Trainer Anna Kaiser crafts the bodies of stars like Kelly Ripa and Karlie Kloss, and helped Shakira get into dancing shape after having two kids. Now that Anna herself is pregnant, she’s sharing her expertise and experiences in this exclusive PEOPLE blog. Anna has her BFA in Dance and studied kinesiology, sports medicine and functional anatomy at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She is an NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified trainer and has teaching certificates in Pre/Post Natal, Pilates and TRX. Follow her on Instagram, check out her signature workout, AKT, and read about her pregnancy journey here on PEOPLE.com!
When it comes to cravings and my current diet, every day is different. Some mornings I wake up so nauseous that food — and especially caffeine — are out of the question. During my first trimester I had mornings when leftover pasta was the only thing I could stomach. Or evenings where I wanted to slap my husband for making chicken or fish in the house. (I had to leave the apartment to avoid vomiting!)
The morning is the most delicate time of the day for me. It took me a few months to figure out how to stave off the nausea associated with the start of the day. I found that cutting back on coffee (1/2 to 1 cup) and saving my vitamins until later in the day made a huge difference. And now, as the air cools and the leaves fall, hot food like oatmeal, eggs and toast help rev my engine in a hearty, calming way. That being said, on most mornings now, I do need a cup of coffee to get me going. Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to caffeine during pregnancy. I work full time, and with the extreme exhaustion pregnancy brings, I need a little boost a couple of times a day. On days when I can’t stomach coffee, green tea has also proven to be very helpful and soothing.
In regards to cravings, I tend toward the savory vs. the sweet (always have). In the first trimester, before I knew I was pregnant, pickles wrapped in sprouted raisin bread was a daily craving. Then, I wanted everything tomato based: salsa, soup, pasta sauce, virgin bloody mary mix… I couldn’t get enough! As for the aversions, I couldn’t look at a piece of meat or a vegetable for most of my first trimester. I discovered that this is your body’s protective mechanism. Veggies and fruit are known to harbor bacteria, and so your body naturally wants to avoid them. I used to beat myself up about trying to get enough fresh food and protein like I did before getting pregnant. But then I resigned myself to the fact that my body is going to crave what it needs.
Since my fourth month of pregnancy, I have been able to add in more veggies and protein without feeling sick. I am actually starting to crave them again (hallelujah!). And, yes, there are days when all I can fathom eating is a juicy grass-fed burger or a full serving of pad thai. But to be honest, I usually have a huge dip in energy after a heavy meal like that and tend to avoid it for a while after giving in to a craving.
Small meals seem to be best, because there isn’t much room in my body for food! If I wait to long to eat I develop an intense mama-bear-post-hibernation savage hunger that comes with grand notions about what I will eat (a full burrito, followed by a salad, and dessert)! But once it’s all in front of me I only have room for half a burrito. So I’ve learned that having snacks with me at all times can keep my energy balanced.
Overall, I am just less strict with what I “think” I should be eating, and more open to what my body is “feeling” will serve it best. Pregnancy has been a huge lesson in patience and in allowing myself to be open to whatever the day may hand me. I have a feeling this newfound patience is going to get a whole new meaning when they hand me that baby…
Here is a sample meal plan:
Wake up, 7:00 a.m.
Essentia Alkaline water
Breakfast, 7:45 a.m.
Steel-cut oatmeal with 2% milk, hemp hearts, blueberries and a sprinkling of brown sugar; one cup of coffee
Workout, 9:30 a.m.
Morning snack, 11:30 a.m.
Protein shake with raspberries, blueberries, banana, ice, Pure Protein Vanilla powder
Lunch, 2:30 p.m.
Turkey chili, sautéed veggies like green beans, carrots and sunchokes
Afternoon snack, 5 p.m.
Energy tea, beef jerky, apple
Dinner, 7:30 p.m.
Miso soup, California roll, hijiki seaweed, dumplings
Before bed, 9:00 p.m.
Glass of 2% milk