Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Let's talk food...pregnancy food

The number one question I get asked when I tell people that I am pregnant is "How have you been feeling??" - and for good reason. Most people associate the first trimester with sickness, crazy food cravings, lack of energy and other wacky things your body is going through. The first twelve weeks or so can be a roller coaster (to say the least). I was very fortunate not to be sick during my first trimester, but I did have a few weeks that were plagued with nausea.

And being nauseous makes it very hard to eat.  Which I had to do every two hours (almost on the button) or else I felt even more nauseous.

Are you feeling a little green with all this talk of nausea??

Sorry, I'll stop soon.

So, how did I get through it and what have I been eating during the last ten weeks? (I didn't start feeling sick until around week six. But once it started it was in full effect)

Cereal. Lots and lots of cereal.

My beloved morning coffee? I couldn't be in the same room as it without my stomach churning. My five a day fruits and veg? Don't even think about putting a piece of fruit or vegetables in front of my face. How about all that lovely grilled chicken and steak that my husband is known for? Don't even think about it.

I definitely had more food aversions than I did cravings during my first trimester. But once I learned to recognize what things set me off and what things didn't (and even a couple of things that actually helped!) I felt much better, not to mention a little bit more in control of what was happening.

Ok, thats a lie. I'm pregnant - the biggest lesson I have learned thus far is "you can't control everything". Never thought I would see the day. Anyway, back to food.

I quickly learned that I needed to eat before I was actually hungry.  As I mentioned, during the first trimester (and actually, even now to some degree) I had to eat every two hours. If I didnt, I felt sick. Really, really sick. And not just nauseous sick. I become SO starving hungry you'd think that I hadn't eaten in weeks. I would get SO hungry that I felt like a crazy person, addicted to some kind of drug. All I could think about was getting something to eat, ANYTHING and eating it as fast as I could.  The hardest thing to manage was figuring out when those hunger pains would hit, because once they did I had about 3 minutes to get something in my belly before the crazy took control.

As soon as I had a little food in my stomach it was like the blinders came off and the fog lifted. I no longer saw the world through the eyes of a maniac. I could see clearly once again.

But only for another hour and fifty minutes.

So I learned that I needed to eat something, just a little something, before I was hungry. At the first little twinge of a rumble in my stomach I had a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast or a granola bar ready to go. And let me tell you, that worked wonders.

After the first week of feeling really nauseous (and confirming that I was indeed pregnant, not just turning into a crazy person) and consuming a diet of cereal, plain toast, pizza and macaroni and cheese I knew that I had to start eating more healthy. Not only for me, but for the baby! I know those pregnancy pounds add up quick and there was no reason to gain it all in the first few weeks if I could avoid it. Since my usual healthy foods were not an option I had to think outside the box. An easy way to get a few servings of fruits and veggies? Juice 'em!

During this time I was also craving cold, thick drinks - think milkshakes and smoothies. I resisted the urge to get a McDonalds strawberry milkshake every morning and instead opted for a fruit smoothy or fresh fruit/vegetable juice. Not only did it fulfill my craving, it was also giving me some much needed vitamins! I found it was easier to gulp down a glass of juice than it was to force myself to eat a salad.

Luckily I am starting to get back to normal. I still have to have two (or three) breakfasts every day, but I am starting to eat regular sized portions now (instead of baby sized portions like before) and the other day I actually went three and a half hours between eating! Good stuff, right? Man how my life has changed - this is the stuff I get excited about now??

As I type that I am sitting here with my (decaf) cappuccino, the first one I have made myself in almost 10 weeks, and I am happy as a clam :)

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