Expect the Best: Review and Giveaway!


In my experience, first time pregnant mamas are information sponges. There’s this life-changing THING that’s about to happen and it’s so unlike anything we’ve experienced so far in life, we just need ALL THE INFORMATION, all at once.

I have one friend who read over 100 books on pregnancy and parenting when she found out she was expecting! I didn’t read quite that many, but books on pregnancy and parenting were certainly my focus while I was pregnant with my first.

Win a copy of @EWardRD's pregnancy nutrition book Expect the Best! Like and comment here: http://bit.ly/2qlcTt6 #giveaway Click To Tweet

I enjoyed some of the modern-day classics like Bringing Up Bebe and Expecting Better, but when it came to a book on nutrition for pregnancy, I was only willing to read a book written by a registered dietitian. As an RD myself, I knew another RD wouldn’t pack the pages with any nonsense about how I should eat exclusively organic food or drink a specific green smoothie every day. And while I discovered that there are quite a few pregnancy nutrition books written by doctors, I still felt that an RD would be better positioned to share the most useful and accurate information.

That led me to Elizabeth Ward’s Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy. Although I’d learned the basics of pregnancy nutrition in my schooling, I loved how Ward’s book addressed me as an individual, and especially as a first time mom who was striving to do everything right.

However, the book was first published in 2009, so by the time I read it in 2015 it already contained some dated information about the now-defunct Food Guide Pyramid (it was replaced by MyPlate). Well, wouldn’t you know it, just in time for my second pregnancy, Ward has released a revised edition of the book! Her updates include:

40 new recipes with many more options for different diets, including vegan and vegetarian diets.

Eating recommendations based on the very latest research, including seafood and nut consumption recommendations.

Food safety tips and recommendations (What kind of cheese can you eat? What about raw foods? Etc.)

Eating to manage morning sickness and heart burn (personally I really appreciated the heartburn tips!)

Nutrition information for the “fourth trimester” (the first three months of the baby’s life) including nutrition for breastfeeding and tips for formula feeding.

Even if you’re not yet pregnant, the book includes a chapter on nutrition for fertility, and not just for mom! Dad’s diet is important too, so Ward has included the latest recommendations on fertility nutrition for men.

MyPlate serving size recommendations for pregnant women.

Plus lots more, of course. Some of my favorite sections are the tables that you can reference to know exactly how much caffeine, iron, and protein are in common foods as well as the No Recipe Required meal suggestions (so important when you’re exhausted!)

Catching up on the latest recs while sipping on Ward’s Strawberry Peach Sipper.

And I’m so very excited that Ward has contributed a copy of the second edition of Expect the Best for my very first giveaway! Want a copy? Here’s how to enter:

Head on over to THIS post about Expect the Best on my Facebook page. Like and comment on the post and you’re entered! Open to U.S. residents only. The giveaway will be open through Monday, May 22nd, 2017 and one winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.

Also check out one of my favorite recipes from the book, Ward’s Strawberry Peach Sipper, which is made with soy milk. Cow’s milk is one of my only pregnancy aversions, so I love that I can get similar nutrition from soy milk instead! But this smoothie would be great made with cow’s milk if that’s what you like to drink. And I especially love that it has no added sugar – you know that’s a priority for me!

Expect the Best’s Strawberry Peach Sipper

Course Snack
Cuisine Smoothies


  • 3/4 cup unsweetened fortified soy milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced unsweetened strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced unsweetened peaches
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until frothy.
  3. Pour into a tall glass and drink immediately.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD. Published with permission from Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy, 2nd Edition (Turner, 2017).

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