Today we’re thrilled to introduce you to Brenda H., one of our VIP Healthy Mama, Happy Baby members who is using the information and support from our program to have a healthy, happy pregnancy. During a previous pregnancy, Brenda struggled with gestational diabetes and elevated triglycerides. Through her experience with the Whole30 reset, she was able to find relief from these issues. Now, during her second pregnancy, she is relying on Whole30-style nutrition to maintain her health, and to nourish her developing baby.
In Brenda’s Own Words
This is my journey towards healing my body from an episode of a mild pancreatic attack (which led me to discover that I had elevated triglycerides), and dealing with gestational diabetes.
During my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and struggled with the traditional food pyramid recommendations. Every time I ate crackers, my blood sugar would spike. I didn’t understand then, but now I know the reason for the imbalance.
At six months postpartum, I had an episode of a minor pancreatic attack. The gestational diabetes was gone, but my triglycerides were off the charts. The cause of the pancreatic attack was caused by the elevated triglycerides, which caused enzymes to attack my pancreas. Yikes! This episode shifted my view of the food I was consuming.
It was a nutritional journey of six years, on and off medication, to lower my elevated triglycerides. I was at a good weight and believed I was eating well, but had a predisposition for elevated triglycerides that I believed I would deal with for the rest of my life. I was told this over and over again at doctor visits.
Discovering Health with The Whole30
Two years ago I stumbled on a Whole30 success story, in which the Whole30’er wrote about improved cholesterol numbers. It inspired me to try this different way of eating. Plus, I wanted to put to the test that you can slay a “sugar dragon”! That was my biggest culprit at night. The “midnight munchies” were also running strong.
I never thought that certain foods could be causing inflammation inside my body or leading to strong sugar cravings. I bought It Starts with Food and couldn’t put it down.
I embarked on meal planning and eliminated foods that might cause inflammation and cravings. Just one week into the 30-day reset I began to feel really good. I mean really good. At a doctor visit a few months later, I learned that my blood results were now normal and better than when I was on medication, so I continued to do a quarterly Whole30 or 60. To my surprise, after following the program for two years, I got pregnant again (eight years after my first pregnancy!).
My hormones were balanced and I was off all medication. My husband and I had already accepted that we would remain with one child, so my focus was not on conceiving, but impacting my overall health. The pregnancy was a surprise we happily welcomed.
Embracing Pregnancy: Healthy Mama, Happy Baby Style
Now I’m in the midst of my second pregnancy and I feel amazing. I have energy while pregnant and working full time. There are days that I fail with compliant eating, but I give myself grace because pregnancy is hard work. I resume the next day with consuming whole, nourishing food. I’m perfectly imperfect, but I notice the difference when eating Whole30-ish. I’m vibrant, my moods are stable, pregnancy discomforts (bloating and swelling) disappear, and sleep is easier even with a very pregnant body.
The Whole30 program was more than just an introduction to a healthier lifestyle. It impacted all areas of my life. It changed my perspective with everything that I was consuming including spices and the quality of the supplements I take.
Today, I am rocking this pregnancy with dedication to meal planning, food education, and staying proactive. No one else will do it for you! It is so worth the extra effort to eat right.
As I progress in my pregnancy, so do my blood sugars. Being that I was diabetic with my first pregnancy, I have a predisposition to have it again. I failed the glucose test and was blaming myself for falling in my first trimester. I kept thinking that I shouldn’t have consumed so many burritos. I should have been more dedicated. Pregnancy is hard work and instead of blaming myself, I turned to intentional efforts to reverse the diagnosis.
Once again, I made changes to my diet to battle elevated blood sugars and a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. I am proud to say that I am in control of my blood sugars. I am not on medication and feel awesome (and look awesome)! My blood sugars are normal when testing at home. I am not suffering from swelling, thirst, or other diabetic symptoms.
I am asked over and over again about my food cravings while pregnant. People are stumped to hear about the way I eat. Unsweetened coconut water with lime is the drink I crave. My body learned to crave the right stuff. I don’t feel deprived or left out. I feel complete and healthy. I love exploring new recipes. I am more in-tune with my body and what it really needs. I am reassured that my baby is also receiving the best nutrition.
Thanks Whole30 for creating the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program, for the knowledge out there, and for a community that shares their success stories. I would have never created and invited so much positive change without it.
Are you interested in rocking your pregnancy like Brenda? Join our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program for access to our virtual pregnancy handbook of over 20 videos and tons of resources, support and practical steps.