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Meal Planning, Favorite Pens, and Baby Journals

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #EverydaySharpie http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend. We spent ours back in Cincinnati with dear friends celebrating finding out the gender of this little baby (did you see yesterday’s post?) and clocking lots of hours of games and conversation. I’m grateful this next chapter only took us a few short hours from people that we love so much 🙂

Today I’m excited to share a fun little project I started last week for me and baby.

Ever since first finding out I was pregnant, my biggest worry is that I haven’t been eating enough. At my first prenatal appointment the doctor laid out her expectations for my weight gain and I’d read enough about the downside for babies with underweight mothers that I took her very seriously. For me, getting calories in general were important but I also wanted to make sure I was getting the right ones. For a long time my prenatal vitamins made me so sick I’d let myself skip them if I was getting all of the vitamins from their natural sources (and that way they’d stay down). I’ve made so many meal charts, grocery lists, and nutrient tracking pages to make sure we were getting what we needed. All in all, it was a HUGE relief last week to find out baby is measuring a week and a half big and that the doctor is very pleased with my weight gain.

For the past two weeks I’ve been using the new Sharpie pens (I picked them up at Walgreens) for everything, including my meal planning. I love how the different colors make it easy to see if my shopping list or meal plan is balanced and really, I’m just a sucker for new pens that write so smoothly. Whether you’re looking balance your diet before the holidays or get your meal planning organized for fall, I came up with a visual way that has been very helpful:

^I found this blank sketch book at Hobby Lobby and picked up some washi tape (how cute are the little forks and spoons?) and stickers to personalize it. The original plan was to chart what I ate during the day, write grocery lists, and tape in receipts to keep track of nutrients and spending in one place… the project evolved a little bit though.. 
^the finished cover

^I write out what I eat throughout the day (I also use this same process with meal planning/grocery lists) in the black Sharpie pen — I have a little tally box for glasses of water (I’ve found drinking lots of water is the biggest game changer in how I feel throughout the day)
^Then, at the end of the day, I’ll go through and underline the vegetables in green, the protein in red, and the sweets in blue so I have a great visual of how I did. I’ll use this to visual to set goals for the next day or, if its on my grocery lists, to reassess if we’re really planning on having balanced meals the next week

What started out as a basic food journal to record what I’ve been eating, turned into a little pregnancy journal. While I’ll keep documenting eating schedules and meal plans, I’ve also started including littles letters to baby, notes from doctors appointments, and snippets of life as his mom-to-be. I’m planning on including cravings, favorite foods, favorite activities, exercise routines, special moments, first baby purchases, bits of advice, and things like that. I’m not sure how much it’ll ever mean to our little boy (maybe I’ll just copy the letters for him one day) but its already a neat keepsake that I think I’ll be happy to have next time around! 

I’d love to hear — did any of you moms out there keep a journal during pregnancy? 
What did you include in it? 

*These pens really are my favorite writing utensil (sometimes I’m nice enough to let Ben borrow them). They have all the smoothness of writing with a Sharpie marker, but they don’t bleed through anything. I’m just hoping they decide to make the pens in all of the colors they have in the markers. I might stop tying anything other than this blog altogether 😉

**Prior to being pregnant I was never this conscientious about what I ate/ didn’t eat. My rule of thumb is that if I ate all the good stuff I’m supposed to (protein, vegetables, whole grain) then it was fine to indulge. It’s the same rule I’m following throughout my pregnancy, for the most part, but I’m trying to be a bit more aware of what my snacking and little bits of “indulging” throughout the day really looks like.

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