We sat down with Molly Yeh, cookbook author, blogger and host of Food Network show Girl Meets Farm to discuss her second pregnancy and all the feels coming along for the ride. As she preps for bringing daughter number two into her idyllic life on a Minnesota farm, Molly’s chatting everything from mac and cheese cravings to figure skating binge-watching and all the cozy moments in-between. Peep our interview, below.
How are you feeling?
It’s been good! I will say, the beginning was a little wild and it was different from my first. All my symptoms were heightened and I was eating all the mac and cheese and all the carbs all the time. I’ve also been really tired. I also got this weird metallic taste in my mouth. So basically, it was a lot of mac and cheese and naps. Now, in my second trimester, I’m out of the woods and I feel good. Large, but good.
How is this pregnancy different from your first?
In one way, it’s been a bit more intense because I’m pregnant and also chasing after my two-year-old daughter, Bernie. At the same time, I’ve definitely been more relaxed with my approach to being pregnant. I’m not as strict about everything. With my first, I was reading all the books and trying to make sure I was getting the exact ounces of protein everyday and exact ounces of vitamins etc. This time, I decided to listen to my body. I’m still following the important rules like no runny egg yolks, but when it comes to eating and exercising, I’m really just listening to my body’s needs.
Also, I’m going on walks everyday, which is the best thing ever. With food, my first trimester was all carbs and I went with it. I snuck in vegetables when I could and if it didn’t gross me out. In the second trimester, I feel more like a sane person. I’m trying to be healthy but if I need the bagel, that’s OK, too. I don’t have an app on my phone. I don’t know exactly how many weeks I am. I’m just rolling with it.
Do you know what you’re having?
We’re having a girl, which when they told me, I didn’t believe them because I feel so different this time around. I thought it must be a boy. But I’m so excited for another girl and Bernie is so excited to have a little sibling. She’s been changing diapers on her stuffed animals and wraps up her babies and carries them around.
How was your journey to pregnancy?
I always knew I wanted to space my kids apart because I’ve had so much fun with Bernie and hanging out with her. We’re buds, like we do each other’s nails and makeup. I wanted to make sure to savor time with her and get to a point where we could feel like she would really thrive in her role as big sister. We were never in a rush after she was born. At some point last year, we were like, OK, why not? This sounds like a fun thing to do. We stopped not trying and so we’re very lucky that everything has gone smoothly. She’s two-and-a-half, so when the baby is born, she’ll be almost three.
Obviously food is central to everything you do. Can you tell me about your diet and how it’s changed since becoming pregnant?
I’ve paid closer attention to increasing my nutrient intake versus making nutrients more efficient. I’m switching to smaller meals throughout the day and making sure I get my vitamins. Now I sound like a rule follower, but whenever I’m filming, we’re on a pretty regular schedule because we have breakfast at the same time. The entire crew breaks for lunch at the same time and dinner at the same time. When I got pregnant, exactly two hours after breakfast, I’d be starving. So I’d have avocado toast and an orange, and even before lunch, I’d have another snack, like a hard boiled egg. Being starving as a pregnant person is so aggressive. A lot of my diet was how to avoid not being too starving and anticipating it with healthier snacks.
I don’t have an app on my phone. I don’t know exactly how many weeks I am. I’m just rolling with it.
How are you preparing your daughter for number two?
Every morning she wakes up and lifts my shirts and pats my belly and says good morning to the baby.
We talk about what we should name the baby. She says Bernie. I’m working on explaining to her that it would be a little confusing. We’re always talking about it. Bernie also decided which room would be her sister’s room and which would be her room. So we’re trying to let her have as much say in decisions as she is able to.
How have you been practicing self-care?
The walks have been a game changer. I noticed really early on that this time would be different with my workouts because right off the bat, they were a struggle. I’ve alwways worked out and with Bernie, I was lifting weights. But this time, I take walks, I listen to podcasts, I walk down to the neighboring farm and back. I’ve noticed how wonderful it felt physically and mentally to have that. They’ve been everything, such a priority. Other than that, I love skincare. I love face masks. May Lindstrom is my new favorite skincare and masks. She has this honey mud mask. So it’s little bits of that here and here. I love watching figure skating. That’s my favorite hobby. During Bernie’s nap, I sit and lean into figure skating on TV. I’m watching it all the time!
How will you handle working or time off with number two?
I am super strict about time off, even now during my weekends, I close my computer. I don’t do any work on Saturdays. During my first leave, I was very strict about the three months I took and I guarded those with my mama bear claws. That’s impenetrable and I’m so extremely lucky that everyone I work with is understanding of that. Everyone knows not to bother me between February and May.
You explore your Jewish and Asian roots in your cooking. Which traditions will you be bringing into your birth or your home with this new arrival?
I’m definitely superstitious. We did very little with Bernie’s nursery and didn’t do a lot until she was born. We got necessities but we didn’t make a big deal out of the nursery. We never did a gender reveal or anything and, in the Ashkenazi tradition, you name kids after deceased ancestors, so that was a tradition that we followed with her name. She was named for Nick’s great great grandpa who settled the farm and my grandpa Bernard and Rosemary after my grandma on my mom’s side. That to me is so important. Any time we talk about her name we can talk about her and tell her those stories. As far as traditions we do now, we do Chinese New Year. We do Jewish New Year. Matzoh ball soup is her favorite food. I’m always cooking up Chinese and Jewish food.
What are you hopes for your child?
I think the greatest gift my parents gave me was encouragement to follow my passions and follow my heart and really lean into whatever it was excited about. I went to Juilliard for classical percussion and almost as soon as I got out, I decided I wanted to go into food and blogging and writing. They were always supportive of that. That’s what I want to give my child. And I want to example Tikun Olam – making the world a better, more accepting and welcoming and loving place. I want to help them embrace and celebrate others and differences. I really want them to feel excited about their heritage and their family traditions and also celebrate those of others.