During my first trimester I never wanted to eat. The thought of food was repulsive. Fixing food made me feel sick. The smells made me flee the kitchen altogether. Yet, I knew Rebekah needed food. She made that very clear. As much as I didn’t want to eat, not eating made things worse. Most of the time that I found myself dry-heaving in the bathroom it was because I had not eaten anything.
I was conflicted: Eating was repulsive, but not eating made me sick. Fortunately, through trial and error I discovered that I could eat nutritious foods that nourished both Rebekah and I without making me gag.
These are 11 of the foods that are helping me survive pregnancy:
1. Cheesy Egg Sandwich on a Whole Wheat English Muffin.
During the first trimester I knew I needed protein, but most forms of protein (aka meat) made my stomach churn just by the smell of cooking meat. Eggs were one of the few things that sounded good to me. Plus, they have protein, vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids that Rebekah needs. I know several pregnant moms who eat three eggs a day! (Usually boiled.) I did get burnt out on boiled eggs, but other forms such as scrambled and fried were still delicious. To make this I toasted an English Muffin, fried an egg, topped it with sharp cheddar cheese, a thick slice of a fresh tomato, and some mayo. If your pregnant stomach can handle it, a quick mix-in of chili pepper or Sriracha with the mayo is quite yummy.
2. Crispy Chickpeas: We learned the hard way how repulsive I found one of former favorite snacks, hummus, during the first trimester. The thought of it, let alone the smell, made me gag. However, we found another creative use for chickpeas. Drain and rinse them. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and other desired seasonings. And bake them for 30-45 minutes at 400 for a great salad topper. They add protein, flavor, and crunch!
3. Bagel Sandwich: This is similar to my cheesy egg sandwich, only with a bagel, which can be a bit more filling. (Carbs were my friend during the 1st trimester . . . ) Eat it with a side of fresh fruit or vegetables and you have a quick, easy, and healthy lunch!
4. Homemade Peanut Butter: During the 1st trimester I tried to find healthy protein sources for snacks that were not meat, or always cheese. It was easy to make cheese a go-to snack. Homemade peanut butter was perfect because it provided a boost of protein (especially on those days that I felt a bit dizzy from lack of protein) that I could eat with a complex carb like apple slices, or on the ever delicious carb known as toast. I use the Heavenly Homemakers recipe with palm shortening because it improves the texture, and it utilizes a healthy fat (which baby needs) instead of hydrogenated oils. The only change I make is that I prefer the flavor of honey over maple syrup as a sweetener. This recipe is yet another reason that I love the ease of my food processor!
5. Maple-Glazed Walnuts: When your sweet tooth strikes, don’t fear, glazed walnuts are here! (I couldn’t resist the rhyme. Sorry for my corny humor.) I am learning that when I am craving sweet things, that a little indulgence now and again is okay, especially if I look for ways to make it more nutritional. Walnuts have protein, and they are great for your brain and your baby’s developing brain! Cook them down until caramelized with maple syrup and you have a yummy snack or ice cream topping! I love pairing it with Breyer’s vanilla ice cream because its ingredients are few, and they are not written in another language created to disguise weird chemicals and corn syrup.
Second Trimester: Your appetite returns, hurrah! You may even be able to eat hummus again without gagging. 🙂 You also find yourself hungry more often, making healthy snacks important. Your sweet tooth also returns, making ice cream for every snack a serious temptation . . .
1. Golden Granola: There are SO many wonderful and easy recipes for granola. I have tried several and made up some of my own. However, I must admit that adding a touch of brown sugar this last time really helped. 😉
2. Skinny Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins: Pretty, huh? I think so! The best part is that they taste as good as they look. I have always loved muffins. But I have legitimately craved them while pregnant. Maybe it is because it is a “healthier” version of cake that I can slather butter on . . .
3. Jumbo Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins: Seriously yum. Plus, muffins freeze really well. Which is good, because Mitch is not a breakfast eater and/or muffin lover like I am. I can freeze them as batter in their cups, or better yet, fully baked. I just pop one in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Bliss.
4. No-Guilt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins: Apparently I like chocolate chips. This recipe, I am proud to say, was my own creation. It is not quite as pretty as some of the others. But still moist, delicious, and made out of wholesome ingredients to eliminate any guilt about what you are eating.
5. Salmon: I need to be eating more of it. Looking at these pictures are reminding me how good it tastes. Not to mention how healthy it is for baby’s development. It is great brain food! Mitch sautés it in a little butter or coconut oil and seasons it liberally. I am so blessed that he likes to cook! 🙂
Third Trimester: I am only just now entering this stage, so I am a bit unsure what to expect. From what I have heard, you are still quite hungry, but eventually with an almost full-sized baby inside of you, it is hard to eat too much, just due to the fact that your midsection has reached capacity. Does this mean smaller meals and snacks are in order? (Please let me know in the comments below.)
1. Spiced Citrus Oatmeal: I do not have the recipe for this . . . yet. It is my husband’s creation. And, man is it yummy! Best oatmeal ever! All I know is he has been making it for our breakfasts together using steel cut oats, milk or almond milk, an assortment of spices, a touch of orange zest, and various mix-ins like pecans and blueberries. He told me today that he will share the recipe on The Engaged Home soon. 🙂
2. Homemade Trail Mix: I talked about this last month. But I have to share it again because it is a wonderful pregnancy snack. This picture is old. My most recent batch is made up of unsalted cashews and almonds, a few peanuts, a little dried bananas and pineapple, dark chocolate covered cranberries, and butterscotch chips. It is a good mixture of hearty, nutritious, and filling components.
What were your favorite foods while pregnant? Please share your inspiration!