I think it’s interesting how body triggers certain things, like food cravings, during pregnancy. I once knew a friend who ate a sub sandwich every day during her nine-month journey. I don’t blame her, as I too crave carbs more than anything these days, mainly in a form of bread (and not pasta or rice). Subway is definitely one of my favorite go-to places when I have the urge for some good old wheat bread.
In-N-Out Burger is also my favorite place to go when I’m in a mood for a hearty, carb-y (and junky) meal. And during our recent trip to my favorite hamburger joint, I discovered something amazing – a veggie burger! I read that ground meat can be unsafe during pregnancy due to high risk of contamination if not cooked properly, so I’ve been avoiding it like a plaque (unless prepared and cooked at home), so this vegetarian version with onion, tomato, and lettuce sandwiched between two sweet buns is just perfect for my hungry tummy! I’m not joking when I say that this is tastier than the regular, meaty version. It’s not necessarily low in calories since it’s still drenched in the Thousand Island dressing, but I think it’s slightly better healthwise.
It doesn’t bother me much that I don’t get to eat ground meat, but I do miss eating raw fish regularly. I love sushi, smoked salmon, and pretty much all things fish, so it was quite an adjustment at first to eliminate my protein of choice from my daily diet. But thank goodness for avocados! It has a very similar buttery texture as some raw fish and it definitely serves as a wonderful alternative. I like to pile avocado chunks and thinly sliced cucumbers on top of sushi rice and pretend like I’m eating a tuna bowl. Wasabi and seaweed add a special touch to the bowl.
I’m trying to be as cautious as I possibly can when it comes to what I consume. There are so many food-borne bacteria that we adults can fight off but a fetus cannot. It was overwhelming at first to learn about all the things that I cannot eat (unpasteurized cheeses, deli meats, ground meat, raw fish, other fish high in mercury, etc.) and searched “is it safe to eat _____ during pregnancy?” more times than I’d like to admit, but I’m finally getting the hang of it.
I do wonder sometime, however, if we’re being overly paranoid these days. I always think of all those pregnant women in Japan who continued to eat raw and other fish and ended up delivering a perfectly healthy baby. And there’s got to be mothers-to-be in France who consumed Brie and other cheeses made out of unpasteurized milk throughout her nine months and everything turned out fine.
The Internet is a very helpful place for expecting parents but it can also be a pretty dangerous place, if we don’t proceed with caution. While I appreciate all the available resources (there are some fabulous bulletin boards out there that are not only informative but super supportive), it can also embed unnecessary fear in us.
I remember spending hours one night researching something on the Internet that was concerning me, only to walk away more terrified than ever. I literally spent days afterward crying and worrying about “what ifs,” until my husband finally had to peel me off from the computer and tell me to stop. Once I stopped, I felt instantly better, hopeful, and optimistic that everything was going to be okay. I now make a conscious effort to ignore all the negative stuff, and at times excuse myself from the online world altogether.
There will always be little hiccups along the way, but this is the happiest time of my life and I’m determined to enjoy every second of it, stress free. And it all starts with positive thoughts, and, of course, lots of yummy carbs.
(Here’s a picture of my tummy, at the start of my 27th week … It feels like Pon Pon grew overnight!)