First pregnancy, I tried to eat Very Healthy Breakfasts by my standards. Which meant eggs, even though eggs are not exactly my favorite. And when I say “not exactly my favorite” I mean…I really do not enjoy eggs the way most people enjoy eggs. The best I can do is hard-boiled eggs, which I can eat quickly and with minimal fuss and gagging. But I don’t wake up, jump out of bed, and yell, “Eggs!” Unless there are ninjas on my ceiling throwing eggs at me, in which case yes, I would do that.
Second pregnancy went a little different. I started out eating eggs and bacon from my company’s cafe. And then at some point, this morphed into cultured dairy and nutbutter. With the exception of weekends and special days — days when Mike and I eat out, or days when I’m sick and don’t feel like eating — that’s been my breakfast. Yogurt with nutbutter and two drops of stevia, or Nancy’s cottage cheese and nutbutter (no stevia). And yes, I specifically eat that cottage cheese, because the one time I thought to just use a regular brand it was so bland and nasty I threw it out and went and bought a carton of Nancy’s that night. Don’t judge. I’m pregnant.
A while ago I bought a few Hachiya persimmons and waited patiently for them to ripen. Four weeks later, they finally did. So now I’ve been squeezing them into my cultured dairy (along with the nutbutter) and it’s amazeballs. I’ll miss them when there are no more, but that is the glory of Hachiya persimmons: they exist for a few weeks, so that we cherish them. “Food mandalas“, as I call them, because they’re beautiful while we have them, but then they’re gone.
And then there’s my no-grains policy, which…well, here’s the thing. Most of the time, I eat paleo, which is to say: meat and veggies with some cultured dairy, and probably lower carbohydrate than your average pregnant woman. I’ll bend that for special occasions, and certainly at times it seems like part of November and the entire month of December is a special occasion. But here’s what I found when I started eating wheat/rice/corn for special occasions: heartburn. Lots of heartburn.
And I immediately wanted to bang my head on a keyboard because what diet do they recommend to pregnant women when they aren’t feeling right? Oh, right, this happy bullshit. Half of which would give me massive heartburn if I ate it, the other half of which would have me crawling the walls with hunger.
I am blessed with an appetite. Really, I am. At no point during my pregnancy has protein stopped looking appealing to me. It’s shifted — I ate a ton of seafood in the first few months, then slid back into my much-loved cow meat — but I’ve never woken up and said, “Dear heavens, I need to eat nothing but potatoes and crackers today.” I’ve heard some horror stories about women who can’t even be in the same room as a cooked or raw protein, and I feel for them. This has never been my problem, though. At some point, the steak looks good. The steak always looks good.
I do wonder how many pregnant women would find immediate relief from their heartburn if they dropped grains and excess sugar. I mean this as a completely idle observation, and because I think it’s a valid suggestion. I am also aware that it scares the crap out of most normal, free-thinking folk. No pasta? No bread? No rice? Are you deranged? Probably, but it works for me. And every time I look at a piece of bread or a mound of rice, I weigh the risk/reward: which would I rather have, a mouthful of noodles or an entire afternoon chewing on TUMS and feeling like crap? Hm, yes, hard choice.
Which is why I am now going to tell you that today, for lunch, I am treating myself to noodles. Because…I want noodles. I have been wanting noodles since October. Stir-fried noodles, even. I know. After all this blahblahblah about how grains leave me feeling bloaty and burping fire, I’m going to go and break my own rules.
Well, that’s why I’m the adult with her own car and bank account. I get to make these choices, and live with the belchy consequences.
And let me tell you: I will enjoy the hell out of those noodles.