A Primal Pregnancy

I’ve been gluten free for going on a year now. Having had issues with my stomach for as far back as I could remember (and not getting much information from doctors other than IBS and prescription drugs) I finally went to a more Homeopathic doctor who tested me for allergies. I went on a 3 month elimination diet and discovered that I could tolerate most things moderately well – with the exception of gluten.

But it isn’t just gluten. While I may not be allergic to other grains, I feel so much better when I don’t eat them. I found out about Paleo and the Primal Blueprint mainly because I love to bake, but don’t like cooking with flour, sugar…you know, the normal baking ingredients. Once I tried out some of the delicious recipes these diets offered, I began looking deeper into the lifestyle itself – because that’s what it is, a lifestyle. Paleo/Primal isn’t a way to lose weight (although many people will certainly do so), it’s a way of living.

Over at my other blog, Taste of Wonderland, I’ve been discussing the differences in the eating styles I’ve tried over the years – primarily The Maker’s Diet, Paleo, and Primal. The latter two focus primarily on eating the way our paleolithic ancestors ate – Veggies, Meat, Fruit. Sounds pretty healthy, right?

I thought so, and have decided to do this 100% throughout my pregnancy. The baby will get every single vitamin it needs – and probably a whole lot more – simply because I’ll be focusing on Whole Foods. I most likely also won’t blow up like a balloon, because I won’t be eating tons of Carbs.

I chose Primal over Paleo primarily for dairy. Primal allows for raw, unpasteurized milk and cheese, which I can obtain through a local farmer on a weekly basis. I don’t eat dairy every day, but it’s nice to be able to incorporate it into recipes, or drink a glass of cream-quality raw milk a few days a week! The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends raw milk daily for a pregnant woman. I am following their dietary guidelines with the exception of grains – I’m certainly not going to follow the USDA food recommendations!

WAPF Daily Guidelines include:

  • Raw Milk
  • Butter from pasture-fed cows
  • Eggs from pasture-raised chickens
  • Additional egg yolks for the Choline they provide
  • Beef or Lamb consumed with the Fat
  • Oily Fish or Lard for Vitamin D
  • Coconut Oil
  • Lacto-Fermented Condiments and Veggies
  • Bone Broth used in Soups, Stews and Sauces
  • Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
  • Liver once or twice per week for Vitamin A
  • Fresh Seafood weekly, particularly Salmon, Shellfish, and Fish Eggs

Over at The Primal Parent, Peggy has taught me a lot about what it means to be Primal during pregnancy. While she is more regimented and minimalistic than I could ever be, one particular blog has been a huge eye-opener for me – Paleo from Pregnancy. Not only was she perhaps the most adorable pregnancy person that ever was, but she really knows her stuff. She backs up her claims with research and sound data that would make the toughest Primal critic take a second glance.

With all that said, I’ve listed the core foods that I’ll be enjoying these next 7 months (and of course after the baby arrives). This comes directly from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint, the go-to guide for all things Primal.

Beverages – Water, Unsweetened Teas (can use a small amount of Stevia).

Coconut Products – Butter, Flakes, Flour, Milk, and Oil offer healthful medium-chain fats; great sub for dairy, trans fats, and wheat flour.

Coffee – Enjoy in moderation (cream and minimal sweetener ok)

Dairy – Raw, fermented, high-fat and organic products are preferred (Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Kefir, Whole Milk, Yogurt) in moderation.

Eggs – Local, pasture-raised or certified organic for high omega-3 content.

Fats and Oils – Coconut, Dark-Roasted Sesame, First press or Extra-Virgin Olive, Palm, and High Omega-3 oils. Animal fats (Chicken fat, Lard, Tallow), Butter and Coconut Oil are best for cooking.

Fish – Wild-caught. Small, oily, cold water fish best (Anchovies, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines).

Fruit – Locally-grown or wild, organic, in-season preferred. Berries are premier choice. For soft-skinned fruits, go strictly organic. Moderate intake with higher glycemic/lower antioxidant values, and dried fruit.

Herbs and Spices – Organic preferred. No preservatives.

Indulgences – Dark Chocolate (75%+ cocoa content), and Red Wine are best choices. Be sensible and moderate.

Macadamia Nuts – Great Omega6/Omega3 ratio

Meat and Fowl – Local, pasture-raised, or USDA-certified Organic critical. If you must eat conventional meat, choose the leanest cuts and trim excess fat to minimize toxin exposure.

Other nuts, Seeds and their derivative Butters – Cold-processed, organic if available.

Snacks – Berries, Canned Tuna or Sardines, Celery with Cream Cheese or Nut Butter, Cottage Cheese with Nut or Fruit topping, Hard-Boiled Eggs, Jerky, Nuts, Olives, Seeds, Trail Mix and other high-fat and/or high-protein, low-carb primal foods.

Supplemental Carbs – Those without excess body fat, not wishing to lose additional weight, can enjoy Sweet Potatoes and Yams in moderation. Occasionally Quinoa and Wild Rice.

Vegetables – Locally grown, organic, in-season preferred. Go strictly organic for large surface area (leafy greens) and soft, edible skins. Wash all thoroughly.

I haven’t had any cravings for sugar since going on this diet, and have been full and satisfied much of the day. Shopping trips to the grocery store have certainly been different, but contrary to popular argument, eating this way (Organic meats, veggies, and fruit) has not been more expensive! Simply by steering clear of the middle aisles that contain boxed and bagged foods, I have significantly cut down on other expenses, allowing me to purchase better quality ingredients for the food I am now eating.

I’ll be posting my favorite Pregnancy recipes as the weeks go by!

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