Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Biggest Pregnancy Cravings

my first trimester best friend: organic fried chicken sandwich with slaw from The Organic Coup

Food cravings are an interesting thing. I have always been curious what my specially tailored pregnancy cravings would be when I inevitably, hopefully, got pregnant, if I had any at all. My mother loves to tell people about regularly sending my father down the street at 1 AM to the 7-Eleven for a Slurpee ("Blue raspberry, specifically."), and my friend Cassie's second pregnancy cravings sent her after spicy foods and tomatoes -- two things she'd always avoided.

My relationship with food during these 2+ trimesters of pregnancy has been an inconsistent and fairly boring one, I must admit. Nothing quite like what I expected, but then again, it hardly surprises me the kind of food I've gravitated towards.

The first trimester was less about cravings than it was about aversions, which means the food I wanted was less about genuinely wanting it than it was about not being disgusted by it. It closely resembled my PMS food staples: salty and fatty, in only the way that fast food burgers, french fries, and burritos can be. Vegetables of any kind, particularly cooked, were a no-no thanks to nausea, and though I could technically eat meat without feeling ill, I absolutely could not be the one cooking it. It was a truly dark time for my diet. (The good news: my body worked so hard and efficiently creating another organ -- my baby's fancy new placenta -- that I gained exactly zero pounds during those first 12 or so weeks, despite treating my body like a fast food garbage can.)

If I could categorize any specific food as a Capital "C" Craving of my first trimester, it would probably be fried chicken sandwiches and red grapes. There was something about foods that were cold and crisp (or contained elements that could be categorized as such) that were especially tempting and satisfying; even the sandwiches fit the bill, thanks to crunchy pickles, or crisp coleslaw. (I even went out of my way to get this one from Plan Check when I was visiting my sister in LA. Worth it.)

The second trimester meant nausea was mostly a thing of the past, and I was gradually able to start cooking again. By then, mere habit had turned my body onto those salty and fatty staples of weeks prior (something I still have yet to shake), but the expanded capacity to stomach veggies meant that salads were back on the menu.

It was around this time that my staunch 'No Coffee' rule began to wither. The first trimester had been trying; I was hit with a level of fatigue and exhaustion I didn't know was possible. Not having coffee to counteract just a little bit of it was by far the worst part of this "Foods and Drinks You Must Limit or Avoid During Pregnancy" challenge. Even though pregnant women are allowed 200 mg of caffeine per day (the standard cup of coffee has about 94 mg, but caffeine shows up in chocolate too, which counts towards that 200 mg total), anyone with a coffee addiction knows that it's a slippery slope. One cup is just not enough. Now it's a morning staple and I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I'm sad to say that I haven't craved anything particularly odd. No weird combos (though the stereotypical "peanut butter and pickles" is already a favorite food pairing of mine, which I enjoy almost daily on my morning toast), and nothing that would make anyone else go But why??

The most identifiable and consistent cravings have been primarily a matter of convenience. A Baja Fresh "Baja" Burrito is something I regularly request for dinner due to it being right downstairs from our apartment. It's refreshing and surprisingly light for a large burrito (just chicken, pico de gallo, and guacamole, with added sour cream and shredded lettuce), so I never feel guilty eating it. I've easily eaten two dozen of them throughout my 31 weeks of pregnancy so far. I have no doubt baby's love for burritos will be fierce, just like her papa.

Another convenience craving has been Dickey's Fried Okra, which usually hits mid-afternoon while I'm at work, and a Dickey's is just a short drive away. This indulgence has been less frequent (though the craving is constant), since I usually do feel guilty after eating a heaving pile of them.

Finally, so far in my third trimester, it's been all about SUGAR. I think it's because my doctors prescribed me to the "gestational diabetes diet," although I do not, in fact, have GD. Apparently my body takes just a little too much time to process sugar than is ideal, so they were like "Better cut out sugar." My midwife was sort of ehhh, you really are fine about the whole thing, so I've sort of ignored the diet instructions. As long as Baby Hyatt is measuring nice and normal for size (which she is!), then I am unperturbed. Luckily for me, my body was suddenly like "SUGAR IS THE BEST THING EVEEEEERRRRRR" and it's become a daily craving of which my salt-loving body is not accustomed. I truly want all the pastries and cookies, all day every day.

Bring me some?

So yeah. I'm not sure what the rest of my third trimester will bring, but my guess is: more of the same. The copious amount of fruit I've been eating could be a craving, though it could also just be the endless bounty of summer. I'll probably still want things that are otherwise considered "bad" for me, though the beauty of being Pregnant in America is that my "DGAF" attitude about eating whatever I want is pretty commonplace.


  1. I think the Fried Sandwich is a clearly big craving. Not that you didn't eat those before, but you certainly didn't crave them.

    The SUGAR thing is nuts! I hope I don't have that craving, only because I don't handle lots of sugar well. We're so NOT sugar people, so I'm surprised! Interesting. :)

  2. BE CAREFUL WITH THE SUGAR! Only because I am a sugar addict, and boy, once you're body gets too much of that, it can be hell (or frankly impossible) to get off of.