Right off the rip, I need to make 2 things clear— yes, I’m pregnant (18 weeks to be exact)— and no, I’m not currently keto. 😂
I am however making my way back to the world of all things keto (albeit slowly, after a 12-week hiatus) and feeling inclined to share my journey with you. So let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
It began about 12 weeks ago when my husband and I began taking inventory. Now I don’t keep a close eye on my menstrual cycle— never really have— I just know it’s going to pay us a visit sometime each month and shake up our sex life.
On this particular month we got the feeling that our uninvited guest was running late to the party. Thinking nothing of it, my husband mentioned that we had an old pregnancy test under the sink and it might be wise to, “rule that out.” Good thinking!
My husband ran off to work and I went about my day without giving the test further thought. I mean, I didn’t feel pregnant— and all my girlfriends had told me, “you’ll just know.”
Well I sure as hell didn’t.
Around 10am I returned home from the grocery store with a seriously full bladder. I threw the groceries on the counter and bolted into the bathroom. Struggling to get my pants down, I remembered my husband’s advice and fumbled around for the pregnancy test. I busted open the device and threw it in my line of urine. And there it was— 2 seconds of empty bladder relief stomped out by 2 VIVID pink lines.
“No way,” I thought. “No f*cking way!”
I must have sat there dumfounded, pants around my ankles for 30 LONG minutes.
Still in shock, I began listing off the many reasons why it couldn’t possibly be true.
Reasons Why I Can’t Possibly Be Pregnant
- Those tests are never accurate. Actually home pregnancy tests are pretty solid. What’s more, you’re far more likely to get a false negative than you are a false positive.
- But Alphonso’s pull-out game is strong! Apparently not that strong (sorry sweetheart). 😕
- We aren’t ready. Guess what sister? Nobody’s ever ready.
- But we’ve still got SO much adventuring to do! Okay, now we’ve got a new adventure buddy.
- Yea, but I’m still working part-time at the butcher shop— not ideal. Good motivation to pull it together and quit my day job.
- But we can’t afford a baby. Yes, we can— we just need to reprioritize our finances.
So it’s true— we’re pregnant. Fortunately, we’ve moved out of the initial shock/fear phase and into the acceptance/joy phase. There are so many interesting things to discuss regarding the transition from fear to joy, but diet is what we’re really here for— so let’s get into it!
My Pre-Pregnancy Plans for Keto
The funny thing is, long before getting knocked up I was absolutely sure my pregnancy diet would be super clean. I mean, talk about motivation— we’re building a baby here!
Boy was I wrong!
I expected the cravings— I had heard all about ’em— “I can handle some cravings,” I thought. What I hadn’t considered were the food aversions. Prior to pregnancy, I had been experimenting with the Carnivore Diet. Which means, for the first 6 weeks of my pregnancy (pre-prego test) I was feeding baby steaks on steaks on steaks. Then suddenly (around week 8) I became repulsed by the mere thought of meat— eggs, bacon, even butter looked absolutely disgusting. For the first time in my life, meat (and animal products in general) were entirely off the table.
The first trimester was challenging. Not only had I become an overnight Vegan (which is pretty horrifying for an O-blood type), I was also restricted to about 2 acceptable menu items— fruit and bread. So clearly keto was off the table. This was really upsetting because, despite the fact that my midwife strongly encouraged I eat a carb-rich diet, I was gun-ho for keeping it keto— pregnant or not.
My Thoughts on Pregnancy + Carbs
From an anthropological perspective, I find this quite interesting. You see, up until baby arrived I was thriving on Carnivore. What’s more, I had been happily keto for years prior to that. Why would my body suddenly shut down the opportunity to receive nutrient-rich animal products when I began creating life? This just didn’t make sense to me.
I was told that baby needs a shit ton of carbohydrates for proper function (the ol’ carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel story). But I’m well aware that the body can produce all the carbohydrates it needs through gluconeogenesis. However, if I’m not eating adequate fat and protein (which I wasn’t) gluconeogenesis isn’t gonna happen.
In talking to other women I learned that meat aversions are quite common during pregnancy (especially within the first trimester). So I thought, perhaps this is a protective measure— like the body is protecting itself from possible parasites. The only problem with that theory is that parasites can just as easily be spread through the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables.
Yet another thing I thought of was the placenta. The placenta is a crazy organ that develops in the uterus during the first trimester of pregnancy. The placenta is a composite structure that feeds on glucose. So it makes sense that the body is crying out for glucose especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
Now I’m not trying to get too far down the rabbit hole of science and speculation here. The point I’m trying to make is that for whatever reason my body is currently asking for more glucose than I’m accustomed to giving it. So instead of resisting this, I’m leaning into it. That doesn’t mean my pregnancy is a free-for-all and I’m welcome to eat ALL the things ALL the time. It just means I’m offering myself a bit of grace when it comes to diet and building a baby.
That said, as I mentioned, I’m slowly making my way back into ketosis (largely because my digestive system rejects excessive carb and fiber intake and I’m OVER the acid reflux and constipation). So far it’s been a little rocky and I’ve not yet been able to make a full commitment— but at least I’m moving in the right direction. More on that to come!
Talk to Me!
I’d LOVE to hear your stories about pregnancy and diet. Feel free to share in the comments below— but let’s keep it friendly— no carb-shaming here. 😉
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