One of the side effects of being pregnant that I was NOT prepared for is the constant hunger. That, and I can only eat about two thirds of what I used to consider a normal portion size at a time. As a result, I’ve been grazing my way through the last four months. This wasn’t easy to adjust to since I’d been a strict three-meals-a-day person before. It’s not unlike being a sloth: if I’m not busy sleeping, I’m guaranteed to be munching on something.
You’d think that constant snacking wouldn’t be that bad, but believe me, you get really sick of certain foods very quickly. For instance, I’m sick of toast. Who gets sick of toast? And if I never see another soda cracker, I’d be perfectly happy. I’m also unbelievably tired of yogurt, but it’s one of those foods that keeps me going, so I continue to eat it. I can’t just not eat; the hunger I feel is a deep, animal hunger that makes me crazy if I don’t eat something before I go into the red zone. It’s become a game of keeping as wide a variety of snacks in the house as possible. This way I don’t get as bored with the selection, and I avoid getting crazed with hunger and shoving the first cheeseburger I can find into my face.
When an American hears the term “snack foods,” they typically think of chips, pretzels, candy, cookies, and the like. Besides lacking any nutrition, these foods aren’t exactly great for my growing waistline. I’ve been creative about finding healthy snacks because, let’s be honest, veggie sticks aren’t the most appealing option out there. Here are some of the things I’ve been snacking on:
-plain yogurt with agave nectar
-dried mango slices
-roasted sunflower seeds
-fruit (bananas, pears, apples, citrus)
-prunes (yes, prunes)
-celery sticks and peanut butter
-bread and cheese
-baby carrots and Ranch dressing or hummus
I’ll also cop to eating the occasional cookie with milk, and sometimes I’ll have a little chocolate pudding after lunch. I’m not being perfect all the time. What would be the fun of being pregnant if I didn’t indulge now and then? But I’m trying to manage the weight gain, because apparently I’m not one of those women who can eat whatever they want and look completely non-pregnant until they turn to the side. No, you can definitely tell there’s something going on with me from ANY angle. So I stick to the healthier list for the most part, and I’m trying to be good.
Eating this way has made me think about how humans eat in general. I mean, this grazing habit is probably more akin to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. You find some berries, you snack on them. There’s no burger joint down on the corner when you’re living in nature, so you eat when you find food, right? And when you at this way, you eat smaller amounts of things, but you eat such a wide variety of foods throughout the day. Though I don’t think I’ll keep up the grazing habit once this is over, I would like to incorporate the idea of smaller amounts of a larger variety of foods, and I think this can be done for all three meals each day. I’m looking forward to trying it out. But for now, I’ll just keep on fending off my burger cravings the best way I can.