Real Meals

Week 35: 4.7.08


Let Them Eat Cake

Okay, this is getting hard. I am BIG. And tired. And hungry. I'm also more and more excited to meet this little kicking fellow. I saw a picture of a baby the other day and thought "I want a baby... Oh, and I'm having one!!!" But being big, tired, and hungry, I haven't exactly been jumping out of bed to pack lunch salads, or grabbing my apron when I get home. Meals are more of a problem-solving exercise these days. The icing on the cake, literally: we threw me a birthday party last weekend (here I am watching as a guest prepares to top the cake with a wind-up penguin), and we're left with a house full of indulgent, ready-made treats.

So when I decided that I would poll all my pregnant friends about what they had eaten on a specific day, was I looking for company in my slipping eating habits? Inspiration to get back on track? I got both. I don't look as bad on paper as I feared. And I'm fascinated not only by what we all ate, which seems rather similar, really, but also how we describe it--the hints of pride and glimmers of guilt, the details we think are important, and the categories. Oh how I relate to the middle of the night hunger pangs, the lemonade obsession, and the carbs, carbs, carbs!

We're bombarded by "shoulds" and "don'ts," our bodies are telling us the darndest things, and we're all committed to doing the best by our babies that we can. On one busy weekday, here's how the chips fell:

What We Ate Last Monday

Zoe, 35 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn, NY, worked in publishing.

Breakfast: Tea with milk and sugar, big sweet roll from a Mexican bakery

Snack: Green apple

Lunch: Leftover roast ham on multigrain bread, raw and steamed veggies, chicken-noodle soup

Snack: Pineapple juice spritzer, potato chips with onion dip (ack, party leftovers!)

Dinner: Scrambled eggs with mustard greens, slice of challah, a few bites of birthday cake

Ellen, 8 1/2 weeks pregnant (with twins), Brooklyn, NY, nonprofit legal work.

Breakfast: An 'everything' bagel with low-fat cream cheese and tomato

Lunch: Chicken noodle soup and fruit salad

Snack: Two cheddar-flavored rice cakes and 5 or 6 stolen M&Ms (taken, with remorse, from the office refrigerator)

Dinner: Large portion of baked ziti with eggplant + half a meatball + a few vegetables

2:30AM hunger pangs: spinach/artichoke dip on torn up baguette, eaten in the dark, over the kitchen sink

Comments: This pregnancy [she has a toddler] I'm completely food-obsessed even though I'm only 8 1/2 weeks along.

Stacey, 30 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn, NY, worked at home on her dissertation.

-A bowl of Cheerios

-Strawberry and banana smoothie (made in my blender with low-fat yogurt, orange juice, frozen strawberries, and a fresh banana)

-1 pear

-Blackberry yogurt with granola mixed in

-Baked potato covered in vegetarian chili with cheddar cheese and sour cream

-Two chocolate chip cookies

Comments: This isn't too bad actually. I've definitely had worse days!!

Anonymous, 10 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn, NY, went to the doctor in the morning, then worked from home, which meant, because I felt SO sick, I spent a bunch of the day reading blogs in bed and answering important emails, and then a few minutes at my desk doing the least amount of work I could get away with. It was a bad day. In the evening, I collapsed on the couch and napped and whined while my hubby made dinner.

7:30 am: feeling nauseous beyond belief, I forced myself to down a small bowl of raisin bran with raspberries and whole milk, it was horrible. Too sick for my prenatal vitamins, got to those later in the day.

9:00 am: big glass of homemade lemonade. Lemonade is good, tart, good.

10 am: 3 chewy ginger candies (they help with the nausea, at least they did that day).

11:30 am: a pumpernickel bagel with lox cream cheese and tomato

1:30: some goat cheese on toast and an endive leaf as a snack

2:30: another big glass homemade lemonade (made from a droopy meyer lemon no less!)

3:00: 3 pink peeps and a bunch of jelly beans

6:00: lots of salty tortilla chips. for a moment I don't feel ill.

8 pm: dinner of buttered broccoli (I eat 4 florets, it's all I can take) and a roasted sweet potato with butter.

9 pm: hot lemonade, then to bed, glad the day is behind me.

Comments: Because I felt SO sick, eating was kind of traumatic. Most things except the bagel tasted vile.

Amy, 17 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn, NY, grad school MLS, studying, had a lecture, searched library for reference books. Here goes (I'm not proud either):)

Breakfast: 1 roll with margarine, coffee with lots of milk, 1 sugar

Lunch: 2 Polish meatballs, cucumber salad with corn, weird Polish blackberry juice (I can't read/understand Polish, but I live in Greenpoint, and my neighbors said it was good for pregnant ladies!)

No snacks, except a handful of Swedish Easter gummy candies that my mother-in-law sent to us for the holiday

Dinner: Homemade sandwich (toasted roll with mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil), fistful of baby carrots, water (lots of water), handful of husband's salt and vinegar potato chips

Comments: Pregnancy is a carb-filled wonderland for me! (And it's also waterworld!)

Stephanie, 25 weeks pregnant, Brooklyn, NY, high school bio teacher

Breakfast: Kashi GoLean and Bran Buds, hot chocolate? (can't remember)

Snack: Apple, granola bar

Lunch: Cheddar and roasted red pepper sandwich, mixed nuts, an orange, 2 snickerdoodles

Snack: Half a weird raw food "trail mix" bar, some tortilla chips

Dinner: Cheese grits, garlicky broccoli and a deviled egg, quarter of a dark chocolate bar

Snack: Cup of Inka with milk and sugar, 2 dried peaches

Before bed: Glass of milk

Comments: Gee, it's more than I thought!