Ice cubes, lemons, vinegar, even coal!
I asked the Lean Mums members about the cravings they had when they were pregnant and these were just some of the random ones that they had experienced.
As we know pregnancy cravings can come in all varieties but combined with aversions to regular food and energy peaks and drops, they can be a real nightmare.
It’s thought that they are due to the extreme hormonal changes your bodies undertake during pregnancy which can have an effect on taste and smell. It is also said that they can highlight deficiencies in certain minerals depending on what you are craving.
I’m working with a client at the moment who is having a really difficult time with cravings, sickness and drops in energy. She’s only craving beige food which means CARBS! Because of this she’s suffering from energy slumps throughout the day.
When we eat normal balanced meals (containing protein, fats, vegetables as well as starchy carbs) we help to keep our blood sugar levels more level. But when we just eat carbs we get that energy spike followed by a drop where we feel lethargic and sleepy, which is exactly what my client was experiencing.
So what can you do about cravings like this?
It’s difficult because in this case the cravings are accompanied by an aversion to regular food so it’s pointless saying ‘just eat more protein and vegetables’.
But we’ve managed to come up with a few options that will help to make her diet more balanced but that don’t make her stomach turn at the thought of eating them.
Ordinarily she would have scrambled eggs for breakfast but recently has only been able to stomach toast which isn’t the greatest way to start the day. She said she could probably handle a boiled egg with soldiers so we are giving this a try. The boiled egg means she’s getting both protein and fat.
Lunch had also become toast because the thought of anything else was making her feel sick. We found that she didn’t mind the thought of a chicken and mayonnaise sandwich with ready cooked chicken. Or a jacket potato with tuna and mayonnaise.
Neither of these would be considered your typical ‘healthy lunch’ but they actually aren’t bad at all and are a big improvement on just toast. The chicken and tuna providing protein and the mayonnaise some fats.
As you can see here this isn’t about trying to make her diet perfect, it’s just about making small changes that can have a big impact on how she feels. Just by adding in the egg, chicken and mayonnaise it will help to reduce the energy slumps she was experiencing.
If you’re experiencing cravings and aversions see if there are simple tweaks you can make like this that can help keep some normality to your eating.
But don’t stress about it!
However if you can’t seem to do anything to help your cravings don’t stress, just go with it. They usually don’t last and your pregnancy is a tiny window of your life, you’ve got plenty of time to undo any unwanted weight gain after you’ve had your baby.
Cravings combined with morning sickness can make mornings a really difficult time but a lot of the mums I work with find that exercise really helps. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as you can as this will really help with your energy levels and general mood. If you aren’t normally a gym goer then just aim to get out for a walk or do a gentle yoga routine.
As with most aspects of your pregnancy the best advice is to stay active, try to eat well but most of all listen to you body.