Could it Be Pregnancy Brain… or Is It Just Too Much Nutritional Information?

Stressed outMy brain is fried and since it’s not alcohol that’s killing off my brain cells, it has to be this pregnancy! I’m forgetting things left and right these days… and forget about coming up with killer blog topics to ramble on about that are oh so insightful ;). It’s a dried up water park in my brain so I hope my devoted readers (my mom) can understand why my blog posts are so far and few between. It’s not that I’ve lost my passion for fitness, not even remotely. It’s just formulating thoughts has become quite a struggle!

I did, however, have a thought yesterday while driving and thought it might be a good topic. I was thinking about all the freaking books that are out there about pregnancy. What a market there is for the inquiring (and freaked out) mom’s to-be. There’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting, (a book I’ve been told to stay far, far away from. Like get a wooden cross and wear garlic around your neck kind of warnings, the book will only make me hysterical and mad! Thus, I’ve stayed away from that little gem.) And there’sThe Pregnancy Bible, everything you needed to know about pregnancy and more, complete with the happy couple on the cover and naked pregnant women shown month by month so you can see how big your belly (and nipples) will get each month… really? Then there is the Pregnancy Organizer and the Pregnancy Countdown and thePregnancy Rules and the list goes on and on and on! My heavens it’s overwhelming.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then there are the nutritional books galore! What to eat, what not to eat, how much you should eat and what’s socially acceptable (coffee or no coffee, that’s the ultimate decision. Every pregnant woman I’ve come across asks the question, ‘So, are you having coffee?’ You bet your ass I am, how else do I counteract this fatigue? is my standard answer.)

And don’t’ even think about eating nitrates, raw eggs, tuna, mackerel, prosciutto, salt, brie, bacon, chocolate, sugar-covered anything, cakes, cupcakes, red velvet anything and nothing artificially sweetened, altered or genetically modified.

I actually bought into the hype and have quite a few prego books on my bookshelf. (Notice: On my bookshelf.) One is The Everything Pregnancy Nutrition Book. (I tried.) Get this: to discern how many calories you should be eating in a day, they give you a nice little mathematical equation to figure out. (You tell me if this is simple, as the book states.)

1 – Get your basal metabolic rate by multiplying your weight by 10. (Easy enough.)

2 – Determine how many additional calories you’ll need to sustain your physical level of activity. Here you choose if you’re sedentary, lightly active, moderately active or highly active. (They use the example of being in construction work if you’re highly active. Hmm? Ok.) Each level has an arbitrary percentage assigned to it. (Not sure where they get that from.)

3 – Determine your total caloric number by adding numbers and percentages together and if you’re in construction, expect that number to be really, really high.

4 – Add 300 calories at the end.

You should end up with a number resembling that of a man who is trying to become the world’s strongest athlete.

Then it goes onto daily servings:

9 servings from the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group

4 servings from the vegetable group

3 servings from the fruit group

3 – 4 servings from the milk, yogurt and cheese group

2- 3 servings from the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts group.

Needless to say, there is a lot of societal pressure placed on a newly pregnant woman to shape up her eating habits, follow the do’s and don’ts to a T and stay sane all the while.

Then fast forward three years where your typical kid’s menu consists of french fries, cheese burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese and a 20 ounce fountain soda for them to wash it all down with. What the hell?

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo