I am genetically predisposed to eat healthier. Or at least that’s my current working hypothesis. No, I never did like my vegetables growing up, I pretty much survived on macaroni and cheese and spaghetti. In the ever fluctuating world of nutrion where fat is bad, no actually it’s good, carbs are bad, no wait they’re not bad, eat only vegetable protein, eat more animal protein, artificial sweeteners are better for you, oh wait-we lied-actually they’re poisonous, drink coffee, don’t drink coffee, corn syrup is bad, no it’s just another form of sugar, eggs make you have heart attacks, oh no actually they help fight cancer, – the one thing that everybody seems to agree on is that processed foods and soda aren’t really good for you. And I’m not a big processed foods, sugar, or soda fan.
I can sum up the rest pretty easily-balance. Your body needs some carbs (including sugars), and some fats, and some proteins, and a lot of different vitamins and minerals. Your liver and kidneys and digestive tract and various other organs all have great ways of flushing out the icky stuff that sometimes tags along with the good stuff. You’ll be just peachy, if you remember to keep things balanced.
That said, the one thing that I’ve read before in various articles and journals, is that sugar is addictive and in America it is now pretty much added to almost EVERYTHING which just feeds the addiction. Sugar is fine-in moderation-and fruits are full of sugar and still a perfectly healthy thing to eat. Buuuttttttt, yeah, you should probably watch the amount of candy you consume…and soda really is bad for you, but so is juice from concentrate (so much sugar, so little left of the nutritional value of the fruit). Processed sugar added stuff usually end up with a lot of unneccessary sugar and not much nutritional value. Your body spends way more time flushing (or storing) the icky stuff, and very little time absorbing any good stuff.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and as I’ve gotten older my sweet stuff tolerance has actually decreased. My younger sister LOVES sugar. We were raised in the same household, with the same rules (3 o’clock snack time, every day), the same amount of access to “sweets” and yet as much as I enjoy the occasional hot fudge sundae (with extra hot fudge) I really don’t like most candies, can barely finish an entire cupcake on my own, and I don’t even add sugar on my cereal or in my tea. Every once in awhile (once a month-ish) I’ll indulge in something sweet, but usually it’s because it’s being offered or I’m travelling and bored. If I eat more sweets than that I tend to start feeling sluggish and gross and icky, sweets then lose all their appeal and are actually physically repulsive. Sometimes I’ll go on a streak where I’ll eat a sugar treat daily (like Zebra Cakes. Those things got me through paramedic school) but usually I can only handle one “sweet thing” a day even in the midst of a streak. My husband has a massive sweet tooth, he eats candy by the bag, seriously, it’s a staple part of his diet. He runs enough that it doesn’t show, but it’s still horrible of him. I’ve had plenty of access to sweets and candy for my entire life, and they usually just aren’t all that appealing.
So this last trimester? All I want is sugar. I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have sweet TEETH. I am STILL craving a chocolate glazed donut, so far I’ve resisted. I ate several of my leftover baby shower cupcakes (even when they started going stale), ate WAY more frosting than usual when decorating my niece’s birthday cake (usually I just do a taste test and the occasional squirt when I’m trying out different icing tips), put sugar on my rice crispies in the morning, and am increasingly unsatisfied and repelled by salty foods. Week 31-32 or sometime around there I ate an entire bag of reese’s mini peanut butter cups over a three day period. By myself.
I don’t know what is going on. To try and help curb the sugar cravings, I started eating much more fruit, apples and grapes being easiest, but also canteloupe and today strawberries. Worked for maybe a week, then I’d be eating grapes and wondering if I could swipe my husband’s Emergency Snickers Bar he kept in reserve for long runs. So THEN I decided to consciously up my protein intake (cottage cheese, hardboiled eggs, etc). THAT has worked a little bit better because it keeps me full for longer, but I’m still wanting sweets. I’ve kept my fruit intake up, and basically been guzzling water and trying to distract myself so I don’t keep thinking about candy and sweets, but in the back of my mind that chocolate glazed donut continues to beckon…I’m pretty sure I’ll give in to the donut at some point, but I don’t want to go junk food crazy for these last few weeks of pregnancy.
I bought trail mix with milk chocolate covered craisens-that helped. But the best compromise so far, has been dark chocolate covered plums. All those yummy antioxidants wrapped up in enough sugar to taste like candy. I didn’t even know I liked plums!
My OB did say at this last appointment that she might order an extra ultrasound for me to keep an eye on the Potato’s growth because I’m still running a little small, so part of me wants to give in to some of the sweet cravings but I know putting junk in my system isn’t really going to be “healthier” for Potato even if it does make me gain weight more rapidly. I don’t feel small. My belly feels enormous, I get stuck trying to sit up in bed or stand up from crouching to look at the bottom shelf at the grocery store. I’ve gained 28lbs and I still have 5.5 weeks to go!
This post has been awful rambly…but it’s distracted me from wanting to make a McDonalds run to get a chocolate shake for the past thirty minutes, so, it was worth the rambling for me.
Anyone else experience a weird change in cravings for the third trimester? Is it at all linked to the fact that I had to start taking iron pills because I tested anemic by week 28? I really want that donut…