Model, triathlete, nutrition expert, gorgeous mama, you name it, she’s it. Authentic, effervescent, and pregnant with her third, Angi’s all things goodness. Recently, I spent the morning with her and the fam at their high-vibes home in Topanga Canyon, discussing her shift into wellness, the significant difference between each of her pregnancies (hint: it’s everything to do with food), and life with a teen, a baby, and one on the way. @angigreene
How have your pregnancies varied between each, from how you feel, your approach, plus your cravings?
My cravings have changed dramatically throughout all three pregnancies because my education around nutrition has evolved. With Oliver, my first, I gained 80 pounds and was addicted to sugar. I was 24 years old, living in NYC, it was the summer, and I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream every night. I had NO idea about nutrition, so I just devoured sugar all day long. I didn’t test for gestational diabetes, but I’m sure that if I had, I would have tested positive. I also didn’t work out, but fortunately, my genetics and age worked in my favor, and I was able to lose the weight.
With my second, Alakai, my mom died the day before I got pregnant. I joke that my mom “high-fived” Alakai on his way down and her way up. It was an incredibly emotional time, and I was in such a state of shock and grief. Leading up to her death, I had been taking care of her for months — I was full on hospice. Therefore, my pregnancy with Alakai was rooted in exhaustion. For the most part, I would take Oliver to school in the morning and then come home to sleep. I didn’t have a regular fitness routine, I wasn’t eating well, and I was extremely nauseous for the first three months, plus I had placenta previa, which resulted in me having a C-Section. I craved comfort food and lived off dumplings from PF Changs and Salt & Vinegar chips.
THIS ONE, however, has been entirely different. While my mom was sick, we began researching nutrition and the mind/gut connection. I had suffered from digestion issues my whole life and thought it was normal to be bloated after every meal. After Alakai was born, we began to live a gut-healthy mindful lifestyle that incorporated high fat, low protein, and lots of vegetables — this changed everything. With my first, I had post-partum depression, and with Alakai I did not — strictly because of how I took care of my body after birth for The First 40 Days, an Aruvydic philosophy of eating only warm foods and caring for myself as much as my baby.
This mindfulness has carried through to this pregnancy, and although I had a bit of nauseous early on, I wasn’t mindlessly eating a bag of chips or the container of ice cream to remedy that, and instead, I stuck to a nutritious, high fat/low sugar diet. Interestingly this is the least amount of weight I’ve gained in all my pregnancies, and this baby measures bigger than any of my others. As far as cravings go, I haven’t had too many, and on the rare occasion that I do, I’ve trained my brain to get to the root of it. Therefore, instead of initially acting on a craving, like a bag of chips, for example, I’ll stop and ask myself why I’m craving that—is it the salty/crunchy/sour combo? If so, I’ll have apple slices with almond butter, lemon, and sea salt sprinkled on top.
What’s your current state mind?
Overwhelmed yet grateful. I’m burning the candle at both ends with a teenager and a 15-month-old that’s teething. It’s both challenging and a blessing to have kids far apart in age. One moment I’m explaining the realities of porn on the internet to my 15-year-old and the next I’m feeding my baby at 5 am — it’s a mental juggle.
How do you deal with having older kids in a digital world?
I mention the porn because we have to be able to talk about these things with our kids as they’re being exposed as soon as they can access a phone. In the past — pre-social media and smartphones — you’d happen across a random Playboy magazine for the first time in a dumpster and giggled with your girlfriends while flipping through it wide-eyed and freaked out.
Beyond the porn, everything is moving at such a rapid pace. When we were younger, everything was in slow motion. You would leave school on Friday, then see your friends again on Monday AM, and not think twice about what they were doing until you’d gush about in the hallways before first period. Now, the kids are on Snapchat five min after leaving school and seeing what everyone’s doing or what parties they’re not invited to — it’s overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. As a result, their generation is dealing with issues like anxiety, depression, and teen suicide — it’s real and weighty. They need us now more than ever for all the inside stuff.
What are your pillars of wellness throughout pregnancy?
Supplementing is key! Plus, eat as much fresh living food as you can and move your body — whatever that means for you — and get the blood flowing! I find that the less I do, the more I get stuck, therefore even a quick walk or dancing around my house changes everything and elevates my mood.
Are you avoiding the do-not-eat-while-pregnant list?
I don’t actually know what’s on that list except that I don’t eat oysters in general, and I do eat soft cheese, plus I drink coffee.
Sex while pregnant?
…has been different with all three. I’ve definitely craved more sex, intimacy, and touch during this pregnancy. Plus, I’m more playful now as I’m more comfortable with my body because I have more understanding of health in all areas, including sexual health.
What’s been your experience having a doctor versus a doula?
I had a midwife with my first two children, and a doctor this time because I had a C-section with Alakai and couldn’t find a midwife that’s comfortable with doing a V-back in under two years. Having a doctor feels strange to me as there’s so much intervention on the medical side, but not a lot of attention to the emotional well-being side. For example, that crazy orange sugar diabetes drink is entirely unnecessary because you can do the test yourself with a potato and a glucose strip at home and it’s just as effective. Thanks, but no thanks to the sugar drink!
What have you been working on as of late?
I’ve been in the process of writing my book which is a personal narrative with a prescriptive message chronicling my journey to health and wellness through death, grief, depression, and divorce. Since we can’t trust the government or doctors anymore, people are now relying on friends and trusted sources of information. They want to see an average person that’s gone through something that they’re going through with personal advice on how to cope. I’ve also been developing an online resource for 2nd & 3rd-trimester workouts — I don’t include a 1st-trimester work-out as most women are busy simply dealing with nausea, exhaustion, and trying to understand their changing bodies at that time. Plus, I didn’t work-out during the 1st trimester in any of my pregnancies and I only teach from a place of personal experience.
What do you consider high priority in life?
Family and health are my number one priorities. Business for me is an extension of helping people, and if I can’t be that for myself, then I can’t help anybody else. It’s difficult to balance these days as we’re always expected to be ON, but if you’re not healthy, then you have nothing. I’ve had enough money that I never had to worry about anything, but I was depressed and lonelier than ever. And now I have less money but I’m happier than I’ve ever been and have modified my lifestyle & mindset to allow for that. Money doesn’t bring happiness; it can bring comfort but it certainly won’t bring any real joy. It’s all about health and quality relationships.
Are you planning on taking maternity leave?
I highly recommend adhering to The First 40 Days postpartum mindset. You can take care of the baby, but someone needs to take care of you. It’s the missing link and the reason why so many women are stressed and depressed after having children. If you don’t have a robust at-home support system, then consider saving for a postpartum doula that can help care for mama. Our society doesn’t put enough emphasis on how important this is.