We’re at 9 weeks pregnant! things are going pretty great, had another appointment and our first ultrasound on Thursday. Got to hear baby’s heart beat for the first time and it was wonderful! I’m a vitamin D deficient (aren’t we all, Alaskans? #bringbackthesun) and apparently I am not immune to rubella so our doctor just warned me to wash my hands often and try to avoid children with fevers and rashes. Other than that, things are looking great. We have another checkup in a couple weeks.
This last week I’ve been focusing on getting my eating habits under control. Not too long ago I had a few days in a row where I felt like complete garbage. At first, I thought morning sickness was just kicking my butt, but I began to realize it wasn’t just normal pregnancy symptoms, it was what I was eating that was making me feel way worse than I should be.
So, I have made the decision to take control of my eating habits and quit eating garbage so I stop feeling like garbage.
Most of 2019 I ate a low carb/semi-keto diet and while I didn’t have massive success in the weightloss department (I did slim down and lost about 11lbs), I felt WAY better in general. I didn’t feel sick after eating, my joints didn’t hurt so much, my skin was clearer, I had way more energy for running and just daily life, which was great!
Towards the end of 2019 life got pretty busy as most of you know, between two back to back trips to different states and planning my wedding it was pretty crazy and I pretty much stopped eating properly. I was planning on getting back on track in January doing cold turkey keto but when I found out I was pregnant (which wasn’t 100% planned yet, timing wise, I’ll admit) I figured cold turkey keto wasn’t the best idea and just tried not to go overboard with my cravings.
My biggest struggle recently has been feeling instantly nauseous when I wake up and needing to eat RIGHT THEN. So the common advice is to keep crackers nearby to eat first thing, which I hadn’t wanted to do because my body really doesn’t respond well to bready carbs but I was feeling so sick first thing that I started making toast because it seemed like the quickest thing to do and then I was just feeling awful anyway due to the carbs.
It finally came to a head when I made chicken enchiladas and used a can of black beans in the filling and felt SO bad afterwards. My body does not respond well to beans apparently, I had a lot of nausea and just felt totally gross in my stomach. I still can’t think about those enchilada’s without feeling queasy.
So, I started doing some research and found some youtubers who were talking about doing a not so intense version of keto while they’re pregnant. Not focusing on ketosis so much as just eating low carb, moderate protein and healthy fats. I got some meal ideas and decided I was going for it because I’m done feeling this way and I know my body does 100% better on a low-carb way of eating. Plus, anti-inflammatory foods are just a good idea anyway since I have a heart condition. (Fun fact: inflammation signals the immune system into action when healing is needed, but chronic inflammation is the background culprit in many diseases such as heart conditions, alzheimer’s, cancer, digestive disorders and more. So eating an anti-inflammatory diet is good for anyone.)
So, now that I know that my biggest issue is first thing in the morning and I know I need alternatives to carby snacks that I can eat quickly when I get to feeling sick because I’m hungry, I can prepare foods ahead of time that are easy to eat. Examples: I cut up a summer sausage and some cheese to put in a container in the fridge for easy snacking.
I also made up some scramble egg cups along with some chicken for easy salad making.
These quick snacks have already made my life much easier and I’m very happy about that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the queasiness of morning sickness that most of us pregnant mamas get, but it’s not as debilitating as it was for a few days there.
We also made a stop at Costco the other day and I picked up some goodies that I’ve been hearing about and hadn’t tried yet.
Thankfully I loved all of these. They’ll make some good on the go snacks and they give me something fun to eat when I’m feeling like I want chips. Tavo loves the whisps too.
Macadamia nuts are high in healthy fat and even just a handful helps stave off hunger pretty good.
Moon Cheese and the Whisps are mostly just for fun and because I wanted to try them. They give you the cheesy crunchy snack fix you might need without all the unnecessary ingredients and carbs.
Bone broth is AMAZING, it’s good for your gut, your joints, it’s got collagen (a building block of cells that make up your whole body and is good for your skin, among other things) and glycine which has been said to help improve sleep along with other benefits like protecting your liver.
Some of you may not know what the keto diet is, so let me explain that a bit more.
It’s a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet. Most people get kind of freaked out at this point because fat has been demonized pretty heavily. There’s a documentary called The Magic Pill that explains this way of eating a little more in depth, but basically think Paleo with less carbs and more fat.
What do meals look like on keto? you can make some wonderful, nutrient dense meals on keto. One of the youtuber’s I follow (Dr. Berg) encourages 7-10 cups of salad and even not to count them into your carbs. Basically, you want lots of green leafy vegetables, some meat and healthy fats.
Healthy fats include avocados and avocado oil, coconut oil, high quality bacon, nuts and nut butters, chia seeds and flaxseeds, and ghee (among other things). Some people avoid dairy, others don’t and some are just picky about their dairy sources. I personally haven’t had processed cows milk in years because I just don’t like how it makes me feel, I do like raw milk but that’s hard to come by here unless you own a cow or goat, so I stick to almond milk. I do like cheese, so I don’t think I’ll give that up, but I’m going to try to be careful about which cheeses I get.
Thing’s I like to make are bacon and green beans alongside some chicken, a pork chop or some beef. Bacon and brocolli with some cheese melted in is another good dish (I just had that for breakfast actually.)
Scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese is a nice quick breakfast choice. You can even find some low carb pancake recipes too. I even just heard of something called “chaffles”, cheesy waffles where you use an egg, cheese and some almond flour to make a waffle batter. I have yet to try it but it sounds pretty tasty.
You can even do keto baking and make keto sweets. Dark chocolate and peanut butter cups are some of my favorite, I haven’t made them in awhile but I’ve started thinking about them again so I’ll need to pick up some ingredients.
Peanut butter is a bit of a gray area when it comes to keto. Some people don’t like it, some do. I figure if I get the lowest sugar peanut butter possible, and only have it once in awhile it’s not the end of the world. There are other nut butter alternatives that are pretty tasty too, like almond butter. They just tend to be a tad spendy so I don’t usually go for those as often at the moment.
Because I’m pregnant, I’m not really focusing on my macros hardcore. I track what I eat occasionally just to see if I’m near what I should be, but for the most part I eat when I’m hungry and I stick to what I know will help me feel good inside out.
Fruit is one thing that ketoers (is that a thing? maybe) avoid, but berries can be acceptable in lower amounts. Personally, if I’m craving something sweet and I go for fruit I feel like I’m doing pretty good so I’m a little lax on that, though normally a blueberry smoothie is all I need and I can easily fit that into my daily calories without risking a carb crash.
Ultimately my goal is to have a healthy pregnancy and natural birth. With these dietary changes I’m already feeling way better and I’m confident things will continue this way. At the moment I haven’t been craving anything I shouldn’t have, and when I see something I would normally want I just think “I don’t actually want that because it’ll make me feel gross and I don’t want to feel that way,”. I can’t really explain it, but it’s like a switch got flipped in my brain again to help me avoid unhealthy foods and I’m not complaining one bit.
That’s about it for now, if you’d like to comment what things you craved during pregnancy or idea’s for quick healthy meals feel free!