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The Epic Battle of my Stomach

Where is my phone?
So, I'm pregnant and stuff.  And because of that I have a combination of responsibility to eat right and food aversions.  I am the first to admit that on any given day I am not the healthiest of eaters.  I love processed foods.  The potato, in an form, is an amazing thing.  I love boxed whatevers.  Tuna Helper might be the best thing that has ever been invented and then shipped out to the masses in dehydrated, boxed form.  And contrary to what Anthony Bourdain would tell you, I think the McDonald's Chicken McNugget is absolutely delicious.  As is McDonald's Sweet & Sour sauce.  Hmm. . .now I am hungry.

I have been trying my best to be good.  My snacks at work consist mostly of red bell peppers dipped in ranch salad dressing.  My crackers are whole grain.  I'm ignoring the freezer full of ice cream. No potato chips for me, thanks.  But I can't pass up those french fries drenched in malt vinegar!  Baby needs ketchup.

Then add in my pregnancy food aversions.  Some of the aversions have worked in my favor - candy is gross.  But then the others.  Ugh.  Meat.  Meat is so gross.  Gross to the extreme.  So gross that last night for dinner my husband had a huge, juicy steak and I had cheesy rice and broccoli.  The steak smelled good, certainly looked great.  But yuck!  Same thing with chicken (but the roast chicken we made last week was fine!), shrimp, beef of any kind, sausage, pork, etc.  Finding meat sources that I can stomach right now is difficult.

But I am doing my best.  Luckily veggies and I are still on a first name basis.  Milk is my buddy.  Cheese would never turn it's back on me.  And I am forcing the issue on things like the dreaded fruit.  Although mostly in V8 juice form.  Plus I am forcing myself to eat salads.  In my over weight opinion there is nothing more wasted than the space a salad fills.  Pointless, almost flavorless, raw veggies and lettuce that you can only hope to stuff past your palate and not get killer gas from.  But I'm being a good girl and trying my hardest.  It helps that the tomatoes are from our garden and super yummy.

But still.  Ugh.  How gross.  Colorful and pretty, but not appetizing at all.  See those raw carrots?  Gag.

Now THAT'S more like it!  Hey, there is only so much a girl can do.  Baby's gonna have to meet me half way on the salad issue.  Sorry kiddo.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
You know, I hated salads until I started eating with Christopher's parents. I think it's because my parents' idea of salad was iceberg, tomatoes, cucumbers and sometimes cheese and eggs. Slathered in dressing, of course. I'm noticing my parents are responsible for a lot of unhealthy eating in my life.

Anyway, Joan in particular made me love salads. I go through phases of wanting them or not, but what makes me like them is the variety of ingredients and the green lettuces versus iceberg. I throw chickpeas into my salads sometimes. Nom. I like to keep shelled sunflower seeds around to toss on salads for crunch. Sometimes I put black beans (from a can, but washed) on a salad. Or mandarin oranges. *shrug* You put what you like on it and you will find you like salads. And if that means croutons and cheese...go to town. :)
Jul. 16th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have tried a variety of things. Romaine lettuce is def better than iceberg. But there just aren't many veggies that I like raw. My parents also raised me on a crap diet and put most of my bad eating habits into place. Hell, my dad taught me to eat cereal by adding sugar to it! Cereal does not need several tablespoons of sugar poured on top of it! But we try, try again. And cheese and croutons help. :)
Jul. 17th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
As a very picky person who adores her veggies, and who by necessity is becoming less and less of a meat eater (Damn you tummy!) I have a few suggestions.

Experiment with ingredients. While Romaine is an improvement over iceberg (which has little to no flavor) the spring mixes have quite a bit of flavor. If you don't like the bitterness of some of the lettuces in there, look for a package without the yellow-green frizee, or just pick it out. These mixes are excellent because they contain tastier lettuces that also happen to contain a lot more iron (thus the darker green colors) and will be wonderful for the kiddo. Salads shouldn't be just about a lighter diet, but about a nutrition-added food... the Iceberg with factory-made croutons and cheese shreds accomplishes neither.
Good things to put on a salad that are tasty:
Balsamic vinegar. If you frequent the Trader Joe's nearby, get the square bottle with the red label.
Good olive oil. I like the California Estate (green label) also from TJ's.
Sunflower seeds or Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Oil-cured olives. Great texture, good saltiness.
Fresh mozzarella balls for protein
GOAT cheese. It is just amazing. Crumble some on top of mac and cheese or pizzas, too.
Feta. See above.
Scrambled eggs, chilled in the fridge.
Salmon cooked and herbed, chilled in the fridge.
Good tomatoes from your garden (which will love the balsamic vinegar and nice olive oil)
Avocados... ripe ones that you'd use for perfect guacamole. Should give like a perfect pear, but not a perfect peach (ewww... too mushy)
Cucumbers. If you can find the Persian or Middle eastern style ones they are awesome. Thin skinned, very sweet and the seeds are actually nice to eat.
Qinoa: (Keen-wa) Funky grain that cooks like rice is great to sprinkle salads with. Nice protein. Tasty. Also good as a side carb in and of itself
And canned beans (if you don't have any fresh soaked) Chickpeas, whole lentils, and black beans are ideal. Good protein, good texture, and have a bit of their own flavor.

Additional non-salad tips for dealing with being a temporarily not-exactly Vegetarian
BEANS! Magical protein and apocalyptic farts...
Most of the gas comes from a complex carbohydrate for which we don't have a terribly good enzyme to break down. The problem compound is found primarily in the skin, and comes out during soaking or cooking. So...
When from a can: rinse and drain in a colander before serving or cooking.
When soaking dried beans: soak for at least 24 hours and rinse thoroughly afterward. Then cook or add to salads.
Especially when in damn hurry but good for all bean times: add a herb called Epazote (found at that contains the magical enzyme. Don't overload on it, as it does have its own flavor, and too much will overpower whatever you are cooking.

Tempeh. Sauteed in butter. 'Nuf said.

All around tip:
Salt will probably become an enemy. Eventually the DR might tell you to cut back, especially if you do keep eating a lot of processed foods. Their secret ingredients are fat, sugar, and salt. All of these add up to hypertension, gestational diabetes, and not-so-good weight gain.
Any time you are confronted by bland food, and are tempted to throw a ton of salt or butter on something to make it better, instead, try squeezing a bit of lemon juice on it. Often we misunderstand what our taste buds are asking for when we think "needs more salt" often it is actually "needs more acid" Try it on mac and cheese, grilled chicken, salads, rice, stir fry. Marinate meats with it... Any time you are thinking something needs more salt. A variation is to use the balsamic vinegar. Not always the right fit, but your nose will probably tell you when it isn't before you pour. Only use these as marinades or finishers, otherwise the flavor will become muddy from the high heat of cooking, and can be gross.
Lime is good too, but has fewer good applications than lemons. Trust your nose.

Hope this is helpful and not preachy. These have been hard won lessons for me, and I actually enjoy my food so much more now. Heck, I don't get sick from it all of the time anymore!
Jul. 17th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
Holy Geeze! That is quite the list of suggestions! Some of them sound really good. Like the beans both you and Aud mentioned. And I already use low sodium everything and don't add salt to many things because I was raised on a low salt diet - one of the few good habits my parents started! Thanks! I will def consult this list for ideas.
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
glad to hear the salt thing. Salt has been the bane of more than a few friends' pregnancies.
Bon appetit!
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