week, I enjoyed delectable Cheat Days on Saturdays.
Below I’ve listed some of the low carb/sugar meals I’ve been eating over the last few months. Not only are they healthy, but they are also extremely easy to throw together with minimal to no cooking. I’ve been exhausted during my third trimester, so I don’t have the time nor energy to pull out cooking equipment.
Disclaimer: I am by no means a nutritionist. This is what worked for me, and I can happily report that it worked! Baby is a completely average size.
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt with Muesli & Berries: I personally prefer Fage 0% Fat. It comes in large tubs, so it’s easy to use throughout the week. I also like Straus Non-Fat Greek Style tubs when I can find them. For the Muesli, I’ve been using Alpen No Sugar Added. Finally, I top this off with Blueberries, Blackberries, and/or Raspberries.
Oatmeal with Banana: My favorite brand for Oatmeal is McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal. It’s easy to prep on a busy morning, since you don’t have to pull out any pots or pans. Just pour some oatmeal & water into a bowl & pop it in the microwave for 3 min. When done, I add pieces of banana, and mix them into the oatmeal. Lastly, I add a sprinkle of sea salt & enjoy.
Sugar Free Cereal with Almond Milk & Blueberries: I’ve been alternating through three Cereals: Unsweetened Three Wishes, Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax, and Grape Nuts. All of these cereals have no or very little sugar in them. I top it off with natural Almond Milk brands that are unsweetened and low in fat. I’ve been using both Elmhurst & Three Trees. Finally, I mix in Blueberries.
Scrambled Eggs: Finally, there are always good ole eggs! They are so healthy & easy to make. Also. they are completely versatile! If you have produce in the fridge, you can always add spinach, onions, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini…. the world is your oyster. At home, I cook them plain in Olive Oil. But at a restaurant, I’ll order an exciting veggie scramble with light cheese.
Mid Day Snacks
Apple Slices with Cheese & Almond Butter: It doesn’t get much easier than this — especially since I have one of those apple slicers that cuts the apple in one big push. I personally love Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Jazz, Pink Lady, & Envy apples. I then can make them savory or sweet. I add a spoonful of Justin’s Almond Butter to the plate, and slices of Tillamook Cheddar Cheese.
Unsweetened Applesauce with Nuts: There are a number of brands who make Applesauce with no sugar added. You can also certainly make it yourself. I either eat this by itself for a smaller snack, or bulk it up with a handful of Roasted & Salted Nuts. To be honest, I snack on nuts all day. They are so easy & delicious, I keep a bowl of them by my work computer. I like the Fancy Nut Mix from Trader Joe’s!
Carrots with Hummus: Always baby carrots, and always Ithaca Hummus. Any of the flavors. Easy.
Cottage Cheese with Fruit: Does anyone buy anything other than the pink tubs of Low-Fat Cottage Cheese from Knudsen? It’s such a classic. I mix in whatever fruit I have on hand — which is often pretty plentiful. I’ll add any kind of berry, grapes, peaches, pears, apples, or a variety.
Parmesan Cheese Crisps with Grapes: I like the Whisps brand because they are a great size. Then I supplement with Green or Purple Grapes. Pro Tip: For those of you with a sweet tooth, grapes are a healthy godsend. You can also freeze them!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza: I routinely keep a Caulipower branded pizza in the freezer. Then if I’m running short on time or energy, I can just pop one into the oven. I’m a huge fan of their adorable branding, and their cauliflower crust is the best frozen brand I’ve tried!
Salads: If you’ve been following my Instagram, you know I have been on a huge salad kick recently. Most nights, I just throw one together with the items in my fridge. I’m not going to lie — they are pretty delicious. I always order eggs or chicken breasts at the beginning of the week. I will either roast extra chicken to have on hand, or hard boil half of the eggs to use. Aside from the eggs or chicken, I often put tomatoes, cucumber, castelvetrano olives (the best), feta cheese, & avocado. Then I add salt & pepper, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. Another option is to stick to chicken, burrata or mozzarella, avocado, fresh basil, and heirloom tomato. Then I add balsamic vinegar & olive oil.
Roasted Whole Eggplant: Another super easy dish. I just take a whole eggplant, cut it in half, and score it. Then I add salt, letting some of the moisture out of the eggplant. Once that is finished, squeeze the excess water out, and season the scored eggplant with your favorite spices. I like to add Paprika & Za’atar to mine. Smother the two piece in olive oil (getting into the scored pieces), and place face down on a sheet pan. Roast it for an hour at 450 degrees. When it’s done, the eggplant will be so soft & delicious. I like to serve this with rice or cauliflower rice, and maybe a spoonful of Greek Yogurt.
Roasted Chicken and Veggies: I’ll order boneless skinless chicken breasts at the beginning of the week & roast them all at once. I have a recipe on the blog I routinely use — please check it out, it’s delicious! Then I’ll add some sort of veggie to the other side of the baking sheet. I’ll add carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini — whatever is in season! I recently made brussels sprouts and tossed them in Dijon & Sweet Mustards. But otherwise, it’s easy just to toss veggies in olive oil, garlic, salt, & pepper.
Dining Out: Dining Out has become quite the challenge on a low carb/sugar diet. I’m not going to lie — I pretty much frequent the same few places & order the exact same things. True Food Kitchen has been the easiest option, and I stick to their Turkey Burger (protein style), Good Earth Cobb, or Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Otherwise, I’ve eaten a lot of Middle Eastern Chicken Kabob with salad instead of rice. Other than that, I’ll order eggs with a side of fruit at breakfast places, and salads at lunch places.
I really hope this post is helpful, if not for pregnancy, but at least to provide some inspiration for healthy & quick meals. I desperately was looking for something like this after that fateful Doctor’s visit, and had a hard time finding a list. Pregnancy is amazing in so many ways, but it does sometimes provide some tricky challenges (especially regarding food). Just know that there are plenty of other women encountering these types of conundrums, and we’re happy to help the best we can!