I can only speak to my experience in the first trimester so far, so I imagine I’ll add posts for the second and third down the line, but I wanted to share what intuitive eating in pregnancy looked like for me. This isn’t to say that your first trimester should look like mine, but to encourage you to trust and listen to your body, despite being told diet-y things from external sources because, yes, diet culture lurks in pregnancy, too.
I learned pretty quickly that while I had normal eating patterns pre-pregnancy, there was no such thing as normal in pregnancy and I had to get comfortable with that.
Most meals sucked for me until recently. While my nausea and food aversions didn’t get bad until around 7 weeks, meals still didn’t sit particularly well for the most part before then, either. It just got particularly worse by week 7. It’s finally started to get better now that I’m on the tail end of the first trimester, so breakfast it just starting to sit better. Not perfect… but tolerable.
This is a pretty good representation of what my go-to breakfasts were. In the beginning I was still drinking americanos, but eventually I stopped tolerating that and switched to whole milk lattes. In the beginning I was mostly eating cereal with whole milk or yogurt w/granola and a banana w/pb and then once I switched to having lattes, I started having more bread based breakfasts. Toast or just fresh homemade bread with pb +jam and butter/french toast as well as some sort of fruit. Sometimes apples, often more bananas with more pb. That switch was mostly because cereal sat worse than bread. Kodiak cakes pancakes also made their way in to the rotation, but they didn’t sit well either. Nothing did until recently. Some things were just less terrible than others.
Lunch was the hardest meal of the day. I rarely wanted anything. I just hated it. But I chose to eat anyway. I went with what sounded the least terrible, sometimes even enjoyed it. They were mostly random, usually a lot less food than I’d normally eat because my stomach couldn’t handle it. It was usually pretty unsatisfying, like most of my food experiences in the first trimester. I just paired protein/fat/carbs and went with what I thought would sit the best/I wouldn’t want to throw up/didn’t smell bad to me. My taco rice bowls became a favorite and ate them all week once. I nixed the rice and had tortilla chips instead because they were more satisfying.
Dinner also sucked, but it sucked less than lunch. There was a couple of weeks of nachos and homemade pizza that sat pretty well most of the time, but I eventually got tired of it and the thought of eating those things made me feel sick. Salmon happened a few times and my plates look random/unsatisfying but I actually remember those being the best for me. I couldn’t eat a lot of fat at night from week 7.5-9 because I was getting the most insane heartburn of LIFE and it made sleeping so, so hard if I had much fat in my dinner… because that made heartburn worse. Thankfully that died off and I can eat normally now without the heartburn.
Pasta actually nauseated me. I think there was one week where I ate it a couple of times because I thought it would be okay, and I made a thing of meat sauce, so I made myself power through most of it, but I HATED IT SO MUCH. I still gag at the thought.. same with any salad that isn’t caesar. I haven’t snapped photos recently, but I ate a lot of my African peanut stew with rice, my tomato basil chickpeas without the quinoa + some meatballs + cheese and usually a slice of homemade bread for dipping (quinoa is a big no still). We also ate my Korean beef bowls a fair bit in the beginning.
Saucy pulled pork is always a go. (Used pork shoulder like you’re really supposed to… lol instead of tenderloin and used my homemade bbq sauce from this post). Always. Beef pho is actually the one dish that not only sat well, but made me feel 100% better… so we made it a point to get it once a week and I’d have leftovers the next day. Again, I was really just pairing whatever protein/fat/carb/produce I could get myself to eat so that it was semi balanced so that my body could function, even though I knew it couldn’t be a very enjoyable experience.
Protein/carbs/fats. 2 of the 3. That’s all I was concerned with with meals and snacks. If I could or wanted to add fruits/veg, then I did. That amount of chocolate in my hand there was basically all I could tolerate in a day (chocolate wise). Most snacks I did enjoy, a lot of them were more functional than anything (like pairing an egg with fruit).
The moral of this post is… Food really bloody sucks in the first trimester (for me, and many people I know… not necessarily you), but I still needed to eat so that my body would keep functioning (from what I’ve been told, the embryo/fetus is nourished from the yolk sac in the first 10-12 weeks, so eating what you can is mostly for your benefit to keep your body well…. but don’t quote me. This is just what the medical community told me). It sucked, it sucks less now. I’m eating more variety now and actually enjoying it. It feels a lot less hard to feed myself now, so I’m really looking forward to a better appetite in the second trimester.