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Hello, Appetite!

Ashley Fraxedas

23w1d- I think I could eat an entire cow right now. 

Where did this appetite come from? I think it happened over night. For the first 20-ish weeks, I was lucky enough to maintain a normal appetite. Thank goodness I didn’t have any morning (or afternoon) sickness. But now all of the sudden, I’m starving. All the time. Watch your plate if you eat dinner with me…

 I’ve always loved cooking, but now it’s taken on a different meaning. Now, I cook so that I can satisfy my insatiable appetite without breaking the bank or eating tons of processed, fatty foods. If I let myself do what I wanted, I’d be at the local Cuban restaurant, Tijuana Flats or Outback Steakhouse for every meal. I’d also be broke and gain 100 pounds during pregnancy. (Another evil trick of pregnancy: You’re not really eating for two like you always hear about. You’re actually only allowed an extra 200-300 calories. What a scam.)

 I haven’t had too many weird pregnancy cravings yet (except for my special love of cherry Slurpees). But it’s hard for me to tell. Even when I wasn’t pregnant, I was obsessed with food and had tons of cravings. Is this me being pregnant? Or just me being me? One day I desperately needed a cheeseburger. I suppose my iron must have been low, so I needed red meat. I totally buy into the idea that your body will tell you if you’re missing anything nutritionally. One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is really getting to know your body and then listening to it. I believe your body tells you what you and your baby needs. I needed a cheeseburger. So I ordered curbside from a local steakhouse. It was all that I had dreamed about and more. 

My doctor said “grazing” is the best way to go. No surprise there. Eating several small meals throughout the day is healthy whether or not you’re pregnant. But working 8-plus hours per day, that’s sometimes hard. Many times I don’t wake up early enough to pack snacks (or brush my hair, for that matter). So here’s my secret that I’ve learned: smoothies!

I started making a big blender-full of smoothies every Sunday. I freeze them in individual servings and then enjoy them throughout the week. These aren’t your normal sugar-bomb smoothies… It might sound gross, but I put an entire package of fresh spinach and an entire avocado in the blender. Both these ingredients are constantly listed on the best-foods-during-pregnancy lists for their high levels of folic acid, potassium, vitamin C, B6 and iron, to lump them together. I also add frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango (also on the “best for” lists) and about a cup of calcium-fortified orange juice. Scouts honor — you cannot taste the spinach or avocado. If you want to get even crazier, add some Greek yogurt and carrots.

These smoothies make me feel like I’m feeding my body and my baby proper nutrition. And they’re delicious (though not a very pretty color, I’ll warn you).

 What snacks help satisfy your crazy appetite?

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