A friend here gave me her copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting and I immediately turned to it for dietary guidelines. Most of the foods on the list are either unavailable here or inedible for me, which didn't surprise me. What surprised me was the gigantic amount of food that they want you to eat in one day! I'm working hard to gain the weight I need to with the proper nutrition, but I can't get anywhere near the daily calorie recommendation. (My husband looked at it too and was amazed. He doesn't even eat that much, and he's a fit, athletic guy who consumes mass quantities.)
I have a gluten-free prenatal vitamin. I'm eating a lot of quinoa and quinoa pasta, which has protein and folic acid. I'm also eating a lot of rice and beans, another good source of protein and folic acid. I try to get one serving of meat per day, but sometimes meat is my greatest aversion. I started making my own yogurt and I found a nonfat powdered milk that I can tolerate, so I'm getting plenty of calcium and my healthy yogurt bacteria. Every morning I start my day with a tropical fruit smoothie. (Sometimes on the weekends I make a banana-chocolate milkshake instead for a treat -- with my yogurt and nonfat milk of course.) I can get broccoli, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers here for my veggie intake. The baby craves carbs more than anything so I'm baking my own bread and eating cereal like mad. And my ultimate comfort food is Annie's gluten-free macaroni and cheese.
Besides the nonfat milk, I also drink a ton of water. Most of the other beverage choices here are too sugary for me and even before the pregnancy I drank them sparingly. I occasionally have caffeine-free coffee or tea. I gave up caffeine and alcohol as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and within two weeks my blood pressure plummeted from borderline too high to the low end of normal.
I know my efforts are paying off with every visit to my local nurse, who checks my blood pressure and does a urinalysis every other week. Without adequate medical care here (for anything more in-depth I have to go to Nairobi, South Africa, or even Europe or the States), my diet has to be my primary source of health maintenance. As you can see, I'm eating good stuff, but I am dreaming of the day several months from now when I will be back in the United States and can walk into any grocery store to face a huge variety of food.