I always thought that I’d eat the healthiest I’d ever eat while pregnant. I am growing a child and that certainly seems like a good reason to eat my best. Not to mention, two of my top vices, alcohol and coffee would be eliminated (it’s actually safe to drink coffee in small quantities while pregnant but I have not been). How could I not be the healthiest I’ve ever been?
But what I never expected was the way that my morning sickness would change my appetite. Starting around week 5, my typical spinach salad lunches were tossed in the trash in favor of any carb I could get my hands on. My all-day nausea was slightly eased by the constant consumption of carbs. At first I even bought the healthiest crackers I could find in the health mecca Whole Foods – but ended up throwing the crackers away because the smell and sight of them made me want to barf. The only thing that I could stand to eat throughout the day was pita chip crackers and gold fish crackers. And bagels and smoothies. I definitely made a few stops at Einstein’s or Jamba Juice on the way to work, even after I’d already eaten oatmeal for breakfast.
For a while, most veggies repulsed me (fruit was still fair game, especially if it was cold and I ate about 3-4 pieces a day). I still liked my green beans but for some reason really liked to eat them with pesto pasta. Mike soon grew sick (and gained weight from) the pesto pasta + green bean combo. Often I was too sick to even cook so we’d go out to dinner, picking up pizza or some other food that wouldn’t make me want to barf. One night I even made Kraft Mac & Cheese in an attempt to re-create my favorite childhood comfort food (I must report it was not as good as I remember).
If I had to say I had one craving, it was smoothies (could be worse!). I didn’t always indulge in the craving since smoothies are expensive and I later learned also filled with sugar, despite the fact that I’d order the fruit and veggie only variety (should have known, Jamba Juice). Besides the sweet smoothies, generally I craved salty/carby foods over sweet foods (apparently this is one sign that I might be having a boy, but the nausea means I’m having a girl, so your guess is as good as mine). I’m loving french fries these days.
Needless to say, the combination of my change in food preference and the fact that I was constantly eating, led to first trimester weight gain despite a consistent workout routine (averaging 6 days a week, but less intensity than before). Unfortunately the “eating for two” thing is a myth- in the first trimester you actually need ZERO extra calories. It’s recommended that you gain about 1-5 lbs in the first trimester and often women actually lose weight due to the fact that they are constantly barfing (I only threw up once) – I gained 8. While I’m sure some of that has to do with additional breast tissue (hello I’ve grown a size already) and water retention, plus a growing uterus and a tiny little baby, I’m pretty sure a sizable amount is fat. But, you need fat to carry and nurse a baby so I’m going with that. Not to mention, I started this journey at an all time low weight, having just come off of marathon training and 3 weeks of hiking during a very active vacation, so while 8 lbs sounds like a lot, it’s really just about 5 more than my average weight. My doctor didn’t seem to be concerned about it at all, so I’m trying not to be either!
I’ll write another post about my 2nd trimester nutrition but I will say I’ve gotten a lot better! The nausea stopped around week 12 and I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of my taboo foods back into my diet (even a few spinach salads and some kale!), although I still have a strong aversion to kind bars and any kind of “health bar”, almonds, raw walnuts (caramelized are ok!) and random other things. In general, I’m indulging more often than I do normally, but I still would consider my diet on the healthier side.
Did you eat differently than you expected while pregnant? Any strong aversions or cravings?
Congratulations! I had no idea you were expecting 🙂 By the way, before getting pregnant, I was in my fitness and nutrition prime. My body was a machine! I said “Oh of course I will eat as healthy as I can once I get pregnant.” And then morning sickness hit and the look of a garden salad made my upper lip sweat and quiver and not in a good way. Water was the most disgusting thing ever. I just wanted warm ginger ale and fries and PIZZA! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do your best and know that it won’t last forever. 🙂
One more thing! Don’t compare yourself to the charts and averages too much. My mom gained 50 lbs and lost all of it. I thought “there’s NO WAY I could gain 50 lbs” and then by the time I gave birth, I totally did. It’s way over the 35 lbs on all of the websites, pamphlets, handouts, etc but I’ve lost all but 10 lbs (baby is 8 months old). So it’s all about what YOUR body needs and even your genetic make up. I wish I didn’t worry myself over the numbers so much. Just eat healthy and exercise (like I need to tell you lol) and you and baby will be happy and healthy 🙂
Ashley @ Running Bun
yes, this, all of it.
Great advice! I’ve read that a lot – everyone gains at different rates and different times and loses different- no need to compare!
Ashley @ Running Bun
Pregnancy cravings/eating habits are really weird. During my first trimester I only wanted Dominos pizza. I was working out a ton too but gained 12 or so pounds. Weight gain is relative though, I believe if you moderately work out/eat well your body will gain the weight it needs to carry a healthy baby to the end!
Very happy you are feeling better though!
Glad you were in the same boat! 🙂 and I’m also glad I’m feeling way better!
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and have always been inspired about your level of fitness. I had a baby last April and your first trimester sounds almost exactly like mine! I also couldn’t get enough carbs, vegetables made me sooo nauseous and I also gained 8 pounds. I gained exactly 40 pounds in my whole pregnancy and it all came off pretty easy. I really think your body knows what you need to carry a healthy baby and just let yourself eat what you want! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your pregnancy 🙂
This is totally reassuring! Thanks for sharing and for reading!
Isn’t pregnancy humbling?? I’m 11 weeks with my first and had the same ideas of blissfully running 5 miles a day and returning to a healthy plant-strong recovery meal. Reality? Work kicked into high gear, I’ve never been so exhausted in my life, my stomach hates me (but not sausage biscuits!) and I’ve only “worked out” five times in the last seven weeks. My mom is constantly reassuring me, though, that the first trimester is all about survival and listening to your body and that all the weight comes off easy except that last 10 lb whether you gain 25 or 60! Congrats on surviving and making it to the second trimester!
Yeah I’ve heard that same thing – you’ll get back to that last 10 lbs regardless no need to worry! I just sometimes get concerned I’m not eating the proper nutrients but really in the first trimester the baby barely uses you for that anyway! Congrats on your pregnancy!!
I had to have a can of peas every day for 10 months! I really wanted 3-4 cans but I limited myself to one. And it had to be in a can!
Haha that is so random! But I guess there are worse things (although the sodium is probably not great !)!
I so thankfully did not have first trimester nausea. So, I continued eating as normal. One of the first signs for me actually was that I was constantly hungry, like in the middle of marathon training, but had cut back my workouts somewhat since CIM. The last few weeks have been more normal, but I’m still usually pretty hungry in the morning, and want snacks every couple hours. 🙂
Yes so hungry !!! That was another big part of it – I’d eat so much in the morning and then still be starving by lunch… Oh wait that is still happening!!!
Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
I had the same mindset about eating healthy while pregnant and boy did that quickly slip away. While I do my best to eat as many nutrients as possible and choose healthier options, I definitely find myself splurging more too. Oh, a maple bar, don’t mind if I do. Extra fries? Yes, please. I think part of me feels like this is maybe the one time in my life where I can get away with splurging a little more because I’m going to gain weight anyway, and the “baby bump” camouflages the “food bump.” Haha.
I didn’t have any nausea or major issues with a lot of foods, but my appetite did disappear for a while in the first trimester. My biggest aversion was cooked vegetables (I still can’t stomach the thought of broccoli) and shellfish. My biggest cravings were cereal, eggs, and donuts.
I TOTALLY thought I’d eat better than I do. That is even one reason I was against a surrogate when we considered it because then I couldn’t control what nutrition was getting to the baby. I haven’t been eating like total crap and fortunately haven’t had morning sickness but I had sweet cravings for a few weeks and then recently crackers and meat . The crackers aren’t new but I don’t usually eat much meat. My husband found an article though to make me feel better about my weight gain that said that mothers with more fat increase the child’s brain capacity or something. I’ll have to find it for you. 🙂 oh here it is http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2915086/Fat-women-s-bottoms-makes-babies-brains-say-scientists-curvy-girls-producing-intelligent-children.html And on the chest increase.. i’m up 5 sizes and counting. Its crazy! I had to stop running because of it. :o( Good luck with the second trimester!
Pregnancy is so weird – the more I experience the weirder I think it is! we literally get taken over by another life ! That article is amazing – I love how it compares women’s fat stores to those of Bears about to hibernate! Hahaha
Abby @ Change of Pace
Lol- I was the exact same way! I couldn’t even grocery shop inthe produce aisle for Kelly Because I would start to gag! I also ate more chips and Kraft dinner in those few months than I have in the last 10 years.
Glad to hear you’re able to eat more veggies now! Funny what we think about pregnancy before we experience it!
Leslie @ Triathlete Treats
It sounds like you just need to eat what your body craves right?! 🙂
Yeah it’d be easier to justify the craving if it was something that actually had SOME sort of nutritional value in it. OH well!