My latest adventure is of a very different sort and I won’t be getting any air miles for this one. I’m crazy excited to share the happy news that John and I are expecting our first baby!! I realise that “first” makes it sound like we plan to have a whole bundle of little ones so let’s just see how this one goes before we get too carried away. Baby Mertens is due to arrive on Thanksgiving Day and we can’t wait to meet our wee gluten free turkey!
Since I’m currently 23 weeks pregnant and feeling our little guy or gal jumping around on a daily basis, the most amazing feeling ever!, I thought it was about time to share our happy news and to write about my first trimester without gluten. Don’t worry folks! I promise my site won’t become filled with too many ooie-gooie baby posts. Travel is still the site’s main focus but I thought it would be interesting to share my gluten free pregnancy journey…
At 23 weeks I’m feeling great and I have my energy back but my first trimester was quite different. It was just 6 weeks in when the “morning” sickness struck. Actually, let’s just call it pregnancy sickness because as many women know it can last all day, every day! And for me, it did. Yuck! I’ll skip the lovely details but basically I was horribly sick every day for 6 or 7 weeks.
Not only was it almost impossible to keep anything down, I also had very strong aversions to almost every kind of food imaginable, including but definitely not limited to most of the lovely fruits and vegetables I adored just a couple of weeks earlier. Asparagus, yuck! Almonds, gross! Green beans, get them away from me! I would never have imagined that I could suddenly be disgusted by so many of my favourite foods. Pregnancy is an amazing, crazy time!
Staying away from anything gluten containing (Imagine pregnancy sickness combined with being glutened!?!), anything considered unsafe in pregnancy and everything I was suddenly disgusted by, I wasn’t left with much. There were just a few, simple gluten free foods which saved me from starving in my first trimester. I lost a few pounds but it could have been worse if not for these few things that I could bear to eat. Interestingly most of the things I could stomach were my favourite foods when I was a kid. Perhaps because they taste like the comfort of home?…
Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal. Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day because I adore huge bowls of cereal. Even my cereal obsession was severely hit during the first trimester but I was still able to eat some cereal with just one or two ingredients; the blander the better. A small serving of plain rice cereal mixed with corn flakes or flax was my daily breakfast during this nauseous few weeks. For the extra calories and protein, I tried to add seeds, finely sliced nuts or dried fruit whenever I could.
Potatoes. Either mashed or boiled, I ate these naturally gluten free bad boys topped with fried egg, cheese, baked beans or a combination of the three. On some days I was able to change this up a bit and enjoy some flavoursome sweet potatoes with a simple topping.
Chilli. Even the smell of cooking left me incredibly nauseous but luckily I married a wonderful man who is also a wonderful cook and he cooked me everything or anything I thought I could eat. Chill was one of them but if any veggies were getting in there they had to be sliced very finely. This food fussiness is completely out of character for me. I promise!
Heinz Baked Beans. I loved these growing up in the UK but unfortunately they aren’t quite as popular here in the US. Luckily there are a couple of British grocery stores here where I could stock up on a few tins of beans. At $2.50 a tin my purse wasn’t too happy but at least I was eating something!
Salt & Vinegar Crisps(Chips). Again, something I grew up on but not very popular in the US, I was on a mission to find salt and vinegar flavoured crisps. I was very thankful for Pop Chips.
Cheese on Gluten Free Toast. I’m normally a huge yoghurt fan but not at this time so cheese (and milk) was how I got my dairy. I don’t normally eat much bread but I was able to eat a few slices of grilled cheese on bread from our tasty, local Mariposa Bakery.
Fruit and Nut Bars (Larabars). I found it really hard to stomach most fruit and nuts during my first trimester but fruit and nuts bars, especially Larabars which contain very few ingredients, were easier to digest.
Ginger Beer. In my constant search for a cure, or at least some help with alleviating my sickness, ginger looked to be the thing to try. For some reason I couldn’t bring myself to drink ginger tea or to eat ginger candy but I could sip ginger beer or ginger ale from time to time. I’m not sure it ever helped but it kept me hydrated. The best thing by far that I found to help with pregnancy sickness was sea bands. Once I put them on, I didn’t take them off for a whole six weeks!
Prenatal Multi Vitamins. Thanks goodness for these as I would have really struggled to get all the vitamins and minerals our growing baby needs without this. The challenging part was finding a brand which had all the right things and was also 100% gluten-free. Luckily, I was already taking Nature Made Multivitamins for a year or so prior to getting pregnant so I changed to their Prenatal Multi with DHA.
Tell me about your gluten free pregnancy! Did you have cravings or aversions during the first trimester? What were your go to gluten free foods?