Gone are the days of my regular bi-weekly “What I’ve Been Nomming Lately.” My eating habits have been a bit sporadic over the past 16 weeks. But I have a valid excuse!
That’s right! Nine days before Christmas, the huz and I found out that we were expecting an addition to our family in 2015. We are SO very excited to become parents together and we think 2015 is going to be a great year!
Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, we decided we needed a bigger home for our family, and decided to go with new construction. Which has been fun so far, because we’ve been able to pick out all of our selections for the interior and exterior – kitchen cabinets, granite, hardware, hardwood flooring, carpet, paint color, exterior siding and brick, and everything else! Our future home is currently being built, and we will be moving in late June or early July. It’s going to be an adventure moving while I am 7+ months pregnant, but at least we have plenty of time to start packing. Oh, and I will FINALLY have my big kitchen I’ve always dreamt of! MegGoesNomNom Kitchen Headquarters is expanding!! (Our current kitchen is quite itty-bitty.)
Currently I am 16 weeks along, and in two weeks we will find out if we are having a boy or girl – though we are both convinced that it is a boy!
Until I was about 11 weeks along, I had constant aversions to food – pretty much all foods ever sounded disgusting. Despite being thrilled about being pregnant, this was honestly a bit tough for me, because, evident by this blog, food is my thing. I felt like I was missing a part of my identity. It was difficult to get used to working around the foods I can’t eat on restaurant menus (feta, sushi, deli meat, charcuterie, certain fish, alcohol, etc.) and coming up with weekly meal plans. And even when I figured out foods and drinks I could have, literally nothing sounded good at all. I stopped taking pictures of my food and stopped blogging with any regularity.
My favorite foods for my first 10 weeks of pregnancy were cottage cheese, string cheese, mac and cheese, …actually any cheese (#ALLTHECHEESE), honeycrisp apples, oranges, bananas, French fries, hard-boiled eggs, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and SMOOTHIES! I tried to sneak cooked greens into my food (and spinach into smoothies) when I could to meet some of my folic acid needs, but raw veggies were somewhat unappealing. Despite all foods sounding unappealing, the only thing that seemed to prevent the nausea was, ironically, eating, so I still was eating more than I ate pre-pregnancy, with all the small snacks consumed throughout the day to stabilize my blood sugar.
By the time I was 12 weeks, the food aversions were gone and I started feeling so much more like myself. My mood lifted immensely, I regained some of my energy, and my appetite returned (with a vengeance!)
I realize I am extremely fortunate in that my mild nausea was limited to food aversions and I never experienced any vomiting, and for that I am extremely grateful. I know a lot of women suffer in this department. I’ve also been persistently fatigued since I found out I was pregnant (my first symptom), but perhaps have had a bit more energy lately. But I know it will all be worth it when we hold our baby in our arms!
Now that I am two weeks into the Second Trimester at 16 weeks along, I feel so much more like myself and am back in the groove of cooking new recipes and trying new restaurants. My favorite hobby! This makes me so happy! (Also can I tell you how excited I am to someday cook homemade baby foods!?)
As you may well know, I usually try out at least a couple new recipes each week. After sticking with my same few “tried and true” recipes that I knew I liked during most of the First Trimester, the first “new recipe” I tried making in what seemed like ages (more like a couple months) was Orange-Sesame Pork with Napa Slaw from the March issue of Cooking Light. It turned out pretty good but felt especially great to get back into my kitchen experimentation again.
Here are a few other things I’ve been eating over the last couple of weeks (now that I am hungrier than ever!)
Dinner at Chop House for the huz’s birthday! I skipped the steak (who wants to order well-done steak? not me!) and ordered their amazing Crab & Lobster Cakes for my entrée. Huz had his giant steak, of course!
Remember our Valentine’s Day Fondue Feast? That was definitely alcohol-free sparkling apple cider and not sparking wine with our meal. Did I fool ya?? I actually bought the sparkling apple cider for New Year’s Eve but I was too sleepy to drink it. Oh how times have changed!
Using a LivingSocial voucher, I tried out HelloFresh, a service that offers cook-at-home meals, shipped to you. Exact proportions of all of the ingredients to make three dinners for two (or four) are shipped on cold packs, along with ingredient cards, and then you have everything you need to make dinner.
I realize there are pros and cons to these services (the pros namely being convenience, eating healthy, and having a fun activity at home, and the cons being expense and wastefulness of the shipping and packaging materials) but it was fun to try out. All of the meals I made were a hit with both me and the huz:
- Shrimp & Tomato Farroto
- Ginger Beef Stir-Fry
- Skillet Chicken Paprikash
Since I won HelloFresh’s weekly photo contest on Instagram earlier this month (#hellofreshpics), I earned a discount off a future box and have my second shipment arriving in a few days. I am excited!
In the meantime, I checked out a couple of HelloFresh’s other recipes on their website and sourced the ingredients myself for a couple easy dinners at home as well:
- Korean-Style Beef with Broccolini and Brown Rice (couldn’t find broccolini after checking two groccery stores, so I used regular broccoli!)
Last week I made Chicken Fajitas using this recipe for the first time and they turned out great! The spice blend in this recipe is fantastic. But be warned: your house will smell like fajitas for at least 36 hours afterward! (Especially if you are fifteen weeks pregnant and have a nose like a bloodhound!)
An old favorite: Korean Turkey Burgers with Quick Kimchi. I also bought sweet potato tots for the first time and wow! They are good.
And of course there are nights when I just don’t have it in me to cook. I’m lucky that the huz has been very supportive in helping me out, but there are of course times when we both just want take-out instead of dealing with cooking.
A couple weeks ago I ordered my go-to take-out order from Damas Restaurant: the Vegetarian Dish – a generous box of falafel, tabbouli, grape leaves, a tub of hummus drizzled in olive oil, and pita. And (not shown) a bowl of lentil soup. Gotta get that folic acid!
I haven’t had all that many major cravings. I mean, there was the gummy bear incident of 13 Weeks. And the Orange Fanta Turning Point Incident. And I think French fries may officially be my favorite food of pregnancy. But generally, nowadays I just want to eat a lot! All.the.time. As best as I can, I try to snack on healthy-ish things between meals (string cheese, nuts, apples, cut up fruit, veggies and dip… do Ghiradelli squares count!?), but every once in a while I have to indulge (usually at least oneindulgence per day, so maybe that is more than “every once in a while” if we’re being honest! I am no where near perfect, but do the best I can, which is all you can do.)
Now that I’ve revealed our big news, I feel like I can release a small sigh of relief because I can be more open about what’s going on here on the blog! And I hope you’ll be understanding of my decreased blogging frequency. With my limited energy, after working 40 hours each week, my former evening blogging times have turned into early bed times. Moving forward, I plan to keep the same primary theme in my blog content as it has always been: my life as it relates to food. Now, I’m just eating for two! (Or well, one person plus an itty-bitty avocado-sized baby!)
Of course, the huz and I love reading our weekly updates on the pregnancy apps which tell us the size of the baby each week, and yes, this week the baby is an AVOCADO! Naturally I couldn’t be more thrilled that the comparisons are relative to food.