Woman vs. Food Cravings
Chocolate. Bread. Candy. When I ask people what foods they crave, usually the answer is something along these lines. And I understand! For years I lived with a sugar addiction that kept my spoon going back and forth to the half gallon of ice cream on my lap long after I felt full.
I am now armed and ready to ward off cravings! I have tools I’ve perfected on myself and with my clients! I now walk by the Oreo aisle with no more than a glance and the ice cream in my freezer has literally lasted months.
But nothing, my friends, nothing has prepared me for the intensity of cravings I’m experiencing in my pregnancy. For those of you who have never been pregnant, pretend I’m talking about that time your boyfriend dumped you and you were PMSing and you walked by an ice cream shop. That kind of craving, times a billion. For those of you who are or have been pregnant, I assume you already know what I’m talking about.
It’s a physical force that begins in my belly and climbs into my brain and takes over my limbs, a hundred bodily voices at once calling for….
At least that’s what it called for last night. I breathed. I waited. It was 9pm. Truly not the ideal time to run to the store and buy a pie for immediate consumption. And who knows if they’d have peach? And would it be good? I mean, really, really good? The pie of my dreams?
So I got to thinking about what about pie sounded so darn good. The warm fruit. The sweetness. The savory crust. Quick! What did I have in the fridge like that?
And a new dessert was born. This recipe has exactly 3 mandatory ingredients and they are all whole foods. No hydrogenated fat or sugary filling nonsense. And it was exactly, exactly what I wanted. Mmmmmm. My husband happened to be making ghee last night so instead of butter I used the slightly burnt skimmed solids. But you can use butter or ghee or coconut oil or…
The Best Part of Pie
3 nectarines or any fruit (I didn’t have peaches)
1 Tbl. butter
small handful of walnuts
optional: 1 scant Tbl. pure maple syrup
Chop fruit. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add fruit and walnuts and stir. Cook until fruit is soft, which brings out it’s natural sweetness. If you are using maple syrup, stir into the mixture and serve.
But to be perfectly honest, I haven’t had a ton of sweet cravings. One day I was craving spaghetti – just plain ol’ white flour spaghetti with marinara sauce. And I just gave in. Oh, and I ate 3 rolls just for good measure. I mean, I can’t always have the presence of mind to fix up a “smart healthy alternative.” I’m telling you, these cravings are powerful stuff. But I know that spaghetti didn’t do me any good in the long run. The baby does not need white flour. No one does.
The other major “must eat this now” moment I’ve dealt with lately was probably the most severe. It started softly when I thought I overheard someone say “Cheesesteak.” The thought marinated in my brain for about 24 hours and then it started echoing in every cell of my body:
Cheesesteak. CHEESESTEAK. PHILADELPHIA CHEESESTEAK GODDAMMIT!!
Sadly, there is nothing in Boston that remotely resembles a Philly cheesesteak. I know this from years of living here and also because I did an hour-long Google search that day. No luck. I decided that a regular steak would do. But it had to be really good.
Where can you eat a full-on steak dinner by yourself at 3:30pm without looking like an idiot?
Did I mention I was also crying by this point and snacking on every thing in the house that sadly was not steak? I paced the hallways of my house, singing to make the craving hunger pain go away. I sang “Who can eat a steak with me? Who can eat a steak with me?”
Social norms, be damned. I finally got in the car, drove to the closest place I could get decent takeout and came home with this:
I ate every single bite, which took me an hour. I didn’t even bother transferring it to a plate first! And I know this makes some people laugh because I typically am not a big meat eater. But I really heard what my body was asking for and there is nothing wrong with providing good ol’ heme iron to a growing baby. In fact, I’d like to point out that a T-bone steak with real mashed potatoes and broccoli is a helluva lot healthier than a cheesesteak – fake cheese on a white roll, hello? My steak dinner was real food.
So I guess that’s what I’m saying today, just like I say every day: eat real food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a vegetable or fruit or meat or grain – real food is always the better choice. And if I can satisfy my cravings, so can you.