I’ve never been a huge fan of kale. I try to like it. Really, I do. In fact, I try so hard that I buy it almost on a weekly basis; although most times, it sits in my fridge until it’s withered and brownish. At which point I toss it into the trash and buy another bunch to get me through the week. Maybe someday I’ll come to the realization that kale just isn’t my thing, but – for now – I want to be ready, should I be overcome by a sudden, kale-craving attack. Also, I’m pretty sure that buying kale at least gives me some sort of health points (minimal as they may be) that I can put towards a splurge item.
Like chocolate cake.
The funny thing is that I always thought that once I became pregnant, I’d somehow find within myself the strength to give up everything but whole grains and veggies… and kale. The precious bundle of joy inside of me would help me overcome my ever-stubborn sweet tooth, and I’d live off of carrot sticks and seven grain bread for nine months. I’d also continue jogging until my belly became really huge, at which point I’d stick to daily yoga; and the neighbors would shake their heads in silent awe.
*Insert the sound of crickets chirping*
Pregnancy woke me up to reality like a slap to the face. Food aversions and pregnancy nausea are no joke. Like seriously, my peeps, they’re not funny at all. They’re real, and powerful, and convinced me that carbs were the only thing that would make me happy.
Broccoli = bad.
Pizza = good. (Make that a mushroom with extra cheese, please).
Then finally the nauseous phase is over, you’re starting to feel better and able to eat a wider range of foods… and all that sounds good are carbs still. Hmmm, so when do the vegetable cravings begin? Sometimes I even try to convince myself that I want carrot sticks for a snack, and I even go so far as to prepare them. But then an invisible force-field implodes out of nowhere, blocking my hands from grabbing the veggie, followed by a powerful magnet that pulls me to the bin of muffins on the counter.
It’s really quite traumatic.
I fought it for awhile, but then I reasoned with myself that there are a lot of worse things out there than pizza. And at least muffins aren’t fried, so – in a sense – they’re way healthier than donuts. Besides, at the end of the day, as my friend Liz says, “A preggo has to do what a preggo has to do.” Sometimes the munchies come calling, and you just have to give the baby what it wants. And let me tell you, baby wants a bagel with cream cheese right about now!
So while it would be nice to experience cravings for broccoli, spinach, and kale (for once in my life), I’m just going to appreciate the fact that I’m feeling a ton better and that food is my friend again. Nicole the foodie is back… mostly. And, hey, I’ll take it!
As for bringing back the foods that I had an aversion to for so long, I’m taking baby steps. I could still take-or-leave chicken, but I’ve nibbled on the lean meat occasionally over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been adding broccoli to my pizza again. Last night, I ate a stir-fry absolutely exploding with veggies, and I ate every bite before the force-field could deter me. And – well – there’s kale sitting in my fridge, so I’ve still got those bonus points. 🙂
I purchased a notebook to begin my food and fitness journal, so I’ll keep you posted on whether or not that motivates me to reach for veggies a little more. I’m really going to try!