Doing the Whole30 While Pregnant.

Yesterday was my official last day of The Whole30 Challenge and I did it all while being pregnant this time. I have to admit I’m feeling pretty great.

Let me give you a little feedback for those who are new to my blog. I did my first Whole30 Challenge last July (You can read about it here), it really changed my relationship with food, and health. I’ve even done a few more since and had great success. I was down a total of 32 lbs when I found out I was pregnant. I knew two things as soon as I found out: I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did the first time (70lbs) and that I wanted to try and complete a Whole30 during this pregnancy.

I’ve been told plenty of times by women far more experienced than I, that every pregnancy is different. I’m here to tell you, they ain’t lying. During my first I had some slight nausea, exhaustion, and a few nosebleeds. This pregnancy the morning sickness game was on during the first trimester!!! I remember one morning sitting on the floor praying to God that I wouldn’t throw up again because there is nothing worse throwing up on an empty stomach. It seemed like anything could trigger my morning sickness. Smells especially. On top of morning sickness (lets call it what it actually is, all day sickness) I was having terrible headaches, nosebleeds and extreme exhaustion. I didn’t have the headaches with my first so it really concerned me but my OBGYN told me that it’s very common for women to have headaches while pregnant. I tried to start a Whole30 a few times during the first trimester and this baby was all like “That ain’t happening Mom.” So I listened to what baby said and ate basically anything that would stay down. By my 12 week check up I had gained 5 lbs. I thought to myself well that’s more than I’d like but considering I was basically surviving on processed carbs I’ll take it.

My all day sickness finally started to back off by week 13/14 but I was still eating like crap. Then we found out my husband was going to be working out of state for a few months and then he left for work. Now I’m the type of person that loves an excuse to eat. I eat when I’m bored, happy, sad, feeling lazy, or whatever and this just added fuel to fire. I was like “what’s the point in cooking? It’s just me and Deklin (My 3 year old)” So we started eating out more nights, I started buying crap food that I don’t normally buy, and even though I’d still buy fruits and veggies I wasn’t eating them. Little did I know I was about to have wake up call.

I knew that I gained weight before I even stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office for my 16/17 week check up. But when I saw that I had gained 10 lbs in a month (which is a total of 15 lbs in all and I wasn’t even half way!!) I was pissed with myself because I knew that I was headed down the same path I traveled a couple of years ago. I said to myself “Oh HELL NO! You need to get off your ass and start eating better. It’s time to start that Whole30 you’ve been talking about. You worked too hard to get to where you are to travel down that road again.” Thankfully the OBGYN Clinic I use,the Doctor’s don’t really care how much weight you gain as long as you and the baby are healthy.

I’ve been seeing my OBGYN for about 7 years now, so she and I have a really great relationship. She a very straight forward type of person and I like that. When I came to her after I found out I was pregnant this time, I told her 2 things: That I wanted to try for VBAC and that I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I had the first time. To which she agreed. So when she saw that I had gained 10 lbs in a month, she looked up from the chart and said “You’ve gained 10 lbs in a month, Brandy. You should watch your weight…not that I have room to say anything” (She’s currently expecting too) “But you’re the one that said you didn’t want to gain as much weight this time” I needed that kick in the butt. Right then I told her that I had plans to do The Whole 30 starting right after my son’s birthday. She told me “It’s going to be tough.” I knew it was going to tough but I needed to do it.

I kept my word and I started the Whole30 the day after Deklin’s Birthday on June 20th. That first week was awful and I wanted to throw in the towel every time I had to cook. The Carb Flu was not nice to me, ladies. I felt terrible, achey and it really did feel as though Thor had hit me in the head with his hammer. But I refused to give up. Luckily  after that week I started feeling a little bit better. My morning sickness had officially downgraded to constant nausea.

I had my 20 week check up and my doctor asked me how I was feeling. I told her I was actually feeling much better and that I had I started the Whole30. She was like “I noticed that you were down a few pounds”. I asked her if it was okay if I  could continue. Her response was “I don’t care. As long as you and the baby are healthy and you aren’t depriving yourself of calories or skipping meals. I’m fine with it.”

So here we are 31 days later and I made it. Doing the Whole30 pregnant was completely different from doing it not pregnant. I never got my burst of energy or tigers blood. I did however become more motivated to do things or more invested in nesting. For example our pantry has needed to be purged and organize for longer than I’d care to admit. I went in there one day to grab something and I just started organizing it right then.  I organized the cabinets, my sons room, the closets, etc. This is all stuff that I would normally look at and think “I should really do that. Ehh, I’ll do it later.” Now don’t get me wrong my home is still very much lived in but runs smoother with a little organization. I also have had  more patience with my son (3 is way harder than 2). I’ve been more willing to take him places or do things like go to pool at 8 in the morning.  Cooking has become less tedious of a task. I even branched out a little bit from my usual Whole30 motto (Keep it simple, stupid). I made homemade spaghetti sauce because I couldn’t find any without added sugar and it was absolutely delicious!! I stopped having headaches almost all together. Now whenever I have them I know that I need to eat a carb like a banana or a potato. My nausea has slacked off tremendously and I haven’t had a nosebleed since I started. I’ve only fallen asleep on the couch once. (It was really bad before, my husband I could be sitting in the living room and in the middle of conversation  I would pass out. Just like a little old man) My favorite non-scale victory though would have to be how much my pregnancy/Mom brain has improved. I now actually remember to bring my list with me to the grocery store. Or when I walk into a room remember why I walked in there. In addition to all of these wonderful things, I’m also down 13 lbs. Not that you can really tell because well I’m growing a baby but it’s good to know. I didn’t even bother taking my measurements this time so I have no clue if I lost any inches.

Was it easy? ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOT!! I wanted to quit EVERY.SINGLE. DAY.  I can’t tell you how many times I texted my husband complaining “I can’t do this anymore!! It would be so much easier to pour myself a bowl cereal or order delivery. This is ridiculous and I don’t feel like cooking!!” Luckily he encouraged me to stick with it because it’s what I wanted. I’m glad I stuck with it though! I know that over the last 30 days my sweet little baby has gotten the best nutrition possible and that makes me feel really good. I’ve even made the crazy decision to continue the Whole30 for at least 15 more days or at max 36 more days. Making it my longest round of the Whole30 EVER.

  My recommendations for other women who would like to do the Whole30 during pregnancy?

  • Talk to your doctor
  • Know that it’s going to be tough
  • Build a support system ( The Twinbody App is fantastic)
  • Know that when you tell loved ones what you’re doing, you’re going get some backlash. But just remind them that the Whole30 isn’t a diet, it’s about health. You’re not restricting your calories, or even counting them, and you’re not skipping meals. You’re just eating better.
  • Listen to your body. If you try to do the Whole 30 and your baby is all like “Umm NO!” LISTEN to baby!!! Because baby is the most important!!!
  • Make exceptions to the regular Whole30 rules, if you have to. I did. My prenatal vitamin has traces of sugar and I still took every day because that’s kind of important. I snacked in between meals. If I got hungry late at night I had an apple.
  • If you need more advice or support feel free to reach out to me. Send me email at (I’m not an expert by any means but I will be more than happy to help as much as I can.)

What the Whole30 did for me.

IMG_6025To fully explain what the Whole 30 did for me, I’ve got to talk about my journey.  Like a lot of people, I’ve always struggled with my weight. In 2010, I spent a semester in Chicago. While there I decided to become a Pescatarian (a person who maintains a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish, eggs, and dairy products.)  I worked out 7 days a week, and counted my calories religiously. I lost 45 lbs by doing this. The only down side is that I became obsessed. I would count calories in gum, and beat myself up for going a couple of calories over my 1,500 limit for the day. I worked out constantly, even when I was ill. I never stopped, and it wasn’t healthy.

When I returned home me, and my now husband had just started dating. Life happened, and I slowly started gaining my weight back. After being together for 3 years, we found out that we were expecting. I walked 3 miles every day until the weight from carrying my son caused me to pull a muscle in my stomach, and the pain would no longer allow it. I remember sitting in my OBGYN’s office, crying, and telling her that I was worried about gaining weight. She looked at me, and said “Brandy, you’re having a baby, you’re going to gain weight. It’s inevitable. Just be mindful of what you eat.”  I took that as an “okay I can give into every craving that I have.” I ended up gaining 70 lbs during my pregnancy.

After my son was born I instantly dropped 24 lbs. Then I had the Mirena (an IUD) put in, which was the worst decision I have ever made. I could write an entire blog about all the side effects I suffered from, and why no woman should ever get it.  One of those side effects was not being able to lose weight. I would work out, and go days without eating, and still lose nothing. There were times that I would restrict myself to a miserable amount of calories, and still the scale wouldn’t move. I know that these aren’t healthy measures of losing weight, but I was desperate. After suffering the side effects of the Mirena for 8 months I had it removed, and instantly dropped 5 lbs.

I tried going back to being that Pescatarian that counted calories, and working out like before but I was exhausted. The little bit of energy that I did have was dedicated to caring for my son. I tried other things too, like just counting my calories (the correct way), a beach body program, plexus slim, diet pills, and spark. (To name a few.) I’m not saying these things won’t work for you, they just didn’t work for me. I know several people who have been successful with these programs and products, I however, did not have the same results.

It wasn’t until I saw pictures from my sons second birthday party that I realized how big I had gotten. That’s when I had an honest conversation with myself. I wasn’t happy with how I looked or how I felt. Then I thought about the possibility of my son having to grow up without me because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I thought about my husband having to be a single dad. It shattered my heart. I knew I’d have to do something about it, something unlike anything I had ever done before. So, I started doing some research. I kept coming across these words “Clean Eating,” “80/20,” and “Paleo.” But what the hell does that even mean. I think some health gurus forget that not all of us are well versed in health, and fitness terminology. So I did a little more digging and found a reference to The Whole 30 Challenge Book. I started looking a little deeper, and liked what I was finding. Then I went to Amazon to read the negative reviews because that’s how I decide if something is worth buying or not. The negative reviews were mostly about petty things like “It took too long to ship” “Too long to be a diet book”  and  “Too big of a commitment”. So I bought it. It is a pretty lengthy book, however that’s because it’s teaching you about how to certain foods can affect your body, how to cook, and that overall health and well-being out weighs the number on the scale. Also it is a big commitment, but isn’t anything worth doing a big commitment?

I did my first challenge in July, and the first 10 days were so difficult that I almost quit on several occasions. However, once I made it past the “carb flu”, I felt wonderful and I had a ton of energy. Then came the ultimate obstacle; taking my son to a birthday party. There was homemade ice cream. Ice cream is my absolute favorite when it comes to desserts, and it was homemade which made it that much harder to resist. I stood my ground and was able to say no to the ice cream; I never would have been able to do that before the Whole 30. I was so proud of myself. As the challenge went on, I noticed that my skin was clearing up, that I looked less bloated, my sugar cravings were almost entirely gone, and I had a new-found confidence. I finished the challenge in August. Day 31 rolled around, and I stepped on the scale to find that I was down 17 lbs! But in all honestly, the weight loss was just an added bonus. I did all of this without having to count calories, measure my food, or starve myself.

This program taught me that there is no such thing as bad food. There is only food that makes you more healthy, and food that makes you less healthy. For the first time in my life I’m not crippled with regret and guilt because I have a brownie, or a cookie. I have a healthy relationship with food, and that’s a great feeling.

I’m currently on my second round of The Whole 30 Challenge, day 15 to be exact. I wanted to do one before the holidays, and I have plans to do another in January. So, if you’re looking for something that really works, teaches you how to make better choices, kills your cravings, and gives you a new outlook on life. I recommend giving The Whole 30 Challenge a chance.