If you're pregnant and confused about what you're allowed to eat, you're not alone! A recent study by American Baby surveyed over 2,300 women and found out the following:

  • 80% have consumed sushi, alcohol, or other off-limit foods
  • 84% indulge often in unhealthy foods
  • 63% don't eat enough fruits and vegetables
  • 61% are anxious about gaining too much weight
  • 42% say figuring out what to eat is stressful

Who hasn't doubted themselves when it comes to eating during their pregnancy? Whether it's following a "do not eat" list, incorporating a healthful variety, or satisfying any kind of food cravings, it's a lot of questions ALL the time and for most, it's difficult to find a good balance.

Taking the plunge into pregnancy is stressful enough! Every day is an unknown and the world of motherhood is several unknowns. Being educated is only half the battle; once you know, then you have to "do," and that is A LOT of pressure. Even as a dietitian, there are days where I don't have the time to put together a salad to eat. And it's simply because I'm tired and I don't feel like it. Soon after this decision, a cloud of guilt follows me with the following thoughts:

"I should have just spent 10 minutes and prepped my salad." (Because my feet hurt from running around all day and just thinking about standing to cut vegetables makes me tired.)

"It's so easy to make a smoothie and throw fruits into a blender, why couldn't I just do it?" (Because cleaning and washing the blender sounds painful.)

Here's the deal: Don't be so hard on yourself. I call it the 80/20 rule. Try to make healthier decisions 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, whether you want to or not, you'll have to let go. You'll end up eating pizza at a kids birthday party. You'll end up drinking a bottle of wine just because. You'll end up ordering a burger and fries instead of making a salad with grilled lean protein. And guess what? It's ok!

Whether you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or well into motherhood -- try to follow the 80/20 rule and I promise you -- you'll feel better about things and be a lot happier!