My First Trimester, Gluten Free

Happy beans on cheesy toast!

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?…

Baby Mertens, Coming Soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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).ร‚ย 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?


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  • Wow! Congrats Laura! So happy for you! Looking forward to hearing about your journey.

  • Congratulations to you and your husband!

  • Congratulations! Deep river potato chips does a really good salt and vinegar chip/crisp. last time I was visiting the US I had a case of the little bags shipped to my hotel from amazon. They aren’t thin like walkers or lays They are super crisp, and taste quite strongly of both salt and vinegar. Hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly.

  • Thank you, ladies!

    And thanks, Anne! I’ll have a look for those. I may have tried them before but it’s been a while. You can’t beat Salt & Vinegar crisps! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Congratulations! No advice to offer here but excited to hear about the journey.

  • Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm so very excited for the two of you! Our little one just turned two and all I can say is that the joy and journey is so much more than anyone can express to you in words. You look great. Looking forward to hearing your stories along the journey. รขโ‚ฌโ€œ Quentin

  • Congratulations! I didn’t get the sickness, my friend was just like you and not being gf ate rich tea biscuits all the time! From what I’ve heard potatoes contain almost every kind of vitamin your body needs, so although your diet was limited, you should be fine. Hope the rest of your pregnancy hope swimmingly x

  • Thanks so much, Quentin! Both John and I are extremely excited to meet our little guy or girl. We decided not to find out the sex so it’s been fun guessing who our baby will be when it kicks me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Congratulation for the little one on the way! What an exciting time – and even more exciting times to come. Our little girl just turned three and it is really so incredible to see them grow up. Since we only went gluten-free 7 months ago, the pregnancy wasn’t gf, but the next one, if and when it happens definitely will be and then I am hoping for a better time. Congrats again ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Congratulations! Your selection of pregnancy foods sounds not too bad to me. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Enhorabuena!!
    que noticion! espero que todo vaya muy bien, y sigas contandonoslo en el blog
    que alegria mas grande, nosotros nos animaremos a estar embarazados sin gluten en breve tambien

  • Hey there GFT! Just stopped by to catch up on some of your posts and I saw this one! Congratulations to you and John! So happy for you .. you look GREAT, mommy-to-be! Woo hoo for you!

  • Oh my goodness, congratulations! I wish you both all the best, and I look forward to hearing more about your journey xx