Sunday, September 30, 2012

Candy, candy, candy, candy!!!

Here's a weight control tip I picked up recently:

To avoid spontaneous overindulgence, put a few pieces of candy you like or crave in your purse or jacket pocket.

I find that when I'm out and about, I often get hit with a craving for something sweet. If I set foot in the mall, I want a cinnamon-sugar pretzel. If I'm within a thousand yards of an ice cream shop, I want a triple dip waffle know the feeling.

Rather than spending the cash and consuming the hundreds of calories to indulge my every whim, I treat myself to a piece of candy from my stash. I don't feel like I'm denying myself and it's helped keep me from packing on the pounds (there's ice cream everywhere!)

To compare:
1 bite sized Snickers or Dove Chocolate Promise contains 42 calories.
A cinnamon sugar pretzel from Auntie Anne's packs a whopping 470.
A single Jolly Rancher (which helped me get through several months of over-salivation...just another one of those quirks of pregnancy no one tells you about) is 23 calories, a Starburst fruit chew, 15.
A half cup serving (hah) of Haagen-Dazs contains roughly 270 calories, depending on the flavor, and without a cone or toppings.

As preggos, our doctors recommend consuming only 300 more calories daily than we usually would. I'm trying my best to make sure that I'm eating those calories as wholesome, nutritious foods for me and my little peanut. I've found a piece of candy or two won't set me back too far, and goes a long way to keeping my junk food cravings in line.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


At about 18 weeks, I started to wake up in the morning with some funny feelings in my belly. These first movements are often described romantically as "flutterings."  I though it felt more like baby was popping popcorn in utero.
Which got me thinking, naturally, about popcorn:

What a fabulous preggo snack.  It's a low calorie, low fat whole grain with antioxidants, B vitamins, and trace minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. It's a great source of fiber, which us Preggos can never seem to get enough of (and is way more fun than eating those wafers that threaten to suffocate you or drinking lumpy, psyllium filled orange juice.)

The healthiest way to eat it, at 30 calories and a gram of fiber per cup, is air-popped and plain.  Cooking the kernels in oil and buttering, even lightly, adds a significant amount of calories and fat.

If, like me, you like to eat food that has flavor, we can compromise. Air-pop the popcorn, and sprinkle it with grated low-fat cheese, or garlic powder, or onion powder, or cinnamon and sugar. Raid your spice cabinet for flavoring ideas--you're pregnant, you can get away with almost anything (like spritzing it with vinegar...hey, it's better than drinking pickle juice!)

Here's an easy way to air-pop. You'll need:

a paper lunch sack
3 Tbs popcorn kernels
a microwave

Place the kernels in the sack and fold the top of the sack over about 3/4 of an inch. Fold it over a second time. Place the sack on it's bottom in the microwave, and microwave on full power 1-3 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. The tried and true method of stopping the microwave when there are 3 seconds between pops works well here. Without any oil it can burn quickly so pay close attention. Sprinkle your seasonings right in the bag and give it a shake. Makes about 4 cups popcorn.