Paleo Pregnancy Continues

I thought I might write more during this pregnancy experience, but most of my spare time (outside of work, the gym, housework, and cooking), involves napping or watching bad television with my feet up.

But things are going very well!  My fear about gaining too much weight has, so far, been unfounded. I have gained weight, but I am within the range recommended for 28 weeks.

I did have an incident yesterday, which I thought I’d share, in case anyone else has a similar experience.  A week ago I was warned about the upcoming Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) — which every pregnant lady has to take, apparently?  The test screens for gestational diabetes.  It involves drinking a disgusting bottle of what has been described as “flat Sprite” (basically, pure sugar water), and then having blood drawn an hour later.  If I failed the test (and then a subsequent fasting blood glucose test), I could be considered “high risk” which would have all kinds of implications for the remainder of the pregnancy…

The midwife told me that in preparation for the GTT, this week I should stick with a very-very low carbohydrate diet.  No grains, no starchy veggies, no fruit juice, no sugar, and very limited fruits…

Sounds perfect for me, right??? Well, no.  During the pregnancy I’ve allowed some occasional non-gluten carbohydrates (quinoa and even rice!), plus sweet potatoes, yuca/tapioca, corn, lots of fruit, and….. um, ICE CREAM.  Yeah.  Even though I have been eating lots of good protein and veggies (especially veggies with folate), my diet had become much more high-carbohydrate lately.  It’s far from the Standard American Diet, but still more than my usual paleo diet.

Now, dropping out the higher carbohydrate stuff is not a foreign concept to me. But I had never done it while pregnant.  The first few days were fine.  Then yesterday I felt drained all day long.  Really flat. I couldn’t convince myself to go to the gym. By the time I got home from work  I was beyond flat. Drained, weak, almost shaky. I was in the hungry spot where I couldn’t sensibly decide what to eat, or cook, so I crawled into bed.  My husband eventually convinced me to head to Whole Foods for prepared food (rotisserie chickens were on sale for $5!).

Once we were in the hot food section, I realized what was wrong, when I saw WFM’s noodle-free chicken soup and had an intense craving. I really needed salty broth and fat!  Ah ha!   I realized that in implementing my pre-GTT healthy diet, I had unintentionally dropped out my sodium, and probably potassium too.  I was eating mostly salads with shredded crock-pot chicken breasts cooked without salt.  And I’ve been drinking tons of water.  With my already super-low blood pressure, the result was really bad!

I slurped down the salty broth with the chicken fat on the way home from the grocery store, and started to feel better INSTANTLY.

That’s a long-ish story to convey how important it is to get enough sodium/calories/fat when you suddenly switch to a super low-carbohydrate diet.

I am feeling much SO better today, and I think I’ll go back to the store for ribeye steaks. A salty grilled ribeye steak sounds amazing right now.  As for whether I’ll stay with this lower-carbohydrate scheme for the rest of the 3 months ahead… I am going to see how all this works out with the GTT in two days, and then go from there!

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