The first trimester…

Typically, I have kept this blog fairly “professional.” In the sense that I generally write about specific nutrition topics, resources, recipes, etc. I’m going to take a slight break from this in the next few posts, as people have been asking how I managed nutrition/exercise throughout my pregnancy! As a disclaimer, please remember that everyone is different and every pregnancy is different–this is just what worked for me! (I’m also not a prenatal specialist!)

The first trimester…while I didn’t feel great, I certainly didn’t have it as bad as some women! While many women experience crazy nausea and vomiting, my main side effect seemed to be blood sugar related. I always eat on a regular basis; however, at exactly 2hr intervals, if I did not refuel, my blood sugar seemed to immediately drop–dizziness, woozy feelings and “the sweats” would kick-in. It was like I had an internal clock! I could tell, almost to the minute, that it had been 2hrs! Not 2hrs 15min, not 1hr 45min, but exactly 2hrs. I had a few days of real nausea, that unfortunately hit over the Christmas holidays and on our road-trip to Cape Breton (combined with my already existent motion sickness created a double-whammy effect!)

Nutrition wise, carbs (and protein) were my friend! To balance out any snack/meal, I always recommend a source of fibre and a source of protein! Fibre and protein both fill you up, regulate your blood sugar and provide that “stay power” you want in a meal/snack. Favorite items included; peanut butter (obviously) & crackers or a banana/apple slices, almonds/fruit, handful of trail mix, hard-boiled eggs & veggie sticks and home-made muffins (one of my favs here). While I generally do not encourage people to consume juice, 100% grapefruit juice was my only “craving” and certainly helped spike up my blood sugars on demand. (Coffee was extremely nauseating, even my decaf, so a shot of juice was my morning go-to, along with my hot water/lemon!) Other things I noticed–my interest in salads plummeted to zero (cooked vegetables were a-ok and I could hide spinach in a smoothie without any problems), I much preferred “salty” to “sweet” (opposite from usual) and my normal plant-based appetite seemed to start shifting to more of a carnivorous nature (perhaps iron driven?).

Things that I skipped out on and/or avoided; red wine (sad face) and the occasional beer, runny eggs and unpasteurized cheese (luckily my fav goat cheese is pasteurized!). Things that I increased and/or prioritized included; daily prenatal vitamin (had been taking these for months prior), water, omega-3 intake (more salmon please!) and my calcium intake (dairy products and nausea didn’t go well together, so I did add a daily 500mg supplement).

Exercise wise, I didn’t have to slow down too much. The low blood-sugars made it a little bit more difficult; however, I was able to continue running, weight training and lots of regular doggy-walking. (Note: running was avoided during my really nauseous days…too much bouncing!) Sadly, my hockey season was cut short and there was no winter skiing for me! (I know some people will continue with these sports; however, I felt more comfortable skipping the season.)

Oddly enough, I almost enjoyed not feeling 100%, as it was a daily reminder that I was pregnant! Around week 11ish, when I started to feel totally normal again but wasn’t “showing,” I almost missed the reassurance that something was different!

Goal wise…while I had no expectations of how my pregnancy would go, how I would feel or how long I’d be able to keep doing what I was doing, my plan was to eat foods that were good for me- when I was hungry, exercise in whatever form and intensity that felt good and listen to my body (i.e., I’m a horrible napper and tend to operate in over-drive). I made a conscious effort to remember that “I” wasn’t in full control any more. (Pregnancy really does have a way of preparing you for baby’s arrival!)

Stay tuned!