Cravings are real. Like super real. And, when in the throes of a craving, there’s very little that satisfies outside of whatever it is that you’re craving. Or is there? Dare we ask, can we make smart choices when it comes to pregnancy cravings, or do we throw in the white flag and surrender to anything goes?
Let’s find out. We asked Amanda Chantal Bacon, Denise Vasi, Violette_ Fr, Angi Greene, and Gail Simmons to share on their experience eating while pregnant. What did we learn? As it goes with all of pregnancy, no two styles are alike!
The Health Nut
Amanda Chantal Bacon
“During my first trimester I was so nauseous it was crippling, which was weird because I didn’t tell anybody that I was pregnant. I was so sick and unfriendly at work that it started to read as rude when I stopped making eye-contact with everyone. However, as far as what I was eating, I needed animal fats every day, ALLLLL day. I couldn’t get enough yogurt, plus I was eating about 3/4 of a stick of raw butter on the daily, with about five pieces of toast — basically, the bread was a vehicle to get the butter down!
Second trimester was incredible. I felt great with tons of energy as though I was in a perma-eyes-wide-open meditation. Even when I meditated, I would lightly close my eyes and be way out there! That was super fun. Plus, my eating returned to normal, better than normal, in fact. I wanted salads, green juice, and protein-rich foods, plus I had an aversion to sweets — which is so unlike me. I became the person that I always wanted to be; all the goals were happening, the boobs, the meditation, no sweet tooth, and patience. I was the dream version of myself.
And now, the third trimester, well, you know, it’s starting to get a little weird! After that second trimester, I thought it would be smooth sailing into my orgasmic birth…but no, shit is getting weird. I can’t stop eating, and the sweet tooth is back. I knew as much when my husband and I drove out to Ojai to go to a particular health food store that makes vegan, gluten-free buttermilk chocolate donuts with rainbow sprinkles! We could have saved the 4-hour drive and gotten a regular donut in LA, but no. I tried to tell myself that we were going to Ojai for “the nature” and hot springs, but really, it was that donut. I think my husband knew we were there for the donut when I got three and told him we could skip the hike. Perhaps this is the part where the cravings come in. Cute.”
“When pregnant, I’m less concerned with rules and more focused on listening to what my body needs. Leading up to this pregnancy, I didn’t know if my body was going to crave meat, and I prepared myself for that possibility (although I’ve yet to want it). Everything that I follow is an 80/20 rule. I don’t believe in this idea of “cheating,” because who are you cheating? Nor do I like the term “cheat day.” Instead, I prefer to say we indulge. Plus, I practice vitamin + food combining, which teaches combining supplements with a specific food or another pill so that your body can best absorb the nutrient. For example, when I take vitamin D, I always have it with a half avocado, because the healthy fat will help to absorb the vitamin better. The way that you put things together enhances their effect so that your body gets the most out of it.”
The Anything-Goes Gal
“With Dahlia, I craved very specific things, namely cold fruit and ice pops. This time I’ve been relatively even-keeled although very snacky. I go from an insatiable hunger to utterly full in two seconds, but want everything from pasta to candy to chocolate. Being in the food world has proved beneficial when it comes to an understanding of what I’m eating. I’m not particularly restrictive about what I eat, as long as I know it’s from a clean, quality source that’s nitrate & sulfate free. I’ve mainly been avoiding raw protein—eggs, and meat—but that ’s about it. I can’t stress enough the importance of making smart food choices and being educated on what you’re eating.
For example, most cheese in America (unless you’re buying a rare European cheese) is fine, as it’s typically pasteurized or aged over 60 days—there’s very little to worry about in general regarding cheese in the States.
It’s important to be cautious about raw fish, meat, and eggs—mostly because of cross-contamination, as you don’t know how many people have handled it. I’m less worried about runny eggs during this pregnancy, but I’ll only eat eggs from a trusted source. I also try to avoid seafood filters like clams, oysters, and muscles, as it’s their job in the ocean to filter the water. I don’t eat soy for the same reason, as the soy plant acts like a sponge and it’s roots naturally absorb pesticides plus other contaminants while growing.”
“Before I became pregnant, I had this vision of working out all the time and eating super clean, but you know how it is, once the hormones kick in, you’re like an animal, and there’s NOTHING you can do. For the first four months, I couldn’t even look at a vegetable, a piece of meat, or fish (which has temporarily affected my hair without proper nutrients!), nor could I work out. I literally could only eat carbs and cheese, plus I was sleeping all of the time–so cliche, the French girl with the baguette! I was terrified. I thought that was the new me! Slowly the intensity of the first trimester began to wear off, and I was able to eat better and work out again.”
The Food Combiner
“During my first pregnancy, I was only at the beginning of my plant-based vegan journey, and towards the end of the nine months, I craved meat. However, this time, perhaps because I’ve been vegan longer, I haven’t had any weird cravings. When I was very sick, my doctor suggested that I try eating animal protein as it would give me more substance and help with the vomiting. I was desperate at that point and willing to try anything (literally anything) to feel better! Therefore, I made eggs a few times but immediately got sick. I also took a bite of Noah’s turkey & cheese sandwich (out of desperation on a flight), but then got sick. At some point, I gave up the notion that animal protein would help and accepted the fact that some women have sensitive pregnancies and I’d have to sit tight and wait it out.
Overall, my eating habits are not too far off from how I typically eat in my “non-pregnant life,” except that I eat a bit more. I have pure celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach — I’ve been doing this for about three weeks and have never felt better. I’ve had celery juice for years mixed with other vegetables, but there’s something to be said about having it alone. Honestly, I was wary of jumping on this band-wagon as it’s such a “health” trend and I tend to be cautious about food trends. However, the benefits are incredible! It’s opened up this whole new energy level in me. About 30 minutes after my celery juice, I have a huge bowl of pineapple, nectarines, and raspberries, followed by two slices of avocado toast with sea salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon.
For lunch, I typically have a large salad with kale, cucumber, tomatoes, more avocado with lemon, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil dressing. I’ll pair the mixture with a veggie burger with Veganese, lettuce, avocado, and Zekial bread (I’ve been much hungrier these days). I either have plant-based burgers like the Omni burger or a veggie burger by Dr.Preggers — I find the veggie burger gives me that added substance my body needs while pregnant. I generally don’t eat between lunch and dinner as I’m not a snacker, but if I were to have a snack, I’d have a coconut yogurt with cashews or a green juice. For dinner, I’ll make a sauté with mushrooms, kale, and brown rice with a touch of olive oil, nutritional yeast, and lemon. I love rice; I’m a big believer in carbs. Our bodies consist of carbs, and we need them for our energy levels to thrive. I can’t imagine life without them.”