Pregnancy Eats, The First Trimester

June 6, 2015

smoothie

What you eat during pregnancy is a big deal. At least it feels that way to those of us lucky enough to experience this magic. It’s a time of incredibly mixed emotions and many questions. In my practice as a Dietitian I find that most individuals, whether growing a little person or not, are incredibly confused as to what food is actually healthy. We’re not confident in our food choices, and being pregnant throws a curve ball into the game, with questions like “how much should I be eating?”, “can I eat cheese?”, and “how come all I want is carbohydrates?”

I have comforted a number of friends though first trimester sickness, and guilt for wanting to eat all of the carbs in the world. Though my advice has changed over the years with experience and counseling clients, and now even moreso as I go through my first pregnancy, I have always keenly offered comfort. The mummy guilt starts early, in the first weeks of growing a baby, and I am happy to help ease this because I find guilt to be a particularly unproductive, usually destructive, emotion. Pregnant ladies should be focusing on more important things, like where to find a good pregnancy pillow and what the heck is swaddling a baby?

Here are a few thoughts on nourishing yourself and your baby during pregnancy. I will break it up into trimesters, for ease of reading, with today’s post being principally about the first trimester. I’ll also delve into my own eating habits, as I have received a few requests I do so. Lastly, know that though general advice applies to most people, everyone is different and if you are struggling or are unsure of your choices, please see an Accredited Practising Dietitian for advice (raising my hand over here).

A few quick tips for nausea and food cravings

I wrote some first trimester nausea tips on my dietitian website, as well as suggestions for healthy food craving alternatives, so you can check out those posts for more detail. Personally I found the following strategies most useful: keeping my blood sugar levels steady, eating small amounts often, sipping on fluids to stay hydrated, getting fresh air and distracting myself so as to not wallow in the nausea.

Holy heck I feel like s**t

During the first trimester, as all the hormones rush in, you often experience all-day hangover-style nausea where the only antidote appears to be dry crackers or fries. Beware, this feeling can take you by surprise. I was certainly shocked to experience this kind of hormonally-charged sickness, as it was like nothing I had ever felt and was in no way relieved by a cozy blanket, hot water bottle, soup and time on the couch (as was my usual sick-day protocol). You may also experience super strong food aversions (vegetables, bleh) and a weird appetite (often reduced, sometimes increased) during this time.

But you’re not just feeling sick, you’ve also just discovered you’re growing a baby and are overwhelmed with the incredible responsibility of this task. You want to do the best for your baby, while also managing to make it through the day. That’s often a major conflict. “Want chips, should eat kale…AHHH what the frick do I do?!?!?!”

The truth is, during this time, many of us need to forgive ourselves for eating a less vibrant than usual diet. I’m certainly not encouraging you to eat all the fried food in the world, but for many of us, making fresh green vegetable juice and eating poached salmon on a bed of quinoa with sautéed silverbeet and extra virgin olive oil is a horrifying thought. You might need to settle for a fruit juice (with vegetables snuck in, carrots and celery work well), some well-cooked salmon covered in some sort of sauce and a bed of mashed potato, rice or pasta. Still pretty great, but somewhat less sparkling and nutrient-rich than the former option. Know that it is likely a short-term experience, and after a couple months you’ll hopefully be able to stomach the foods we all know are good for us (hello vegetables). In fact, our diet before conception (and that of your baby daddy) is arguably more important than the temporary period of increasing hormones and sickness. So make nutritious food choices, exercise, get off the booze and caffeine, manage stress and get a good amount of sleep in the months or even year before you and your partner want to conceive. Your health behaviours at this time can influence the health of your baby.

That said, you may experience no food aversions, and yay for you! Or you may struggle all throughout you’re pregnancy. Everyone is different. My experience, however, is what most people tend to experience, a funky first trimester or so (weeks 5-18 for me). Ooooh the first trimester was a learning experience for me. My whole world flipped! This may sound a tad dramatic, but know that prior to our positive pregnancy test, my work and my hobbies revolved around food. To all of a sudden find my main interest incredibly off-putting completely threw me. I started reading Jane Austen novels instead of cookbooks, watching BBC dramas instead of Nigella Lawson, searching for quick-to-assemble meals instead of lingering in the kitchen, and even finding more interest in my clients’ sleeping habits than what they ate. I found new ways to fill my days and food became a necessity rather than a pleasure. Eating every couple of hours to keep my blood sugar levels steady and help mange my nausea was a chore. I didn’t even know myself.

Here’s what I did in a typical day…

My first trimester eats

bed

7am
I’d wake up each morning a little later than usual, hobble downstairs and reach for something that moderately appealed to ensure I got something in my stomach as soon as possible. Some people like to keep food next to their beside table, but I only really did this when middle of the night hunger and eating happened (a couple of 3am dried figs each night got me through week 12). I’d climb back up the stairs and get into bed, munching on something whilst reading. This would usually be half or a full piece of toast or some fruit. Grapes were a favourite for a while.

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After about half an hour (I stopped scheduling clients for 9am and decided to take my time in the mornings), I’d force myself out of bed, put on some workout clothes and go for a walk. My pace was super slow, and sometimes I’d have to intentionally breath through the nausea, but the fresh air and movement really helped. I even took strips of fresh ginger to munch on during the early weeks, which helped me make it through. I’d then come home and have breakfast.

A note on coffee: the recommendations are for a maximum of 200mg caffeine per day during pregnancy. So I could have continued to enjoy a coffee a day if I wanted. My body, however, told me “nooooooooooo!!”, proclaiming it to be devil juice, and assuring me I didn’t need it. I listened. I’d occasionally have a weak tea, but was cautious to not get too herbal or weird as there aren’t a lot of studies on the safety of these things. Any research I did or questions I’d ask people would result in ” possible increase of miscarriage”, and so I was happy to set it aside and revel in the fact that I didn’t even want I and didn’t even get one caffeine withdrawal headache (which was a total surprise).

8am-9am
My first trimester breakfast was not entirely dissimilar to my pre-pregnancy breakfast, though was certainly far less embellished. My porridge went from jazzy, rich ingredients like tahini and cacao to plain with perhaps only honey and cinnamon.

porridge

I used to get a lot of goodness from all the nuts and seeds I’d top my porridge with (brilliant fats, vitamins, minerals and some protein), but because I went off nuts for a while I looked to replace them with something more palatable. My saviour was chia seeds, as they’d slip into my porridge really inoffensively and provide me with a lot of nutrients. In terms of portions, during those early weeks I was managing about 1/4 cup rolled oats, which is a tiny portion for me. I made up for this in snacks later in the day. A decrease in physical activity level also helped to balance things out. Remember at this stage you don’t need extra calories to support your baby, so it’s certainly not about eating for two.

Other days, when I could look at yoghurt, I went for a serve with muesli or granola (with juice!! I have started to loooove orange juice), as this was crazy simple and less smelly. Seriously, your sense of smell can become so heightened during pregnancy. The smell of the kitchen was repulsive, as was the washing detergent and the fridge (even Ben was repulsive at times). Fresh basil was particularly offensive. And cold foods are often easier to handle so muesli and yoghurt featured a bit.

If I wanted toast for breakfast, I’d try to have it alongside some yoghurt, as a way to balance my blood sugar levels and get in protein, calcium, B vitamins and probiotics. Though sometimes yoghurt wouldn’t appeal and I’d settle for a nice protein/fat topping (again, to help balance my blood sugar levels and manage my nausea) like avocado and cheese. When nut butters and eggs appealed later on, I was all over them too.

toast & cheddar

11am

Lunch was my most “altered” meal. Pre-pregnancy, I’d dive into abundant salads with endless vegetables, daily. During the first trimester, the thought, smell and taste of most vegetables made me feel really sick. Zucchini and beetroot were gag-worthy (I think I overdid zucchini noodles right before my nausea kicked in, as result of Santa getting me a spiralizer at Christmas). So I had to make do with what appealed, and so while I still ate salads after about week 7, they looked more like roasted potato and pumpkin with tuna and spring onion. I adored the spring onion and parsley (hated basil), and took whatever green I could get. Frozen peas and tinned corn also helped my vegetable consumption move beyond the potato realm. Luckily avocado was quite palatable, so I’d often have toast with avocado and feel pretty great for getting some green in.

roasted potato salad

Very early on I favoured toasted cheddar cheese sandwiches with chives or spring onion. I’d sometimes treat myself to chips on the side (note, go for the plain salted chips rather than flavoured ones. Check the ingredients list on both packets and you’ll see why). Chips tended to make me feel better, whether crisps or fries. But it’s a fine line between “ahhh this is great” and “ahhhh I feel sick”, so I’d stick to a handful or two at a time and indulged infrequently. If I needed a fix, my go to was home-roasted potatoes.

toasted sandwich

2-5pm
Multiple snacks would happen in the afternoon, due to reduced portions at meals and the need to keep my blood sugar levels steady. Snacks are a pregnant lady’s best friend.

Smoothies were super helpful during my first trimester. I could get in a dose of protein, calcium, B vitamins, fibre and healthy fats from a simple blend of milk, frozen banana, and chia seeds. Importantly, they helped me stay hydrated! I really struggled with hydration during the first trimester, which is SO important. I was never cramping or severely dehydrated, I simply had to really try to drink my water, constantly forcing myself.

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Fruit, yoghurt, muesli with milk or yoghurt were other easy snacks. And even a piece of toast with nut butter, particularly on days I hadn’t had any bread at breakfast and lunch. For diet variety I try to not have bread multiple times a day, mixing it up with other starchy foods like wild rice and sweet potato. But during the first trimester my desire for most foods was limited and bread became a key feature (though gradually quinoa and sweet potato became appealing again, thank goodness). I’d favour my dad’s homemade sourdough, local breads like Flinders Sourdough, or Lievito.

Gradually cucumber became tolerable, and I’d choke down a few bites of fresh, summer cucumbers in between cheddar cheese on grain crackers. Cheese remains a favourite way to get in some calcium, fat and protein, and while soft cheeses are not recommended during pregnancy, I adored the hard cheeses like cheddar. These snack plates happened more from week 9, I believe.

cheese

And later on, hummus! I went off hummus for a good while, plain chickpeas too. But it’s such a nutritious spread, I was super happy to be including it again. Here are my favourite crackers, by Dr Karg. BEST. Clearly you’d need to be a doctor to craft this tastiness.

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8pm
Dinner was my easiest meal. For a while I felt a lot better come 5pm and could actually assemble a meal that wasn’t toast. Dinner was the meal I could get in the most vegetables (alongside a serve of pasta or potato, of course). I found myself wanting red meat more often than before falling pregnant, though chicken wasn’t (and still isn’t) appealing. I did enjoy fish, but was cautious to not have it too often and to avoid the higher mercury fish. Smaller fish is a good bet, and if you go for sardines and anchovies, that’s even better as they’re loaded with super valuable omega-3 fatty acids! All I wanted was tuna, though (which isn’t new for me), but there’s mixed reports on how much tinned tuna you can eat when pregnant, and each brand is different (using varying breeds of the fish). I found this a little frustrating as I’d eat it every day if I could (though that would make me a bad sustainable eater…Sirena tuna in oil, why are you so tasty?!!?). Anyway, I developed a goal of not having it more than 2-3 times a week, which also allowed for good diet variety.

Favourite dinner meals (i.e. ones I found vaguely acceptable – I wasn’t in LOVE with any food, really), were: bolognaise pasta bake (any kind of pasta, really), grilled meat and potatoes (with whatever veg I could cover in cheese or tomato sauce), slow-cooked lamb or beef meals, tuna casserole, soup and later on, when more vegetables became appealing, summer plates.

bolognaise

 

Eating out

This is a trap, because it’s highly appealing (you don’t have to cook!) and often you order foods you don’t cook at home (fries!), which is fun. And you’re tired from growing a human so who can be bothered cooking? But in the interest of saving money and ensuring I got the best nourishment possible, I was pretty strict with myself during this time, ensuring I didn’t default to getting takeaway or dining out. We’d eat Grill’d every now and then, had Indian once, fish and chips twice, went on one Maccas run, shared a couple of a pizzas at DOC on a date night and enjoyed the odd meal out with friends and family. But as a rule, we stayed home for dinner, favouring quick, easy to prepare meals. Though I didn’t turn my nose up when my mum offered to cook us food!

…..

So that’s what I did during the first trimester (and a month beyond), folks. My diet was definitely altered, I had to put in more effort than ever before when it came to eating well and developed new empathy for clients who don’t care about food. But I think I still had a pretty darn nutritious diet. And as I headed further into the second trimester I found myself really excited about nourishing our baby in a less restricted way, with a lot more green that didn’t make me gag.

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Follow your intuition

One final note. I felt a bit torn, writing this post…wanting to say what I ate and give some insight as both a dietitian and lady going through her first pregnancy, but also wanting to address a few topics that may be in conflict to this first desire of sharing my own view. Let me explain…

I’m talking about comparison and self-doubt, and the effect this can have on your intuition.

This online, social media world is a funny place. I have been both praised for my healthy eating and scolded for eating fast food. People can be incredibly judgemental, and though I usually only receive lovely notes on my instagram pictures and blog, I am already seeing from those around me that being a parent can encourage unwarranted, sometimes harsh comments. I’ve had friends tell me they feel judged whenever they post a picture. The lesson here is a valuable one. You need to be true to yourself. You need to trust and follow your intuition.

During this new and wonderful period, you’re sure to have a million questions. But who we listen to can be the difference between trusting yourself with confidence and drowning in guilt and self-doubt. Ensuring you seek counsel from qualified health care providers is super important. Don’t visit doctor google and don’t compare yourself to others who aren’t in your precise situation. Sure, you may feel like you’ve wasted the time of your midwife, obstetrician or health care provider if it turns out to be no big deal or an easy answer, but this is a whole new world, you’re just figuring it out! Getting personalised, careful advice will put your mind at ease and will help you nurture your mother’s intuition, which, in this day and age of shiny instagram pictures and facebook friends who aren’t really friends, can be muted and questioned.

I think that people are too connected to each other on a superficial level, and less connected on a deeper level, a place of truth, unfiltered-context and understanding. And as a result, it can be difficult to hear your intuition amongst the noise and barrage of advice that comes when you post a picture or type a status update. Sometimes we ask for advice and opinions, and that’s fair game, take all that comes in those cases. Other times, we just want to show a cute snap or tell people where you can get good food. And I’m not saying that many people don’t have a wealth of knowledge and invaluable tips (some of this advice is absolutely wonderful and loving), but there are also people who don’t know what they’re talking about and even if they do, it may not relate to your situation. So be sure that when taking advice, you know these people well, they know YOU well, and they have your best interests at heart.

How does this relate to food? Even as a dietitian I found making food choices tricky during his time (wait, can I eat chorizo??). So I fully appreciate that it can be a bit of a battle. But it’s always going to be a battle, whether pregnant or not, if you don’t trust yourself and you’re not being true. Ideally you will know when you’re overdoing it, when you’ve gotten into an ‘ice-cream after dinner’ habit and when you’ve given Red Rock Deli too much of your money. You will know if you deserve to enjoy a fast food burger (without being scolded), or if perhaps you should drive home and make yourself a plate of eggs and vegetables instead. You will know what a healthy diet entails and you will only answer to yourself. If you don’t know these things, if you don’t feel you can trust your gut and are confused as to what you should actually be eating (which, again, is not uncommon or unreasonable), I encourage you to see a dietitian. I’m surprised more people don’t, frankly.

Oh, and trust me, I do see the irony in me writing this post about what I do and typing this final message. But know that while I write what worked for me on my diary here, I do not know your specific situation and I am so very keen for you to find what works for you. And to encourage you to trust yourself, to tune out any loud voices that invariably come during this time of pregnancy and new motherhood if they don’t sound or feel right or if they’re judgemental and hurtful, and instead to seek counsel from the right people and tune back into your intuition. It always knows what’s best.

I pinky promise the next post on pregnancy eats won’t be as long.

Heidi xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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44 Comments

  • Reply Kate June 6, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Great post Heidi!

    I will admit to waking with squished grapes in my bed. I’ll also admit to having a (large) serve of chips and gravy as an “afternoon snack” during my first trimester (from Anglesea, absolutely amazing stuff). My pasta portion sizes became legendary and vegetables were THE WORST.

    It’s a funny time for a dietitian and no doubt highly confusing for a lot of women. Everyone’s experience is so unique.

    The best advice I received from a good (great) friend was “babe, give yourself a break. Just do what you need to do to get through the day”.

    Glad to say veggies and I are besties again now (although I’ll never forget my chips and gravy love affair).

    Keep the (well times for me) pregnancy posts coming. They are gorgeous.

    • Reply Heidi June 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

      KATE! Congratulations!! I had no idea you’re pregnant too. Sending love & a big bowl of pasta from afar 🙂 I hear you!! Ahhh chips & gravy, takes me back to year 12 after school. Thanks for the sweet words & I’ll keep the rambles coming! Stay well, lovely x

    • Reply Emma @ Emma's Garden Grows June 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

      I was just in Anglesea at the weekend: apparently Jum’s chips and gravy are world famous? Damn! Knew I should have grabbed some…even if not preggo 🙂

  • Reply Millie | Add A Little June 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Such an interesting post to see what your body craves! Love the sound of that ‘salad’ with roast veg and tuna – yum! Also, I know what you mean about being a carb monster. Ok, I’m not even pregnant but I’m pretty much a carb monster lol

    • Reply Heidi June 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Pasta is just my most favourite thing. Ever. 🙂 Glad you’re finding the posts intersting, Millie x

  • Reply kate @mindfoodly June 7, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Love this Heidi, especially the follow your intuition section. It’s a message that needs to be shared more today. Love your work!

    • Reply Heidi June 8, 2015 at 11:01 am

      You know it!! Thanks, lovely x

  • Reply Tara Lee June 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    What a fantastic post. It is interesting how everyone has different food aversions during pregnancy, especially the first trimester.
    I am 21 weeks pregnant and I need to put more care and though about what I am eating.

    • Reply Heidi June 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you, Tara! And congratulations! I hope these posts give you some ideas 🙂 x

  • Reply Lucy June 9, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Heidi, I will never forget your way out-of-character-reaction to the bundle of veggies I brought from my Nan and Pops house during the first trimester. Glad you are recovering from that xo

    • Reply Heidi June 15, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      🙂 oh Luce, I so wanted to eat the tomatoes & silverbeet! But at the same time I couldn’t think of anything worse. Love you x

  • Reply Sig June 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    i totally get this! My first pregnancy I thought I actually ate pretty well in my first trimester but the when the cravings hit, they hit hard. Nandos peri peri chips were like GOD to me haha. Salmon, veggies and avocado totally gag-worthy. This pregnancy it’s interesting to see what is the same and what’s different and reading through this – it’s been pretty much EXACT your experience. Bread, cheese, and the occasional Mars bars are getting me through. I’ve discovered soup doesn’t make me gag and minestrone soup needs to hide if it’s near me hahah. I love the ideas and a lot of them appeal to me (aka they don’t make me wanna hurl when I see the pics haha) so thank you. Hope all is going well and I know you can’t wait to meet your little bubs soon xxx

    • Reply Heidi June 15, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks, Sig, that’s so nice!! Yes cover veggies in cheese and I’m far more obliging 😉 x

  • Reply Pregnancy Eats, The Second Trimester – Apples Under My Bed June 27, 2015 at 7:03 am

    […] previous pregnancy eats post principally focussed on how to get goodness in during a time when you feel like you have an […]

  • Reply Katy July 9, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Hi Heidi,
    I started following your blog not long ago, but fell so in love with it that I went right back to the very beginning and have now read every. single. post 🙂 You are such a beautiful writer and your love for life and the balance you achieve is really inspirational. My favourite post is “Crunchy Coconut Oil Granola” – in fact I commented on it a little while ago as it resonated with me so much.
    This post is especially relevant to me at the moment, because I am now in my first trimester, expecting my first baby! So exciting and scary.
    I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you share. I find it so helpful and the food you create and/or recommend is just divine! I also really love your pregnancy updates (the longer the better!) and I love that cheese has been a frequent addition to your meals as cheddar cheese has by far been my biggest craving to date.
    I also really enjoyed your posts about Tasmania as I am from southeast Tassie and love it when other people appreciate our beautiful state 🙂
    Anyway, enough rambling from me! Just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is incredible and to thank you so much for sharing. All the best with the rest of your pregnancy and keep those posts coming 🙂 xo

  • Reply Pregnancy Eats, The Third Trimester – Apples Under My Bed August 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    […] See the first trimester eats post here. […]

  • Reply JJ September 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I feel ya! I’m in my first trimester and it’s been a doozy – headaches, nausea, upset stomach – you name it, I have it. I have to snack every 2 hours to stop feeling incredibly sick. And sadly, the snacks that work are biscuits, ice cream and corn chips! Tried all sorts of healthy snacks like soup, edamame, sunflower seeds etc. but none of those alleviate the sickness. So I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty about having biscuits by the bed. After reading this, I think I will give myself a break, and just survive each day as it comes.

  • Reply Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl – Apples Under My Bed January 27, 2016 at 8:23 am

    […] 11th of January marked one year since I found out I was pregnant, and one year and one week since eating became a chore. But now, food suddenly tastes glorious and I want more! I want to cook and bake and simmer, I want […]

  • Reply Tara May 5, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Great post! I love the end note on intuition. I felt so strongly about this entire ideal when I became a new mom that I started my own personal blog http://www.instinctualmothering.com (had to plug there sorry). I am currently 7 weeks pregnant with number 2 and the morning sickness has been hmm…dare I say Hell? Torture? So this post resonated with me well. It was not this bad with my daughter. I had nausea and committing in the mornings but not everyday and it usually subsided after I ate breakfast. Entirely different story here- I am completely debilitated! It’s a struggle to get off the couch to the kitchen. I went on a “natural fertility/preconception cleanse” kick th last few months and was eating very clean paying attention to nutrition, reading everything I could about it, listening to podcasts, etc. so I am aware of how important prenatal nutrition is yet all I can stomach is like you mention carbs – but to my dismay PROCESSED carbs, dairy (after being dairy free for over a year) and just generally bad/easy food. My problem seems to be that I have zero and I mean zero energy to cook which I usually enjoy and did often. I feel I am not eating enough and am worrying constantly about the bad food I can stomach. I saw you noted nutrition prior to conception is more important. Ugh what a relief that was to hear. I’m curious as to where you found that information? And what do you recommend to those who are so sick cooking has become an impossible task.

  • Reply Tara May 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I also wanted to mention that I am still nursing my 20 month old (no plans to wean) so not only am I pregnant but have he demands of milk production. I have always been naturally thin and lose weight easily (nursing caused me to drink nutrition shakes) so on top of nursing and food aversion I am afraid I’m already losing weight.

    • Reply Heidi May 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hi Tara, Congratulations on your second pregnancy! How fascinating how different the experiences can be. I hope you nausea subsides soon. That’s it, for most people it only lasts a number of weeks therefore considering how conscious you were of good nutrition prior to falling pregnant, it’s such a short time. Your baby will be taking all it needs from you and provided you can indeed eat some food, they will be fine – more than fine. Especially if you can incorporate veg & oily fish & other good things later on as your nausea hopefully improves (the 3rd trimester in particular is important for this!). I don’t have the studies on hand that mention how important a healthy diet is prior to conception, however from seminars and lectures and journals I know that being healthy prior to conception optimises your chance of a healthy pregnancy and impacts the health of your child. It sounds like you’ve done really well so I’d recommend relaxing, not worrying about “good” or “bad” foods so much, rather continue with your intuitive ways & nourish yourself as best you can. Relax any restrictions and make sure you’re keeping your weight up (i.e. you may need to eat more carbs now vs what you previously would and that’s ok!) Sneaking veggies in wherever possible as my saviour until I could stomach them again properly. Be sure to not go too long without eating, that exacerbates nausea. I hope this helps. And in terms of being so sick, ask for help, get meal delivery (i.e. Dinemaic food) if cost effective for you, and serve cold foods that smell less – hoping it doesn’t last long and you can feel good again soon x

  • Reply Jenna June 20, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Wow thanks for the advice. I’m pregnant for the first time and it’s truly throwing me. All food smells gross me out as do most foods. My usual diet (like yours) is filled with vegetables and good fats like eggs, avocados and nuts. Now I can’t even think about those foods. All I want is plain rice, plain cereals and sour fruits like kiwi with lime on top! Your chia seed, banana smoothie is happening for me tonight! Thank you for all of the ideas.

  • Reply Jenna June 21, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    OMG the chia milkshake is saving my life this morning before a huge presentation…

    • Reply Heidi June 24, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Oh yay! Thanks for letting me know, Jenna, that’s awesome. Ahhh sour fruits, how good were they?! I remember that. All the best for your pregnancy and beyond x

  • Reply Sonia R June 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I am experiencing an unusual shift to pasta and bread as well since mid-7 weeks. We rarely keep bread in the house– it always goes moldy before we can eat the whole loaf–but this past week I’ve been dreaming of grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&Js, and plain old buttery toasted bread! I started drooling a little at your photo of that delicious looking sandwich. Three dinners in a row last week were pasta, which is very out of the ordinary for me. I’m definitely not anti-carb, but I’ve always preferred rice and potatoes over pasta and bread. Glad to see I’m not alone.

    • Reply Heidi June 24, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Not alone at all! I dreamt of grilled cheese 🙂 I hope you feel like your normal self very soon! x

  • Reply Michele July 1, 2016 at 6:04 am

    I’m sitting here at 8 wks, 3 days pregnant, crying from your ending message after being scolded & judged on a pregnancy message board yesterday – my first attempt to reach out to other pregnant people. Thank you for writing this entire post, especially that last bit, which was just long enough.

    I’m a huge vegetable eater, usually 16 cups of leafy greens every 1-2 days & lots of other veggies thrown in, plus fruits, and I just sadly threw 3 bags of organic arugula in the trash, plus kohlrabi tops, and more are bound to follow. I was feeling alright from week 5-6 or so by eating proteins (cheese, meat, poultry, fish – I’m allergic to all the vegan proteins) every 3 hours, but then I suddenly developed an aversion. The past three days, I have only managed to keep down fruit (and I guess a little butter in some plantain crackers I made that literally have only those two ingredients). I dry heaved after I made the mistake of having a smoothie (homemade yoghurt, strawberries & stevia) last night, and avocado today, and my boyfriend stared at me, mouth agape, last night when I gave him my cheese, proclaiming I wasn’t going to eat it. I’m diabetic, Type II managed with diet, exercise & a pinch of Metformin, so eating essentially pure carbohydrates is worrisome, but so far, so normal blood glucose-wise. I’m just trying to get in the water soluble vitamins, at the very least, and adequate liquid – no plain water, seltzer only, please. Eating foods does me no good when they come back up. Wasteful and unpleasant, so I am doing my best to follow my intuition & listen to my body.

    I’m craving quinoa, which, in the past, has been a mild food intolerance (itchy nose, ear issues, tiny rash on face). I haven’t had any in years, though, so I am going to give it a whirl today. I also want brownies, and have a go-to recipe based on yellow plantains. I am thinking maybe I could tolerate organic grass fed hot dogs from the grill, then I think I would hurl, then I think they would be good, and on and on and on. I ate a bunch of Bubbies pickles even after I learned – the hard way – that they have nightshades, which sets of my microscopic colitis, but I needed them. Fingers crossed for pregnancy autoimmune disorder remission.

    I guess I am saying, in my long winded way, to take care of yourself pregnant ladies. Eat what you can, the best you can keep down. Don’t worry too much about other people’s opinions. Oh, and try frozen grapes, eaten slowly standing in front of the freezer – these are a winner for me now & 15 years ago during my first (and only other) pregnancy!

    • Reply Heidi July 1, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Michele,
      I am so sorry you were scolded after reaching out! People can be very nasty sometimes. They forget what it’s like when you’re in the thick of it or they cannot relate themselves so they are harsh and judgemental. I’m sorry you had to go through that! It sounds like you’ve got enough to deal with. Take it slow, try to keep something in your tummy always and stay hydrated with small sips. I’d encourage you to seek help from a Dietitian and hopefully the sickness doesn’t last long!! Congratulations on your pregnancy 🙂 x

  • Reply Melissa August 7, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful post Heidi! I am in my first trimester and usually I eat a very healthy diet of veges and lean meats but now, all I can stomach is plain congee, bread and cheese with crackers. Can’t even stomach drinking a lot of water. I felt really bad, as I felt like I wasnt providing the right nourishment for my baby. Your post makes me feel much better about my diet and that I’m not alone in my experience. When my appetite returns I will definitely try some of the recipes on your site 🙂

    • Reply Heidi December 3, 2016 at 11:42 am

      That’s great to hear Melissa! Guilt and stress aren’t great for the bubba so don’t you worry! I’m sure you’re making as healthy choices as possible for your bub. Sneaking veggies in where you can helps, as does keeping it plain! It get’s easier (for most of us!) x

  • Reply Happenings 21.10.16 – Apples Under My Bed October 21, 2016 at 8:00 am

    […] COOKING: bleh, food has been highly unappealing during this sickness. My nausea was reminiscent of first trimester days, it REALLy took me back and got me both excited to hopefully fall pregnant in the coming years and […]

  • Reply Loren December 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, im so glad i found this blog post! Im 8 weeks pregnant and have been feeling guilty as i haven’t been eating as healthily as i’d like. Im finding the thought of so many foods repulsive. While i prefer plain foods (including the not so healthy) i do try and have some healthy snacks like carrots and broccoli thrown in there. Thank you, i can feel a bit better about myself now 🙂

    • Reply Heidi December 3, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Congratulations, Loren! You’re so welcome. That’s great, keep getting those veg in where you can, but forgive yourself for not craving big salads and green juice! The thought of it truly repulsed me haha. It shouldn’t last for long X

  • Reply Wendy December 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I am 8 weeks in, tomorrow and the smell and taste of steamed vegetables really grosses me out. My husband looks at my face and laughs. I thinking of just making a cold salad to go with my dinner. I havn’t had problems with morning sickness, but I do feel quesy every now and then. Also, I have been craving burgers and fries, I know fast food is not good for me or the baby, so I am thinking of making some home cooked burgers next week. Sometimes when I have cravings that are not helathy, I feel a need to substitute it with someone satisfying but healthier option or it can leave me feeling very frustrated and sad.

    • Reply Heidi December 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Congratulations, Wendy! And I agree, I loved making healthier alternatives like homemade burgers and roasted veggies instead of chips! x

  • Reply Michelle February 3, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Heidi, apologies for the very delayed comment. I’ve been following your blog for a long time, but only lately am I in need of the info you’ve given above. You write beautifully. I’m just wondering your thoughts on pregnancy multivitamins / supplements? Folate etc. It’s such a minefield, I’m having trouble finding any helpful information. Any info you can provide will be gratefully accepted. Thank you 🙂

    • Reply Heidi February 6, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Hi Michelle! Yes it is a minefield. And it’s really an area where personalised advice is best. There are so many factors to consider and each person is different based on their health and lifestyle. I prefer real, whole food as a start, you can even find some supplements that come from whole foods. And it’s certainly a good idea to supplement to cover your bases, particularly regarding some specific nutrients. Bioceuticals is a great place to start, they have ones with the active form of folate. But it’s always best to discuss with your physician who knows your specific needs. Or have a consultation with me and we can dive into all the info x

  • Reply Lizzi February 18, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I’m only 6 weeks in and was eating so healthy before I got pregnant –thanks to the great shopping and cooking skills of hubs– but now all I want is pizza and burgers and fries and shakes and to be as far away from the kitchen as possible! We’re both discouraged to see such a radical change. It’s so early, so we haven’t told anyone, and we’re having a hard time getting answers to our questions before having our first dr.’s appointment. My cravings and nausea are so similar to yours, and it’s giving me so much relief 🙂 I’m normal!(?) Your ideas for healthy alternatives are so great. This post saved my week, thank you!!

    • Reply Heidi March 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Lizzi! Yes you’re normal!! hehe. I’m so happy this post helped you. Congratulations on your pregnancy xx

  • Reply Christine Murphy February 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    This has been a life saver! I love your work. I am a personal trainer and experiencing my first pregnancy. I have heard a lot of stories from clients, family and friends about first trimester cravings but never fully understood. I am going into week 8, and I have been craving foods that I did not want before without the energy to stay at the gym after clients and train myself. I have been so hard on myself lately for toast every morning and craving pizza or pasta midday, but it makes me feel better and not as sick. I am glad to learn of some healthier alternatives to help get in my carb craving (within reason) from your post! Thanks again, will be following you!

    • Reply Heidi March 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      It’s so great to finally understand what our clients and friends have been going through, isn’t it?!! Try to not be hard on yourself, your body is doing such amazing work! Congratulations x

  • Reply Lily March 16, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for this post, Heidi. I’m in my first trimester and my usual diet has become completely anathema to me. I can’t stomach dairy, anything with much fat in, vegetables, any of my usual sources of protein. So far I’ve been living off biscuits and soup and feeling so disguested with myself.

    Thank you for your tips and the meal ideas in here. It was really helpful to read about how you made adjustments.

    • Reply Heidi March 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      So happy to hear that, Lily. And congratulations 🙂 x

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