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So hoping someone can help me with diet questions! Pregnant and Primal, anyone?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I just found out that I am 3-4 weeks pregnant, something that is not completely expected and not completely welcome.


Not welcome, because I have just started on track to eat better and exercise more, and loose weight so that I could prepare my body for the option of maybe having another baby. In like, a year. Maybe.


My last pregnancy ended with pregnancy induced hypertension, bed rest, daily arguments to avoid preterm induction, a crappy induction, and an "emergency" c-section. I don't want to do any of that again, and so, when I finally agreed to think about maybe having another one, I figured I'd better get serious about being healthy.


So, I'm OUTSTANDINGLY overweight (to the tune of 286 pounds) and I have just started (like three days ago, I'm not even kidding) eating Primal. Found out I'm pregnant this evening. My questions:


Can I sustain a healthy pregnancy eating primal?


Should I be worried that I may or may not loose weight?


Should I be trying to loose weight?


How am I supposed to exercise?


There doesn't seem to be that much info about it over at the daily apple. Or, if there is, I'm not finding it.


I am so at a loss as to which way to turn, which sounds so ridiculous as I type it...


Any direction would be great. Honestly.



post #2 of 8

I am not able to answer all of your questions, but I can tell you my story.  I am currently 24  weeks pregnant and on the paleo diet. I have been eating paleo for 1 year 1/2 now after we found out both my son and husband (and probably I although I was never tested) have leaky guts.  When I got pregnant, my doctor advised me to stay on a grain free/dairy free paleo diet.  My midwife agreed with my family doctor and said her patients on this diet have healthier pregnancies and babies that are not fussy or colicky.  So I would say it's definitely a good idea to stay on a primal diet during your pregnancy.  It's not really a "diet" but a lifestyle that you can continue before, during, after your pregnancy and even lead your children to follow to be healthier.  I hope this helps :)

post #3 of 8

Sorry, I forgot to add one more thing :) I would not focus on losing weight, but eating a very healthy diet with adequate amount of protein ( I was told 60 to 80 grams), lots of fruits and vegetables.  Your baby will grow based on the good nutrition that you are eating, your body will know what to do.

post #4 of 8

Hi there, how have you been doing since you posted this?  My advice would be no, dont TRY to lose weight, but do eat healthy, avoid chemicals, and get exercise.  Maybe start with some prenatal yoga (I like Shiva Reas DVD), and a short walk and build up from there.  I personally follow a WAPF diet.  more info at westonaprice.org.  I think the diets are similar, and I really believe in mine :)  I'm not sure of all the differences.  And yes, lots of protein!!  And if your taking a prenatal, make sure its whole foods based.  I would take FCLO too.  And you could get good health related info on mercola.com as well, I subscribe to his newsletter, it is so helpful!

Does the place where you plan to give birth allow VBACs?  In my town the only hospital we have does not, so anyone wanting a VBAC here has a home birth :)

post #5 of 8

Primal/paleo is a great option during pregnancy as long as protein intake is not excessive and carbohydrate intake in the form of starch is sufficient. In other words, VLC paleo/primal isn't great, but maintaining starch intake around 100g is totally fine. Maybe even ideal.

Here's a post I'd *just* written on midwifery today's facebook page when there was a query from a mom with current PIH. Hope it's helpful!



My quote:
The risks of very high blood pressure are very real and it's important to do what is necessary to keep your blood pressure in a reasonable, healthy range - both for you and for the baby.
Hopefully, your blood pressure might be nudged into a healthy range with increased magnesium (supplemental will likely be necessary) and increased potassium (non-starchy *veggies* at every meal, at least two servings, are your best bet). 
Instead of grains (ie cereal, bread, pasta), eat potatoes. 
500(ish)g of baked/boiled/microwaved potato will yield about 1640mg potassium. 2 large potatoes should be about 600g.
You'll still need more: about 2,860 mg more potassium which will bring you up to 4,500 mg total.
That will easily be made up by veggies - at least two large servings at each of your three meals. 
Each meal might be about
• 165(ish)g potato
• enough veggies to supply about another 950 mg potassium (easier with cooked veggies b/c they take up less volume)
• butter, coconut oil, tallow, etc to taste
• plus animal protein
It's probably fairly close to ideal to eat weekly, about 21 egg yolks, 1 lb fatty fish and 2.5 lbs meat/organs from ruminant land animals. That works out to about 3 yolks per day, 2.5 oz fatty fish per day, 5.5(ish) oz beef/lamb/organs. It's fine to eat the egg white too - just filling when there is already so much food that needs to be eaten - and the fish protein and dark meat protein have so many other nutrients. The egg whites have virtually nothing else no other nutrients.
**1 lb fatty fish per week**
wild salmon or troll/poll caught tuna like Wild Planet or sardines or acceptable shellfish. Grocery store albacore must be limited to 6 oz per week because they are large, old and accumulate mercury. Light tuna is smaller, younger and therefore has less mercury (and plenty of selenium to block the mercury) but it's also low in beneficial fats. it's probably better to buy, if budget allows, a troll or pole caught tuna like Wild Planet (I get it from amazon subscribe and save). Some Costco's carry it as well. American Tuna (brand name) is fantastic, all pole caught - and can be purchased in 4 lb cans that can be divided in portions and frozen. The troll/pole caught options have lots of beneficial DHA and plenty of brain-beneficial, mercury blocking selenium. 
Wild Salmon is also great (never farmed). Wild Salmon could be fresh, frozen or canned. It will say wild, pacific, alaskan, copper river or king and NEVER atlantic, scottish, farmed, etc.
**21 egg yolks per week**
With or without the whites...I often go without the whites or I get to full. If it's in the budget, try to get pastured eggs. They're much higher in vitamin E, beta carotene and have a better fatty acid profile than caged or "free range" or "organic" eggs that are fed grains and nothing else.
**2.5 lbs beef, lamb, goat** per week
Pastured would be ideal, but even when fed grain, ruminants have very low levels omega 6 fatty acids. Additionally, the dark meat means more zinc, iron, carnitine, creatine and carnosine...and those are all things you need.
Additionally, be sure you're getting plenty of fat soluble vitamin A, D, K and E. 
A will come from 3-4 oz beef liver weekly and if you just can't do it, then you can take 3,500 IU vitamin A (not beta carotene). Your prenatal may already have this. If you can/will eat liver (and by all means, do it if you can...nothing is as beneficial for your baby as liver), then do not take additional vitamin A and do not take a prenatal with additional preformed vitamin A. 
D - probably a supplement is needed. Around 4,000 IU per day unless you live someplace sunny, are getting daily sun on most of your body, and have had levels tested showing 50(ish)ng/mL.
K - not a bad idea to supplement. It could be important for blood pressure control. One of the things that can raise blood pressure is excessive calcium in relation to magnesium. K2 will help keep calcium in bones where it belongs rather than floating around in excessive amounts in your blood stream causing problems.90 mcg Jarrow K2 MK7. I'd also take one drop of Thorne K2 MK4 3 times per day. These two forms of K2 will not interfere with clotting at all but rather help manage calcium in your body. 
E - not a bad idea to supplement tocotrientols and mixed tocopherols at a low dose. This is a great one to take: http://www.iherb.com/Healthy-Origins-Tocomin-SupraBio-Full-Spectrum-Palm-Tocotrienol-Complex-50-mg-60-Softgels/27484



It's important to avoid excessive protein intake. Sufficient is necessary and healthy. Excessive is not good.

About 50g protein (not 50g meat, but 50g protein from meat) will provide about 200 cals as protein, which would be about 10% of a 2000 calorie diet.


from Paul Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet - a paleo/pacific islander diet based on the the currently available biochemistry/biology evidence
"In long-term follow-up studies of the adult children of mothers who ate high protein diets while pregnant between 1948 and 1954, it was found that by age 40 offspring commonly had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol [6] and high blood pressure [7,8]. The effects of faulty maternal diets can be long-lasting.
At PerfectHealthDiet.com, we think 20% is still likely to be too much protein. We would advise pregnant mothers to restrict protein to about 10% of calories and to obtain at least 20% of calories as carbohydrates. As long as adequate carbs are obtained, there is little need for protein and 10% of calories is likely to be more than sufficient.
Note that this advice is very close to the ratios of 20% carb, 10% protein, and 70% fat that we recommend to adults and children generally. Pregnant women may benefit from slightly more starch and slightly less protein than others; but on the Perfect Health Diet, pregnancy should not require a significant change in eating habits."


Best wishes to you!

post #6 of 8


Should I be worried that I may or may not loose weight?


Should I be trying to loose weight?


How am I supposed to exercise?



Should I be worried that I may or may not loose weight? 

Should I be trying to loose weight?


Worry isn't helpful :D so skip that!

However, having a focus is. Focus on nutrient density. Focus on eating micronutritiously. Focus on getting a reasonable amount of protein, sufficient fat, sufficient starch and getting those things from the most nutrient dense sources available (ie fish and beef instead of chicken). 


Make sure you're getting enough iodine (seafood and possibly supplements). Iodine supplements should only be used when selenium is replete. This will require fish consumption and supplements.


Make sure your thyroid is functioning very very well.

Drink bonestock. Avoid sugar. Eat high potassium, nutrient dense foods with every meal.

You can do this!

post #7 of 8

And you can do what ever kind of exercise you tolerate well. Just keep doing something. Move more than no. Stand. Walk. Try to stay away from the computer as  much as possible as it leads to sitting (most often).

post #8 of 8
I didn't read the other responses because I was so excited to post! So please forgive me if I'm repetitive.

I became pregnant just week after starting hardcore primal/paleo in March 2011. It was a surprise and I was at a high weight and it was my 4th child and I'd just accepted a part-time job .... So, yes, unexpected. I cried for 2 weeks.

That said, I ate primal my whole pregnancy and it was the best pregnancy yet. I gained the least amount of weight (about 25 pounds when I gained 50 for my others). I had zero morning sickness. I had a normal weight baby (7 pounds vs 11 pounds).

So YES you can and should do primal/paleo while you're pregnant. Good luck!

(and of course now I have a beautiful 7 month old baby girl who I couldn't live without)
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