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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Eating Healthy

I’ve been reading through my posts and lately all I’ve talked about is Beanie and my pregnancy. Quite naturally, that is the center of my world at this time … of course there are others things going on that I could write about. One is my ongoing love affair with food! Lately, I’ve been trying to eat a more healthy and balanced diet which is all because of Beanie and my pregnancy. But before I digress into more “Beanie and pregnancy talk” … let me share a revelation I’ve had about eating … it’s NOT as HARD to eat healthy as I thought. When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought it would mean a nine month, unhappy dieting ordeal. It kinda, sorta started that way. But later on, things got a bit easier.

We all think that eating healthy means giving up a lot of the foods we love (and while that may be somewhat true), it doesn’t have to be a major life-altering, supreme-act-of-deprivation, complete-sacrifice-of-happiness endeavor. In my case, being pregnant meant giving up caffeine and sushi. But that’s about all I had to give up, really. The rest is all about compromise, substitution and control. Don’t get me wrong, I still give in to my junk food cravings and there is no way I could completely give up sweets and carbs … but I think I have found a way to balance my meals where I am satisfied but can still face my doctor at bi-monthly weigh-ins and check-ups.

As I said, it’s really all about:
1.) Compromise. Let’s say Jojo and I give in to our craving for Chipotle burritos. My compromise is skipping the Burrito order and going for the Bowl instead. That means cutting out on the flour tortilla wrapper, skipping the servings of rice, sour cream and grated cheese. Instead I ask them to load up on lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, salsa and grilled corn. I’ve switched from ordering Steak to Grilled Chicken and we don’t have soda with our meals anymore, just iced water with lemons. Of course, we still get a side order of chips but we now share one order instead of getting one each. Also, if we have a pretty heavy lunch we try to have just fresh fruits or soup for dinner.
2.) Substitution. We’ve totally eliminated eating white bread and have switched to multi-grain. We’ve been eating brown instead of white rice. And have been eating more whole wheat instead of flour pasta. We’ve also stopped using processed sugar and eating foods rich in processed sugar. We eat less pork and beef and eat a lot more chicken and turkey. We’ve switched to using olive oil (and use much less of it too). Also, I’ve tried to cut down on our sodium consumption by using more unsalted products. Instead we now try to flavor with fresh or dried herbs. We still have chips (what can I say, it’s my weakness!) once in a while but we now buy baked or air-popped chips and have cut down on using creamy dips in lieu of homemade salsa and guacamole. And no more cakes and cookies, we now have a lot more smoothies and yogurt if we need a sugar fix.
3.) Control. It’s really hard to control my appetite (eversince!) but more so now that I am pregnant. I find that I am always hungry. Right after a full meal, I actually find myself opening the fridge looking for something more to eat. Also, I find that I am always craving for a variety of food – at various odd times. Jojo has been really key in helping me here. He makes sure we have a lot of healthy options to snack on. When I crave for something sweet, he gets me a cup of Jello with fruit or peels me a tangerine. When I want something salty, he gets me low fat string cheese or microwaves a bag of unsalted air-popped corn. When I’m really in the mood for something “bad”, then he’ll break out our secret stash of Baked Lays potato chips!

These days I feel I am humongous (I love being pregnant cause I can blame it on the pregnancy) but at the same time I’m still within the normal weight gain goal my doctor set out for me. In the last 8 months, I’ve gained about 15 pounds – since I was heavy to start, I’ve been advised to gain a total of 20-25 throughout my pregnancy. I have about 8 weeks to go and may use up the remaining allotted weight gain allowed since at the rate of the last trimester, it’s about a 1 – 1.5 pound weight gain per week. Hopefully it won’t be so bad. But more importantly, I feel a lot healthier too. My blood tests and physical exams show I am healthier now than I was the same time last year. So maybe, I am doing something right! Hopefully this helps with the delivery, post delivery and with Beanie’s overall health too.


joyeee said...

aww...good job dets! you continue to inspire us!!!:) keep it up!!!:) we're so proud of you!

Jin said...

I am sure that your healthy eating will help your delivery! I hope to serve you my Korean style meals with lots of vegetables. :)

Junarakasa said...

@Joy: not so sure I'm what you would call "inspiring" hahaha!

@Jin: yes, I am sure your cooking Korean dishes would be so healthy for me. I remember your red bean rice dish back in Berkeley (or was it Sung who made that?). Anyway, it was good and healthy too! =)