How the first trimester ruined my diet

It’s no secret that I am a massive Whole30 fan. Just before Christmas I launched into a cleansing and much needed Whole30, and then in April I decided it was time for a second one. While in the UK I always did a Whole30 in January to work off the post-Christmas indulgence, and again in September to get myself back on track after summer – and so I am realigning my Whole30’s with Southern Hemisphere timelines. During my April Whole30, I enjoyed all the whole fresh food, but I just didn’t quite find my tiger blood. I was still pretty tired, I wasn’t firing on all cylinders and my energy wasn’t that stable. I started wondering what was going on, and feeling like a bit of a Whole30 fraud. I decided to continue on for another week or so, waiting for all the goodness that I know and love to kick in.

And then I did that test thing.

And that’s when I realised, pretty loud and clear, the reason why my Whole30 wasn’t quite doing it for me this time. Duh.

On the plus side, this bubba really had the best start ever nutrition wise. I was putting SO much goodness into my body when we conceived, I wasn’t drinking at all, and I had cut back on coffee to one cup a day. So while the Whole30 never gave me the energy boost I was looking for, it sure did give our wee one the best start in its early life. I was ready to take on my pregnancy and be the best healthiest mama I could be.

And then the first trimester hit me in full force, and completely ruined my diet.

Hash browns, garlic bread, cereal, yoghurt, cheese, bread, cheese scones, salt and vinegar chips, fish and chips, chips, chips and more chips…. That’s pretty much what I have fuelled myself on for the last few months. Anything salty, carby, greasy, and dairy laden was what I craved.

And guess what I couldn’t stomach at all? Vegetables and meat. The thought of meat made me want to vomit, whereas vegetables just seemed slimy and unappetising to me. I started counting tomato sauce on my chips, or tomato soup (with bread) as my vegetable intake for the day. Geez.

I’m a massive believer in mind over matter and willpower. I thought that my Whole30 muscle was well and truly toned and that each week I would be strong enough to overcome my cravings and get back on the health bandwagon. But it turns out pregnancy was the toughest opponent I have ever faced, and coupled with the exhaustion – I just gave in to it.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, with no guilt or remorse. Some days I ate tonnes, other days I skipped meals because I couldn’t stomach the thought of eating anything in front of me. My absolute favourite food is salmon, cooked with crispy skin on the barbeque – but even that couldn’t tempt me into a regular meal. I became apathetic about food, nothing seemed appealing and I couldn’t get myself excited about anything. I tried walking around the supermarket to tempt myself – but that ended in waves of nausea as I was confronted by the most repulsive sights and smells coming at me from every single direction.

My belly has expanded rapidly, and I am sure so have other areas of my body (I’m too scared to look too closely). I know I have put on at least 5kg so far – and I am nervous about what my weight will be come January! While I am not precious about putting on weight (I know it’s a necessary part of the process), obviously I would prefer it to be on the lower end of the scale rather than the higher end. I don’t want to make it any harder on myself to work it back off again one day!

And now I am nearly at the half way point, and while I am forcing myself back in to vegetables and meat, I am also feeling the effects of too many carbs and too much sugar. With the threat of gestational diabetes looming over my head, I am conscious I want to do everything in my power to give my body a healthier second half to this pregnancy.

In the meantime, I am also giving myself grace and showing my changing body some love.


  1. Britt August 26, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    I defintely lived in noodles during pregnancy. Growing a human messes with your appetite!

    • Leah August 31, 2016 / 10:26 am

      Oooh noodles huh? I haven’t gone down that track (yet). I honestly thought my diet was pretty rock solid, but pregnancy really did change it to body over mind!

  2. Anna @AnnaTheApple August 27, 2016 / 2:10 am

    I obviously have noooo idea about pregnancy at all but I’ve heard people say that your body is pretty smart and cravings are something that the baby and your body needs so perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing as it might be exactly what’s required? I think we all like to believe that when we’re pregnant we can float happily along and eat perfect food with a teeny tiny bump and no weight elsewhere, but reality is not like that at all. Instagram, blogs and celebrities have fully skewed our perception! You’re doing great x
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted..How to survive a long runMy Profile

    • Leah August 31, 2016 / 10:25 am

      Yeah I agree with that – there is definitely a reason I’ve been eating four mandarins a day over winter (hello extra vitamin C!). Pregnancy is so unglam, all those blogs and instagram and celebrities are such a sham haha!

  3. Becky August 27, 2016 / 2:27 am

    I was craving pizza as that was the only thing i could stomach with the morning (& evening) sickness. Weirdest pregnancy side effect has been I can’t tolerate spicy foods anymore.

    • Leah August 31, 2016 / 10:24 am

      mmmm pizza! Funny how your body changes so much – even your taste buds!

  4. Leo August 29, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Embrace and enjoy eating what you want, your body needs the fuel and you’ll lose most if not all of the weight breastfeeding (if you choose to do so).
    I only ate stodge (all the carbs) and meat for the first 20 weeks or so, the thought of fresh Veges turned my stomach and I still can’t face some, but it does improve. I gained approx 15 kilos but it really does disappear again despite eating like a horse.
    Enjoy the cravings, food never tastes so amazing as when you’re pregnant xx

    • Leah August 31, 2016 / 10:23 am

      Thanks Leo – the stodge certainly isn’t making me feel great energy wise (i’m not so worried about my weight gain) so if I can force a few carbs out, and a few veges back in, then I will be a happy chappy!

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