Top 5 Reasons Whole30 is Perfect for Pregnancy

1:46 PM

One of my favorite food & lifestyle programs is the Whole30. It's are not a typical diet plan.. but a focus on a healthy lifestyle. I've done the 30 day program (ahem, minus a few days once or twice) on four occasions, plus "mini 30's" for days/weeks at a time.  It's my reset button when I can literally feel my dietary choices making me feel awful.

Currently, I'm 28 weeks pregnant on my second pregnancy.  I'm not one for resolutions (other than these), but I have been planning to get my diet back on track with less than 3 months left until my due date..(eeek!). I enjoyed the holidays and all the treats it has to offer, so now without further procrastination, here's the top 5 reasons why I do the Whole30 while pregnant:

1. I don't count calories.

I'm not one to count/log/track every crumb I consume - it's exhausting. Stressing over if I ate too many calories, too much fat etc, is not healthy. Whole30 recommends making 'good food choices', consuming food that makes you healthier.

I also eat as much as I need to. If I'm hungry, I eat. I don't use the excuse "oh, I'm eating for two", because the baby doesn't need too many more calories. But I make sure I get enough protein, carbs and fat and will add some extra healthy fats like coconut milk, avocado, olive oil or almond butter if I feel like I'm getting hungry soon after eating.

Knowing that I am offering the baby the more nutrient rich diet I can is also important to me. Healthy fats, protein and complex carbs along with all the vitamins & minerals that go with those foods can only make the baby healthier as well. I have spoke with my doctor who fully supports this. Baby number two is growing perfectly and is slightly ahead of schedule size-wise, so I know I'm on the right track.

2. Sleep!

Every. single. time, that I do the Whole30, I sleep SO much better. It's my favorite part and more of a motivator knowing that after several days of eating GOOD food, I will sleep GREAT! Even being 7 months pregnant, I started sleeping better - getting quality sleep & sleeping longer periods - over the past few nights. I occasionally sleep with a Fitbit on, so I know that I was averaging being awake 15 times per night. Over the past 4 nights, I tracked my sleep twice, and was only awake 5 times one night and 7 times the other.

3. Energy.

I have a toddler to run after - I mean literally run after.. each time I do her hair we play a version of nascar & rodeo - me running behind Aria keeping a light hold on her hair, trying to rope it into a hairband while she runs and giggles. So energy is a big one.

My workouts feel great.  I don't feel like I NEED a nap by late morning. I feel like I can tackle the four loads of laundry that are in baskets throughout the house and in our bedroom after Aria goes to bed at night. I am fueled with good food.  I don't experience the sugar spikes & crashes when I eat food that promotes a healthy metabolic response. I still have cravings, but they aren't so much for sweets. In their book, It Starts with Food, Melissa Hartwig calls this 'slaying the sugar dragon', breaking the mental stimulation that comes from processes, unnaturally sweet foods and ending the cycle of "oh, I'm stuffed from dinner, but I really need a piece of chocolate cake".

4. Healthy Skin, Hair & Nails.

There is no such thing as a pregnancy glow - it's crap. Besides not losing much hair - or hanging onto it better and noticing thicker locks (I do count my blessings), I don't notice anything improve because I'm pregnant. With each pregnancy I've broke out like a teenager the first trimester and then battle a gamut of skin issues the rest of the time.

Recently, I've been battling really oily areas on my face, only to have my cheeks and forehead become extremely dry and flaky - gross. But over the past night or so when washing the day off, I've noticed less oil and less dry skin, and I haven't changed anything but my food choices.

5. I'm happy. 

It was hard to decide where to place this reason. It's probably more important than being ranked 5th, but ending on a super positive thing is always fun. I know there's more to this than I probably realize, but making good choices with food, feeling like I'm in control without being restricted and normalizing my hormones with those food choices play a huge role in my overall feeling & outlook on life.

I can eat without feeling restricted = happy
Energy= happy
Sleep= way happy
Less cravings =happy
I'm less stressed = happy see where I'm going with this. The snowball effect is huge and so, so important.

I do 'fall off the wagon'. There will be things that come along that are worth it to me, where I feel like I can enjoy something guilt-free, and then either resume my Whole30, or relax with it for a bit until the need to hit that reset button comes along.

For more information check out their books here: It Starts With Food & their 30-day guide The Whole30. A little update: I found they launched an 150 recipe Cookbook since I wrote this, please don't miss out on this one, it prevents a the so called food rut

I also love this forum, it provides feedback from Whole30 creator Melissa Hartwig and offers real feedback from moms who have done the Whole30.

And here is a whole list of current discussions. I've done the Whole30 with friends, so we all had to hold each other accountable, but when you are doing it for yourself without anyone else participating, it it great to be able to reach out to people all over the world for support and their feedback.

Also, provided for free is a never ending list of lists. (I love lists!) All the shopping guides, food, templates & meal plans that you could ever dream of right here!

Feel free to shoot me your questions, comments or experience and let me know when you're starting your Whole30. :)

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