Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pregnancy and the Don't Consume List

I've come to realize that if I wanted pregnancy could be a terrible period of deprivation from foods/drinks I'm not supposed to consume.  I know I want this babe to be growing strong and healthy, but seriously no sushi?  It's my favorite and I could consume it on a daily basis if John allowed it.  My mom and I'm sure other mommas in her generation (and moms now) drank Diet Coke and coffee daily and all of her kids turned out fine.  The food/drink 'don't' list can be long and I think it's presented to women to instill fear to some extent.  Many of the items on the list have a minuscule risk of having bacteria on them causing infection, but a risk nonetheless.  All things considered any food could make me sick during pregnancy, especially during those early months.  Thankfully my eating habits were already pretty good, but pregnancy has a tendency to flip its middle finger at those habits sometimes.  (i.e. chicken nuggets from Wendy's, Taco Bell or Raisinet cravings)  Here's a few 'ways' I've found to get around the dreaded list:

1. Annie's Organic Caesar Dressing:  I love Caesar dressing, but most of them contain raw eggs, even the ones purchased at the store.  When we've gone out to eat I've always asked because I want a Caesar salad, but I haven't found one restaurant that doesn't use raw eggs in their dressing.  There was a week that I just HAD TO HAVE a Caesar salad so I read every bottle at Cub foods.  Annie's Organic was the only one that didn't have raw eggs in it.  Score one for this momma!  It happened to be the most expensive dressing I could buy of course, but it satisfied my craving fabulously.  I have since bought another bottle because I ate all of the other one.  One side note though, this dressing does contain anchovies, which are on the okay fish list, but it might ruin the taste for some.  Makes me love it more :)

2. Eating Out:  I'm not one to frown away from eating out if I have the opportunity.  Some of John and my most cherished memories at eating great food at fabulous restaurants.  We just love good food.  Eating out though can be a little stressful for me now that I'm growing a human.  We went to some nice restaurants while we were on vacation in San Diego and I decided that instead of being a wuss and picking an entree I knew was safe I was going to ask questions to see if I could eat something that I actually wanted.  We had an excellent waitress at one restaurant that after I asked about raw eggs in their Caesar checked to make sure there wasn't any in the rest of my meal.  I've asked if cheeses were pasteurized as well.  Sometimes I get a funny look, but it's totally worth it in the end when I get a crazy good bite of creamy goat cheese, grapefruit and pistachio cracker all in one.  Don't hesitate to ask questions and don't feel that it's necessary to explain being pregnant.  It's a waiter's job to help a customer. 

3. Indulging Once and a While: This post has been in the 'draft' category for a few weeks because I knew I wanted to include this last point, but wasn't sure where to start.  I didn't want to be shamed for indulging once and a while, but I also didn't want people to think I'm a terrible pregnant lady either.  As started above I'm honestly trying my best while saving my mental health. There are definitely foods/drinks I will not consume, including alcohol, raw eggs and unpasturized cheese.  While on vacation I did not enjoy sitting in the hot tub.  However I've had coffee a few times. John and I went for sushi when we made it to four months.  We ordered mostly cooked rolls, so I felt fine.  Everything I read said it was more likely that I get food poisoning from undercooked chicken than fish. 

I guess the point is that indulging in a few things on the don't consume list to save my mental health is worth it for me. I love this babe and can't wait to meet him/her.  I think it's better in the long run I keep myself as healthy as possible for my sake and the babe's.  I want to enjoy pregnancy too, not look back on it negatively.

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