In July we filmed a fun segment with the amazing Jane Monzures for Living Healthy Chicago on WGN focused on eating healthy when you are expecting. Obviously, since I was 8 months preggo at the time, I was amped up to share my healthful tips!


Here is the link to the segment and our blog all about our chat with Jane Monzures!

When pregnant, there is always SO much to think about-don’t even get me started! Not to worry, APL has simple tips and meal examples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep you eating healthy throughout your pregnancy

First things first, I actually tell everyone I know to eat like they are pregnant, even if they are not, because you are so much more careful about what you put in your body when you are responsible for a little one growing in there! The simple fact is, we should ALWAYS be so health-conscious!

Organic matters primarily to stay away from unwanted chemicals and pesticides, which are all unhealthy and possibly hazardous. APL always recommends trusting where you shop for your food, especially produce because the ease of walking in and knowing they source the most natural fruits and veggies possible enables you to shop without spending the entire time reading labels, researching seasons, and more. I am in LOVE with Plum Market in Chicago because it carries the best natural, organic, and local ingredients throughout the store in a full-service shopping experience. You’ll find organic produce, all natural meats, sustainable seafood, and a ton of locally baked goods—done and done!

After shopping for my goods, which I have started to get delivered thanks to @PlumMarket because I can hardly walk (it’s more of a waddle these days,) I prepped meals filled with color- eating the rainbow everyday is a simple way to ensure you get varied and ample nutrients. You can see in our pics, we have red, orange, yellow, plenty of green, and even blue!

The other main point is to remember to have roughly 200-300 calories extra per day. Many soon-to-be-moms pack on those kcals a bit too much because they just don’t know what 300 calories looks like. It is basically 2 snacks worth of calories or oftentimes, the same amount of calories in your specialty coffee drink. (Which you will most likely be saying goodbye to for a while!)

Breakfast: protein + fiber + Vitamin D + healthful veggies & fruit

  • Simple 3 egg whites + 1 yolk scramble (made with a mist of coconut cooking oil in a green pan- no non-stick chemicals for us in our kitchen!) Eggs are not only a whole protein, but also provide you with necessary Vitamin D!
  • Avocado Toast: 1 piece of Millet-Quinoa whole grain toast topped with 4 mashed slices of avocado and red pepper flakes. Avocado is a healthy fat source that adds calories to your diet in a healthy way.
  • Simply pan-grilled veggies-using 1 tsp avocado oil-red, yellow, and orange bell pepper slices with mushrooms and onion. About 1 cup of veggies topped with scallions.
  • ½ Cup of mixed berries: Yay for antioxidants!

Between Meals: sparkling water + lemon slices

Skip the soda and stick with water, but a small tip for those of you with ongoing nausea; sparkling water literally SAVED me on those days! Add a little lemon and sip slowly.

LUNCH: healthy fat + fiber + protein + colorful produce + calcium

  • A 1 ½ cup kale Caesar salad is a fantastic way to get in your greens and making it small enables you to skip the need for too much dressing. Our egg-free Caesar is made with whole milk plain Greek yogurt (we are obsessed with using Wallaby because it has such a smooth flavor and the whole milk version means it goes through less processing.) Greek yogurt not only gives you protein, but the necessary calcium you and the baby need for bone development. For the Caesar, simply mix together 2 anchovy fillets, 5 TB whole milk Wallaby plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 TB dijon mustard, 1 TB extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup grated parmesan, 1 large garlic clove. Hate anchovies? Add 2 more garlic cloves or 1/2 TB capers (for the salty flavor.)
  • A ½-cup side of heirloom tomatoes with 1 TB (pasteurized while pregnant) feta and fresh chopped mint. Tomatoes have lycopene and researchers have recently found an important connection between lycopene, its antioxidant properties, and bone health.
  • A small 1/4 to ½-cup serving of quinoa with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, & lemon zest. Quinoa is a fantastic, easily digested grain for those of you ladies who want fiber and protein without a backup in your system. With pregnancy comes with unwanted digestive issues and a slower waste management system, so fiber is 100 percent necessary for keeping you regulated. Simply cook according to package directions, add a drizzle of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil (the least processed,) 1 TB lemon juice, sea salt to taste, & 2 tsp lemon zest.
  • 4 oz. Wild Sockeye salmon baked with Dijon mustard & lemon juice: why wild? You want fish that is from natural waters and not raised for you to eat and injected with anything to make it grow or appear more orange. The wild version has the healthiest, pure source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This contains DHA, which supports the brain, eyes, and central nervous system, so it is uniquely important for pregnant and lactating women. Easily baked on a baking sheet with 1 1/2 TB organic dijon mustard and some lemon juice on top at 350 degrees for roughly 12-18 minutes (until opaque.)
  • Sliced peaches for a sweet treat: because fruit is better for you than chocolate and still tastes amazingJ

DINNER: protein + iron + fiber + folate

  • APL’s fave lemon chicken made with 4 oz. all-natural skinless, boneless chicken breast…place the chicken breast in a glass tupperware container with 1 1/2 TB gluten-free all purpose flour or coconut flour, put the top on, shake to coat. Place the breast in a skillet over medium heat with 1 TB extra virgin olive oil-cook until browned on both sides.  Add in 1/2 of a lemon cut into large slices and seeds removed, 1/2 TB capers, 1 TB sliced green olives, 1/4 cup organic & low-sodium chicken stock, 1/2 TB organic butter, & 1 TB chopped parsley. Simmer until chicken is cooked through-roughly 4-5 minutes. Garnish with extra parsley.
  • 8-10 spears of lightly pan-grilled asparagus: folate is SO important for pre-pregnancy and throughout pregnancy in order to prevent birth defects. You will be taking a supplement, but folate from whole foods like asparagus is an ideal way to protect your impending little one. We pan-grill them over medium heat with a drizzle of avocado oil and a touch of sea salt.
  • 2 sprouted brown rice & black bean cakes: not only do we love the convenience of Annie Chun’s Sprouted Brown Rice Bowls, we think they make the average white rice eater really appreciate transitioning to better-for-you brown rice. Black beans are full of the ever-important iron. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy your blood volume increases to help your baby make his or her entire blood supply –this in turn, doubles your need for iron. If you do not get enough iron, you may be overly fatigued and more susceptible to sickness and infection. These are easy- take 1/2 of a container of the rice and mix it with an egg, 1 1/2 TB quinoa flakes, 2 TB black beans, 1 TB chopped scallions, 1 1/2 TB grated parmesan cheese, sea salt & black pepper. Form into 2 meatball-like shapes and flatten. Plop in a pan sprayed with extra virgin olive oil and sear for 1-2 minutes per side, then place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

For more healthy recipes to have throughout your pregnancy and when you want that post-baby body, check out the rest of the blog!

NutritionAshley Pettit