Food cravings get a lot of press when it comes to wacky things that people want to know about what pregnant ladies are up to. A really well kept secret is that in the first trimester, we aren’t dealing with cravings. What we are dealing with, friends, is food aversions.
At any given time, there’s only a handful of things I think I could tolerate eating. That would be okay – I could just stock up on those things! – except that what I want (or more accurately, don’t not want) changes constantly. It’s a moving target. One day, only a dosa from a South Indian restaurant will do, the next day I can’t possibly imagine eating anything other than the vegan platter from my local Ethiopian restaurant. It’s getting a little expensive up in here.
Worse still, what I want (don’t not want) can change over the course of actually eating something. Last week I daydreamed about a slice of whole grain toast with Tofutti’s better than cream cheese and some raspberry jam. I made it for dinner, and it was truly glorious. So I made another one. Halfway through, I became disgusted with it and couldn’t eat another bite. Come on, stomach! We were doing so well!
I am finding myself running all over town pursuing whatever it is my body will allow, and staying out of the kitchen, where the smell of anything cooking is almost painful. (My best friends, garlic and onion, and I had a falling out.) I am starting to learn that I can reliably eat simple, cold foods without much flavour. Fruit, nuts, seeds, juice, chocolate soymilk – these things keep my stomach from eating itself over the course of a day (because don’t forget, I’m also dealing with extreme pangs of hunger over here).
My diet is becoming a bit of a nutritional disgrace, I’m afraid. My one guilt-alleviating meal has been my morning smoothie, which contains flax seeds, greens (kale, collards, romaine), a carrot, soymilk, orange juice, berries, and a scoop of vegan protein powder. Drinking this daily has, in my mind, made up for the oil-drenched take-out that my body has been insisting on. I have expressed my appreciation on several occasions that my body has continued to allow me this one simple and nutritious meal.
Until this morning. I gagged. I gagged on glops of green goop and turned queasy. I slowed down and was able to finish, but – oh body! – I am scared to see what tomorrow has in store.
I have it on good authority that the second trimester brings with it a relief from aversions and nausea, so I am looking forward to stuffing face with (healthful (relatively)) impunity.