I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to pregnancy cravings. Nothing too ordinary or weird food combinations (apart from cheese with mustard, but I wouldn’t count it as it was a one off trial which was good). I put it all down to good nutrition before conceiving. Really it is the key to prepare your body and mind as much as possible before such an amazing and extraordinary journey.
Before becoming pregnant I was very disciplined with what I eat. Training every day, some days twice a day, does require dedication, pre-planning and finding easy ways for nutritious meals and snacks for quick recovery and adequate energy supply. Paul and I started to eat much more real, natural, unprocessed and balanced food. I also cut down any kind of wheat products as it was causing me discomfort in my GI track.
So when we found out that I was pregnant I knew that my diet has to be even better now. Not only I had to ensure that I get required nutrients, vitamins and minerals for me but I am growing a human being inside me which completely depends on my nutritious intake. Big big responsibility if you ask me. Anything I put into my mouth will affect this little creature for life.
Loads more fruit such as apples, grapes, bananas, nectarines, citrus fruits and any kind of fruits that are juice and sour. Before pregnancy I was starting to watch my fruit intake due to their high fruit sugar content and only had max. 3 portion a day (I was opting more and more for fresh vegetables). That was a bit odd but I wasn’t too concerned about it. I needed it – body was screaming for it.
Protein in form of chicken, fish but mostly BEEF! I could have killed the cow myself for a good old steak or a proper burger (medium rare of course, I know, I know not suppose to have it medium rare while pregnant, but the cravings….). We started to eat animals protein every day, where before we would have perhaps 2 or 3 days a week no animal protein at all (apart from eggs for breakfast). But again growing human cells requires protein, complete protein. And the best source for complete protein comes from animals. Plus iron! No wonder all my blood results always showed high iron present. Wonderful!
Dairy products – Especially in the last 3 months of the pregnancy I crave much more yogurt, full-fat, plain and/or flavored. Loads more cheese of any kind and from. Even soft cheeses and occasionally blue cheese (bad girl!). And of course butter! Slightly salted on ryvita – delicious! Even though I take Calcium supplements I still have yogurt 3 times a day. I can feel strong bones are baby is already has!
Otherwise I eat as before with small adjustments such as smaller portions and more often.
And here to:
I had a phase between 12 to 18 weeks of pregnancy where I craved and just had to have it no matter what – bread with butter. By bread I mean good rustic bread such as dark rye or spelt with loads (really loads!) butter. It was bad, really bad. I could consume a whole loaf of bread and in one session. No problem. I lost all senses of control and discipline (and my mind).
This phase went for about 6 weeks, with some days I could control it but some days it was too much and I had to give in. How did I feel? Rubbish. I had headache for days, dehydrated, constipated, water retention, low on energy, bloated, bad mood and temper (not good combination anyway with pregnancy hormones). And as I still tried to train every day (low to medium intensity) my recovery times were long (due to dehydration). I was in agony after only short weight session. Plus my teeth became very sensitive (!). All symptoms pointing towards WHEAT! And I knew it but I couldn’t gain control.
I did a little research and quickly found that craving bread with butter could be associated with low calcium! Of course butter has calcium but clearly not enough for both of us. I increased my yogurt intake (full fat Greek yogurt) and started taking Calcium supplements.
It was a miracle. After only 2 days my cravings disappeared almost over night. My teeth got better. Water retention went down, I became more energetic. No headaches. I started to feel great! And most important I got “control” over my mind.
All I can say, yes cravings are odd thing during pregnancy and can take over your mind (or make lose your mind). But listening to your body and noticing your behavior is the key. We can blame the pregnancy hormones, which are true, but at the end of the day if we are mindful of what we are putting in our month and think for one moment is that doing us and our baby any good, we can prevent any long term health issues for both. I know we all are unique and different but the basics are the same. Eat good, feel good, be healthy and happy. After all cravings tell us (or scream at us) that something is missing in our bodies, something is inadequate in our diet.
Nutrition is my passion. Food is my lover. Cooking is a second nature. Nature is what I love.