Healthy Expectations by Pamela Smith
An enjoyable book by a registered dietician covering all topics related to preconception health and nutrition. Smith’s advice is broken down into five parts:
- The building blocks to healthy baby
- Preparing a healthy body for a healthy baby
- Recipes for a healthy pregnancy
- Pregnancy information and tips
- Life with a baby
The first part is broken into ten easy to follow eating tips: eat early, eat often, eat balanced, eat lean, eat bright, eat pure, eat, drink and be healthy, eat to build, eat for energy, and eat to gain. I find that sometimes it is difficult to incorporate everything I learn into my routine so having ten options makes change much more doable and desirable. Also, people have various opinions around what defines healthy, therefore one can take what advice appeals to them and leave the rest for others to utilize.
If you are a visual learner like me, the list of charts and tables will be of great value to you. This list reveals the location of every visual piece of information in the book. For example: the ten best foods, the ten worst foods, my quickest meals, power snack choices, how to instantly recharge, energy robber checklist and (even) reasons not to exercise.
A snapshot of tips found in the book:
- Eat more beans
- Dress salads with nut-oils, like walnut, almond and sesame
- Eat fish to strengthen baby’s mental and behavioral development
- Eat saturated fats to improve your cycle (same study didn’t look at effects of saturated fats on fertility)
- Eat a variety of foods
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into the diet,5+ servings/day
As for drawbacks, I felt that some of the advice was a bit outdated, which makes sense as the book was written in 1998. New research has questioned some of Smith’s recommendations such as canola oil consumption, folic acid supplementation, low-fat foods/dairy and the link between cholesterol and fat. I also felt that Smith’s meal planning overlooked some important actions such as food combining. As an example, Smith pairs fresh fruit with complex carbs and proteins, which can cause candida growth in the gut. Smith also limits healthy fats and encourages margarine and juice.
Overall, I would say this book is a great choice for readers that lack knowledge in the field of nutrition as well as for those that love learning simple facts/tips to incorporate into their lives.