We’re sending our warmest wishes to Ashley Wood on her BIG news – she and her husband are expecting their first child! We are so thrilled for them AND for us, since Ashley will be sharing her pregnancy journey with The Body Book community. If you have any questions for her or would like to know specific information, please tell us in the comments below. Read on for Ashley’s tips on overcoming cravings, which can be helpful whether you are pregnant or not.
Pregnancy plays crazy tricks on the mind and makes the body crave the strangest foods. Some of my cravings are very healthy, like Brussels sprouts, bananas and strawberries, but most of the time I find myself daydreaming about food that my non-pregnant self would be horrified by. But just because I want to eat junk, doesn’t mean I let myself. Here are four ways that I’ve managed to take control of my pregnancy cravings.
PEP TALK TIME
The easiest way for me to deal with my unhealthy cravings is to have a good old-fashioned pep talk with myself. Before getting pregnant, fried food grossed me out, but now I want it every day. Every time I find myself daydreaming about pub-style French Fries or onion rings or anything coated with a disgusting amount of greasy crunch, I get real and ask myself a couple of questions.
“Would you feed this food to a newborn?”
“Does this food provide any nutritional benefit to your body or your growing baby’s body?” “How will you feel after you eat this food?”
I would never feed a newborn deep-fried food, it doesn’t provide my body with any nutritional benefits, and I know I would feel horrible after eating it. My pep talks don’t necessarily make my cravings go away, but they allow me to be in charge of the decisions I’m making and the food I’m putting in my body.
YOU’RE NOT EATING FOR TWO
Ladies, I’m sorry to burst your happy food bubble, but you’re not eating for two. You’re a grown woman living in an adult body and your baby is a tiny little bean with the most miniature-sized stomach. Of course your hunger is increasing and you want to eat more and more, but chowing down on whatever you choose isn’t going to do you or your baby any favours. Your body needs the nutrients, so eat until you’re absolutely satisfied but choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
* Be mindful that too many nuts and nut butters can cause constipation for some women.
No one is perfect all the time, so if you have to give in a junk food craving, set limits for yourself first. As I said earlier, all I want to eat lately is fried food and for the past few weeks I’ve been craving deep-fried veggie spring rolls. These cravings were so intense that I had a difficult time focusing on my daily tasks because all I could think about was veggie spring rolls. What’s up with that? I decided to give in to this craving, just a little bit, and asked friends to meet my husband and I for Thai food one Friday evening after work. We ordered four spring rolls to share at the table and I enjoyed one. I know this food isn’t healthy for me, but enjoying one isn’t going to cause much harm to my baby or myself. And it satisfied my craving.
In addition to the deep-fried craving, I also want to eat cupcakes all the time. I haven’t given in to this craving and I don’t intend to because I know sugar is a dangerous and slippery slope for me. Since I know I’ll have difficulty setting limits for myself on cupcakes, I’ve been finding creative ways to manage this craving. So far, my Treat Smoothie has been the best option! Whenever I want a cupcake, I make the Treat Smoothie and it fully satisfies my cravings while nourishing my body (and my baby) with healthy vitamins, proteins and anti-oxidants. Win-win!
PREGNANCY TREAT SMOOTHIE
3 bananas, peeled
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter (almond butter works, too) 4 cup almond milk
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Read more of Ashley’s pregnancy posts:
ASHLEY WOOD is a recipe developer and writer from Winnipeg, Canada. With a passion for health, wellness and vegetables, Ashley creates simple and inexpensive vegan recipes made from whole ingredients that are often seasonal, sometimes gluten-free and occasionally raw. Ashley believe in celebrating the benefits of living a vegan lifestyle and at the very least, hopes to inspire others to eat more plants, smile and live with some Sunshine.