We we're on baby #3 and I have felt very strongly this time around to count protein grams.  With my other pregnancies I bought into the "Americans eat too much protein anyway" theory.  Well, turns out my average diet (low in dairy and small meat portions if any) is VERY low in protein (30g on average - should be 75-80!).  High in fruits and veggies, but that doesn't help the protein thing.  Do any of you have some good recipes that helped you meet your quota that aren't LOADED with calories/fat? (like peanut butter.  A serving is 1 TBS which has 7g protein but has half the fat you need for a whole day! yikes) Or doesn't include eating a whole chicken ;o)   I have, for the time, started drinking milk again (9g protein 100 cal per cup) and am just hoping my system doesn't rebel too badly!  I just feel like on my hypnobabies protein counter the servings are so large - eg: 1 cup cottage cheese = 30g protein.  Awesome!  But a CUP?  That is a lot of cottage cheese.  1/2 cup a day is about all I can handle.  Anyway, you get the idea.  Any tips? Tricks? Recipe ideas? Thanks!

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Great topic! (Be prepared for a long response here--Sorry!) This has been something near and dear to my heart throughout my pregnancy, and as I approach the end of my 40th week, I can honestly say that I have felt really fabulous (for the most part)!
When I had my first midwife appt at 9 weeks, my sister was in the final throes of a pretty awful pregnancy--complete with bad swelling in the legs/feet, stretch marks galore, hives, blood pressure issues, sciatica, etc. I was nervous, since she and I are built very similarly, that I would have a copycat pregnancy. I told the midwife of my concerns, and she gave this simple advice: Good nutrition and exercise, regularly, until delivery, no exceptions. Of all of the nutrition tips she discussed, she said protein intake was far and above the most crucial (same amount as you mentioned--minimum 70 grams/day).
My DH took it as his mission throughout this pregnancy to bug me as much as possible about how much protein I was taking in. Every day after work: "What did you eat for breakfast? What did you have for lunch? Snack?" Ha ha...I called him the Protein Police. But it worked to keep me on track and accountable.
Anyway, cramming in that much protein proved to be a challenge initially, but here's how I finally found my groove:

1)Find a high-protein cereal to eat every morning. I ate Kashi Go Lean (plain, not Crunch, to limit sugar) with Stevia for some sweetness. With skim milk, it's nearly 20 g protein per serving!

2) Whey protein supplements--I experimented, but found that Muscle Milk chocolate shake was my favorite--another 20 g per serving. They come in little containers, ready to drink. (I'd buy mine at Costco.) I'd put it in the freezer at work in the a.m. and drink it around 10:30 before the lunch munchies set in. They make organic/natural whey powders in different flavors in specialty and health food shops, if this is more appealing.

3) At lunch, I love my turkey and swiss on wheat! Another 20-22 g per sandwich. I know some people avoid lunch meats, but my personal level of risk tolerance and research allowed me to feel safe eating it. ( I did use all natural, minimally processed meat).

So, by dinner, I had already had nearly 60 g in my system, which allowed me to be more laid back about my choices in the evening. Everyone will have different preferences, but I found that consuming the bulk of my protein early in the day worked the best for me. (I usually exercise in the early a.m. before work).
So far, I have had no measurable swelling, perfect blood pressure, no stretch marks (and I got a TON on my breasts, buttocks, and thighs during puberty--so I've been pleasantly shocked!), and very few aches and pains. Luck? Genetics? Perhaps. But I'd like to think being disciplined about my diet and activity had more to do with it. And I am not known for being the most disciplined person in the world, by any stretch! :)
I'll let you know how delivery goes and about baby's health when the time comes (hopefully any day now???)
Best to you!
Awesome thank you. It is so helpful to talk about this. My first pregnancy was a disaster - bed rest, pre-eclampsia that ended up with early induction, "elephant ankles"- whole 9 yard. The second was a dream. Beautiful pregnancy, amazing drug free delivery -BUT I hemorrhaged badly an hour after he was born. Now I wonder if it had to do with lack of protein throughout my pregnacy - despite everything else being wonderful. Anyway, good luck with your birth. I hope it is wonderful and healthy!
Hi Rachel! I'm 33 weeks. My midwife has recommended almonds and almond milk. It's worked beautifully, because I love almonds. If you don't, however, there is a HEMP SEED mix at whole foods i just bought. It's mild in flavor, and you just sprinkle it on your food. It's got 11g of protein per serving (2 tbsp). Also, I can't live without Pepperidge Farm 15 grain/whole grain bread. It's got 5g per slice. Finally, if you like fish... baked cod, sole and haddock fillets have about 20-25g per serving. I get them frozen and just pop them in the oven with some lemon, dill, and just a little butter. Good luck with the protein and the pregnancy :) Oh! And about the hemorrhaging... my midwife has me on alfalfa capsules (just one or two a day) They have vitamin K and help with blood clotting. Of course, I'd ask your doctor about all this. Ok, good luck!!!!
Hi Rachael!

I'm vegan, so counting my protein intake is very important. I found an organic brown rice protein powder with tons of vitamins and 15g of protein per serving. I make a shake each morning and night with a serving of the powder 15g, a cup of soy milk 7g, a banana, strawberries, and half a tsp of peanut butter about 4g and blend it all together. It's really tasty and gives me quite a bit of protein. I also eat a diet rich in beans which helps with my protein intake! :)
I love the brown rice protein poweder idea. I often find myself lacking just 10-15g at the end of the day and can't think about eating anything else! Where do you get the rice powder?
i bought mine at henry's market; http://www.henrysmarkets.com/ whole foods carry it as well. :)
You could down a protein power bar, but they are on the sweet side. They have about 10g protein.
Thank you all for sharing your ideas! I wanted to share my protein packed breakfast I've had lately for anyone else who might be reading this and asking the same question. Two slices of extra protein bread (Arnold's), toasted (14g), 1 6oz yogurt (6g) with 2 TBS wheatgerm (4g) for a 24g of protein for breakfast in about 360 calories (depending on what you put on the toast). Yippie!
I know it's not delicious, in fact, I have never liked it, but canned tuna has 24g protein, 120 cal, 0 fat in a 5 oz can (1/2 cup). It's not something you can really eat everyday, but maybe just to add some variety throughout the week. I drain it and mix it with salsa. I'm not a tuna salad sandwich person, but I guess you could put it on bread or in a tortilla or pita with lettuce or something if you like it that way. Just hold your breath as you go in for a bite (stin-ky)! Hope this helps.
I actually love tuna :o) But even loving it, eating more than once a week is.... Well too much (I add mayo too, heehee, which makes it far less healthy). There is the mercury factor too. Thanks so much for responding!
Wheat Germ. You can find it in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal. It is one of the top 10 healthiest foods and supplies more protein than many meats do as well as 27 other nutrients. It is a powder and you can add it to foods that you already eat. I mixed mine w/smoothies, yogurt, and sprinkled it on top of fresh fruits and cottage cheese :). I also used it to bread meat, as a filler in meatloaf, into pancake batter, in muffin batter...The possiblilities are endless and you can find recipies and ideas on the internet. It has kind of a nutty taste.

I also drank a Boost High Protein drink every day. It is kinda high in sugar & fat but provides lots of protein and other vit/min. I liked the chocolate flavor best. It was my very healthy chocolate milk :) It fixed my craving for chocolate but was nutritional. They also have strawberry and vanilla.

Try Natural PB. Or Almond Butter. Or a mixture. It is healthy and low in fat. PB is a healthy food if it doesn't have all the ingredients that are added to most commercial PB.
I liked drinking smoothies, because they didn't upset my stomach. I can't do much dairy because I'm sensitive to it. I made smoothies with frozen/fresh strawberries, blueberries, bananas and soy milk. We added protein powder for extra protein.

Also, did you know that broccoli has more protein per calorie than steak? Eating a wide variety of vegetables will help you get the right amount of nutrients without having to load up on dairy (studies have shown that cow's milk can actually leech calcium from your system). For more on this, check out "Eat for Life" by Dr. Fuhrman (a licensed medical doctor, not a fad diet advocate) and/or his website: http://www.drfuhrman.com.



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