What Do (Pregnant) Dietitians Eat? Mediterranean Diet Edition

May 4, 2018

Inspired by Genevieve’s Mediterranean Diet challenge last week, I thought I’d see how my diet stacks up with the Mediterranean pattern of eating. Also, I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy, which happens to be very compatible with the Mediterranean. Here’s your weekly dose of food-snooping!

Breakfast: 6:30am
Raisin bran cereal topped with sliced almonds, dried cranberries and milk.

I also ate an egg for the protein’s staying power and for the choline (a hot “new” vitamin that may improve fetal health).  If you read along last year, you’ll notice I rarely step outside my cereal for breakfast—hot or cold.  I love it, and it’s not something to be scared of!  Even though I don’t need as many carbs now that I’m not running with a belly in tow, I still enjoy it as a way to get my morning started right.

Coffee: 8:30am
Black. Coffee is not technically on the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, but it’s unsweetened, so doesn’t add to the “meats and sweets” category at the tippy top.
The recommended caffeine limit for a healthy person is 300-400mg per day which translates to about 2-4 eight-ounce cups.  During pregnancy, the limit drops to 200mg per day. Thankfully, that still leaves room for a morning cup. Morning Snack: 10:30am
I felt really sophisticated eating these pickled Brussels, olives, and cherry tomatoes as a morning snack—all leftover from last weekend.

Lunch: 12pm
Starving by now! I toasted a whole wheat English muffin with a hefty smear of avocado and a dash of salt.  A banana with peanut butter was my “dessert.”  Did you know there is not one way to eat Mediterranean? It is a general pattern of eating and can be up to 60% fat (!), most of which comes from nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.  One key to eating Mediterranean is keeping meal time separate from other activities, so I made sure to not eat at my desk and not look at my phone.

Snack: 3pm
What better reason to try a new yogurt? The Mediterranean diet includes a little bit of dairy—full fat dairy.  This Siggi's Triple Cream is delicious, but don't expect a sweet treat–it's quite tart!

I grabbed some dried black soybeans that I brought from home too—you can find them on the healthy checkout lanes at your local Harmons.

Dinner: 7:30pm
My partner made dinner tonight—pineapple rice with shrimp. While I “helped,” I snacked on some cashews—do people really make dinner without sampling first? Not me.  Seafood is prominent in the Mediterranean diet and also important for brain and nerve development in growing babies, so shrimp was a win-win. 
We’ve been super busy lately, so had to make it a priority to eat together.  It was a good reminder that this is a very enjoyable practice and gives us a chance to unpack the day and focus on a delicious meal—both great reasons why eating socially is at the base of the Mediterranean pyramid. 

Don’t mind our small bowls; I ate two, he had three.

Post-Dinner Snack: 9pm
I often end the night with a bowl of ice cream, but tonight I used the spirit of Mediterranean to enjoy a couple of the last clementines of the season.  They were wonderful, but I'm not giving up ice cream anytime soon.