I’ve been counting protein for most of this pregnancy, trying to get 80-100 grams per day in creative, well-balanced ways that don’t leave me feeling stuffed and heavy at the end of the day from over-eating. Matthew has been a great support, helping and encouraging me along the way. It’s been a fun journey as I pay more attention to what I’m eating and try new things, counting protein and realizing that every bite I put in my mouth will get to my baby. (Helps me remember better the importance of eating right – MY choices are affecting someone who has absolutely no control over what nutrition they are receiving!)
Anyway, at a recent midwife appointment, I was counselled to now guard carbs as well, avoiding as many simple carbs as possible to avoid putting too much weight on the baby before birth. So there was a bigger challenge: still get all that protein, but avoid some of the sources I had been accustomed to using, primarily grains (rice, whole wheat bread, granola, etc.). This seemed much more daunting. I’m still figuring out how exactly to manage these things, but one thing that has helped me tremendously – and makes me look forward to getting up and starting the day! - is having a chocolate milkshake every morning for breakfast!
A chocolate milkshake? you might be asking. I thought you were trying to avoid simple carbs… which would include sugar.
Well, that’s true. But this “milkshake” has very little sugar in it (and what it has is all natural), and it’s packed with protein and other nutrition, so I can enjoy it and feel pretty good about it, too – such a blessing! I wouldn’t even normally call it a milkshake because it has no ice cream in it (I’d usually call it a smoothie), but it’s so delicious, I have fun calling it a milkshake and then drinking it for breakfast! So here’s the recipe:
1 c. milk
1 egg (yes, raw – I never thought I would do it, but you’d never know it’s in there!!)
1/4 c. frozen strawberries, unsweetened
1 c. raw spinach (again, it’s amazing - you’ll never know it’s in there, except for a few green flecks….. and just think of the health benefits!)
1-2 Tbsp. dry milk powder (for extra protein)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt)
6 ice cubes (approximately)
2 tsp. raw honey, or to taste (optional)
Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a cup and enjoy! Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
I can’t really take credit for this recipe: most of it was an idea from a book. But I took what was written there, added a few ideas of my own, and have been enjoying it every morning for nearly two weeks now! There are lots of good ingredients in there… and it’s a really easy way to get a side-salad’s worth of greens………….
I hope someone else can benefit from this idea, getting good nutrition while enjoying some of the wonderful taste sensations God has given to us in food. If anyone tries it, I’d love to hear what you think of it, and if you make any of your own variations, I love to hear about those, too!
(By the way, this recipe has approximately 22 grams of protein. )