(kind of) trim healthy(ish) preggo.

This pregnancy has been kind of rough, in the sense that I was sick for a really long time.  The daily, near-constant morning sickness didn't let up for a full twenty weeks, and even after that, it was common for me to still be really sick every few days.  I started noticing that it was much, much worse after eating starchy or sugary foods, resulting in nausea, lightheadedness, and horrible fatigue, and it was getting to the point where tasting something sweet would make my stomach turn.  So I had initially determined to cut back a bit on those things to see if that would help.  (So, you know, stop eating fourteen bagels a day.)

But then I started thinking about my track record during postpartum months with each of my kids, and those days have been especially hard on me after my girls were born.  After Penelope, I had crippling postpartum depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  That's when I discovered my issues with gluten, and lost so much weight.  I was seriously skeletal.  After Laurelai, I had thyroid issues, hormone and adrenal imbalance, and crazy weight gain.  I think I also may have been experiencing some mild postpartum depression and anxiety.  (It's hard to know, since we were also in the throes of a recent move and our first church plant, so it all kind of coalesced into a lot of crying.)

Honestly, it may just be coincidence that my girls were much, much harder to recover from, mentally and physically, than my boys were, but there also may be some kind of hormonal explanation, too.  I really don't know.  But it got me thinking about how I can best set myself up for success, both now and later, with this newest girl baby. 

So... I decided to totally cut caffeine and pretty much all refined sugar.  Also, these major life decisions coincided with the Week of Rotavirus (which will be spoken about in sotto voce around here for the rest of our days), so it was rough going.  I've traded my beloved daily cup of coffee and raw cream for some kind of herbal junk that is at least warm and uncaffeinated, but is hardly a substitute.  I've traded sugar for... not sugar.  And I've started doing Trim Healthy Mama again.

I tried once before, but felt horrible on it, plus I hate that there's so much emphasis on weird specialty ingredients.  This time around, I've simply been making normal meals that fit the plan (no erithrytol or protein powders or weird thickeners made from idk), and I have felt awesome.  I'm not sure if I'm dealing with some extent of gestational diabetes or something (I haven't seen my midwife since December, and have yet to do the test), but keeping my blood sugar balanced has made a huge difference for me.  Plus, it doesn't hurt that I'm getting so much more protein and so many more veggies in than I was before.  It has only taken me six pregnancies to get to this point.

The real test came yesterday, when I found myself at Target after church, with dipping blood sugar, staring right into the eyeball of the In-Store Starbucks.  I wanted a coffee so badly.  I was all, 'maybe I could get it skim, so then it's only carbs, and stealthily eat some of the turkey and cheese I have in my purse to keep everything balanced...' (Yes, I had turkey and cheese in my purse, wanna fight about it?)  But I held my own, guys.  And I spent the rest of the day not with my head in the toilet, so I consider that a pretty major win!

A couple weeks down, only months and months and months left to go until this baby is a toddler and I'm hypothetically no longer pregnant or postpartum.  I am going to be ordering the hugest, creamiest, sugariest mocha ever made.  And I'll probably hate it because I'd have acclimated to a low-sugar diet by then, but I'll drink the whole thing ON PRINCIPLE.  Also, I will throw all my herbal tea in the garbage.  Because I'm nothing if not principled.


Hannah said...

Good for you, Paige! Since you are an avid reader I wondered if you have ever read "nutrition and physical degeneration " by Weston A Price? I finally decided to do it...fascinating and life changing. Could be used for homeschool with the geography, world culture and science included!

Hannah said...

Oh, and I agree that pregnancy is not for the faint of heart!

todd said...

i am so glad that you've been feeling so much better lately!

Danielle Tiarks said...

I've been kicking around the idea of looking into Trim Healthy Mama but never got around to getting the book or anything. With your modifications, it sounds like you're a fan?

I'd love something more structured food-wise than what I currently do (hello pasta) but I don't want to be all "hey I need almond butter and protein powder and xylitol". My pantry still holds the reject specialty ingridents from when I went strict paleo and gluten free. I'd love to pick your brain about what works for you sometime!

paige said...

Hannah - yes, that book was EYE OPENING!!! So many of those pictures are burned into my brain - the one with the two brothers (Welsh, perhaps? British of some sort for sure) who were raised on separate diets and their looks are so drastically different! We are big fans of WAP around here. Although, I did get kind of unhealthy in my approach. I became really fearful of stepping outside the WAPF guidelines or Nourishing Traditions, and I was pretty enslaved. So I've had to grope my way out of that and am currently just kind of doing a little of it here and there - homemade bone broth, properly soaked grains/beans, raw milk and fclo/butter oil are all I'm really able to manage right now with a healthy attitude. But I have hopes to slowly add more and more in as the years go by. (I LOVE meeting other people who have read his work, btw!)

paige said...

Dani - yeah, THM is kind of hard to navigate without the stevia and the weird baking blends, but right now I've found a groove that has been working for me. I'm far from an expert (Jes has actually been doing it for a while and I pick her brain on it!) but I'd be glad to share what has been working!