Tag Archives: healthy eating during pregnancy

Pregnancy and Clean Eating

5 Oct

This is our baby girl, Adair.

Quite a few people have asked me how to eat clean while pregnant, particularly with gut-wrenching morning sickness, or very strong aversions.  Eating various mixtures of spices, meat and eggs can seem completely out of the question.

Here is my opinion on this matter: Relax.

If you’ve already established habits of clean eating, that foundation will serve you well.  The “cavewoman” didn’t have variety to suppress the prego-yuckies.   Luckily, we do.  If you have an aversion, make food selections that give you reprieve.

I had been eating clean for about 6 months when I got pregnant with our third child.  After the initial elation, I swung over to fear of losing ground…going back to my old ways of eating.  Sure enough, first trimester aversions hit me hard.  I fought and fought.  To be honest, eventually I got hungry enough and waved the white-food flag… white rice, grits and plain oatmeal, hard-boiled egg whites, and toast with butter.  I wish I had Heather at the time…she has so many ideas that would have been appealing.  Check out her fabulous post about eating clean when sick.

Also–don’t be afraid to consider white potatoes.  They are not grains, and not packaged.  They are rich in vitamins (keywords: folate, iron!) and so perfectly plain.  I attended a Whole 9 Seminar last month–it was fabulous!  We learned that their exclusion of white potatoes in the Whole30 was arbitrary, because Americans like to use them for tater tots, chili cheese fries, waffle-fry nachos, and potato chips.  White potatoes do have a relatively high glycemic index.  However, if plain potatoes help you fight the fight, then eat with gratitude!  Mash them up, let them nourish your sick tummy, and your sweet growing child.

Stay in tune with your body!  If you cannot tolerate high doses of protein, that is okay.  Increase your healthy fats and your carbohydrate intake.  The main goal is to stay away from a grain-based, packaged-foods-centered diet.

Bottom line: it was not hard to get back on track when my morning-sickness symptoms subsided.  I felt relieved to eat free again, and my good habits revived for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.   So, eat what makes you feel better, and don’t worry about it.  Trust your old habits to welcome you back on the wagon.

Caveat…don’t cave to sugar–it will grab hold of you!  Sugar (of all kinds added in) should be off your list of choices.  Pregnancy demands enough from you without gestational diabetes.  Additionally, you may expose your baby to abnormally high blood sugar levels at birth.  (This happened with my first child.  Perhaps it was the two-day-cookie-dough-therapy-bender while I impatiently waited to deliver.)

If you have unquenchable sugary-carb cravings, enjoy whatever plant source you can palate: grapes, pineapple, watermelon, bananas.  Mashed sweet potatoes are very substantial as well–try stirring in a little vanilla extract and cinnamon.  If you are truly in a dessert-emergency, check out this awesome mousse, our “lara” balls here and here, muffins, more muffins, even this fruit-sweetened chocolate “pudding”.

Continue to nourish yourself and the baby well.  This is the single greatest thing you can do for yourself during this time.  Not only will it sustain you physically, but also it helps with mental clarity and emotional stability.  If you have experience eating Primal or Paleo while expecting a baby, please share!  I am curious to know what worked for you.

Good luck and congratulations to all you beautifully expectant mothers!!  Don’t wish this time away, because you are actively partnering with God in a miracle:  out of two hearts that beat wildly and passionately for one another–a new heart now beats.

Enjoy the journey!

33 Weeks. 5 y/o Meg, posing very seriously…Liam, 3 in the bkgd trying to run away.

Fat Loss and the Paleolithic Diet

23 Mar

“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”

 “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”

I am not a doctor, or a dietician, or an exercise expert by any means.  My knowledge comes from what I have read and listened to, the seminars I have attended, and our personal results.  Not exactly an official expert.  Still,  countless friends have come to me, asking about weight loss through CrossFit/Paleolithic Diet.

Eating this way helped me to lean out–and remain lean–through the last three years, including a pregnancy and a year of nursing without ever feeling hungry or deprived.

But fat loss alludes some people who are trying this diet.

If you haven’t seen body composition results come quickly, here are a few reminders.

1. LEAN meats and vegetables, and healthy fat should constitute every meal.  Period.  Embrace your food as nourishment and enjoy the way it makes you feel to eat clean.

2.  Limit your snacks of nuts and fruit to 1-2 servings a day.  A serving of nuts is generally 1/4 cup.  So yeah, that means measure.  If you are not super hungry, skip them that day.  Listen to your body.

3.  Paleo baked goods (pancakes, muffins, granola, cookieslarabars, and all other “paleo” confections) are treats.  Treat=Cheat.  I understand they help you transition from the typical, American, 7-11 diet.  Shelve them if you are looking for quick fat loss.  They will inhibit your results, as well as keeping you on the glycemic rollercoaster.

I didn’t have my first paleo cookie until this year.  Now that “paleo” has become mainstream and more of a fad, there are tons of recipes that are delicious and tempting…be suspect.

4.  Avoid alcohol and other calorically-dense beverages.

5.  Keep moving.  In addition to your high intensity strength training, walk and bike everywhere as much as possible.  Avoid a sedentary existence at all costs.  This doesn’t mean becoming treadmill slave…unless you honestly just love gym time.  But embrace a “roaming” lifestyle.  Make long walks and easy jogs a routine.  Don’t tell me you don’t have childcare, bring them alongside.  They need it too!

6.  If you are not hungry, don’t eat.  A natural hunger signal is a growling stomach, regardless of our customary meal times.  Wait for the growl, it might actually take longer than you think.  Don’t worry, it will come.  Then, eat modestly and move on.  Don’t worry!  Because another growl will come in a few hours, and you will have another chance to eat!  Trust your natural signals, and allow your body to regulate itself.

7.  Ask yourself if you actually have “weight” to lose.  Are you trying to gain lean muscle mass and lose excess body fat, or are you dreaming of being an underwear model?   There is a difference between being fit and being SKINNY.  Skinny is a bad word.  It means weak.  It means malnourished.  It means deprivation and hunger.  I can tell you how to get skinny.  Private message me.

If you don’t have fat to lose, or you are in a place of maintenance, you can be a little more liberal about your fattier cuts of meat, fruits and nuts, “cheat days” and paleo baked goods.

Take heart, friend.  Even if you are not losing fat as fast as you would like, know that you are doing your body many more favors with healthful foods that give you tons of energy, boost your performance, and put you in the prime of your life.

Enjoy YOUR journey!

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