Thursday, January 10, 2013

Paleo Pregnancy - First Trimester Recap and Paleo Living Magazine Subscription Giveaway!


As I sit on the couch with my ever-growing belly, reflecting on the first few months of my pregnancy, I definitely have some mixed feelings. It was a miraculous blessing to learn we were going to bring a baby into this world, but I felt less than stellar for most of those first few months...that detracted a bit from the whole glowing, miracle on Earth thing. Today, I want to share my reflections on my diet, exercise, energy levels and overall feelings during the first trimester. But first, a little background...

Kevin and I made the decision to have a baby (as if one has total control over these things) in November 2011. I threw out my remaining packs of birth control and by Christmas, I was pregnant. A few days after learning I was pregnant, though, we lost the baby. It was very early in the pregnancy, but that did nothing to ease the pain. We had already started to think of ourselves as parents and all of the changes we were about to endure. It was difficult for both Kevin and myself, but after letting ourselves have some time to grieve, we knew we still wanted a baby and decided to try again.

Over the coming months, my cycles never returned to normal. 35 days, 45 days, even 60 days - there was no rhyme or reason, which really made me think about the birth control I had been taking for the past ten years. Maybe my body's natural cycle is not a perfect 28 days. I was putting these unnatural hormones into my body for so long, just to make my life more predictable, with no thought to the real effects they could be having. I know some of the irregularity could be a result of the miscarriage, but after having the time to really think about it, I know that I will not be ingesting those hormones again. We avoid hormones in the food we eat, why would I willingly take a little pill every morning just to pump my body full of them?

Fast forward to the third week in September 2012. I took two pregnancy tests with lines that were fainter than faint. So we went the digital route and there was no guessing there, it flashed "Pregnant" loud and clear within a few short minutes. We were beyond excited, but it was hard not to worry that the past would repeat itself. I so badly wanted this baby to be healthy and with each passing day I tried to accept that it was out of my control and feeling anything but happiness and excitement wasn't going to get me anywhere.


What WAS in my control was how I cared for my growing baby. By that time, Kevin and I had been following a Paleo way of eating for over a year and I was so grateful that we were giving our baby the chance at a clean, nutritious, whole foods diet from the very start! I am really glad that we made the decision to eat this way before we ever made the decision to have children. Once I learned I was pregnant, I thought even more about what I was putting into my body because it wasn't just affecting me, it was also affecting my baby's development. I spoke with my midwife about my Paleo diet and she let me know that as long as I was eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies and protein that my baby and I would be getting all the nutrients we need. That was easier said than done, however, when morning sickness reared its ugly head in the sixth week...


I ate practically like clockwork - almost every hour, on the hour. Keeping a bit of food in my stomach was one of the only things that seemed to help the sick feeling. The mere thought of most of my favorite foods made me nauseous so I ate the same three or four weird meals and snacks for weeks. An example: Trader Joe's broccoli and carrot slaw mixed with salsa, sun dried tomatoes and cut up Applegate Farm's hotdogs. I ate this almost daily. Now, I can't even look at those hot dogs. Hey, at least it wasn't a quarter pounder with fries and a milkshake! 


My constant nausea, along with the extreme exhaustion, also had a major impact on my workouts. I just did what I could, though, and tried not to beat myself up over it. I worked out in the evenings when I couldn't drag myself out of bed at 5:00am and if I missed a workout because I wanted to sleep, I knew it was what my body needed. Before hitting the gym, I talked to my midwife and she advised me that anything I was doing before pregnancy I should be able to do while pregnant without any problem. I could continue to run, swim, even CrossFit. She told me to listen to my body and find modifications when certain movements became uncomfortable. My body didn't change too much in the first trimester, so I didn't modify much. I took a lot of breaks, drank a lot of water and worked out at a pace/intensity that felt right for me.


During the first trimester, I also experienced some pretty intense cravings. Don't ask Kevin how many times I have asked him if we can just order pizza one time or if he ever wants to have one DQ Blizzard before the baby gets here because he has probably lost count. Luckily, he is super supportive and gave me the strength I needed to resist those cravings when they came a knockin'. I did come up with some a passable swap for vanilla ice cream and one of my biggest cravings has been eggs so that one is good to go.


After speaking with my midwife and other moms or moms-to-be, I learned that the first trimester is all about one thing...survival. You may not be able to eat your favorite foods, workout like you used to or peel yourself off the couch to clean the house, but there is a light on the other side of the tunnel. Just do what you can to get through - you still have plenty of time to take care of yourself and your little one. Now that I am into my second trimester, I am full of energy and my appetite is most definitely back on track.


What I did love about the first trimester was that first ultrasound when we were able to see and hear our baby's heart beating. I loved seeing my growing belly and hearing the heartbeat again at every doctor's appointment. I love being able to share this journey with everyone in hopes that it will help other future mommies out there! 


An unexpected surprise was the opportunity to write about my pregnancy in Paleo Living Magazine!! My first article was about surviving the first trimester while sticking to my Paleo approach to eating. I plan to continue writing for them throughout my pregnancy (and hopefully beyond) to let others know that it is possible to resist the mac n' cheese and feed your baby nourishing, whole foods that promote optimal development. You can check out Paleo Living Magazine on Facebook or click here to sign up for a monthly subscription and read the full article. 

Paleo Living Magazine was kind enough to give me a few FREE 3-Month Subscription codes to give away to my readers.

If you would like a code, just leave me a comment in this post and be sure to include your email address. I'll email you with the link!



45 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad or I'd love to enter the giveaway!

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  2. So glad you are sharing your story! The dietary information available for new moms has been abysmal, and hopefully, as you keep getting the word out, along with the other paleo 'gurus' things will get much better nutritionally for new mamas. Congratulations on the pregnancy and all the good things coming your way!

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  3. I just found out I'm pregnant as well, so will be following your blog with great interest.

    I'd also love a Paleo Living code. :)

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    1. Congrats, Kara!! If you can just leave me your email address, I'll send you the code.

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  4. I can remember those early days of pregnancy and how exhausting they are! Thanks for inspiring new mamas out there with your experience and your recipes. My sixteen year old daughter has us on the Whole 30 program with the intent to go Paleo at the end of the month. She's done lots of the research and cooking, and would love a trial subscription.

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    1. That is great that you guys are getting the whole family on board! If you just send me her email address, I will send you the code.

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  5. I applaud you for being able to follow your paleo diet while being pregnant. I was following a paleo diet all last summer and then I got pregnant. I was unable to stick with it for my first trimester. I ate whatever I could stomach. I am now 19 wks and feeling much better. I know that if I switched back to my paleo ways I would feel even better. I would love a trial subscription.

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    1. First trimester was definitely the toughest. I am MUCH better now. I am 19 weeks, too! We both have some June babies on the way. :) Let me know your email address and I will send you the code!

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  6. Thanks Tarah. It's fircrestclares@gmail.com. My daughter will be so excited!

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  7. I am fairly new to the Paleo lifestyle (about 2 months) and I would love to have the link for the magazine! My email is jpay0806@hotmail.com. Thank you!

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    1. That is great, Jessica! I just sent the link, I hope you enjoy!

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  8. Hello, I am enjoying following your pregnancy so far! I started eating Paleo in November then fell off the wagon through the holidays, but I am back on and I am here to stay! I would love a subscription to the Paleo Living Magazine. Thanks! autumnwilliams13@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Autumn! Glad you are back on track and Paleo Living Magazine has tons of great articles and recipes to help!

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  9. Congratulations on your pregnancy!! I would love a Paleolithic Living Magizine code also. Terifagan@gmail.com

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    1. On the way, Teri! Thanks for reading!

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  10. Congratulations! I am so happy that I stumbled on your blog today, I'm also working through staying paleo for the coming nine months (which I have just confessed here with only my husband and mom knowing in 'real' life. Shhhh. ;)
    I can't wait to follow along with you!
    Thanks--
    maryamelia77ATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Congratulations, Amelia! I just sent the code.

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  11. I appreciate the code and enjoy your writings - thank you!!! bethanybrewster82@gmail.com

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  12. If you still have any I would like a code! 5 weeks pregnant and paleo here too! Jediekkin@yahoo.com

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    1. Congratulations! The code is on its way - be on the lookout for further pregnancy articles in Paleo Living Magazine!

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  13. 4 weeks here and paleo!! Love your blog :) will keep reading! Alexissarenas@gmail.com thank you!!!

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  14. Congratulations on your little one! I am so excited to hear of so many other pregnant Paleo momma's out there! Your code should be in your inbox.

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  15. Not sure if you have any codes left? We're currently trying to conceive and i'm determined to remain paleo throughout pregnancy! dls2410@gmail.com

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    1. Just sent it - good luck with everything and the fact that you are already in the right mindset will make it so much easier!

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  16. Hi there, I just found your blog! I'm starting to research a paleo lifestyle and have made some small changes...I would love this code; please send it to june_usher@yahoo.com.

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    1. On its way - you will find a ton of great resources in the magazine.

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  17. Just found you blog and I'm loving it! Only 4 weeks along and praying that everything goes well. We're planning on waiting to tell folks until I'm a little further along. Hoping you still have a code. Would love to read your article!

    eamberson @ gmail.com

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    1. We definitely waited too, I think I was about 9 or 10 weeks. We couldn't wait any longer than that. :)
      Best of luck!

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  18. I am happily 6 weeks pregnant and just starting to get morning sickness. I am gluten free and would love to check out the magazine if you have more codes. Edibiase@hotmail.com
    Keep well and look forward to reading more of your blog.

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    1. Congratulations, that is so exciting! I just sent over your code!

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  19. Tarah, you are a super Mom-to-be by diligently working to provide a better, healthier life for yourself and your baby, by sharing your honest story with others, and by providing a wonderful story for your new son or daughter to some day appreciate. You're an awesome lady!

    I'd would love a code for the subscription, if available, to read and learn, please. If not, I'll just order and enjoy! Cindy

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  20. Hi,

    Just came across your blog doing research on being Paleo and pregnant. I am just over 8 weeks and definitely struggling in the first trimester. I'd love to check out the magazine if you still have the code available! Rochelleaturner@hotmail.com.

    Thanks!

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    1. Congratulations - and the code is on its way!

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  21. Hi Tarah!
    About four months pregnant here (16 weeks), and have been really focused on getting back to paleo eating for the last month! I hear you on the first trimester... eating my normal "healthy" foods was tough... about the best I could do some days was just to avoid all gluten. Now that I'm into the second trimester, thing are much better! It's been great reading your posts - I'm excited to try your recipes. Thanks for posting, and really appreciate the Paleo Pregnancy stuff!
    Anna

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  22. Oops, I forgot to mention - I also would love to connect with the Paleo magazine for during my pregnancy! asboone@gmail.com. Thanks!

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    1. Congratulations, Anna! Your code is on its way!!

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  23. Hey Tarah I've just found I'm pregnant as well and I've been gearing up to the paleo diet as well I have a close family friend who has just published a paleo fitness book and calls himself the fitness explorer. I would love the 3 moths subscription my email address is tarahjohnson@hotmail.com.

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    1. That is great news...congratulations! I will email the code to you today.

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  24. I love your article. I just found out I am pregnant with my second baby. My first trimester with my first child was horrible, I had nausea everyday and just felt terrible. So far, with this one, I am exhausted all the time and I not hungry at all. I have to force myself to eat everyday. I would love to receive 3 months subscription to the paleo magazine, my email address is stephbhayes@gmail.com
    Thanks a lot.

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    1. Congratulations! I hope you get your appetite back - the first trimester was definitely the worst. Well also the last couple weeks, too, I guess :)

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