In an ideal world, you would always follow Plan A: Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and eat well-balanced meals (preferably homemade and organic) to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. The reality is, you're lucky to get to work on time, let alone eat a sensible breakfast!
While you may wish for more time to rest or exercise, you still can eat well when life feels out of control. This is particularly important now that you're expecting, when you and your baby need nutrients such as calcium, folate, fiber, iron and protein to function and develop properly. The trick is to have a healthy Plan B. With the help of Christine M. Palumbo, R.D., a nutritionist in Chicago, we show you how to make easy, healthful meals packed with important prenatal nutrients using fast food, takeout or frozen entrees. Enjoy!
Many restaurants now have healthful dishes noted on their menus, and most will modify the dishes if you ask them to.
Order A small vegetable pizza--mushrooms, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes--with tomato sauce, but no cheese; and a garden salad with no dressing
At Home Sprinkle reduced-fat shredded cheese or grated Parmesan (it's extremely high in calcium) over pizza and heat in a 350* F oven until cheese melts. Palumbo suggests dressing salad with 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Eat half the pizza, saving the other half for another meal. Enjoy fresh grapes for dessert.
Key Nutrients Calcium, fiber, folate and vitamin C
Order Hot-and-sour soup; beef (or chicken) and broccoli; fortune cookies (they're low-fat!)
At Home Make a pot of quick-cooking brown rice (fiber is important to fight constipation, Palumbo says). Eat 1 1/2 cups of the beef or chicken and broccoli with rice, saving the leftovers for another meal. Cut an orange into sections for a vitamin C-rich dessert and eat with the fortune cookies.
Key Nutrients Complex carbohydrates (a high-quality source of energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals), fiber, folate, protein and vitamin C
Order Salsa, but no chips; fish Veracruz (with tomatoes); side order of black beans
At Home Have baked corn chips with salsa; steam asparagus for a side dish and enjoy calcium-rich, low-fat cocoa with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cayenne pepper for dessert.
Key Nutrients Fiber, folate, protein and vitamin C
Order Green papaya salad (or garden salad); barbecue beef and sauteed mixed vegetables
At Home Make a pot of fiber-rich, quick-cooking brown rice to eat with the vegetables and half the barbecue beef; save leftover beef for another meal. Enjoy sliced pineapple for dessert.
Key Nutrients Complex carbohydrates, iron, fiber and vitamins C and E
Order Cooked edamame; seaweed (or garden) salad and an assortment of cooked sushi and/or vegetarian sushi, such as California rolls (crab meat, avocado and cucumber), shiitake mushroom rolls, omelet sushi or cooked shrimp sushi
At Home Dip sushi in low-sodium soy sauce; enjoy a wedge of cantaloupe for dessert.
Key Nutrients Beta carotene, mono- and polyunsaturated fats (from avocado and edamame; these fats have a beneficial effect on cholesterol), protein and vitamin C