Food Portion Wheel
What should I eat? How much should I eat? The Brewer Pregnancy diet is often highly promoted throughout the independent birth education industry, but, it is often confused as protein being the only important part of the diet. Likewise, even when following the guidelines, mothers still get the impression that protein is the most important part and feel like they have to bring a checklist with them at all times. While making a food journal for a few weeks can be a great way of being sure you’re on track or if you’re missing something important, this shouldn’t be your only focus during pregnancy.
At Esali Birth, we reference the Brewer Diet often, but don’t focus on it primarily. I want families to understand that their “diet” during pregnancy shouldn’t be much different than at any other time in their life, just in higher quantities – this is a lifestyle, not your normal “diet plan.” Therefore, we focus on Simple Portions - eating the rainbow and listening to your body as the most effective way to get the right nutrients for you and your baby. The majority of your diet should be made up of vegetables and fruits, particularly dark greens. You want these vegetables to be in a wholesome variety – touching all colors of the rainbow – and vine-ripened whenever possible to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need. If you cannot grow your own foods, can't shop at a farmer’s market and cannot obtain the most nutrient-dense foods, whole foods supplements may be necessary, but they do not give you all the benefits of wholesome foods. In western cultures, meat is usually seen as the main portion on the dinner plate, whereas most eastern cultures utilize these as taste enhancers and consume far less meat. Interesting to note, they have better health and can obviously eat more nutritious meals while not breaking the bank because meat is a large portion of the grocery bill for most consumers.
Here you can see a nutritional daily servings wheel based off the Brewer Pregnancy diet basic guidelines.
Now, here is a basic nutritional portion wheel based off of eating the rainbow and following a plant-based diet with wholesome varieties.
You may notice the “Whole Meats” part of this wheel and wonder what this refers to. If you consider that whole grains are the whole grain without the plant broken down into a nutritionally-void substance, whole meats will include various parts of the animal. By cooking a whole chicken and utilize the various parts of the chicken, you’re obtaining many vital nutrients that would otherwise be lost. Note also that following your cravings is a crucial part of any lifestyle. The key, however, is to understand what you’re cravings really mean. In a world where manufactured and processed foods weren’t abundant, your cravings would lead you to these wholesome foods, not a plate full of brownies, so keep that in mind.
The wheel can be used easily to lay out your meal and snack time portions making your pregnancy and life much easier. Enjoy!