Yes, I think about, read about, and talk about food a lot. It's the number one way I take care of myself. So, naturally, I was
I have a few go-to meals that I eat in rotation, but the "Big Salad," as I so dubbed it during pregnancy, is one that never fails. I feel so nourished and satisfied afterwards, almost as if I can feel the nutrients going to work in my body. It's tasty, filling and so very nutritious. The protein from the eggs and hummus will fill you up, the whole grains from the brown rice bread will give you some fuel/energy without feeling heavy, and the healthy fats from the olive oil and avocado will satisfy cravings (cravings are usually your body's way of asking for something….it just takes a little bit of detective work to figure out what that is).
All the "fat" in this meal might make you nervous. Personally, I swear by healthy fats. They are rich in omegas, good for your heart, fight fatigue, improve your overall health, and can actually help you control your weight. Healthy fats are one of my secrets! My diet is high in healthy fat and virtually devoid of unhealthy saturated fats. Let's not fail to mention that this way of eating also benefits a growing fetus or growing baby (through breast milk) enormously!
So, here is my recipe for "Big Salad," including the health benefits of each ingredient (click links for full nutritional information):
Alexa's Big Salad
2-3 cups mixed dark, leafy greens salad mix (I prefer Olivia's Spring Mix)
*high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and iron
1 cup baby spinach
*high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, Folic Acid, Fiber, B Vitamins, on the "12 best foods to eat during pregnancy" list
1-2 large carrots, peeled and diced
*high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Fiber, Vitamin C, on the "12 best foods to eat during pregnancy" list
6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
*high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Lycopene
1/2 an avocado, chopped
*high in Folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Omegas, on the "12 best foods to eat during pregnancy" list
2 hardboiled Omega/DHA-enhanced eggs, chopped
*high in Protein, Omegas, B Vitamins, Choline (research indicates Choline can help prevent miscarriage in addition to its many other health benefits), on the "12 best foods to eat during pregnancy" list
2-4 tablespoons hummus
*high in protein, Folic Acid, Fiber, Manganese
Olive oil, to taste
Balsamic Vinegar, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Gluten-free brown rice toast with Coconut Spread, on the side
Mix all ingredients, salad mix through avocado in a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Top with hardboiled eggs and hummus. Serve toast on the side.