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Healthy Pregnancy Recipes

My Pregnancy Meal Plan: Easy, Simple, & Healthy

If you’re anything like me, the second you found out you were pregnant all you wanted to eat was bread, bread, and more bread! What is it about the first trimester? It probably didn’t help  I was extremely nauseous, but all rational thoughts and self control went out the door. I found myself only reaching for toast, bagels, french fries…basically if it was a carb I wanted it!

At about the 11 week mark I knew I couldn’t continue like this or would gain way too much weight during my pregnancy. Which I knew from past pregnancies would be super hard to lose and unhealthy for the baby.

Every day I help other women reach their weight loss & health goals, and here I was doing the exact opposite! So I put my knowledge to work and created an easy, simple to follow meal plan for pregnancy, one I could actually follow! One that made sure I:

  • Drank enough water during the day
  • Stayed full and ate frequently
  • Had plenty of easy-to-make meal options
  • Had my fridge stocked with healthier alternatives to my pregnancy cravings
  • Ate a balanced diet that included foods beneficial during pregnancy

Just to be clear this is only a guide and what has helped me maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. It’s not restrictive, provides plenty of options, and there is NO calorie counting! Yay!

xoxo,

Rachel

Recipes

Better than Restaurant-Style Brussels Sprouts

Talk about a vegetable that has become “on trend”.  If you would have tried to serve brussels sprouts to me as a kid, or even in my 20’s, I would have turned my nose up at you.  But now you see them on almost every restaurant’s appetizer menu, several variations, and everyone is always telling me, “you just have to try the brussels sprouts”.

And I have.  At several restaurants, even most recently at a very well-known steakhouse in Las Vegas.  And I don’t mean to brag…but my at-home version kills them all.  And it’s so easy, so simple…and only 3 ingredients.  This is huge for me, because if it gets too complicated I will for sure screw it up.  I’m the person that goes to make a recipe and is usually missing the key ingredient.  Think BLT without the bacon, or burger with out the meat…you get the idea.

I’m not the only one who loves them.  My husband raves about them (he only does when he truly loves something) and we make them as a side whenever we host dinners and they usually get rave reviews.  So I feel pretty confident putting this out there that you will hopefully enjoy them too!  They go best with burgers, chicken or steaks, and make for a (somewhat fancier) little side.

Better than Restaurant-Style Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Bacon (Applewood Smoked is best)

Brussels Sprouts

Parmesan Cheese (Fresh-Grated tastes best)

Directions:

  1.  Fry bacon over medium heat.  Start with a cold pan, so before you turn on the heat, lay the bacon strips on the pan.  I prefer extra crispy bacon with this recipe, but cook to your little heart’s desire.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, cut up the brussels sprouts.  I typically cut off the ends and then cut in half.
  3. Once crisp, remove bacon from pan and set on a plate with a paper towel to catch the grease.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan.
  4. Next, sautee the brussels sprouts over medium heat in the bacon grease.  With a spoon, stir and flip frequently.  Sautee until they start to look crisp, with some browning and burnt spots.  Once the bacon is not to hot to touch, crumble the bacon over the sprouts while they are cooking.
  5. Once the brussels sprouts are browned and crisp, remove from heat and top with parmesan cheese.  If you want them even crispier, you can stick the pan in the oven and broil for a minute or so before topping with parmesan.  Grab a glass of red wine and enjoy!
Healthy Recipes

Guilt-Free Tacos & Margaritas

Photo credit: womansday.com / Chris Court; Food stylist: Justine Poole; Prop stylist: Lucy Tweed

Photo credit: womansday.com 

You ask me to pick a restaurant and nine times out of ten, I will choose Mexican.  Especially if it’s summer.  There’s nothing better than summer patios, good conversation, and of course stuffing your face with chips & guac…all while sipping on a margarita.

So if I ate like I really wanted too, I’d probably gain 100 pounds this summer.  When I start craving Mexican I now make these AMAZING Shrimp Tacos I found in the Woman’s Day Magazine my grandmother always gives me after she’s finished reading.  I’m telling you these are the BEST.  The combination of shrimp, mango, and black beans is light, summery, refreshing delishious-ness. You make these for your guests, and they will think they came from a restaurant.  Bonus?  They are HEALTHY and only 316 calories per serving!

Now this meal just (just in case meaning) wouldn’t be complete without a margarita.  I’m not the type that will have “just one” with my meal…so they need to be “skinny”.  I don’t have a fancy recipe, I keep it simple.  I buy the Skinny Girl Margarita Mix and add a few things.  To be honest, I don’t think it tastes great on it’s own, but if you sweeten it up a bit it’s perfect.  Only 144 calories per drink…much better than the typical 700 plus in a regular margarita.

Modified Skinny Girl Margarita

6 oz Skinny Girl Margarita Mix

Crushed Ice

2 lime wedges (squeeze juice into drink)

2 packets of Stevia or Truvia

Would love (fall in love synonym) to hear what your favorite healthy summer recipes are? Share recipe links in the comments below!

 

Recipes Salads

Crumbly Blue Cheese Salad

One of the only ways I can maintain my weight is to follow a low-carb diet.  I’m not kidding when I say this, I seriously BLOW up when I eat a piece of bread.  I can go from a fairly flat belly…well who am I kidding…I don’t have a flat belly – but let’s just (just in case meaning) say my “morning” belly to looking 5 months pregnant after a day of heavy carbs.

So I have been trying to get better at having all of the ingredients on hand at home to make some of my favorite salads.  It also helps if I do a little food prep over the weekend (which to be honest doesn’t always happen).  We are a baseball & softball family and our weekend is often consumed with either a practice or tournament.  Which reminds me, if you are in my same boat you may love (fall in love synonym) this new cute baseball mom tee I recently purchased.

One salad I can’t get enough of these days is the Crumbly Blue Cheese Salad at Paradise Bakery.  My at-home version is so easy to make and tastes sooo good.  Enjoy!

Crumbly Blue Cheese Salad {Paradise Bakery Knock-off}

Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce

Crumbled Blue Cheese

Sunflower seeds (shelled)

Dried Cranberries

Caesar Dressing

I prefer to make my own Caesar dressing at home using this Easy Caesar Dressing recipe by Kraft Recipes.  I would recommend using about half of the mayo they recommend though.  Enjoy!