Tomorrow I am starting what will hopefully be my second complete Whole30 since Asa was born — but the big difference between this one and that will be, obviously, that I’ll be doing the Whole30 while pregnant! Like, really pregnant. And I am hoping that this will continue into the rest of my pregnancy being a Whole30 pregnancy.
In the last few years, I have recognized in myself a tendency to be an all-or-nothing type; I either stick to the rules 100%, or I drop it altogether. I tend to feel that if I can’t do something right, I can’t do it at all. I’ve tried to start up a few Whole30’s along the way, but gotten discouraged because of what I thought were roadblocks. Moving, job-related stress, having no car (making it harder to keep stocked with fresh foods), the general ups and downs of motherhood… and sadly I have yet to complete one. I’ve bounced from perfect meals to total sloppiness, and this pregnancy has been laughably bad, food wise. Which, let’s be generous here, I really couldn’t stomach anything except for starchy foods or some fruit for nearly four months of this pregnancy because girls are trouble.
And it’s not that I’ve been a complete binge-eater between my attempts to jump into another Whole30. My diet has been about 60% Paleo due to habits created from my first Whole30 and the following months. That other 40% consists mostly of nights when pizza wins over being healthy, or my emotions call for chocolate, or I’m just tired and want something ready to pop in the oven and be done with it.
Slowly, I’ve been working on this attitude where health is concerned because overall, a healthy diet and healthy exercise should include one very important thing: moderation. And now that I am in the last leg of pregnancy, am back to being able to eat meat again, and am past the prenatal diabetes glucose test that required me to eat pancakes with syrup (am I the only one who really hates pancakes? Please tell me I’m not), I feel mentally ready to launch myself into a Whole30. At the other end of it, I’d love to have a better ratio of perhaps 80/20 so far as keeping up with the Whole30 way goes, because I know I feel better when I’ve eliminated problematic food groups.
I think a lot of the preparation for a Whole30 is mental: being mentally prepared to give up certain things for 30 days, being mentally prepared to change your eating drastically, being mentally prepared for the first few weeks that may not be great, being mentally prepared to just… change. And having a Whole30 pregnancy while also chasing a toddler around needs even more mental strength. Because Asa will likely get things that I can’t have for 30 days, being that he is in his picky stage and, much to my dismay, has become very fond of peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
But I’ve been preparing for a month now, while I waited for the date of my glucose test to be over, and it helped tremendously. I am aware that there will be roadblocks in this Whole30 that I didn’t experience with the last one. Mainly, being pregnant. But also:
- Being unable to have straight eggs (they make me sick) or chicken (flavor issues)
- Having issues cooking myself egg-free and sweet-potato-free (taste again) breakfasts every day when I can’t find Whole30 compliant bacon
- Being the only person in my house to do the Whole30 this time
- Having to avoid cooking staples like garlic and onions and tomatoes (heartburn)
- Having to cook nearly every meal (unless I make leftovers) for thirty days straight… while pregnant
- Being married to someone who loves bread, chips, and candy. (But I guess I’ll live with that one… literally… forever…)
- Having a toddler who gets fruit snacks. Pregnant lady loves fruit snacks.
But I have solutions for many of those! I’ve found a post full of egg-free Whole30 meal ideas, and I’ve realized that the best way for me to stick to it while pregnant in the heat of summer (which means, you know, I want to spend as little time cooking as possible) is to keep the meals simple. I’ve gotten so used to making fancy-ish meals that I forgot something easy like zucchini noodles with lemon-topped fish works (and tastes) just as good as those meals that you have to marinate for a million hours and then cook all day in the pot.
And, thankfully, this pregnancy has brought about a lucky change in my tastebuds: I like salad now.
So this week (even though I’m starting tomorrow,) I will be poring over my Paleo cookbooks to pick out and write down meals that I want to try in the next thirty days, and putting together a loose menu of meals (loose, as in some nights will be leftover nights, the “I don’t actually feel like eating anything I planned for so let’s wing it” nights, or “it’s the end of the week, we’re cooking whatever is left in the fridge” nights). Breakfast will definitely be the biggest challenge for me. If worst comes to worst, I will break that one rule about not drinking your food (thanks to the Whole30 cookbook for reassuring me about this, too!) and go with fruit-and-veggie smoothies just to get some food in me.
I’ll also write myself a list of things to look forward to (better sleep, less heartburn, healthy last-trimester weight gain/moderation, clearer skin, less stuffiness at night, waking up with a clearer head and calmer stomach), and I’m going to buy myself a cheap journal to log how I’m feeling and what I’ve eaten every day. I definitely love being categorical and organized like that, so it will help to actually be able to read any progress I might be noticing, and physically see the days as they pass.
So far as fitness goes, I am having to take it easy these days. I was excited to have started walking every other day a month ago, but then two weeks ago I woke up with what I thought was a pulled muscle in my hip that hasn’t gone away, and now I’m sure I’ll be needing chiropractic help. So I haven’t been able to take a walk for two weeks, and even yoga gives me issues.
I hope after visiting a chiropractor I’ll be able to go back to doing yoga every other day; I really love this routine for its ease (and the last stretch is SO NICE) and shortness. Asa also loves it because it means he can climb on me while I’m sitting, play my back like drums when I’m on all fours, and run under my legs when I’m standing. I’ve found that, as with cooking healthy, keeping fitness simple is the key in motherhood. I don’t have to go to the gym, own a treadmill, or even find crazy fitness routines to follow. Just taking a walk makes a difference. Doing yoga that lets Asa be silly around me. Drinking more water.
My goals in the next month, aside from finishing the Whole30, are simple: drink water, get my hip well enough to either walk every other day or do yoga, and just focus on my attitude towards food. I really don’t want to do anything complicated with my fitness and health routine, because… you know, pregnant and all.
But I’d love to make the rest of this pregnancy (11 weeks left!) a Whole30 pregnancy because I know I feel so much better eliminating the five “bad” food groups — especially grains and dairy — from my diet, and I also am feeling very pressured by myself to maintain a healthy weight to the end of the trimester and beyond, so that I can enter motherhood as a mom of more than one with less sugar cravings. I mean, chocolate helps when you’re overwhelmed, but gaining weight does not. Ha!
I’d also love to do monthly fitness posts; I know they’re not everyone’s favorite thing, but for those of you who do want to hear more, what do you like the most about health posts? Recipes? Exercise routines? Menu plans? I’d love to share anything and everything that could help other moms find little ways to make their days healthier!
I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week!