Pregnancy Cravings & Vegetarianism.

There are a few common things that most everyone associates with pregnancy.  Among them are things like morning sickness, stretch marks, fatigue, and of course – cravings.

I don’t know that I’ve experienced any real “cravings” so far, but there have definitely been times where something sounded good, and suddenly it was the only thing I wanted.  Maybe that’s a craving, maybe that’s just a very limited appetite – I’m not sure.  But either way, one thing is definitely for sure – my appetite and diet has changed drastically in the last 13 weeks, and I’ve found myself eating things that would never normally be a part of my weekly grocery trips.

Most of what I have been wanting has been carbs and citrus, and I’ve tried my best to get those in the most healthy way possible.  Pregnancy “cravings” are so typically associated with un-healthy things like fast food, entire gallons of ice cream in one sitting, and packaged junk, and I think because I don’t regularly eat any of that, my body doesn’t crave what it isn’t use to having.  That said, Casey and I were taking a nice walk the other night – one of the first spring nights where it was still warm in the evening, and you could tell families and friends were all gathering outside for dinners in the yard or drinks on porches.

I have mentioned before that my sense of smell is ridiculously keen these days, and as we walked and talked, I couldn’t get past the delicious smell of backyard barbecues and summer grill-outs.  Suddenly I reaaaaaaally wanted a burger and fries.  It was all I could think about as we continued our walk, and smells of nearby grills continued to fill the air.

And so we changed our route home so that my adoring husband could run into Safeway and grab a big bag of potatoes and a new bottle of ketchup so that my perfect springtime meal could be a reality.

IMG_8704

I have heard and read many stories about pregnant women suddenly being overcome with cravings for things like McDonald’s or Steak N Shake.  I don’t personally believe that a craving is a medical necessity to eat or have something, but rather a strong want or desire.  Sometimes it is okay to fill those wants, and other times I find that they can be satisfied just as well with a little extra effort to do things your own way. 

IMG_8697 (640x427)

Delicious oven-roasted yukon gold potatoes.  Still starchy and full of carbs, but so much better for both me and my baby than jumbo fries from the drive through.

IMG_8698 (640x423)

And I assure you this veggie burger was far better than anything I would have gotten outside of my house – complete with organic swiss cheese, pickle slices, a sesame seed bun, and ketchup and mustard to finish!

IMG_8701 (640x425)

And of course, a few extra pickles on the side.  I guess what I’m saying is that while of course it’s okay to treat yourself here and there, it is not okay to use pregnancy as an excuse to throw nutrition out the window.  In fact, this is the time to make sure you are eating your best!  After all, you are truly eating for two. 

IMG_8703 (640x427)

I’ve been somewhat surprised by how many times I’ve been asked if I plan to remain a vegetarian throughout the duration of my pregnancy.  For me, eating a vegetarian diet is about so much more than food – it’s about health, ethics, and the environment.  If anything, being pregnant has strengthened my resolve to try to make choices that make a difference.  And while I will allow my children make their own choices about vegetarianism (once they are of age to do so), I will hope that my example of health and compassion will be one that leads them down the same path.

Just as families grow and change, I expect that in the coming years my values and ideas about food and health with grow and change as well.  The one thing I know will be a constant is that I will try to be a healthy role model for my children – both before and after they are born.