On Friday I mentioned my husband’s rude weight loss (half a stone in 2 weeks), which is clearly not on. On the other hand, it has reminded me that I need to pull myself together and stop eating everything in sight. I’m hoping most of the extra food is going to my boobs (or my ‘page 3 boobs’ and Mike has loving renamed them) given the number of comments I have received about them from friends over the last few days…however, I suspect this is not completely the case, so a healthy eating plan (note: not a diet, critics) complete with carrot sticks instead of chocolate hobnobs (my best friend, Alex, will be pleased. She’s currently on a diet and takes great issue with the slow and savouring pace I use to eat anything yummy) is in order.

To give you a bit of background, I am an avid reader of Women’s Health Magazine, and especially used to love the diet plans – I was forever sending them to the girls at work (for example, this is a three week 1500 calorie ‘abs plan’ complete with recipe links. Loved reading it, very rarely followed it!), not because they were fat but because I loved them so much and wanted to share the joy.

So, for ‘The Ultimate Issue’ (gaining weight very (hopefully) slowly and healthily), I’ve been doing some homework over the weekend to devise a plan, which follows the initial principals in 8 things to love when you’re pregnant. I also wanted ideas, especially for snacks as I’ve fallen into the routine of low-fat soft cheese on toast (with loads of country life melted into the toast first, of course), which a) doesn’t fill me up for long, b) is quite high fat thanks to the butter but I don’t like it without and c) is really quite boring. I tried it with tuna on but that was pretty rank.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, in my hunt for information on pregnancy weight gain I have found a site that has done it all for me at babycentre.co.uk! Horray. It gets better too as it has been planned by the trimester and there are 4 weeks of plans for each trimester. They have thought of everything, including which vitamins (and therefore foods) you should be stocking up on at each stage of pregnancy and have a separate list of snacks. Also, for those of you that way inclined and with time on your hands (me, for example) there is a blank planner so you can do it yourself. I love it.

The only thing it doesn’t tell you is how many calories are in the plans, which I would like to know so I can replace things (for example, I’ve been dying to make a Cook Yourself Thin Mexican Burger recipe but it’s been held ransom for a whole week by an unripe avocado. I will be making it tonight). But, according to quite a few sources, I should be eating the same number of calories as I was eating before I got pregnant. (Ah-ha, this is the source of my weight gain then) So, by this calculation I should be eating about 1700 calories a day and only increasing it by 200-300 calories a day as I reach the second and third trimester. By the way, the overall amount you should put on during pregnancy, as a guide (don’t stress out if you put on more!!) is 25 – 35 lbs.

The other good news is that when I was having a good neb around the site, I also worked out the Vitamin A situation (that being you mustn’t take any supplements with Vit A in during pregnancy, which led me to worry about my orange obsession during weeks 6 and 10). Well, quandary no more…it turns out there are 2 types of Vitamin A:

  • Retinol is good for you but strong, so too much of it can harm  the development of your baby. Liver has high levels of it, hence avoiding it.
  • Betacarotene is the good one and pregnant women should stock up on it in the form of carrots, oranges (hooray!), and green vegetables (broccoli, watercress, and spinach are the examples babycentre give).

So, see what you think of the plans and if you have any suggestions for other plans, do let me know and I’ll love you forever. In the name of Betacarotene, my ex-foe and new friend, I’m off to make some broccoli and pea soup for lunch.