I feel most women don’t talk about food aversions enough. Everyone just seems to talk about cravings. The number one question I was always asked was, “So what are you craving??” And to be honest, I had a super boring answer, “Fruit.” People want to hear about the pickles-and-ice-cream cravings, but I personally did not experience any odd cravings. I pretty much ate my body weight in fruit though, specifically sour fruit (pineapple, tangerines, kiwis etc), and my girls LOVE fruit now. So crazy how that works.
Now food aversions can be devastating and totally illogical. The first few weeks of my pregnancy, I could only eat cold food (popsicles, ice cream, cold muffins, etc). I detested anything warm or hot. Towards the end of my first trimester, I could start eating warm foods again, but chicken and fish totally grossed me out, except for Aidell chicken apple sausage. For some reason that was totally fine. Red meat was my preference throughout pregnancy and vegetarian forms of protein were ok too: eggs, peanut butter, mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese (ya I was cool with that until my friend’s husband was like, “Ew, gross, how can you handle that consistency?” Great thanks. Cottage cheese was done after that). Vegetables were totally out, and fruit reigned supreme. Bagels and cream cheese were cool for a few weeks, and then Yev toasted one in the morning and I just vomited for hours after. I STILL can’t eat a wheat everything bagel (and they were my favorite!). 2nd trimester allowed for salmon and feta cheese. Chicken still wasn’t happening, but luckily red meat and veggie proteins were still cool. 3rd trimester, salmon and feta were out, and we were back to In N Out, T-Bones, Ameci’s Pizza, and East Coast Bagel egg and cheese bagel sandwiches (I know what you’re thinking, “Bagel and cream cheese was a no, but an egg and cheese bagel sandwich was ok?” I don’t make the rules, my friends, I just follow them).
I’d say the only food I could consistently eat through my whole pregnancy was an In N Out Double Double with grilled onions, Arnold Palmer, with fries (and let’s just say I was frequently that person in the drive through line at 10:15am before they opened). I was really sensitive to smells throughout my entire pregnancy, so we always had to eat with windows, doors, etc open, and we could NEVER got out to a restaurant because I always ended up in the bathroom after like 10 minutes. Yev would have to get the food, we had just ordered, to go. He would text when he was heading out, and I would slink out of the bathroom. Anyways, In N Out was my saving grace. We would sit outside with the food, so the smell wasn’t overwhelming, but also because I had to carry a trash bag with me wherever I went, in case I got sick. We’d find a secluded corner outside, and I would hide the trash bag in my purse, ready to whip it out if needed. I was so embarrassed, but I missed going out to eat so much, it was worth it.
So let me give you a little more detail about what a food aversion feels like. If I saw food that smelled or looked gross, I wanted to vomit. If someone MENTIONED a food that sounded gross, I wanted to vomit. If Yev drove really far away to get exactly what I wanted, but upon entering the house with said food, I would often yell at him to take it back outside and never bring it in again because I wanted to vomit. I couldn’t even look at too much food together. I could only put about 3/4 cup of food on my plate at one time, or I became super overwhelmed. I could eat half of a stuffed bell pepper, one hot dog, a cup of soup, 4 ravioli etc. I definitely ate more than that, but I had to eat in courses. Sometimes I would literally have to put half my food on Yev’s plate, and once I was done, I would take it back from his plate. And above all, whatever I ate for one meal, could not be repeated for at least a week. Leftovers were out of the question. Buying food in bulk was out of the question. After I delivered, I threw out 23 boxes of cereal that I made Yev buy because it was the only thing I could eat, and then after one bowl, I never wanted it again. And let me tell you, I LOVED leftovers. I could eat leftovers for DAYS, but this whole food aversion thing made eating really difficult. I could never anticipate what I wanted. I couldn’t even pack lunch when I went to work.
Throughout my pregnancy, my eating pattern changed too because of these food aversions. I began eating 5-6 small meals a day, and it was a struggle every time to figure out what I could stand to eat. This brought me a lot of anxiety, stress, and sadness. It made it difficult for me to eat with friends and plan meals. I became very sad and angry. I used to love eating and going out to eat and being with friends. I would say these food aversions were especially bad during the worst of my nausea, the first half of my pregnancy. Things got a little better the second half but marginally. Let’s just say I cried a little less, but it was still hard. But, as always, the perpetual phrase of “it was worth it” prevails.