I’ve been keeping a secret from you.
I knew I could only last so long until I just couldn’t keep it in anymore.
Anyways, if I didn’t tell you, you would probably have guessed what it was, eventually.
You may have noticed that my waistline was starting to get bigger. Perhaps I was looking a little more run down. No, I wasn’t over-indulging (more than normal) over the summer or neglecting my health– although my appetite definitely has definitely increased lately and my tastebuds have changed!
So, here goes…time it get it off my chest…
I am 18 weeks pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby the first week of March! It is our first child, so I know we are in for a shock.
We have just started to spread the word to family and friends. I didn’t want to leave you out of the loop.
Being my first pregnancy, I have a new-found respect for what expectant moms go through. I have always treated women in my Naturopathic practice who were: trying to get pregnant, wanted to feel their best while pregnant, needed support recovering post-labour, had challenges breastfeeding, or wanted help choosing the best formula for their infant. But, I had never gone through it first-hand. The recurrent nausea I experienced in my first trimester had me shunning salads and raw vegetables in the dead heat of summer. The thought of drinking green tea and eating dark chocolate made me shudder (I used to love having a few squares per day of the Giddy YoYo raw, dairy-free dark chocolate). Where I used to be able to eat every 4-5 hours, I now had to eat smaller meals and snack between. If I got hungry, the nausea hit like a ton of bricks. Before pregnancy, I would do mini intermittent overnight fasting periods for 12-14 hours (by not snacking after dinner and by eating my breakfast after my moderate workouts in the morning). But, in the first trimester, if I didn’t eat right when I woke up, my stomach rebelled.
I had to get creative to ensure my body still got the nutrition it needed to support the growing life inside of me.
I steamed and roasted vegetables or ate them in the form of soups (yes, even on those 35C + days!). Scrambled eggs, avocado and tomato were my go-tos, and I was even starting to crave comfort foods from my past. These included pizza, yogurt, pancakes and cereal. Eating mostly Paleo in my day-to-day before pregnancy, I was shocked at how my taste buds had changed.
I still wanted to avoid gluten and discovered that Queen Margarita Pizza had the best gluten-free crust I have tasted (for the occasional treat). Udi’s brand also carries a frozen one that we use for pizza night at home. If I have avocado toast in the morning, I have it with one slice of gluten-free bread – either the Queen St. Bakery’s Romano bread or the Silver Hills’s Chia Bread. I love slathering olive oil on top, adding avocadoes and tomatoes and having it with a side of 2 scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil. The only raw vegetables I could tolerate at the end of the first trimester was organic carrots, celery and cucumber (I was craving savoury breakfasts with vegetables).
I have avoided dairy for the past 12 years (with the occasional indulgence on the weekend), so I first opted for a coconut milk yogurt. I found it too sweet, so I switched to either a sheep’s milk yogurt or a goat’s milk yogurt that were nice and tangy without added sugar. I love sprinkling hemp hearts and organic berries on top for a filling snack. Since I did a lot of gut-healing before pregnancy, I was able to tolerate some cheese and goat/sheep yogurt without the typical reaction I would get of brain fog, acne, bloating and stool changes.
For those pancake cravings, I make Paleo Coconut Pancakes, which satisfy my cravings without the guilt. I slather on almond butter or coconut oil and bit of maple syrup, or make a reduction of cooked apples/pears and cinnamon to put on top. Delicious!
As for cereal, I make my own version by adding banana, chopped nuts, hemp hearts and shredded coconut to a small bowl with coconut or almond milk.
Now that I am in the second trimester, I am back to eating salads and raw vegetables (and loving them!). But, I still can’t eat chocolate and green tea can be hit or miss. I no longer feel nauseous and my energy definitely has increased. I feel great in the day but crash at night. My bedtime is now 9:30pm if I am lucky, sometimes earlier, but I still manage to wake up at 5:30am or 6:00am to do my morning yoga, meditation and journaling.
Perhaps you are wondering what this means for my Naturopathic practice? I can reassure you that I plan to keep seeing patients during my regular clinic hours as long as I can before my due date of March 1, 2017. I am planning on taking a 6-8 week maternity leave from practice after which I will resume part-time hours (most likely 2-3 half days/week, including an evening and every other Saturday). I plan to have a back-up Naturopathic Doctor to refer you to during my 6-8 weeks off if you require treatment before I resume my clinic hours.
I will also still be accepting new patients up until I go on my short maternity leave (if the space is available).
My husband and I are excited to open this new chapter in our lives! I look forward to the journey and sharing the tools and tricks I pick up along the way to get through what I hope is a healthy pregnancy, delivery and post-partum period. Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will cover how acupuncture/acupressure can enhance fertility and reduce nausea/pain in pregnancy. I will also give you a brief overview of some super-nutrients that are key in pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and post-delivery.
Feel free to reach out to me to book in for your Healthy Fertility (for males and females), Healthy Pregnancy or Healthy Baby appointments.