Posted in pregnancy

Drinking alcohol while pregnant

pregnant-women-red-wine-avoid-new-survey-514778Once of the most discussed topic of pregnancy is whether or not you can drink while pregnant. I think most people agree on the harms of excessive drinking, however the amount remains unsettling for many. But what is excessive? Is one cup a day excessive? Is one cup a month okay? Should you not risk anything and not drink at all?

Here is my take on this topic…

Whatever you put in your body, you are also sharing it with your baby. Even with the advancements in the medicine today, we still do not know how much alcohol your baby would be exposed to and the affects of the alcohol on your baby’s development when you drink. Also, each drink has a different amount of alcohol in it. A glass of long island tea contains way more alcohol than a bottle of miller light. So, I have a little conservative take on this topic but I am not for banning alcohol fully either.

During my pregnancy, I stayed away from hard alcohol. I was not a big drinker to start with so giving up on hard alcohol such as vodka, tequila, whiskey, rum etc, was not a big deal. I only craved for beer and/or wine occasionally. Whenever we went out to get burgers and fries, I would also crave for beer. Since I did not want to have an alcoholic beer, I would ask the bartender for a non alcoholic beer. I have to admit it did not taste the same but hey! I was still having a beer with my burger.

Some non-alcoholic beer options are


The list goes on and on and you got the point. There are non alcoholic beer options available if you like. On occasion, I also craved for wine. We all know that drinking one cup of red wine is actually healthy for your heart. Since it was good for your health, I did not bother with non-alcoholic version, which would be sparkling wine. Instead I consumed in very very little amounts. I had wine in three or four occasions during my pregnancy and each time I took 2-3 sips only, not gulps ,which was less than ¼ of a cup. Since my alcohol tolerance was already lowered, I got buzzed after I took two sips so I stopped.

When it comes to making a decision on how much drinking is too much, it is all up to you. You will hear a lot of opinions on this matter and some will be conservative, while some will be more courageous for you to drink. Listen to all, do your research, then come to a conclusion.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

http://Busch NA×390.png’s_large.png

Posted in pregnancy

Myth of eating for two while pregnant

0404mathsIn this case, 1+2 is not equal 2. In many cultures, pregnant women are encouraged to eat more since there is a baby growing inside of them. 1+1= 2 right? So many people believe when you are pregnant, you need to be eating twice as much since you need to gain weight and also supply for your baby.

The recommended amount of weight gain is 11-33 lb during pregnancy. If you are gaining less than 11lbs then your baby may be underweight and premature. If you gain more than 33 lbs, it will be harder for you to move around with all that extra weight, you may set yourself for gestational diabetes and/or high blood pressure, and it will be harder to lose all that extra weight post pregnancy. I know people who gained 50-70 lbs during pregnancy and unfortunately, it was really hard for them to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight since it took months and a big commitment and lots of sacrifice.

The truth is eating for two means your baby also gets some of whatever you eat, it does not mean you need to uptake twice as much calories. Your baby needs about 300 calories a day. If you count your calories or into reading food labels, then you know 300 calories can be a small portion meal or just a snack. Refrain from overeating and packing up extra weight.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from:

Posted in pregnancy

Is my baby kicking?

During first trimester, morning sickness onsets due to change in hormone levels in your blood which is super important for babies growth and placenta formation. Sensitive stomach and heightened sense of smell is a primitive tool to keep you away from bad food. Majority of the women experience some sort of morning sickness and the duration varies.

2d792aea0f016e7f0aa3824450ac078eMany people gave me a positive perspective on being sick; my hormones were working, and my body was doing what it supposed to do so it was a good thing. Around 3.5 months, when the nausea stopped and I was pretty much back to feeling normal; I did not feel pregnant at all. First, you tell yourself not to be crazy, and you are ok. At the time, one of family friends had to go for a surgical abortion at 3 months because her baby’s heart stopped. You can imagine then I started fearing what if something happened to my baby? Early in the pregnancy, my plan was to not get ultrasound at every doctor visit. Once I entered second trimester, I could not wait for the ultrasound just to see my baby. When we went for our 4 months follow up visit, I was relieved to know he was ok.

11055916_843521119074265_2014033821_nFeeling the first kick or move is very exciting for both parents. I did not start feeling him kick or move until 4.5 months. It is different for every mother. Also feeling your baby move has to do with the position of your baby in relationship to the placenta. If your baby is lying on top the placenta then your baby is directly under your belly, making the barrier between you two less. If placenta is between your stomach and the baby, it will be harder for you to feel all the punching and the kicking that may be going on.

77308d530b3a2b7dc9507d21a1d56cdeThe period between the nausea stopping and baby starting to kick, maybe a little unnerving but do not worry. I was not thrilled at all regarding ongoing sickness during my first trimester, however when the nausea stopped and fatigue subsided, I started feeling not pregnant. Do not worry and panic! Your little one is probably safe and just hanging out which will be confirmed at your next follow up visit.


I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!


Images retrieved from:

Posted in pregnancy

Nutrition and pregnancy

We all agree that not only during pregnancy but also in our everyday lives, we need to eat right and/or make better food choices. What does eating right mean? I think it is such a general concept or intention that when it comes to application, majority of the time we fail to do so.

pregnant woman

I am not a big fan of going extreme and being super strict with your diet, start measuring the amount of food per meal or day, being super picky with food choices. I believe that you are more likely to get off of track when you follow a strict diet. I believe in being good 80% of the time, and being more lenient 20% of the time. That means, 80% of the time eating right and choosing healthy food, while cheating and being more lenient towards not-so-good-for-me food groups 20% of the time. Once you give yourself a bit more wiggle room, you are less likely to get disappointed and give up. Lets take a closer look at different food groups and how they can affect your body and baby.

The first trimester is the toughest when it comes to eating. You all know what I am talking about. Feeling sick all the time, not being able to eat, having a heightened sense of smell, and not being able to tolerate even sight of some food groups are some challenges of the first trimester. Controlling your diet in the first trimester is very hard since you are lucky if you can eat some food and actually keep it in.

My advise to you is eat whatever you can and do not worry about what it is. For example, during my first trimester I could only eat bagel with cream cheese, pizza, pasta with cheese and any citrus. I could not stand garlic, hummus or anything green including salad spinach etc. I knew I needed my strength to get out of the bed and go to work so I had a bagel in the morning, some fruit in the afternoon, then pizza and some soup in the evening followed by a magnum double chocolate caramel ice cream bar right before bed. It was the ideal diet, however that’s what I managed to eat at that time. I was also taking my prenatal vitamins that provided vitamins for my body so I did not stress over it too much.

What your growing baby needs is protein for your baby’s developing muscles and internal organs, fat for neurological system including the brain and the spinal column, minerals and vitamins for bone health. All these elements play an important role in your baby’s development since they all work together as the building blocks of your baby. Did you realize that I did not include carbohydrates? Your baby does not really need many carbohydrates, so carbs really end up on the bottom of the list.

When broken down, carbohydrates eventually turn into sugar and we all know sugar actually feeds into inflammation, causes weight gain and is usually used in our body as a quick access energy source so it is not meant to be storage, it is meant to be used so you can get rid of it. I am 5” 4’ 120 lb (pre pregnancy) and gained 8 lbs just in a month due to my increased carbohydrate intake. I was determined to change my diet when I started feeling better which started happening around 14 weeks of my pregnancy. I stuck with a high fat protein diet and tried my best to stay away from carbohydrates.

I will give you two examples of what I ate once I no longer experienced morning sickness,

  • Breakfast: omelet with 2-3 eggs, onions, peppers, olive oil and cheese
  • Lunch: mixed nuts, salad, chicken
  • Afternoon snack: Green apple
  • Dinner: yogurt.

The next day,

  • Breakfast: Panini
  • Lunch: stuffed pepper
  • Afternoon snack: a banana
  • Dinner: fish with salad, Avocado

Pre-pregnancy I did not have dinner, instead I would eat a lot more for the first half of the day. During my second trimester, my body went back to my old habit of eating more during the day and eating less at night. I am not saying that is what you need to do, just figure out what works best for your body.

Even though my goal was to stick with a high protein high fat diet, I was still eating carbs too. For example, Panini has bread that is carbs. Fruits such as apple and banana also have some amount of carbs in them since they have sugar. I was not too concerned because I was not eating a ton of fruit. Remember if you are good 80% of the time, you will be ok- at least that’s my philosophy.

food_pyramid_flat_2011sm-1Some great sources of protein are: of course all the meats, fish, poultry, eggs, yogurt, green peas, quinoa, nuts (minus peanuts) and nut butters (I advise you to grind your own nut butter from whole foods that has no additive), tofu, edemame, leafy greens such as broccoli and spinach, chia sesame sunflower seeds and the list goes on.

Some great resources of fat: nuts (minus peanuts), avocado, natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter (stay away from corn oil, margarine, vegetable oil, sunflower oil etc)

For your vitamins and minerals stick with eating lots of vegetables and control your fruit intake since you do not want to spike up your sugar levels.

51T4YZfJGTL._UY250_During my pregnancy, I really enjoyed reading and learning more from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blue Print book, and Primal Blue Print Cookbook as well as Quick and Easy recipe book. If you want to learn more about nutrition, making better food choices and how to make healthy food in seconds, these books are treasures that are definitely worth checking out.

I would like to hear about your perspective. What do you think? Please comment and let me know!

Images retrieved from: