The Athlete Food Pregnancy Diet Q&A

Over the past nine months, I’ve missed out on countless training sessions with friends, substituting solo hikes for group runs and private swims for masters swimming workouts. Meanwhile, Laurel ramped up her game. Last year she had her most successful season yet, completing her first Ironman and racing all over the country, all while gamely answered a marathon of questions about my pregnancy diet and training program from our pals at the gym and triathlon friends. 

During the holidays, we discussed these questions over a few walks and hikes. Here, we present the most frequently asked and most interesting questions.

—Bec 

Laurel: Did you have any cravings over the last nine months?

Bec: I haven't demanded that SJ, my husband, run out and get me a burrito at midnight or anything like that. But I have, not infrequently, gone out of my way to get a milkshake. I'm actually disappointed that I didn't have cravings for weird things like pickles or burgers. Instead I wanted more of my usual favorites: fresh pressed or squeezed juices, and fresh fruit and vegetables. I also drank lots of coconut water! 

Laurel: Any food aversions?

Bec: I've only had three or so peanut butter and honey sandwiches in the last few months. When I’m training I sometimes eat PB&H twice a day, so not craving it was odd. 

Laurel: I'd be lost without PB&H for lunch everyday. What did you eat instead?

Bec: When training I rely on PB&H because it’s filling and easy on my stomach. Once I had to modify my training tempo, I found I could eat foods that I’d normally avoid with an afternoon of hard workouts looming. I've made a lot of green salads and chickpea and lentil salads, and occasionally hit Chipotle for a veggie bowl. 

 

Laurel: What about dinner?

Bec: We went out to dinner more often, thinking that we should eat at our favorite restaurants before going out spontaneously gets complicated. We've gone to North End Grill and our favorite neighborhood Indian restaurants many times. As for cooking at home, I've been alternating between making fish (usually this sweet and salty salmon) one night and a vegetarian meal (like this description pasta). Almost all of our meals involve kale or a dark, leafy green.  

Laurel: Your mid-morning snack usually includes an espresso. Have you gone caffeine-free?

Bec: I cut back on caffeine as soon as I found out I was pregnant. For about a week I drank a cup of half regular and half decaf coffee instead of espresso. Then I switched to all decaf. I know there's research that says a small amount of caffeine is okay, but I wanted to force myself to take a break from caffeine because I normally rely on it for a boost while training or racing. I'll go back to drinking espresso once I'm training again. Until then, I'll continue to hit Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca for a daily afternoon decaf latte. 

Laurel: Besides the daily lattes, any other special treats or indulgences?


Bec: My doctor's office is a few doors down from a Vosges chocolate shop. I treat myself to a cup of their creamy, spicy hot chocolate after most of my appointments. 

As I mentioned earlier, I've indulged in a milkshake or 2 or…10! It was hard to resist the craving with Shake Shack in my neighborhood. Otherwise, I tried to eat my normal healthy foods. One of my friends told me early on that when thinking about what to eat, remember that you are making a decision for two people, so make it a good one. 

Laurel: That's good advice. Has it changed the way you eat?

Bec: It's made me think even more about the ingredients that go into what I cook and eat. I recently came up with a smoothie that packs in 5 superfoods and provides a ton of omega-3's and other nutrients. I have it for breakfast instead of toast or as an afternoon snack. I’ll definitely add it to my training fuel rotation once I get back to it. 

Laurel: Sounds intriguing, please share the recipe with us! 

Click here for Bec's Superfood Shake recipe.