Pregnancy-diet-myths

Nutritionist Susie Burrell’s Pregnancy Diet Plan Dos And Don’ts

No one is currently better qualified to give pregnant women nutrition advice than Sydney dietitian, nutritionist and author Susie Burrell, who’s pregnant with twins.

RELATED: Should IVF Clients Be Able To Choose The Sex Of Their Baby?

Safely into her second trimester at 15-weeks-pregnant and expecting her twins early in 2016, Susie, 37, Susie and her radio host fiancee Chris Smith (pictured below) are currently enjoying a holiday in Hawaii while they process their baby news, recently revealed at a scan.

Susie, who specialises in treating people with hormonal disorders and who recently launched her new program, Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, says twins are a double blessing, but it still came as a shock despite her family history of multiples, thanks to her maternal grandmother.

“My family, including my mum who is a midwife, had joked about it being twins and the thing I said to my sister before my scan was: ‘I’ll be fine as long as there is not 2!’. Then I was in the scan, and Chris was outside, and the lady said: “Hmm you had better get your husband.’ “And since I could still see one heartbeat I just knew! She said: ‘Oh, there’s another in the back, let me make sure there are not three.’ I said: ‘Oh, c’mon!

“Chris’s mouth dropped to the floor and trust me, he is never speechless. I saw my sister straight after she was like: ‘No way?!’ What can you do? You have to laugh at the irony for a control freak like me and the wonders of nature. We think we are in control, but really have no control. And now we realise how lucky we are and are really excited!”

pregnancy diet plan, pregnancy, Susie Burrell

So, how does a top dietitian and nutritionist adjust her own eating habits when pregnant? Here, Susie dispels some popular pregnancy eating myths and answers everything you’ve ever wanted to know and more about eating for two, or three, as in her case.

How has your own nutrition changed with two babies on the way?

I am finding it so interesting after seeing pregnant women for years myself in practice and giving them advice to need to turn it around on myself. I felt quite nauseous in the mornings until about two weeks ago which actually helped me a lot managing my appetite. Instead of feeling hungry all the time, I went off most things, even my coffee, so was eating quite lightly – definitely not anything sweet, which was a nice change, instead anything salty like cheese and Vegemite crackers and salmon sandwiches.

Luckily, that nauseous  feeling has now largely gone, but I definitely have far less room for food than before and instead have to eat regularly: oranges, crackers, wraps and then something small at night so I don’t feel sick, like soup, vegetables or seafood. I’m also not feeling like anything heavy and even my chocolate cravings have disappeared! My specialist has told me I can only gain 10-12kg so I am pretty motivated by that because I know if you really control things early it makes it much easier later. Especially for me, as I am only short and probably started the pregnancy 5kg heavier than would have been ideal so I only have a little buffer there.

What are the most common pregnancy food myths?

That you need to eat for two (or three), and eating makes you feel better so you should do more of it. When you feel sick, you will feel sick regardless so it does still help to control the food a little and not let all your control go out the window; that is where we see 20kg plus weight gains which can be really challenging to lose.

What’s the best and healthiest eating habits to adopt when pregnant?

Nutrient-rich foods are best – try not to waste your calories on poor choices such as juices, snack foods, toast and starchy foods will make you feel better temporarily, but pack on the kilos quickly if you get into a habit of eating only these. Pregnant women should also try to find a few foods which are nutrient-rich, but still settle your tummy, for example: soda water, plain crackers and cheese and fresh fruit. Try concentrating on these foods instead of calorie-laden ones.

Will any specific foods help curb pregnancy cravings and mood swings?

Eating regularly is important to keep on top of morning sickness as low-blood glucose can increase nausea. I find herbal tea helps, as does icy, cold water. And if you are craving, watch your portions; there is a big difference between a single ice-cream and a tub of Cookies and Cream. If you get into the habit of overindulging early, it will continue and that is when a 10kg weight gain will become 20kg when you let yourself eat things you never usually would just because your are pregnant.

I ate a LOT of Magnums towards the end of my first pregnancy because I was so anxious. Is emotional eating a big problem for pregnant women?

My observation is that we are more likely to give ourselves permission to eat foods we never usually would because of the pregnancy. Like anything, if you eat it in moderation it is not a big deal. For example: eat one mini Magnum per day compared to the whole box. Keeping busy is a big one. And focusing on your baseline nutrition is another; learning to tame cravings with a small treat rather than a binge is a key strategy.

Do you have any other top nutrition tips for preggos?

Keep a close eye on your weight, this will help you track whether you are overdoing things early. And most importantly, keep active in line with what your specialist recommends. I see so many women who literally stop moving the minute that stick turns pink. Initially, it’s because they are tired and then they never start again. You are tired regardless so at least keep walking! Not only does it help to keep your weight and glucose levels under control, but exercise helps keep the baby and aids birth. You at least want to be walking for 30 minutes a day for as long as you can.

As I have twins, the specialist has told me after 28-30 weeks I have to keep off my feet to try and keep them in there as long as possible, which will be very hard for me because I have always exercised for at least an hour a day. So, my plan is to continue gym until late October and do as much walking as I can and then I will swap to swimming. I will also start Pilates as recommended by my doctor, as already I am getting some aches and pains thanks to sitting down so much and things changing in my body.

pregnancy diet plan, pregnancy, Susie Burrell

Images via healthable.org, dailytelegraph.com.au

August 30, 2015

5 Pregnancy Diet Myths Dispelled

If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably already experienced an avalanche of advice coming your way from all directions. Everyone will tell you what a pregnant woman should and shouldn’t eat with opinions raging from reasonable to outright bizarre. Here are some of the most common myths about pregnancy diet that I’ve come across.

1. You need to eat for two

We’ve all heard it and some of us (myself included) have used it as an excuse to supersize our meals, but there’s very little truth in it. Your needs in terms of calories do not change until the second trimester and even then you only need about 300 extra calories a day. Far more important than increasing the amount you eat is making sure that you have a well-balanced diet that provides all the nutrients you and your baby need.

RELATED: Nutrients And Vitamins Important During Pregnancy

2. All fish is bad for you during pregnancy

You do need to be careful how much and what kind of fish you eat during pregnancy, because of potentially high mercury levels that can harm your baby. However, it’s not advisable to avoid fish altogether. Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for your baby’s brain development.

3. You shouldn’t eat tree nuts and peanuts or your baby will be allergic to them

I heard this more times that I could count when I was pregnant and reaching for nuts. I’m pleased to report that, in spite of my love for nuts, none of my three children is allergic to them. Current research confirms that eating nuts while pregnant doesn’t increase your baby’s risk of food allergies. In fact, nuts can be a good source of protein, fibre, iron, calcium and folate, which makes them a great healthy snack during pregnancy.

4. If you eat a bit less, your baby will take some of your fat

Your baby needs protein to grow and fat can’t be turned into protein. If you don’t eat enough, your body will be breaking down your muscle tissue, not using up your fat. I can certainly testify to that – I ate very little (not because I was dieting, but because I had ‘morning’ sickness almost the whole time) and while I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight just a few days after the birth, I also felt weak, tired and unfit for months.

5. You need to eat red meat

You need extra iron and protein while you’re pregnant, but it doesn’t have to come from meat. Good sources of protein include nuts, seeds and legumes. Iron can be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes, such as soy beans and chickpeas. A healthy vegetarian diet while pregnant is possible and there’s no reason to start eating meat if you don’t want to.

Image by bohed via pixabay.com

October 8, 2014