CRAVINGS AND AVERSIONS
One of the typical questions you get when you’re pregnant is, “What are you craving?” And people will tell you their husbands drove to get them food in the middle of the night to satisfy their wildly weird needs. Not me. I was mildly disappointed that I didn't have any funky cravings, like the stereotypical ice cream and pickles combo. I barely even had any cravings, and I was disappointed about that, too. I should also mention that at no point did I ever, for a single second, crave any animal products. It’s not abnormal for someone to crave something they are usually morally opposed to eating. Some people give in to that, and some don’t. I was not one of those people who had a hankering for animal products, but I know a lot of women do. I don't know if it's because I haven't eaten meat in 19 years or any animal products in 4.5, but, either way, there was none of that. If I had had those cravings, I would have found myself a vegan alternative. Period.
What I did crave at some point were clementines: those little oranges that fit in the palm of your hand. The brands are typically Cuties or Halos. I could eat an entire bag in one sitting if I didn't watch myself. But it could have been worse, right? I also had an occasional desperate need for frozen fruit or those frozen fruit popsicles. In addition to eating clementines and frozen fruit constantly, I ate really healthy for the duration of my pregnancy (once I got past the nausea). I definitely ate healthier than I did before I was pregnant! Part of the reason was because I could just imagine everything I ate directly nourishing my little nugget, and I did not want to "nourish" her with garbage. It's as simple as that. (Nourishing with garbage even sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) Occasionally I would eat some junk (who can resist a good plate of fries sometimes, y'know?), but I mostly ate whole foods.
Generally speaking, I'm an equal opportunity fruit and vegetable eater. There really isn't a single fruit or vegetable (now that I do not detest avocados or Brussels sprouts) that I don't like. But, boy, did I lose my taste for some when I was pregnant. I realize this is a fungus, but I could not stomach oyster mushrooms! Out of nowhere! I remember when it first happened. The restaurant in our community's clubhouse is not vegan friendly at all; however, the chef ALWAYS tried to come up with something for me out of the limited ingredients he had. Because he was limited to a few vegetables, the dishes were usually the same and almost always involved tomatoes and oyster mushrooms. Normally that was not a problem. One evening, he made me a sandwich using those ingredients. I took one bite and gagged!! Huh?! Why?? OMG the texture of the oyster mushrooms was DISGUSTING. I have never had food texture issues but I did all of a sudden. I did not have the heart to tell the chef about the mushrooms, since it wasn't his fault at all. Of course that means he used oyster mushrooms in every. single. dish. Of course, right? So my husband just ate them all for me. :) If I recall correctly, that was the only real aversion that lasted the duration of my pregnancy. There were MANY things I couldn't stomach during my first trimester, but that was because of the nausea.
Once I got past the first trimester, I resumed eating normally. I ate a ton of cucumbers and tomatoes with some lemon juice and salt, celery with peanut butter, rice and beans, tofu, potatoes, etc. Very simple but very filling, which I needed because I was hungry all day long. I had to pack a gigantic lunch for work every day because I never knew how late I'd be working and I could not leave myself at the mercy of the building vending machines. My hunger to packed food ratio was sometimes off. I was still hungry after I ran out of snacks at work and had a hard time packing enough to satisfy my insatiable appetite. Thankfully my boss always had vegan protein bars in her desk. I have no idea why, but I was grateful she did!
To this day, I still eat mostly foods from the earth; it's what I genuinely love eating. I will give credit to my mom for raising my brother and me on lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. I will also give credit to my mentor, Jill Ryther (I will very rarely drop names in my blog, but this one is really, really important to me). She helped me and inspired me without even trying. Briefly, Jill Ryther is an animal rights attorney in Los Angeles, and I had the INCREDIBLE opportunity to take an externship with E.A.R.N. (https://www.expandanimalrightsnow.org/), her 501(c)(3) nonprofit, when I was in law school. My life, and, subsequently, my pregnancy, would have looked completely different if it weren't for her. More on her and why I finally went vegan some other day. :)