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Whole30 Success While Pregnant


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There won't be any before and after shots for this success story. If there were you'd see I've actually grown my belly quite a bit in the last 30 days. Not a good thing most of the time but a great thing when you are pregnant.

My husband was the one who wanted to try a Whole30 after reading ISWF. I've done two Whole30s in the last 1.5 years but haven't been able to stick to a Whole Foods/Paleo diet. I was thrilled that he wanted to do this. Also, scared. Could I do it while pregnant? My last pregnancy was carb heavy and I rarely wanted to eat meat.

Scared but ready for the challenge.

Per ISWF I limited my calories from protein to 20% (more than that can be harmful to the baby). I know it's a no-no but to get the right balance I calorie/nutrition counted for most of the Whole30. By the last week I had a good idea by sight on how to balance out my protein intake with more fat and carbs.


  • Better sleep. Not great sleep, I still have the bladder of a pregnant woman and a 3 year old that gets up in the middle of the night on occasion. But it's easier to fall asleep, easier to get myself to bed early and I find myself naturally waking at 6:30 without an alarm clock.
  • Mid-afternoon energy. No more pick-me-up snacks, cat naps and lethargy between 2-4pm.
  • Scale weight: let's call this a win. I am the same weight that I started the Whole30 at. Typical pregnancy gain at this stage (weeks 19-23) is usually around 3-4 lbs.
  • Our 3 year old is eating better. The kid is ravenous for eggs and meat. He is gobbling up fish. This makes me so happy. He's not Whole30 or Paleo compliant yet but his diet has improved.
  • My husband is really interested in our food. And he's cooking more!
  • I feel confident that I will be able to stay gluten and dairy free when our new baby arrives in January. This was one of my bigger motivators. Our first was a colicky baby and I always wondered if maybe my diet affected my breast milk and he was reacting to it.

Coulda been better at:

  • Fruit. I ate a lot of it. 2-3 servings a day.
  • Nuts. Ate a lot of them too. *Hope to do another Whole30 once the baby arrives and I'll focus on these two areas.

Success Secrets:

  • Having a spouse on board. We have a great shot at making some permanent lifestyle changes now that we are both on it together. And I'm pretty sure that with my pregnancy excuse I would have tumbled off the Whole30 around day 5, right into a pint of Ben & Jerry's. He is my rock.
  • Meal planning. I planned out our meals every week and we had them listed on the fridge. There was no 5 o'clock what's for dinner panic.
  • Batch cooking. We cooked a lot on Sundays. A lot. Mayo, casseroles, curries, cut up veggies. This helped give me a break from cooking in the early part of the week. Most meals were made for 4-6 portions: dinners, lunches and then hopefully a few to stash in the freezer.
  • Whole9 Forum and the daily emails. The daily emails were a great motivator, chock full of helpful info and really kept my goals for the day in check. Well worth it. Many thanks to the ladies over at the pregnancy and breastfeeding thread for sharing their experiences and tips.


  • Reintroduction. We'll be staying mostly Whole30 (exceptions being bacon, sausages and a few cured meats) and trialing wheat, dairy and non-gluten grains every 4 days.
  • Find more quick meals and crock pot recipes. We want to have a game plan in place for when our next baby arrives. It needs to be easy.
  • Keep on keep'n on. Planning to stay mostly Whole30 compliant with a few Paleo treats (almond banana pancakes, Paloe brownies) on weekends. Headed to Spain in a bit and we'll do our best at an all-inclusive and then we'll cook at an apartment we have rented.

Good luck!

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Congratulations! I was wondering as I have been going through this whole30 how do-able it would be if pregnant, and how much hassle one might get from concerned relatives etc that you're dieting whilst pregnant, so good for you! I think it must really help to have some kind of focus like the whole30 to stop the daily ben and jerry's - there will alway be an excuse if you're pregnant!!

Even though I don't have a 3 year old or a child on the way, I've still been looking for ways to make the cooking process as quick and painless as possible, and have totally fallen in love with my slow cooker (crockpot in the US). So much so that I've actually packed it amongst an otherwise small collection of stuff I'm taking to Perth when we move there next month (from the uk)!

It turns out most recipes are easily adaptable - if you have the well fed cookbook, the cinnamon beef stew can be done in the slow cooker which reduces the faff and time spent cooking, and paleomg lists a few simple crockpot recipes http://paleomg.com/category/crockpot/, and basically just experiment! I guess the trick will be to buy one that's as big as humanly possible to be able to cook up in large batches! Mine should easily be big enough to cook for 4, but somehow there never seems to be much left over...

Good luck!

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So many recommendations on the Well Fed cookbook. Will have to add it to my arsenal.

Crock pot/slow cooker: I should know better! I am Canadian but we are living in the UK (kind of, Isle of Man). I do hear the term slow cooker a lot but have yet to switch over.

Easy cooking: I have found some deli meats that are sugar and nitrate free but man, they are £££. I think we'll make use of them when the new baby arrives, throw them in coconut wraps or have around for a snack. The other thing we will make more of is what NomNomPaleo calls garbage stir-fry. Grounded meat + any veggies + spices. We can whip one of those up in less than 15 mins.

Didn't tell too many people about our 'diet' or what it entailed so there weren't any questions about the safety of it while pregnant. The only family over this way is my sister who has been eating Paleo for over a year. She's impressed that I stuck to it. If it comes up I'll just explain that we're eating whole unprocessed foods.

People are so uninformed about pregnancy and birth that I rarely give a second thought to all the supposedly helpful advice I get. We had our first at home and didn't tell anyone that we were planning a home birth. Why open yourself up to ignorant comments from people who haven't bothered to do any research and just want to scare you with their worst case scenarios, what ifs and anecdotal 'evidence'? Not me.

Good luck with the move!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Glad to hear your success story. I wish there were more successful w30 pregnancies!! I am hoping to start whole 30 after my first trimester (just don't think I can handle it with the current nausea!) Hoping to grow a healthy baby, healthy mama and keep my weight under control. My husband is very supportive and excited I will be doing a whole 30 with him! Thanks for the suggestions!

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