Whole30 Experts Share 5 Tips for First Trimester Pregnancy Eating

Last Update: July 25, 2023

Pregnant? Congrats! Feeling a little sick? We hear you (and some of our editors have been there, too). That’s why we checked in with Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby’s Stephanie Greunke, a registered dietitian who specializes in women’s health. Many of her suggestions are Whole30-compliant, so whether you’re doing the program during your pregnancy or are looking to maintain some healthy habits for the next nine months, here are five things to try when that big green salad just isn’t happening.

1. Wake up with protein
If you deal with nausea in the morning, Stephanie recommends focusing on protein. “Breakfast may be the last thing you want to think about, but it may be just what your body needs,” she says. Her top picks? Try a smoothie with collagen peptides, scrambled eggs, or grass-fed, unsweetened yogurt if you can tolerate it.

2. Eat more frequently
If you normally stick to three meals a day, try switching things up and enjoying several mini-meals. “Low blood sugar can trigger nausea, which happens as a result of skipping meals, waiting too long between meals, consuming too many refined sugars, or not having a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs at meals.” Eat every two to three hours and keep emergency food in your purse and office desk so you’re always prepared.

3. Drink up
When you can’t stomach your favorite healthy bites, try drinking your nutrients instead with bone broth. In liquid form, bone broth takes almost no effort to consume, and each sip delivers naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Also try smoothies with a spoonful of collagen powder.

4. Nosh at night
Reading a stack of parenting books before you fall asleep? Make room for some midnight snacks, too. “If you’re waking up in the middle of the night with nausea,” Stephanie says, “the first thing to consider is the composition of your dinner or bedtime snack.” If it’s carb-heavy, it might cause blood sugar fluctuations that can interfere with sleep. The fix? Stephanie recommends eating a protein-rich snack with a touch of carbs before bed, like Wild Zora bars, or keeping them by your bedside to calm your tummy in the middle of the night.

5. Keep it simple
You won’t feel sick forever (promise), so plan ahead and stock your pantry with provisions for easy meals like Wild Planet tuna or sardines. Mashed with avocado oil mayo and freshly cracked pepper, it makes for a satisfying mini-meal (see Tip #2). If you’re up for a little assembly, scoop tuna into butter lettuce cups for added crunch.

Need more snacks? Check out Whole30 founder Melissa Hartwig Urban’s favorite Thrive picks!

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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