Monday, June 29, 2015

Preparing for Pregnancy: Nutrition (Part 3)

NaturalGuy and I have been putting some effort into improving our eating habits. We want to be healthy and we want to raise our children with healthy attitudes towards food. I want to eat as nutritious a diet as I can - afterall, I'm hoping to grow a baby in the foreseeable future!

But, even with some pretty strong motivation, changing what you eat is hard. It's tough to find a balance between not caring and obssessive tracking. I've tried nutrition the MyFitnessPal and the USDA trackers before, but found the level of detail exhausting. The calorie counting made me anxious and the the minor nutrients drove me up the wall. I also couldn't stand how accurate the calculations were given how inaccurate the input is. I hated how hard it was to track calories for homemade food - tracking shouldn't makes want to eat only processed food. In my early teens I struggled with an eating disorder, and while I have been blessed with a full recovery, I don't feel like tempting fate.

On the other hand, it's hard to improve your eating habits without any way to measure how you are doing, so I didn't want to abandon the search for a non-crazy-making tracker. Last week I finally found one that fits - "EatRight." No calories, no nutrients, just a way to note food group servings. For me, it's the perfect level of information. The progress bars remind me to eat my servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as to exercise portion control with less nutritious place holders. There's no mention of weight loss so it doesn't stress me out. The other thing I like is that the number of servings of each group is customizable - aka flexible for pregnancy and nursing, special diets, or just personal preference. I couldn't be happier with the approach.

Tracking my eating habits has gone hand in hand with tracking exercise - but that's a topic for another day! Nutrition plays an important role in fertility, pregnancy, and family life. It's worth getting a handle on it early, for our health and the health of our children.

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