Comfort Foods For Morning Sickness
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
There you have it, the reason I haven’t been writing much lately, I am 15 weeks pregnant. Now that I am at the beginning of my second trimester, I have a little bit more energy and an appetite. But until now, I have not wanted to do anything other than sleep, and the last thing I wanted to do was think about food. It’s funny, I always thought, maybe a little self-righteously, that thanks to my clean diet I would be one of those lucky people who never got morning sickness. WRONG! I had pretty much constant nausea for almost 8 weeks with absolutely no appetite. I still have a rough day now and then. I can only thank my lucky stars that I was not one of those poor women (my heart goes out to them) who also have severe vomitting. No, I was not vomitting, but I did feel like I was undergoing a course of chemotherapy. I’ve heard all sorts of theories about what causes morning sickness and why some women get it and some don’t, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply caused by hormones, and since everyone’s hormone levels are different (and their bodies’ reaction to it) and every baby is different, there really is no rhyme or reason. It just is.
Whether or not you get morning sickness, every woman’s appetite will change in some way when she is pregnant, and the important thing is that no matter what, you still have to eat. (In fact, when I do eat, most of the time I feel a little better afterward.) But when you have no desire to eat the things you usually eat (or anything for that matter), what do you eat? And in particular, if you are gluten and dairy-free, most of the usual comfort foods are off-limits, so what do you eat then? I can really only speak for myself and what worked for me, because many of the foods other people recommended to me either did not appeal to me or even repulsed me. But here are some things that worked for me, and hopefully they will give you some ideas.
1. Cereal. This is what I ate almost every night before bed so that I could fall asleep. Before I was pregnant I rarely ate boxed cereal, because it is processed and has more refined carbs than a whole-grain breakfast porridge. But you can find some good tasting gluten-free cereals (check the sugar content though, some are pretty high), such as Mesa Sunrise flakes (shown above) made from amaranth and corn, or Millet Rice cereal (Though it is not certified gluten-free because it contains oat flour, it does not contain wheat and it is sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar). Cereal, for me, accomplished what the Saltine cracker does for most women. And since I had no energy to make my own almond milk, that box of Almond Breeze in the fridge worked wonders. Again, it’s processed, but it’s a convenient and still nutritious and allergy-free compromise when you need it.
2. Cottage Cheese. Yes, this is dairy. If you have a severe allergy to a milk protein such as casein or whey, don’t try this. But if you are simply lactose intolerant, this is a good option because since cottage cheese is cultured there is no lactose. If you are able to tolerate some dairy, you really should try to do so when you are pregnant. Cottage cheese and yogurt are easily digestible options. I have not had the stomach for yogurt lately, but cottage cheese has a mild enough flavor and for some reason is going down really well…
3. Mac-and-Cheese. No, not the real stuff (though I have to admit I cheated and had some at a potluck party last weekend). But if you can get brown rice macaroni with some kind of non-dairy or goat cheese sauce, score! There is actually a restaurant in Oakland called Homeroom that serves only mac-and-cheese. They have gluten-free and goat cheese options on the menu. I’ve been frequenting there often as I have cravings. But I also just found another option in my local health food store: Road’s End Organics gluten-free and dairy-free brown rice “Penne and Chreese.”
You can find it here online: http://www.edwardandsons.com/reo_shop_pastas.itml. I am not sure what stores carry it. They have at least a couple different varieties, including cheddar and alfredo mac-and-cheese. The ingredients are all wholesome so it’s a great comfort food snack even if you’re not pregnant!
Can you tell that I’m craving dairy and carbs? The sugar cravings are out of control…but whenever I cave in to that I feel even worse so I try to keep that in check.
After the nausea let up a couple weeks ago, I started having slight acid reflux. I never had it before I was pregnant, but it’s probably one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Chewable calcium tablets seem to work well as an antacid (plus they’re good for you!), as does a small glass of Perrier.
Hopefully I will be back into culinary creations soon, perhaps with some totally different ideas now that my appetite is having mood swings. But until then, bear with me as I navigate this new challenge!!