The Joy of Food

As I mentioned (rather bitterly) in my last post, during my recent pregnancy I fell out of love with food a little.

It wasn’t some crisis of food faith but more that in my nauseous, indigestion-inflicted state, the enjoyment was overridden by various ailments. To top it all off, I could no longer consume the edible delights that had been making me smile for years. Surely I wasn’t the only expectant mother to feel hard done by with the food restrictions?

Ok, so I know it’s a small price to pay to help your baby’s wellbeing. But at the time it felt quite restrictive and looking back, I’d say that these were my 5 most missed foods from pregnancy:

1. Meats and Fish

Whilst protecting my unborn, cured meats and smoked fish and were out-of-bounds. Deep sea fish such as tuna and seabass were closely rationed because of the mercury levels. Shellfish were to be avoided, and if I did have prawns at home, they had to be cooked so thoroughly they were like chewing rubber!

Cured meats – Off the menu

2. Cheese

Some – or what felt like most – cheeses were off the menu too. I said goodbye to beloved Brie and bacon sarnies, baked Camembert, and many other delicious and pongy cheese varieties. A sad time indeed.

3. Eggs

Weekend cafe breakfasts of eggs Benedict became a mere dream, because of the runny yolk of the poached eggs and the raw ones in the hollandaise sauce. Scrambled eggs at home matched the prawns on the rubber scale, needing to be cooked to within an inch of their lives to be safe for consumption.

4. Steak

The rare (excuse the pun) treat of a steak dinner was no longer enjoyable, as the beef would need to be ‘well done’ and not my usual choice of that mouth-watering pink and juicy medium-rare. It just wasn’t worth it.

5. Alcohol and Caffeine

Of course the drinks – or lack of – need a big mention. For a long time, the thought of alcohol gave me a bilious feeling in my stomach, which helped me to feel that I wasn’t missing anything. But by the time Christmas arrived, I was pining for a snifter of red wine by a roaring fire, not to mention a mug of steaming Gluhwein at the Christmas market. And let’s face it, toasting in the new year with non-alcoholic elderflower fizz just isn’t the same…

It wasn’t just the alcohol that I came to miss. Being northern, I love a good brew and to be honest decaf tea didn’t really hit the spot. It wasn’t all bad though – I discovered that although a big fan of a barista-prepared latte, being no connoisseur I couldn’t really taste the difference between full strength and the safe stuff. Although I certainly missed that ‘I’ve had a caffeine hit, now I can get through the morning’ feeling!

Latte

I missed that caffeine hit to help get through the morning

Food for Motivating Thought

So having been deprived of these edible pleasures, I did what I think a lot of expectant Mums probably do and made a list of everything I was going to enjoy stuffing my face with once the baby arrived. It was even part of the coaching technique my husband used to help me in labour. As well as reminding me that with every contraction I was closer to meeting our child, he also bribed me with the promise of being able to sample those delights I had missed for 9 months.

Making up for Lost Time

It turned out that the mention of those forbidden fruits did help during the labour, and now that little F is with us, I fully intend to make up for lost time and fall back in love with food again.

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