1. Give Yourself GRACE & ACT A FOOL!
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but let’s be real for a second, you aren’t going to wake up every morning and feel like a magical unicorn nor look like one. There will be hard days, but it’s important to recognize those hard days and push through with grace. Giving yourself grace doesn’t mean stuffing your face with cake at 7:00 p.m. every night to wash away your sorrows from a tough day. It is allowing yourself to have emotions and recognize that pregnancy is a journey, a long journey. I mean come on y’all, women are some fierce humans…we are carrying a tiny human in our tummies, how magical is that? This comes with emotions and these feelings shouldn’t lead to poor nutrition.
To me, grace means reflecting on my good days and allowing myself to fight for the best pregnancy possible. Additionally, I allow myself to totally LOSE my mind when necessary and ACT A FOOL, but not on food…maybe just on my husband (haha, sometimes I am a nut…but he loves me anyway). My point being, we don’t have to totally throw in the towel and consume a whole carton of ice cream because we feel sorry for ourselves. Pick up your emotions and eat a banana…I think you will feel much better. Want to keep your sanity during pregnancy?Act a fool and give yourself grace when needed, just not on food……only on your husband 🙂 .
2. Mini Meals Are Life
As you grow in your pregnancy, 3 big meals a day may be a tough job to take on. My new favorite way to eat during my Pregnancy Whole30 is consuming “mini meals.” I always build my mini meals around protein, veggies and a fat. I never graze throughout the day and make sure my meals are at least 3-4 hours apart. Whole30 is a very structured health reset and usually recommends that you eat 3 meals a day to balance hormones and insulin levels. However, when you are pregnant, sometimes our bodies need a few modifications and the program suggests that during pregnancy you may incorporate mini meals in between normal meal times.
For me, mini meals have helped with my sickness. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was sick every day and had to eat often in order to settle my stomach. Now, I am currently 6 months pregnant and get out of breath just at the thought of picking up a pencil, so eating large meals has become a marathon. This is where my mini meals come to the rescue. There is not a lot of space in my tummy, so mini meals are giving me the nutrition I need without making me feel miserable. If you are interested, I have attached a FREE Whole30 Pregnancy Mini Meal template that can help you beat those hunger pains and leave you feeling healthy, strong and satisfied.
3. Take a Break….When You Need It
Morning sickness can be tough on it’s own, but can become even more complicated when trying to live Whole30. The first 15 weeks of my pregnancy I dealt with lots of sickness and food aversions. I was on day 10 of my Whole30 and had to just come to conclusion that my stomach wasn’t going to allow some of the protein and veggies. When it got to this point, getting nutrients to my baby was the most important task, so I took a “break.” I would drink smoothies and eat some grains to get my energy up, settle my stomach and give my baby the much needed calories.
Smoothies were something that really saved me in the beginning, but this was considered my “break.” I am currently on my 15th round and on day 11 and have stuck to the program pretty solid being 6.5 months pregnant. There are days when the sickness returns, but I listen to my body and if I am unable to eat big meals, I opt for a mini meal to get in my calories. Smoothies for me are in moderation and not on a daily basis unless totally necessary. Mini meals seem to help me more than a smoothie as I get further in my pregnancy.
Here’s the deal, if you are sick and can’t consume the normal Whole30 meal plan, I would suggest taking a break and give your body foods that are healthy and agree with your stomach. I wouldn’t agree that pizza 5 times a day will be beneficial to your health nor your babies. Make wise choices even when you are sick and find those healthy options that are also going to satisfy and settle your tummy.
4. Don’t Listen To The “White Noise”
These days everyone is so quick to judge any and everything pregnant mommas do. Well, pregnant mommas aren’t the only ones in the line of fire. I feel like we live in a very critical society that judges everything anyone does. A lot of people “assume” that Whole30 could never be healthy for a pregnant momma. I think “judgy people” have this misconception because they aren’t’ educated in the program and don’t fully understand the benefits of “eating healthy.”
My husband tells me all the time to block out the “white noise” in life and follow my own journey. White noise refers to the background noise of all the negative comments, nay sayers and judgy eyes. My pregnancy journey means setting myself and my baby up for optimal nutrition that allows for an overall healthy life. It kills my soul when people say “eat what you want, you are only pregnant once…enjoy it.” Okay, how does that make sense? The one time in your life that nutrition should be your top priority, people suggest you should eat your worst. This type of thinking totally blows my mind. You are not feeding TWO humans, you don’t need an extra large pizza to feed the tiny baby in your tummy. It is recommended that you only have 300 extra calories a day.
Let’s talk about cravings for a second. I have had a lot of people ask me, “Mac, but what about your cravings. Don’t you crave pizza?” I believe our bodies crave what we eat on a regular basis. If you eat ice cream and pizza weekly, then of course your body is going to crave it. If you shift your nutrition to fruit and protein, then your body will eventually crave the good stuff. So far in my pregnancy, I crave whole food because that is my lifestyle and what my body is accustomed to. Of course, I will enjoy Food Freedom every now and then to balance life in pregnancy and outside of pregnancy. Food Freedom to me isn’t scheduling a “Chip and Salsa” date every Friday night, it is listening to my body and really understanding what is “worth it.” When I get to a point where I really want a food and I am not completing a Whole30, then I will slowly eat that food and enjoy every flipping BITE. I never totally binge out and go nuts on food now, because I have learned how certain foods affect my body and sometimes it just isn’t worth it to me.
5. Mentally Prepare to Give Your Baby The Best
When starting your journey, I think it is important to make a list of what is important to you and your baby. What do you want from this pregnancy? Do you want to feel good through your pregnancy? Have more energy? Sleep better? Have minimal weight gain? By visualizing what you want during your pregnancy, it will help you determine if Whole30 is right for you. This is my second pregnancy and I have had minimal weight gain and sometimes forget I am pregnant because of how good I feel. During my first pregnancy, I was lazy, ate a lot of junk and didn’t sleep well. I wanted this pregnancy to be different. Through visualization and following the Whole30 program, my second journey has been a more enjoyable experience and I have better connected with my baby.
6. LOVE Your Journey
Whatever journey you are on, LOVE it. If you have decided to opt for The Whole30 and the Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy, educate yourself and have a reason as to why you are doing it. Don’t do it for others, truly have a reason and love that reason or you will never stick with it. Growing a baby is the most precious thing in the entire world, why wouldn’t we want to give your baby the absolute best? In my opinion, The Whole30 program not only sets the mother up for an easier pregnancy, but it allows you to set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for your baby. So pick your journey and open your heart to growing a healthy and beautiful WHOLE baby.