Have you ever wondered if Paleo was the right eating lifestyle for you? Me too. In fact, I've dabbled on and off with Paleo for the last few years - and I've learned A LOT. I've learned that while it isn't always realistic for our family, most of the time it is! Eating healthier isn't necessarily more expensive, more time consuming, or harder at all if you really buckle down and do the planning! Today, I want to talk about eating Paleo during pregnancy, because it's something that I'm really diving into more right now. Paleo during pregnancy can be a little more complicated than normally, so I wanted to share some tips and general thoughts on it here. Keep in mind that this is in no way intended to be medical advice and you should always consult your doctor before any changes in diet.
1. Do it as much or as little as you can!
Let's face it. During pregnancy, there are going to be days when you just can't. There are days when I'm so tired that I'm not even sure it's humanly possible to be THAT tired. Sometimes, I just can't get up and prep an entire meal with all fresh ingredients from scratch. However, on the days where you DO have energy, try to keep it nice and healthy and fresh that day! You may find that you have more energy after the baby arrives and it's easier to stick to Paleo then. Paleo during pregnancy doesn't have to be 100% all the time - give yourself a rest if you need it!
2. Grab a few cookbooks!
One of the things that I love about Paleo is that I have some really fantastic cookbooks that are always on my counter ready to go. Usually by the end of the day, my phone is dying and I can't pull up another Pinterest recipe or I have to delay dinner to charge my phone and by that point, I'm just too exhausted to cook a Paleo meal. Having those cookbooks on hand makes it a lot easier to go through and follow recipes and it also helps make form my grocery lists every week! Instead of pulling up individual recipes on Pinterest and having to write down each ingredient, I just go through the book and decide what I want to eat that week and take pictures of all the ingredients so I can reference quickly at the store! Here are a few of my favorite Paleo cookbooks that make Paleo during pregnancy a breeze:
3. Avoid foods that you're having aversions to.
There's no sense in forcing yourself to eat foods that you'll only yak up later because of morning sickness or food aversions. Many women experience aversions to protein especially during the first trimester, so if you find yourself incorporating more things like sweet potatoes and fruit, don't fret! It's still better than eating junk food or fast food, and ultimately when you start to feel better, you can add more protein in to your diet. Paleo during pregnancy is definitely a little tough at times especially when you lack energy or have strong cravings - but just remember to pace yourself and give yourself a break when you need to!
4. Pick up some easy veggies to mix in.
Part of Paleo during pregnancy like I've mentioned before is the exhaustion that comes with it. You'll likely feel better than most for eating a clean diet like Paleo during pregnancy, but there's no avoiding the exhaustion and fatigue! For this reason, I like to keep things like spinach, kale, and zucchini on hand to throw in when I'm just trying to get some quick veggies and protein in a meal. Spinach can be cooked into almost ANYTHING and zucchini only takes a minute to cut up and sautee! A handful of kale in smoothies is a great way to get some extra greens too!
5. Don't worry!
Ultimately, our bodies go through massive changes during pregnancy whether we are doing Paleo during pregnancy or not! Try not to stress too much about weight gain and shape changes, and just know that you're putting healthy nutrient packed foods into your body and you'll make it easier to bounce back after having the baby! This isn't my first rodeo with pregnancy, but I'm much more committed to taking care of my body this time around and I hope to be posting some awesome before/after pictures in the next year! But hey, sometimes when you're craving Ben & Jeryy's, only Ben & Jerry's will do!
Are you doing Paleo during pregnancy? What do you find is the hardest about sticking to it during pregnancy?