The Perfect ‘Let’s Make a Baby’ Breakfast
While I often counsel my wellness coaching clients on intuitive eating and listening to their body’s hunger cues and energy needs as a lifelong skill, planning for pregnancy and the pregnancy itself can make this so much more challenging. Why? Because we have to start thinking not about just what our body needs to thrive, but what our growing baby needs for optimal health as well.
That’s why I find it so helpful to have a general nutrient target in mind for preconception and pregnancy. Once we have a target in mind, I can work with individuals to discover an optimal range around that target that works best for them.
A 2012 study by Dr. Jeffrey Russell of the Delaware Institute of Reproductive Medicine found that women who ate at least 25% and not more than 35% of their calories from protein and no more than 40% of their calories from complex carbs had a much higher rate of successful pregnancy than those who ate less protein and fewer carbs. The remaining calories, about 35%, come from healthy fats.
These guidelines are much higher than traditional recommended guidelines for protein and fats and much lower for carbs (45-65%). Proteins and fats are building blocks for muscle, brain, and hormone development so it’s crucial to get significant amounts. Nutrient-dense, complex carbs, including veggies and fruits and whole grains are important for energy, fiber and micronutrients.
It’s great that we have these numbers, but what does that look like in real life? Here’s a breakfast that comes pretty close to nailing the 25P-40C-35F ratio.