First of all, I would like to introduce you all to Max, born January 23 and weighing 9lbs 3 oz. I think he is pretty cute :)
Still, that blog isn't about nutrition and now that I'm out of the throws of pregnancy I have some thoughts on food to share.
I did not have an exclusively paleo/whole foods pregnancy. I would say I ate very healthy meals of mostly protein and vegetables once the first half of my pregnancy was over and I stopped feeling so nauseated, but I also ate a fair amount of sugar and refined (gluten free) junk food too, though I did not overeat-- just could have made overall better choices.
Over the course of my 41 week pregnancy I gained 39 pounds. I admit I was a little panicked about how hard that weight was going to be to lose. By the end I was retaining a LOT of water and was very uncomfortable-- my rings didn't fit, my shoes got tight, my face was puffy, I had cankles-- it was not cute. Exercise was mostly out of the question-- I was just too huge to get around. I did discover swimming towards the end-- if I had started this sooner I probably would have done that a lot more because it really helped.
Here's me at 40 weeks, huge and puffy:
Overall, it was not optimal but in the moment I felt like I was doing the best I could.
For several weeks before I gave birth I went on a crockpot cooking marathon and cooked and froze as many protein-type foods as possible so we would have healthy food available after the baby was born as my husband, who has many other talents, does not cook at all. I also decided that in addition to gluten and dairy, which I always avoid, I was going to cut out eggs and tomatoes. (Originally this was going to be all nightshades, but potatoes have happened). I especially wanted to avoid tomatoes because when I was a baby being breastfed, my mom said every time she ate tomatoes I would scream like crazy. And too many eggs give my mom eczema, plus I tested somewhat sensitive to them in the past, PLUS I ate eggs every day in my third trimester so I thought I probably should take a break from them.
I decided to support my breastfeeding I absolutely need starch in my diet, so in addition to yams and potatoes, I am eating rice, including a little bit of gluten free rice bread. I find I digest rice well (as opposed to most other grains) so I feel fine about this.
My diet now is not exactly paleo, but it is 98% whole foods and high protein. Every morning I have a green smoothie with almond milk, pumpkin seed protein powder, kale, fish oil and frozen fruit. On the side I have two slices of rice bread with nut butter.
Lunch and dinner are some kind of meat, often salad because it's fast or sauteed kale, and potato or yam, very occasionally some rice.
I snack on apples and TONS of trail mix, which I make myself out of the bulk bins at the grocery store of various raw nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate. I am certain I am getting far too much omega 6 in my diet but honestly I have a 6 week old, it's kind of a miracle I'm eating as well as I am, so eventually I will cut back on that but for now it's sustaining me.
Supplements: still taking my prenatal and fish oil, plus I am taking garlic and grapeseed extract, recommended by my midwife after I had a case of mastitis (basically a breast infection). I also am taking heavy duty doses of probiotics after the aforementioned mastitis required antibiotics.
I don't know if it was because I lost a lot of fluids giving birth to my 9 pound baby good genetics, or my fairly clean diet, but I lost 25 of those 39 pounds in the first two weeks after giving birth and now, at 6 weeks post partum I only have 6 pounds to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight (though I wouldn't mind losing twice that). I definitely have some work to do in the gym to rebuild a lot of lost muscle and fix the ab situation, but overall I feel like I'm pretty much back to being myself again. (Not that I can get into my favorite jeans, but hopefully I'll get there somewhat soon).
I've been thinking a lot about how I want to raise my son regarding food, paleo or otherwise, how big of a control freak I want to be (lately M has been eating way too much pizza and other crap because I haven't been doing a lot of cooking and that's what happens when he fends for himself-- not sure I want to have gluten in the house at all when Max starts eating solid food). I haven't quite decided yet-- I'm glad I have at least six months before I have to think about real food with the baby.
After several weeks of exhaustion and anemia due to blood loss (which I probably still have-- midwife will do blood work next week) I am finally really feeling ready to start exercising again. (Unfortunately my son will not take a bottle of pumped breastmilk so it's kind of hard to leave him for any length of time, but hopefully we will get there soon so I can hit the gym).
I am not sure how much better I could have really done food wise while pregnant because so much of what I felt was hormonal, but if I had it to do over I really would have worked harder at getting exercise in the second half of my pregnancy. I let my gym membership lapse and the weather didn't cooperate very well with walking outside and honestly I was just tired and kind of lazy about it.
I'll probably post here again occasionally when I have nutrition related thoughts to share, but I post much more often over at Sassy Chicken about mommy things if you are interested.