Helloooooooo world! It's been a little while since you've heard from us, and I can only apologise. We have some truly amazing content coming your way very soon; some fun and super informative interviews on DNA and diet (i.e. why some of us just have to look at a cookie to gain weight while others can inhale full fat Coke and M&Ms), hormonal health and diet and, in an episode that I am particularly excited about, eating for enlightenment (or how diet affects your psychic receptivity). SERIOUSLY fun topics, cool women - it's all coming your way very soon and I think you are going to LOVE what we've got.
But now I wanted to take a moment to explain where we've been, and, relevant to our absence, give you some pointers on how you can try to eat well when you are anything but.
I have been seriously unwell (as in man down, completely incapacitated) by horrific, constant nausea. Yes, you guessed it, we are expecting another one at LB HQ...and it turns out it's not just one, but two little ones on the way. After I got over the shock of THAT, I was blindsided by extreme unwellness that seemed the stuff of legends in my first pregnancy. The first time around I was one of the lucky who had almost no symptoms, and didn't show until I was maybe 16 weeks (4 months to those unfamiliar with the way gestation is counted). This time? A whole other story.
I'm not going to regale you with tales of how unbelievably sick I was - anyone who gets stomach hangovers, travel sickness or who has had a rough pregnancy will know what I am talking about. But what I DO think might be useful to anyone who is GOING THROUGH IT (whether that's from wild and wacky hormones or for any other reason) is a little look at how I managed to try to eat as well as I could at a time when the very thought of a raw vegetable turned my tummy. 😵😷
The way "morning sickness" (worst name ever - it lasts all day) hits everyone is different, but for me, it was worst by late afternoon/night, when I was tired (I was also extremely, extremely tired). So I really tried to prioritise eating well in the morning (when I was actually at my best), and in the early afternoon - I would sometimes have an early lunch to try to pack in some goodness (usually in the way of cooked vegetables). Then if by 4 PM all I wanted was (a) bag(s) of popcorn, popchips or chips with mayo (which you're not supposed to have in pregnancy, but I have assessed the risk of eating it in my own home, and I'm fine with it), I felt ok, because I had at least tried to eat something nutritious earlier.
My doctor also said I could lay off my multivitamin (which is pretty intense on the tummy) so long as I kept up with folate/folic acid, so I did that. How many of us suffer through our supplements? If you aren't well, think about skipping any daily vitamins that are hard on your system - it made a difference for me.
The best tips I can offer for combatting severe nausea include:
1. SLEEP. This fixes everything, doesn't it? More sleep = better days. I was in bed by 9.
2. WATER. Boring but SO true; I drink about 4 litres a day at the moment and it helps SO MUCH.
3. DEEP BELLY BREATHS. Calming, centring and really helpful
4. CHEWING GUM. Nothing too sweet though.
5. EXERCISE. Getting your blood flowing, whether from a walk or yoga, really made me feel about a million times better. This DVD series is actually magic.
6. GET OUTSIDE. Ditto fresh air. Instant vitality.
7. SIMPLE CARBS + PROTEIN/FAT. Think apple + almond butter; bread + butter; potato + hummus - you get the idea.
In a separate post, I'll list some meals that really worked well.
Things that did not help at ALL include:
1. GINGER + SUGAR ANYTHING. Really, this is just sugar & will help for a minute only til your blood sugar crashes
2. FLAT COKE. Nah. Also, diet anything, or anything "fake", was immediately off-putting
3. PRESSURE BANDS. They work for some, but not for me!
4. HERBAL TEA. Other than the occasional fresh mint
The absolute KEY was sleeping and drinking (water - or sips of ginger ale / ginger beer, but not so much that it would spike your blood sugar and then cause it to crash). It also helped to distract myself (easy enough with a toddler and shows to edit), rest when I needed to (and could - not always achievable) and not OD on things that suddenly sounded amazing (like pizza, nachos, loaded potato skins). But I did really let myself have what I was craving, and my body was happy for it.
I've got a post coming up about what actually worked for my tummy (and why I think it did), and some healthy versions I came up with of the dirtiest junk food I was craving.
If you are reading this and you aren't feeling great, hang in there! I really feel for you. In a weird way, I'm glad I've had this experience; it has really opened my eyes to what pregnancy is like for a lot of women, and generally what it is like to feel out of control of your body. Being so unwell has been humbling and hard, but it has also given me the gift of being able to really empathise with people who experience a bout of chronic sickness, even if I've really only had the briefest taste. Do what you can to feel good, lean on your friends, and big hugs from the LB crew!
P.S. A strange coincidence, or is it a bit of superstitious weirdness that I started to feel so ill after we released Episode 13 of Life Butter Radio? I'm not sure, but we're excited to be releasing more shows soon. Keep an ear out!