Lex Daddio from @restoring_radiance is a brand friend, foodie and soon-to-be mom. You may know her from Instagram by her drool-worthy, top-down food shots. From bowls to toast to easy-to-make healthy meals, Lex keeps us inspired and hungry! She shares how her food journey has evolved over the course of her pregnancy, but as you’ll read, one thing remains the same: Whole food nutrition is still her go-to!
Eating during pregnancy is totally different than I expected. People tell you that when you get pregnant you get these intense cravings, you can eat whatever you want, and you are constantly eating. I’ve experienced parts of these in some ways, but overall, most of this has been false for me. But hey, everyone’s pregnancy and bodies are different. Here’s my story:
I struggled for a long time — I tried out every diet, constantly trying to lose weight, and to achieve this idea of being “healthy.” When I finally decided to give up all that, I started feeling better than ever before. It’s taken time – years, in fact – and is an on-going process, but it’s been so worth it. It’s all about progress over perfection!
The key is to honor my cravings, mindfully. This may sound scary (especially if you’ve had a past eating disorder like me), but after the initial letting-go period, my body finally started balancing out. Now I crave things like fruits, veggies, and proteins with the occasional pizza, ice cream, cookies desires. And because there are foods that are good for your health and foods that are good for your soul, I eat for the soul from time to time too.
It is not uncommon to have some serious (and crazy) or intense cravings in the middle of the night. There have been foods that sound appealing to me like pizza, tacos, and ice cream, but let’s be honest, this is pretty typical for me even when I’m not pregnant. So really, cravings haven’t been commonplace for me.
For the most part, my eating habits have been consistent with my pre-pregnancy days. Some days I eat more often and some days I’m not very hungry. Overall, food hasn’t ruled my pregnancy or changed that much. I honestly believe it’s because I started incorporating intuitive eating into my life before I got pregnant. If you’ve never heard of intuitive eating, it’s basically rejecting the diet mentality and making food choices without experiencing guilt. You learn to honor your hunger, respect your fullness, and eat what you truly desire. I’ve found such pleasure and enjoyment in food since practicing this, which is really what food is all about.
I think because I had already started implementing thoughtful, mindful eating into my daily habit before my pregnancy, it made easing into eating for two that much easier. Most people tell you that pregnancy is the time where you can eat whatever you want, and since, in some ways, I already started doing that beforehand, it hasn’t felt like a big shift for me.
Though my hunger fluctuated prior to pregnancy, I’ve witnessed the same type of fluctuation – sometimes I’m hungry all day, sometimes I’m not. It’s usually due to the amount I move or workout, just like pre-pregnancy days. That greatest change in my eating habits is that my belly gets crowded faster — there is a little bun growing in there, after all.
Overall, I feel really good and my relationship with food has only become more balanced and healthy. I’ve been able to move my body throughout this journey, I try to nourish my little babe with nutrients and with all of that: I still have dessert when I want it, pizza when I feel like it, and if I go a day without vegetables it’s not the end of the world. There’s no guilt or shame; I’ve discovered a whole new level of pleasure in food!
Food is such a personal journey and I’ve discovered that no woman’s journey into motherhood is exactly the same either. I share my experience with you in hopes to inspire your own relationship with food and to look at it as fuel and nourishment. The freedom I’ve found with my eating habits (after struggling with an eating disorder for 7 years) is my greatest passion. It’s changed my life, almost as much as this new growing adventure will!
So, how did I change my diet while pregnant? I DIDN’T, and I’m so thankful for that!