Comfortable, Healthy, and Pregnant

Today is day 161 of my pregnancy and I am exactly 23 weeks with 17 weeks to go and a total weight gain of 10lbs.  At our 19-week doctor visit we got to have our first real ultrasound where we got to see a “real” looking baby and not just a dot on the screen.  It was very exciting seeing our little one and most importantly the baby is healthy and has all its fingers and toes.  My doctor was very pleased with my 8 lb weight gain at 19 weeks.  She gave me the clearance to keep doing everything that I have been doing up to this point.  So as of today I am still getting about 5 days of week of 30 min. cardio and about 3 days a week of resistance training.  My cardio still consists of a combination of running and walking at a heart rate of 145-150. 
The topic of interest that I would like to write about is the protein intake for women during pregnancy. Having a diet for yourself full of protein is very important for you health, but while you are pregnant a diet with adequate protein is a must.  The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of you and your baby’s cells.  Protein is essential for your baby’s brain growth and especially important during the second and third trimester when your baby is growing the fastest.  The RDA of protein for pregnant women is 75 grams but 100 grams is often recommended. 
Three macronutrients that make up calories are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  With my experience working with women protein is normally the one that gets neglected.  Women seem to be less carnivorous than men and don’t tend to gravitate to foods high in protein such as lean meats.  The idea is to find other sources of protein than just meat.  I challenge you to record your eating for an average day and see what percentage of your calories are coming from protein. I’ll bet its lower than the recommended amount.  The problem with this is if your calories are not coming from protein then they are coming from either fats or carbs.  Like I mentioned in my last blog, carbohydrates will make blood sugars fluctuate which can lead to nautiousness, fatigue, and hunger.  Unlike carbs, proteins do not have that effect.  Protein is slower digesting and will not give you a blood sugar spike with a following crash.  Some of the morning sickness and nautiousness can be avoided by eating a protein source (food) with a carbohydrate source (food).  A balanced diet including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are important for normal human health and function.
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese: 14 g
8 ounce container low-fat yogurt: 9 to 12 g
1 cup skim milk: 8 g
1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese: 7 g
1 ounce cheddar cheese: 7 g
1 large fresh egg: 6 g

Beans, nuts, legumes 
1/2 cup raw tofu (firm): 20 g
1 cup cooked lentils: 18 g
1 cup canned black beans: 15 g
1 cup canned kidney beans: 13 g
1 cup canned garbanzos: 12 g
1 cup canned pinto beans: 12 g
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter: 8 g
1 ounce dry roasted peanuts: 7 g
1 cup light plain soymilk: 6 g

Meat and poultry
1/2 roasted chicken breast (no skin): 27 g
3 ounce lean beef hamburger patty, broiled: 21g

Protein supplements such as a whey protein powder is a great way to add protein to your diet with out having to rely on preparing food.  I try to get at least 2 protein shakes a day.  I mix a whey protein isolate powder with frozen berries.  I use Isopure protein shake that has 25grams of protein, .5 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 105 calories.
Angie Pirtle
Emerge Fitness Saint Charles, MO