One thing that goes hand in hand with pregnancy is cravings and man have I had my share of weird and ‘wonderful’ ones.
Let’s start with in my first month of pregnancy, I was in search of certain textures – it was ‘smooth’ – it suddenly made me think of that smooth burger bun on McDonalds – it’s all I could think of for a solid week before I eventually caved and gave in. This was highly disturbing for me because I had not touched McDonalds in a good couple of years. I remember going through the drive-thru, and having a mind panic because I couldn’t remember what was on the menu and what I wanted to order.
I remember eating McDonalds three times in two weeks then – a MASSIVE amount of times considering I had never touched the stuff in years – did I enjoy it? – I am ashamed to say – I did.
I was relieved when that craving passed, then it was a search for spicy food – I think we ate curry three or four times in one week, sometimes I would cook and some of the time we would order from our favourite restaurant. Thank Goodness my husband just goes with the flow and let’s me dictate what’s on the menu for supper.
Then, most recently – my worst and by far scariest craving was pasta and all things carby! I had images of myself becoming the size of a house – going on that show ‘My 600 pound life’. I kid you not! I also could not get enough of red meat, I was eating copious amounts, which was making me very concerned because I was worried about my cholesterol levels. Also, then there was the craving for grilled cheese sandwiches…yum…ok…that one is still a thing right now!
What made these cravings all the more worrying was the food I used to love eating, green veggies, sweet potato, chicken, fish – my body wanted nothing to do with it. Sometimes the thought of these foods, let alone the smell would get my tummy turning.
I was relieved to speak to my gynae at my 12 week appointment. He told me, that all these cravings and food aversions would pass. It was totally normal and was just a phase. He added, that modern society has conditioned us into thinking carbs are bad – while I know better, it still bothered me because of the volume of it I was now consuming – consider this – from me eating organic whole wheat pasta, once a month as a treat – I was now eating it four times a week!!
What put my mind at ease was this – my doctor told me, that during pregnancy cravings is part of our instincts taking over, and we have little to no control over that. You will eat what your body needs you to eat and it’s ok, because it’s just a phase. The one thing he did tell me I needed to manage was my in- take of sugar – which can affect my blood sugar levels and the over development of the baby – what this means is – you could deliver a unusually big baby if you consume too much sugar – and ladies, we realize that would cause additional pain and discomfort during delivery.
At 15 weeks, I am feeling good, most of the bad cravings are gone, I have started eating chicken and fish again, and are enjoying veggies (green ones too) too. I have gained a total of 3 kilos since falling pregnant, so all that worrying was for nothing – regular exercise has been one of my saving graces.
Another good habit I held on to is having a healthy balanced breakfast every single morning, which plays a big role in controlling cravings all day.
This is what I would always have:
OATS AND CHIA SEED BOWL
1/3 cup of oats
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
4-5 chopped pitted dates
Handful of pumpkin seeds (great source of protein)
4 Tbsp plain double cream yoghurt
Handful of blueberries
2 chopped strawberries
1 Tsbp of 100% pure organic maple syrup
Cook oats in the microwave with some water and a sprinkle of cinnamon for about 2 minutes. At 40 seconds left on the time in the microwave, you can add your frozen blueberries (if they are fresh, leave out till oats are done). Once the oats are done – add everything else, stir and enjoy.
I found this breakfast, kept me full and satiated for a good 2-3 hours.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Hemisha Bhana