Paleo Ideas for Preconception and throughout Pregnancy

Pregnancy is different for everyone no one can argue that. The one thing that is often the same however is food aversion, and first trimester carb cravings. This can be challenging when you want to follow a paleo diet. Just to be clear there are plenty of paleo friendly carbs to include that can help with morning sickness in the first trimester, and possibly throughout pregnancy if you are one of the lucky ones that never seem to kick the nausea. So far I have grown three amazing humans completely and I am in the process breastfeeding two of them. It would be a little weird if I was still nursing my 14 year old. During pregnancy it can be hard to make quality food choices when nothing sounds good, so here are some ideas to keep you from getting derailed completely.



  1. Eat small meals often. I know this goes against most paleo foodies recommendations in regards to how often you should need to eat, but in regards to pregnancy nausea it is much easier to control it when you eat small well rounded meals that include all of your macros (protein, fat and carbs)

  2. Eat your protein. It won’t always sound good, eat it anyway. Usually if you can get down the first couple of bites your body knows it wants more and will happily consume it.

  3. Cook when you feel good. If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing partner make them cook for you so you always have meals ready for you when nothing looks good.

  4. Eat your carbs. Don’t feel guilty, it’s ok. Again for clarity sake that is not carte blanche to eat a box of doughnuts, but eat your potato, rice, sweet potato, plantains, fruit especially berries of all colors, and any other starchy carbs you feel like eating.

  5. If you are craving something eat it. Again let's use some restraint don't eat everything that sounds good. Trust me, I ate plenty of cashew milk ice cream while pregnant, but I did try to make sure I balanced it with real whole foods as well. After you eat it especially if it’s not something you typically eat try not to have food guilt. This can be hard sometimes depending on your relationship with food, but just try to breath and relax it's ok to treat yo self (sometimes). 

  6. Eat nutrient dense foods. Seriously, what does that even mean? Here is a list to get you going. 

    1. Sardines (I know, I know) I eat mine with plantains. If not Sardines then try to get good fish weekly. Avoid Tuna go for Salmon. I like canned Salmon from Trader Joe’s on a salad it is even BPA free and canned salmon does have the same nutrient quality if you can't get fresh don't fret. You will get your vitamin D, and DHA (essential fatty acids needed to grow brilliant babies, and help combat potential Postpartum depression).

    2. Veggies, especially green ones! Go for a salad daily or you could do a green smoothy, but try to do more veggies not just fruit. This will get you your folate needed to protect against things like neural tube defects.

    3. Meat. Chicken, organic if possible, and grass fed beef to get the most out of your protein. This will assure you are getting the amino acids needed to help support the growth of a new person.

    4. Eggs, pasture raised or organic if possible. Find a farmer and get your eggs from them if you can. Trust me you will notice the difference. Eggs are rich sources of choline and B vitamins all the things needed to help with fetal brain development. Interestingly enough these things will also help with prevention of postpartum depression Yep you are seeing a trend, not one but two foods listed that help with PPD. 

    5. Carbs and good ones. Sweet potato are rich sources of fiber to help your GI system work from start to finish.

    6. Nuts and Seeds are rich sources of vitamins and minerals and good healthy fat. Snack on roasted or raw ones or even nut butters on celery for a well rounded snack option.

You will hopefully make it through your first trimester with minimal nausea, but for those times when you just don’t feel like eating remember to..have something small, and keep in mind your body is doing a lot of amazing work right now.

All of these food options are great ideas if you are in the beginning stages of family planning as well. You want to set your body up for success to support the growth of a little person for 10 months (yes it’s 10, don’t let them lie and make you think it’s 9). All of these food options will get you ready to grow a person. You can also make sure your are taking a quality prenatal with folate versus folic acid for better absorbability (bioavailability).


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