So, I happened to have gotten pregnant shortly after this question I asked: http://paleohacks.com/questions/74349/im-ovulating-how-important-was-my-nutrition-prior#axzz1f75aJVUP Gee, how lucky, eh? =P I think I'm on Week 8 currently. Anyway, I'm feeling guilty (yet again) because I haven't been eating my usual Paleo-fare. In fact, I can't seem to stand eating those things anymore. I'll blame it on food aversion, but as an example, I used to eat pastured eggs and a side of broccoli with butter for breakfast, and now, it's all out the window!! :( I have incorporated white rice and made some fried rice as a means of adding some eggs back into my diet, but it's not my favorite. I haven't been eating any meat (even beloved bacon), and I can't even think about a piece of salmon anymore! (I used to love salmon!) Never mind organ meats, which I was gonna incorporate, but am pretty sure I'd fail. I used to drink bone broth daily, but the smell of the lard-y part of the broth gets to me. Luckily, the taste is good. The only "vegetables" I've eaten is spinach in the wilted form thrown in soup. The good news is that I'm not really showing any symptoms for morning sickness, so I keep my food in. I've been taking a multi-vitamin, cod liver oil, plus additional vitamin D. As for what I've been really eating, I'm kinda ashamed....GLUTEN!! LOTS of it, in the form of pasta!! :( Plus ice cream. Plus goats milk. Maybe the occasional bag of chips too! I'm also reading Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, and now I'm feeling more guilty! I'm hoping this phase will pass soon, but I know how crucial this first trimester is. Help! Any advice? Words of comfort? Stern words or a gentle slap back into Paleo-reality?
Well, having just delivered my baby in September and having tried (emphasis on the "try") to be paleo the whole time I would say that the whole "listen to your body and what it wants" is (no offense) kinda ridiculous because as well all know who already eat paleo, your body will trick you into "wanting" things it doesn't need just based on a crazy roller coaster of hormones and sugar. And that is when you AREN'T pregnant! So, here is what I learned in 9 paleo months...
1. If you have a food aversion, it may change later, but if not... don't sweat it. I couldn't eat eggs from before I knew I pregnant until the day I delivered... who knows why... just made me want to retch.
2. Try to be as paleo as possible because it IS healithier, because gestational diabetes is a terrible complication to have and your body will be more sensative to insalin after a long period of the paleo diet prior to pregnancy, and those pounds are going to pack on in the final trimester no matter what you eat so if you eat whatever you want in the first two trimesters than by the third it will be insane...
3. As long as you are eating healthy, don't stress about weight gain. I ate mostly paleo the whole time and STILL gained 55lbs, but I WOD'ed until the day before I delviered... whatever you do, DON'T quit the gym unless it is medically necessary. It will be your savior when you feel miserable and fat in a few months... Most weight gain is just genetic and there is not much you can do about it and if you eat healthy, it WILL come off post-partum.
4. Sounds like you are in your first trimester with all the food aversions... that will change! I could only drink chocolate milk for breakfast my first tri (SO not paleo) but by 14weeks I felt much better and could eat realy breakfasts again (just not eggs!) So, hang in there... your tastes will broaden...
5. Finally, making sure you take your prenatal (I used Perfect Prenatal by New Chapter Organics bc it was guaranteed not to upset your stomach!) and in your final trimester at least 1500 mg of calcium daily is super important... if you don't take that in (mostly in a supplement because you would have to drink over a gallon of milk daily to take that amount in through whole foods) your baby will rob your body which will hurt you in the long run. Also, if you can keep down your fish oil than you and your baby will both benefit: Omega-3's for baby's brain and reduced inflamation for you! :)
Good luck, girl! I agree with the other posters, whatever you can do is worth it, but I will say... you get pretty large and in charge by the end and not putting on pounds at the beginning can help with that a little (I swelled up crazily but that was a whole other issue... water weight is just as uncute as real fat! Lol)... good luck & congratulations!! :)
Being a man with no knowledge of nutrition and pregnancy, I'd still give the following vague advice:
Like others have said, chill. But you seem pretty chill already, if my typing-style-inspection meter is accurate.
If you truly feel like guilting yourself into changing things around, why not pick up a copy of "The Healthy Baby Code" by Chris Kresser? I'm always dubious of these kinds of things, but everybody and their mom gave a testimonial on that page (Emily Deans, Robb Wolf, Kurt Harris, etc). Chris is awesome at summarizing large amounts of evidence into simple advice.
It's interesting because meat aversions during pregnancy are common among hunter-gatherers and several tribes even have taboos regarding meat during pregnancy. Nina Plack writes about her own struggles with food aversions in Real Food for Mother and Baby. If I were in such a situation I would eat what I could, trying to do my best and trying to find relatively nutritious things to eat, and supplement.
You can also "clarify" the broth with egg whites to remove fatty gunk.
Congratulations!!! Great news about lack of symptoms.
I didn't start feeling nauseous until about 9 weeks and it lasted until around 25 weeks. I was meat phobic for the first half of my pregnancy and then couldn't get enough for the last half; but for the first half I barely ate at all, I was just so nauseous that I couldn't eat anything other than saltines and macaroni and cheese from the Safeway deli. I wrestled with this all this time, but the thought of anything else had me in convulsions and heaving. I even had problems with the smell of food. My poor hubby, it was such a nightmare. I was horrified at the time about these choices, but you have to eat!
Food aversions are quite normal, and they will change throughout the pregnancy.
I am sure that you are going to have a load of people telling you what you need to do - stern words included. IMHO - don't beat yourself up and do the best that you can do. So many people will wax poetic about what you should and shouldn't do while you are pregnant, but I know from experience that pregnant food aversions and nausea are not just a minor complaint they are extremely tough to deal with.
I would say find a doc or midwife who you trust and respect and make sure to have these kind of conversations with them.
I'd say chill out, relax, be happy about having a baby :) and don't beat yourself up.
Seriously, do the best you can and then just relax, unless eating gluten makes you ill then unnecessary stress over eating it will be more of a problem than the gluten ever will be.
Nature has a funny way of upsetting our best plans and intentions.
There is not much point fighting food aversions. They will probably change before long and you will then have more choice again. There might be a reason for them anyway.
Pasta and ice cream is hardly the end of the world. Your not eating donuts, pop tarts and coke.
Nothing wrong with dairy products and starchy foods if that is what you can eat. Have you tried potatoes and other similar veg? Gluten-free pasta is not usually not all that hard to find now if it would make you worry less.
Guilt is not helpful, I would advise avoiding it :)
Hang in there! Very likely you're at the peak of morning sickness now, and you have a month or less until most of the aversions diminish.
Maybe not a popular view here, but if gluten is what it takes for you to be able to eat, then eat it (this is assuming you don't have celiac or other autoimmune issues, in which case more care might be advisable). I think that people shaming you for this don't understand how serious food aversions during pregnancy can be. I know that, for me, it wasn't a matter of choking healthier food down despite the aversion - if I did that, it was likely coming right back up again. Advocating avoiding gluten while morning sick would have been the same as telling me to starve myself, and I think we can all agree that it's better to eat even horrible evil gluten than starve yourself while forming paleobabby.
(Based on observation of myself and others, I suspect that gluten is an appetite stimulant - bad if your goal is weight loss, maybe good if you happen to need your appetite stimulated.)
Do what you can to minimize the morning sickness in other ways. Try to manage your blood sugar well and not let yourself get hungry, as this can make the aversion/sickness worse. If you take supplements, don't take them on an empty stomach.
Don't stress too much about forming bad habits. Personally, I left half a loaf of bread uneaten when my food aversions went away. It just didn't hold the same appeal once my appetite widened. I do think it helped that I got some sort of "wholesome" sprouted whole-grain bread that wasn't particularly appealing in general.
Go back to eating healthily when your appetite allows.
I wouldn't worry at all, your body is designed to make sure the baby gets what it needs. Things generally balance out later in the pregnancy.
The most important thing I would do is get your Vitamin D level tested ASAP and make sure your blood level is between 50-80 ng/ml. (If your D level is good, you won't need as much calcium as one of the other posters suggested, BTW.)
Here are a couple of blog posts I wrote that may be helpful:
acknowlegde what is most important. if avoiding a couple of weeks of the discomfort from eating foods that will benefit your child and subsequent grandchildren for all of their lives, then carry on.
Pregnant bodies are very wise, just listen and eat what feels right. I couldn't even look at meat for several months, but the aversion eventually passed. I was also craving massive amounts of dairy, which I usually can't handle, but I must have needed something. Be gentle with yourself, and eat as well as you can without the guilt!! Stress is worse for a developing babe than a little gluten (well, I think it is!)
Ok, so you have aversion to lots of paleo foods, that's fine. However, you and your debeloping baby need tons of energy, so you are fulfilling that by eating tons of pasta and ice cream.
So how about this: Keep eating the ice cream, but switch over to fried starches instead of the pasta. Oven or deep fried potatoes, sweet potatoes and celeriac are awesome and fried plantains are the best thing ever. Most oven-ready fries I've seen over here are usually prefried in palm oil, which is Paleo Approved(tm), so you don't even have to spend much time cooking.
Good luck with the whole thing!
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