Before I got pregnant I had heard many stories, including stories from my family members, of how they couldn't even look at vegetables during their first trimester. But I had also known some friends who did fine with vegetables and overall continued to eat their regular diet throughout their pregnancy.
While I kept an open mind, it was hard for me to fathom not liking my usual sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, warm oatmeal, salads, etc. And for the first month of my pregnancy all of these foods still sounded and tasted amazing to me! I still loved going to the markets to buy produce and then loved spending time in the kitchen cooking up colorful, veggie-filled meals.
However, about a month into my pregnancy the food aversions started to kick in. First to go was my usual warm, stovetop oatmeal. Then it was sweet potatoes. Then it was salad. And then it was roasted veggies. At first I keep trying to eat these foods out of guilt and confusion with my body, but soon it got to the point where I just couldn't stomach them. I started to worry about whether I was getting enough nutrients throughout the day. I started wondering how much my food choices would affect my baby. I started texting my mom friend who lives here in China literally asking,
"All I can eat is oily Chinese food...am I going to kill my baby?! Or pop out a blob of oil???"
Thankfully, she's a wise woman and reminded me that there are more Chinese than any other ethnicity in the world and that all of their mom's ate Chinese food while they were pregnant.
My baby would be just fine.
That wisdom brought me so much peace. Yes, I definitely can't unlearn what I've learned about nutrition and I still believe that whole, plant foods are more nutrient dense than processed white noodles coated in oil. BUT being healthy during pregnancy encompasses so many more facets than just what we eat.
From that point on I started to eat what sounded good and to not worry about the nutritional make-up of the foods I was eating. I had a feeling this would just be a phase and that I'd soon be back to eating my normal "healthy" meals. I figured it would do my baby and I more good to eat food that would actually stay inside my body than to try to force myself to eat vegetables that would just get thrown up a few minutes later.
This, and my mom friend's comment, really changed my mindset towards having a healthy pregnancy. There are so so so many mothers in the world, from all different cultures. They all eat a variety of diets (some of which I would deem "unhealthy"), but the majority of them gave birth to beautiful, healthy babies. This mindset allowed me to eat vegetables when someone else made them and they sounded good. But it also helped me to be okay when only white rice or peanut butter and jelly or Chinese food sounded good.
I wish I had taken more photos of the foods I ate during the rougher months of my first trimester so I could give you proof of my carb/Chinese food heavy diet, but I honestly wasn't a big fan of food most of the time and therefore didn't care to document what I was eating.
Thankfully I'm finally out of that phase and back in love with all my plant foods!
Today I'm sharing with you a full day of eating during my 15th week of pregnancy. I'm so thankful my plates were full of color and whole grains and even vegetables!
Overnight oats made with oatmeal, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, soy milk and almond butter. In the morning I topped everything off with banana, cacao nibs and a brazil nut.
My Red Lentil Pumpkin Soup (which I LOVE) served with brown rice and cilantro.
Baked fries and lots of caesar salad.
Thanks so much for reading along! If you too are a mom or currently pregnant, I'd love to know your experience with food aversions during pregnancy!