The most common question that I get asked during this pregnancy is whether or not I have any weird cravings. Pretty much, the answer is "no."
Sure there was that little incident in the first trimester that had me sitting in the car in the Trader Joe's parking lot, digging through my purse to find the fork from lunch two weeks earlier that I knew was still in there so that I could eat the cottage cheese I had just bought RIGHT NOW.
But that's less of a craving and more of an emergency. I think of cravings as those longings for a specific food so powerfully that you would sacrifice anything - even your partner's good feelings toward you - to get it into your mouth right now.
I don't have that. The one night that I wanted a cherry Hostess Fruit Pie, Jacob looked at me incredulously from the other end of the couch and I caved immediately, saying that we could wait until the end of the TV show and see if I still wanted it then. Then, I ended up just making my own pie. He did help peel and core the apples but didn't like when I responded to his complaint about how much he disliked peeling and coring apples by making a suggestion of how to do it more easily.
So, mostly I experience preferences. During my first trimester, I ate a lot of whole-grain toast and butter. I had a stage a couple of months ago where I preferred to eat snacks that involved cream cheese. I eat a ton of oranges and other fruits right now. Lately, I have been choosing grits rather than a traditional dessert.
I am lucky in that I think I have formed fairly healthy eating habits before I got pregnant. I had eliminated most junk food and processed food from my diet so I didn't crave those. I have been introducing whole grains and vegetarianism into my life. Most importantly, I have been learning to listen to my body for what it wants. I think I learned how to do this from Anne Lamott. (If you haven't read her essay on recovering from her eating disorder, please go do it right now.) Also, my mother, who taught me never to eat anything that was a waste of calories. In other words, don't fill up on bad food that you didn't want in the first place. You know, bad grocery store cake or a big dinner when your big late lunch is still lingering on your tongue.
So, I think about what my body is expressing a preference for. I believe that there is a science behind this somewhere that some goofy holistic medicine person somewhere has deciphered but cannot communicate in way that does not sound ridiculous. Probably, when the body is deficient in iron, it craves meat. When it needs fats and protein, it craves cheese. I'm sure this is informed by emotional needs and experiences but for the most part, I figure my body is smarter than I am, so I listen to it. It's actually kind of fun. Someone asked me the other day if I enjoyed being pregnant and deciphering what odd, seemingly unbalanced thing my body wants is part of why I can say, "yes."
Today, I ate probably two cups of baba ghanouj over the course of the day. I also ate half a cucumber, an orange, and fruit salad from the cafeteria over the course of the same 6 hours. I figure that counts as lunch. I do eat more meat than I used to, but not all the time. Tonight, I pick up something vegetarian for dinner at Whole Foods while I buy another armload of produce before my Dungeons & Dragons game. There is a wedge of brie cheese in the fridge and, at some point, that will probably get consumed in a similar way as the babs ghanouj.
I figure that as long as my midwives are comfortable with my weight gain and I don't feel food-tired (something I learned to determine before pregnancy), eating like a toddler is probably OK.
Let's not talk about how I consume baked goods, though, OK? That's a little more embarrassing. Two weeks ago, I walked in front of a woman giving a presentation to a group of 50 co-workers in the cafeteria that adjoins my office to get a piece of cake that I heard was on the other end of the room.
Then, I did it again.
On the third time that I did it, I just took the last two pieces to save myself that inevitable walk of shame one more time.
When I first saw the movie Fargo, my mother about fell off the couch laughing at how Frances McDormand's character ate constantly. I thought it was funny but not that funny at the time. Now? I am grabbing a donut on my way out of a community meeting on the west side, knowing full well that this probably means that one of the local folks won't get one. Hey, it was offered! You shouldn't offer donuts to pregnant ladies if you were just trying to be polite. I get it. I have no idea why my body is deficient in refined sugar, fat and white flour but, hey, it's rarely wrong.
I checked out an amazing whole-grain cookbook from the library and am hoping to have the chance to make something soon to at least mitigate some of the harm these baked goods are doing by adding fiber.
That should help, right?
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