A Note from Camilla & Melissa:
Tarah Chieffi brings a great deal of knowledge and personal experience to the Paleo community which we so greatly admire. As the Founder of one of our favorite Paleo Blogs, What I Gather, and the Author of the latest Paleo Pregnancy book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book (which we are so excited to have just received in our mailbox!), Tarah shares Paleo resources and recipes with thousands of fellow Paleo fans and we are so honored that she wrote this Guest Post exclusively for The Paleo Pact.
Selecting The Best Foods For Your Paleo Pregnancy
By Tarah Chieffi
If you are familiar with the Paleo Pact girls and their book, PALEO Cleanse, then you are well aware of the benefits of eating a nutrient-dense Paleo diet. Eating real food and cutting out all of the “fake” food is what brought me to love Paleo in the first place; I knew that everything I was eating was full of nutrients and contributing to my overall health. You certainly can’t say that about an extra value meal from the fast food drive thru!
During pregnancy, though, there are certain nutrients that become even more important because of the roles they play in your baby’s growth and development. These include folate, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. Following is a list of my favorite pregnancy superfoods and some tasty ways to work them into your diet.
- EGGS: If I had to choose one pregnancy superfood it would most definitely be the incredible, edible egg. There is a reason eggs are referred to as nature’s perfect food. They are packed with protein, choline, selenium, B vitamins, and they are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Need I go on? I don’t think there are many new ideas under the sun on how to use eggs, but I can tell you they are spectacular in my Garden Veggie Omelet, an exclusive recipe straight from my new book that you can find at the end of this article.
- BEEF: A good source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium, beef should definitely be on your pregnancy plate. Take the time to search out quality sources of grass-fed, pastured beef for the best nutrient profile because happy cows make happy hamburgers, stir fries and pot roast. Ready to take it a step further? Although there are warnings about consuming too much liver during pregnancy because of the high levels of vitamin A, one or two servings a week is perfectly safe and provides even higher vitamin and mineral levels than muscle meat.
- AVOCADO: One avocado contains about 20% of your daily folate needs during pregnancy, a level that can be difficult to meet through food sources alone. You can blend half an avocado into your smoothie, whip up a batch of guacamole or serve it up on the side of your favorite omelet, like my Garden Veggie Omelet.
- BERRIES: Need a sweet treat? Berries have it all – fiber, vitamin C, folate and those ever-important phytonutrients. Strawberries are one of the stars in my California Salad, but you can also top a bowl of creamy banana soft serve with sliced strawberries or throw a handful of mixed berries into your smoothie (along with that avocado, perhaps).
- BROCCOLI: Move over, oranges. A cup of broccoli provides almost all of your daily vitamin C needs and is also a good source of calcium and vitamin A. Broccoli is delicious eaten raw with salsa or guacamole and it is also a wonderful roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper or as an addition to stir fries.
- WALNUTS: Walnuts are a good source of plant-based protein, certain B vitamins (including folate), omega-3 fatty acids, copper and manganese. There are a lot of fun ways to use walnuts besides grabbing a handful every time you open the cupboard. You can mix them with berries for a true superfood snack, add them as a crunchy salad topping or roast them with veggies, like in my Roasted Green Veggies and Grapes recipe.
If you are ready to learn more about how a Paleo diet can help you meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy, check out my new book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. With exercise recommendations, breastfeeding support and advice for recovering from childbirth and adjusting to motherhood, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is the guide a mom-to-be needs to navigate a Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy. To top it all off, I’ve included over 100 recipes and a four week meal plan to set you on the path for a happy, healthy pregnancy. You can order the paperback and Kindle versions now on Amazon or find it at Barnes and Noble in stores or online.
Tarah Chieffi is an author, freelance writer, blogger at What I Gather and holistic nutrition educator in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area. Tarah’s passion is working with pregnant women, new moms and families to achieve health and happiness through physical fitness and a “real food” lifestyle.
ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE EVERYTHING PALEO PREGNANCY BOOK
BONUS RECIPE from Tarah Chieffi
Garden Veggie Omelet
1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped spinach
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, diced
1 avocado, sliced
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee or coconut oil to pan.
Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add water, salt, and pepper. Whisk well.
Pour eggs into pan. When eggs begin to set around the edges, use a spatula to push cooked eggs toward the center of the pan, and tilt skillet so the uncooked eggs can spread to the bottom of the skillet.
When eggs are almost set, sprinkle spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onion evenly over half of the omelet.
Use a spatula to fold the omelet in half. Cook for 2 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked.
Serve with sliced avocado.