Pregnancy and Whole30: balancing pregnancy and a whole30-based diet!
Just a little peak into the life of a pregnant lady 🙂
Pregnancy and Whole30
So for those of you who don’t know, which may be a few since I guess I haven’t “officially” announced it on the blog – we are expecting our third child!! We are so excited to meet this little nugget in October and I wanted to do a post as I move through this third pregnancy to let you know how things are going and to track how I feel during this pregnancy, compared to my previous two.
During my first two pregnancies I ate fairly healthy, but I definitely did not eat anything close to a Whole30/Paleo diet. I had some complications at the end of my first pregnancy, ending up on bed rest with high blood pressure and then developing preeclampsia following my daughter’s birth. My second pregnancy was better, no high blood pressure or preeclampsia, but I gained quite a bit of weight (I want to say 60+ pounds!). I was REALLY interested this time around to see if my changes in eating habits would change my pregnancy and, if so, how. My main goal (other than just staying healthy and keeping this little nugget safe) was to keep my energy up (as much as possible being pregnant with two kids) and to keep my weight in check.
Pregnancy and Whole30: First Trimester
My first trimester was HARD. There is something special about the level of tiredness you feel when you are in those first couple weeks of pregnancy – nothing quite compares or makes you fall asleep so involuntarily :-). I don’t think there is an easy way around those symptoms those first several weeks. I ate my fairy standard 80% Whole30/Paleo diet, but there were certain cravings and certain levels of nausea that led me to make food choices I just wouldn’t normally make – saltines in the morning, Mrs. Grasses noodle soup at lunch …. anything that would help calm my stomach. The problem was, while those foods actually sounded good (nothing else did) they were so far from what I normally ate that I swear I got an even worse stomach ache as a result. It was incredibly frustrating and exhausting …. not to mention my first trimester perfectly timed itself to be at the same time we were having a never-ending winter here in Minnesota, which meant no fresh air or being outside. I was pretty miserable….
(photo credits go to Brooke Aho Photography)
It wasn’t until about week 10 that I finally felt up to toying around with the idea of doing a round of Whole30. I knew I didn’t want to go for a full 30 days because… I just didn’t. But I wanted to try it out and see how I felt. So, I did a 10 day reset. I am not exaggerating – you guys I felt amazing. I know I was also close to the end of my first trimester, but I felt more energetic, happier, less bloated (so much less bloated) …. it was amazing. I didn’t continue on after the 10 days, but it was a really good reminder of how amazing I feel when I eat Whole30. And I definitely amped up the amount of Whole30 compliant foods (this butternut squash soup was super comforting!) I was eating and the rest of my first trimester was actually pretty comfortable. Whether it was the timing of it all or the change in what I was eating, I can’t say for sure. Whatever it was, it was very, VERY welcomed!
The weight has been a bit of a struggle for me, to be honest. Not that I have gained a lot, I weigh substantially less at this point in my pregnancy than I did with my first two and on pace to gain a very normal amount, but it is hard to not become obsessed with it. I am trying to balance enjoying being pregnant, allowing myself those indulgences, eating a little bit extra because I am pregnant and also making the best food choices for the baby and me. Its like I had my food freedom figured out when I wasn’t pregnant, but it isn’t quite translating into pregnancy. I don’t want to be obsessed, but I also want to make sure I am keeping my weight gain in check and at a healthy level. It is a work in progress and I will keep you guys posted 🙂
So, to sum up, first trimester of pregnancy is HARD. All you can do is really make the best choices for yourself so you stay comfortable and just make it through. Try and make those good food choices, but when you feel that horrible, there is only so much you can do. Don’t get down on yourself, that is the last thing you need! All I can say is maybe consider incorporating more and more Whole30 as you soon as you start to move past some of those symptoms – just do the best you can!
Pregnancy and Whole30: Second and Third Trimesters
The second and third trimesters were definitely not as difficult as the first. I didn’t do any more resets, but I think the 10 day reset at the end of my first trimester was key in transitioning me into the rest of my pregnancy. I continued to make an effort to eat an 80/20 diet (80% whole30/paleo and 20% other choices that were usually still focused on real food. I felt really great other than just extra aches and pains that come with having your third child! [update: I ended up gaining about 40 pounds this pregnancy instead of the 60+ I gained during my first two pregnancies! So thankful for that!]
A couple people on Instagram have asked what multi-vitamins I am using and/or supplements – obviously work with your own doctor to figure out what is right for you and your baby, but here is what is currently working for me:
I also am continuing to take Rainbow Light – Advanced Enzyme System (this is a digestive enzyme I take when I eat non-Whole30 foods I know tend to upset my stomach) and Renew Life – Fiber Smart (because … well if you are pregnant you will know why – especially if we are traveling!).