(image via Nina Matthews Photography on Flickr)

Where food is concerned – along with many other things in life – many of us have trouble finding a healthy balance. Some people do not eat enough, while many others eat much more than they should – especially when it comes to unhealthy, processed foods. This absence of balance doesn’t just apply to our food choices, however. It also applies to our work-life balance, our time spent seeking entertainment, and even to our consumption of non-food items such as new clothes and home furnishings.

There are many theories which try to explain this lack of balance in our everyday lives. The book Healing Our Children has one explanation about our inability to get enough: we don’t feel that we are enough. “Feeling ‘not enough,'” says the book, “comes from generally not getting enough when you were a child: not enough love, not enough attention, not enough positive care, not enough breastmilk, not enough good food, and not enough pleasure. As this experience is repeated throughout many years in childhood, it becomes imprinted. As adults, we then unconsciously live out the ‘not enough’ beliefs, and then deprive ourselves of what we need . . . “

At the root of it, our inability to balance our lives so that we get just enough of everything – not too much or too little – is emotional. In order to eat enough during pregnancy and to have a good balance in everyday life, then, we must learn to recognize the emotions that are behind our eating habits and other consumption habits. Learning to recognize these emotions without judging yourself for having them is the first step toward overcoming emotional blocks and living an abundant life of “enoughness.”

What it means to eat enough during pregnancy

The author of Healing Our Children makes a good point in saying that counting calories is generally unnecessary for human health. Making a lifestyle out of calorie-counting often leads to deprivation, or at least a sense of deprivation. On the other hand, simply listening to our bodies and giving them what they need when they need it leads to a sense of abundance and fullness without overdoing anything.

When you’re pregnant, it is too easy to overdo the things that you should steer clear of, such as sweets and processed foods. At the same time, it is also very easy to not eat enough of the healthy things you and your growing baby need, such as vegetables and healthy fats.

Overcoming this tendency and making sure that you get enough throughout your pregnancy is as easy as learning to listen to your body. Eat mindfully and pay attention to what your body really wants. If you listen to your body, it will tell you exactly what it needs. Find healthy options for pregnancy “cravings,” since these cravings are often connected to nutrients your body truly does need. Sit down for every meal, and learn to really enjoy meals.

Rather than worrying about counting calories or meeting someone else’s daily eating goals for your pregnancy, spend some time getting to know what your body wants and needs during pregnancy. When you do this, you will be able to stay completely healthy and fulfilled throughout this very special time in your life.

With that said, a high-fat diet is actually not linked scientifically to higher amounts of blood cholesterol. Eating a fatty diet is actually healthier for your heart than eating a low-fat or non-fat diet!

For more information on specific things you should try to include in your diet during pregnancy, see Healing Our Children, which is full of information on healthy pregnancy practices and diets from the healthiest pregnant women in the world.