I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and couldn’t be more thrilled! In addition to having celiac disease, I have PCOS. PCOS seems to be kind of a blanket diagnosis these days. I hear of so many who have it! I don’t have any of the classic symptoms of PCOS, like weight gain and insulin resistance. In my case, I think the celiac disease and PCOS are very much related and probably have something to do with adrenal fatigue from 25 years of eating gluten. I am the first person in my family to ever be diagnosed with celiac, so growing up the dangers of gluten weren’t on anyones radar.
Earlier this year I cut out sugar completely (including sugar as an ingredient in anything) for a month. It was hard and the first few days I failed! Like ended up eating 2 Reese’s peanut butter eggs then crying failed (embarassing, I know!). After that episode, my husband ended up joining me (which was SO helpful!) and we made a sticker chart to mark off each day we ate sugar-free. My 3-year-old thought it was pretty great Mom and Dad had a sticker chart for something too! After the strict month, I then continued to eat very little natural sweetener and no refined-sugar for 4 months. I don’t think it is a coincidence I finally got pregnant after changing my diet. I didn’t eat terribly unhealthy before, but do realize I am more effected by sugar than I thought. I’ve tried a lot of different ways of eating over the past few years. I went grain-free for awhile, but it didn’t seem to be the solution for me. In addition to sugar, much to my occasional denial, I really don’t tolerate dairy products. If I stick to eating gluten, dairy, and sugar-free, I feel great! I also try to focus on probiotic foods (kefir, fermented vegetables) and getting enough vegetables each day. I am still far from perfect when it comes to my diet. I realistically could never be one of those people who doesn’t ever eat dessert. I just love it too much! But I’ve come a long way from my eat-an-entire-bag-of-candy-corn-in-2-days college days.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that eating gluten-free during pregnancy is rough because of all the cravings and food aversions. I would have to agree with them! I also think it is truly worth it to keep inflammation down and avoid things you’re intolerant too during pregnancy. When I think back to my pregnancy with my son, before I had celiac disease, I can’t believe how differently I ate. I’m pretty sure I lived off everything bagels and cream cheese. This pregnancy I had similar cravings the 1st trimester. I wanted pizza and bagels so bad! At 9 weeks along I went to a friend’s wedding in Seattle where everyone was eating pizza at a get-together the night before the wedding. After a long day of traveling and feeling queasy, I would have given my left arm to be able to eat a slice! Luckily I am such an over-worrier when it comes to pregnancy (the good side of anxiety is that it motivates, right?), and would never actually eat it.
It has been really helpful to find alternatives to things I am craving. I made these bagels and this cream cheese. I recreated chicken and rice casserole. I also found these gluten-free ramen noodles and have been eating them in homemade bone broth. Here are some other foods I’ve loved the first trimester:
Homemade Gluten-Free Bread/English Muffins: I made a big double batch of the gluten-free English muffins from this book (sub almond flour for the milk powder) and have been loving having them in my freezer. These breadsticks also always sound good to me. Toast in all forms has tasted nice and bland, especially in the very beginning.
All Egg Dishes/Savory Breakfast Food: Eggs Benedict is the dish I could eat morning, noon, and night. Hence the large batches of English muffins! Something about hollandaise sauce and the velvety egg yolk tastes so good to me. I make it with crispy prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon. Really eggs in any form and sound great to me. I could also eat breakfast sausage everyday. This is surprising since chicken and other proteins sounded awful to me the first few weeks!
Fruit: Berries especially have tasted great. I have eaten a lot of them and am sad they are out of season now! Pineapple and smoothies made with frozen strawberries, mango and coconut water always taste delicious.
Herbal Teas: Chamomile and mint tea are so comforting at the end of the day. Luckily sugar and sweets didn’t sound good to me at all in the beginning, but usually herbal tea stops me from late night treats. I wish I could say the sugar aversion lasted. Chocolate definitely sounds good to me again in the second trimester. Especially these or these chocolate chip cookies.
So there you have it! I feel like my normal appetite is finally coming back. I was hoping my dairy-intolerance would take a back seat during pregnancy, but it didn’t. I get a postnasal drip and my skin breaks out if I eat dairy. Unfortunately if I have even a little dairy these symptoms flair up like crazy. So if anyone knows of a satisfying dairy-free enchilada recipe send it my way!
We are so excited and grateful for this little baby! I love being a Mom more than anything in the world. I’m happy my 3-year-old will be a big brother and hope this baby will be as healthy and happy as him!