eating well while pregnant

Why in the world is Ashley Gilday writing a post about eating well while being pregnant if she has never been pregnant before? Valid question. Well friends, I have some news for you!


This means I have a whole new host of topics to cover on Ashley Gilday! My husband and I could not be happier and I’m excited for you to experience the journey with us. Today I am 17 weeks pregnant with our first child and am truly starting to feel (and look) preggers!

In true Ashley Gilday fashion, I decided to write my first pre-baby post about eating well while pregnant. It can be tricky for many women to figure out what is right and what is not right when eating to fuel the growth of a new person, your baby! Pair this with the constant pressure from society to look a certain way (yes, this even applies to us pregnant folk) and it can seem slightly overwhelming (I’ll save the pregnancy body image post for the future, so stay tuned…).

We have all heard the phrase “eating for two” far too often. Using this phrase can get us pregnant women in some serious trouble. I’m talking gestational diabetes, excess weight gain, leading to pregnancy complications and simply just feeling like crap. When pregnant, our hormones are all over the place to begin with, so the last thing we need is excess baggage, if you catch my drift….

I seriously LOVE to eat. I mean, I have a website dedicated (mainly) to food and a phrase you can often hear me saying is “eating is not only a necessity but an experience waiting to take place”. Truth.  Don’t think that the “eating for two” phrase didn’t enter my mind a time or three. However, when growing your precious miracle, aka your baby, over the next nine plus months, getting the most bang for your buck while enjoying the experience of eating is crucial.

Having struggled with eating well most of my young adult life, I have some good insight into managing cravings, maintaining balance and ensuring that you are eating a well-rounded, nutritious diet for both you and your growing baby.  And most importantly taking care of yourself and enjoying your pregnancy. This is a precious time and it is meant to be celebrated!

Here are a few tips for ensuring you are eating well while pregnant

  • Craving something tart? Reach for grapes, strawberries or cherries ( I like to have fruit and berries on hand at all times for emergency cravings).
  • Craving something sweet and rich? Make this dessert or reach for a piece of dark chocolate (but don’t overdo it there is caffeine in chocolate!).
  • Craving french fries? Bake them instead of going through the drive through. If you need to go through the drive through every ONCE IN A WHILE then treat yourself to a small fry. Sometimes it’s best to make sure momma is happy!
  • For breakfast add a small handful of raw nuts and some fruit or berries to your oats, cereal or smoothie. This will ensure you are getting the extra calories, protein and nutrition that you need to grow your little miracle.
  • Avoid raw fish (including sushi), lunch meats, sprouts, unpasteurized juices, raw eggs and anything that makes you feel ill.
  • Eat plant-based? Continue to do so, just make sure you are eating a balanced diet full of fiber and quality proteins. **eating a whole food, plant-based diet while pregnant helps to ward off constipation that is prevalent in pregnancy!
  • Take a prenatal vitamin with DHA. I take Vitafol-Ultra which requires a prescription but is plant-based, easy to swallow and contains DHA.
  • Remember now is not the time to diet or lose weight. You are growing another human being so take it easy on yourself and be sure to add extra calories each day. 300 or so in your first trimester and around 350-400 in your second and 500 in your third is recommended by most doctors.
  • Don’t obsess. Listen to your body and the recommendations of your doctor. It will all be okay. eating well while pregnant

Do you have some tips for eating well you can share with the rest of us hungry, pregnant, women? Yes? Then share them below!

*I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, but this works for me. Everyone is different. Consult your OB doctor or nutritionist if you have questions. Need a nutritionist? Email me-I have a great one I work with!

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  1. What a great topic to start with! I just had baby boy 5 days ago and our nutrition during pregnancy and now was top of mind throughout. I didn’t experience cravings since I made sure to eat all food groups and plenty of calories. In addition to your diet make sure to stay hydrated, living in the desert I would drink 70-80 oz of water a day, especially if I was working out. It seemed like my baby could never get too much water. In the morning I would make s delicious smoothie with Oatmeal blended prior to adding banana, peanut butter, milk (I drink whole milk but you can use almond/soy/etc) and ice. Dairy is important to introduce and see how your baby reacts now, this will great a great digestive system and help them deal with gas as newborns!

    1. Thank you Lisa. Drinking a LOT of water while pregnant is crucial, especially in dry/hot or humid climates. I agree- if you eat a well-rounded diet with whole foods you really do not have that many cravings!!

    1. Thank you Stacey!!!

  2. Congratulations to both you and your husband on your precious gift of life. I remember back when I was pregnant hearing….what you lack in nutrients your unborn baby will pull from you. Say you aren’t getting enough “calcium” in your diet, your baby will be okay because the unborn child will pull the calcium from the mother’s bone and/or teeth. Unfortunately, for the mother, you might need extensive dental work and develop osteoporosis later in life.
    As for staying hydrated, especially during the summer months, I have always enjoyed ice water with slices of cucumber or club soda, splash of cranberry juice, slices of lemon on ice in a wine glass. Very refreshing!!!
    Happy Springtime and New Beginnings!

    1. Rita (mom) – thank you so much for your feedback and well wishes! I am unfortunately already experiencing some of the dental issues…..and unfortunately they cannot treat me until post baby! Oh well, let the sacrifices begin! 🙂

      The cucumber water sounds delicious!


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