January 30, 2015

Satisfying Those Pregnancy Cravings

The most common question I get from friends and family members is, "How are you feeling/doing?" This question is typically followed by, "What are you craving?"

I have no idea why I feel awkward but for both of these questions, I don't have a riveting response. I have felt, for the most part, really good. As I have said before, I truly did not suffer from morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, and have yet to reach the point of complete discomfort. I know those days are nearing me sooner than I would like to anticipate. However, I can't really say that I have had crazy pregnancy cravings or desires for indulgent foods anymore than I did before I was pregnant.

I have always been a person with a HUGE sweet tooth! As a youngster, I loved going out to eat. I would get an appetizer as my meal and then get dessert. Then as a teenager, you know when you are all body conscious, I would opt for a salad and then a huge dessert! I no longer do this when dining out, but I would much prefer a blondie brownie ala mode over any exquisite steak dish any night (I'm salivating just thinking about it!)

I guess the truth is that I do have cravings, on a daily basis, but I try not to indulge in them. But, this is no different than prior to being pregnant.

I have let up on a few things. For example, I now indulge in ranch dressing and croutons on my salad! (Gasp) We have those in the house for when the players are over for dinner, but I have now claimed them both as my own, lol. I occasionally will water down the ranch, to lessen the calories, but more often than not it's full blown ranch and I am sticking to it! I too do not limit carbs for early in my day, and I stopped trying to limit my cheese/dairy intake. If we have a baked potato with dinner, I use sour cream & butter, and am loving all the fat! However, we really do not consume white starches, well potatoes, but no white breads, white rice, or noodles. We continue to use quinoa noodles, quinoa instead of rice, and Ezekiel bread/muffins.

Just watch Fed Up, and you will not want to consume any fast food chain items. Over the last year and a half, Coach and I have slowly transitioned to a more Real Food philosophy on eating. Well, Coach really does not have a choice in the matter, lol. I do the grocery shopping, and cook many of the meals so he is transitioning out of necessity, rather than desire. But, he does feel a difference when he is eating well-balanced and natural foods vs processed foods. I do not know how the guys do it being on the road. I mean, they kind of have to eat all that processed food on a regular basis. Coach habitually gains 10-15lbs each basketball season, which he loses after the season is over, because of the eating out and his decreased workout sessions.

We definitely are not consumers of all local, organic, and non-processed foods but we make a conscientious effort to not consume lots of crap. I recently read "Real Food For Mother and Baby" and highly recommend the book to any woman who wants to conceive (TTC), is pregnant, or just interested in books about eating 'real food.' My mother read the first few chapters and found them very interesting. I am very grateful to one of my cousins who sent it my way!

Now please do not think I am over here saying I eat broccoli and grilled chicken every day all day because that is untrue! When my mother was in town a few weeks ago she made some scrumptious brownies and cookies for Coach's office. Please believe I made a plate just for me!

Or, the other night when I consumed 75% of the pint-sized So Delicious Soymilk Turtle Trails frozen dessert. Coach was a little miffed so he went out to Whit's Frozen Custard and got himself a desert. I have actually never eaten Whit's even though Coach sings its praises. He let me have a bite, and I was so elated when I decided that it's not as good as Handel's in Toledo! Now, do not even get me started on Insomnia Cookies! O-M-G, those cookies are beyond divine, but surprisingly we haven't eaten them in a couple of months. If you are in Athens, you must try the Peanut Butter Cup Cookie - pure chocolate-peanut buttery goodness.

What sweet & salty, fun things am I consuming on a regular basis?

Banana Ice Cream: One of the easiest home-made desserts that only requires 3-ingredients - banana, peanut/nut butter, and almond milk! Now if you want to get fancy you can add vanilla, cinnamon, and any other toppings that your heart desires! Coach enjoys this when I add chocolate chips to the mix or even coconut. Yum, here is a simple Vegan Banana Ice Cream Recipe.

Silk Almondmilk: Nothing too fancy about this rich, chocolate drink. I do prefer to buy the individual packs of the Silk Dark Chocolate Almondmilk to control my portion size. I have a tendency to desire a beer glass size when I purchase the half gallon size.

Nachos with Cheese: As you can see, there is only one salty indulgence that really calls my name and it is quite simple - nachos with melted cheese! Then all you need is a side of salsa and your snack is complete. And, quite well-rounded if I do not say so myself (veggies, protein, and carb [ Kidding; not kidding lol. I honestly do not consider salsa a vegetable unless it is home-made!]).

Gluten-Free Banana Bread: We do not follow a strict gluten-free and/or paleo diet, but I do tend to cook with many recipes that qualify as one or the other. Recently I found this delicious One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread and know it will be on high rotation. I may also whip up this Sweet Potato Bread for Coach for when I am out of town!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate: This is a concoction that I have been doing since I was young. I first melt chocolate chips in the microwave and then stir in peanut butter or any type of nut butter. If I want to be fancy, I use crunchy nut butter and eat away. Because of my affinity for this snack, I try not to keep chocolate morsels readily available in the house!

SoDelicious Frozen Desserts: Hands down some of the best frozen, non-dairy stuff that I have ever had is the SoDelicious line of frozen deserts. Now, these pint-sized delicacies are not inexpensive by any means. I believe the soy line tends to be a little cheaper than the coconut or almond varieties, but they are absolutely scrumptious!

Oatmeal with Nut Butter: This one isn't so fancy and many would qualify this as a breakfast, which I would agree, but I do love the days when which I add a scoop of peanut/nut butter to my oatmeal. I too have used PB2 and enjoy it just as equally.

Follow my pinterest board, Healthy Snacks & Sweets... Is that Possible, for a host of other tantalizing desserts and snacks that are healthier than many of their store-brand and fast-food counterparts!

Happy Snacking!

Michelyn Cynthia

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