A Pregnant Pause…

Virgil Evetts

Is it possible that pregnancy is just a ruse invented by women as an excuse for being über-pernickety about food? I’m beginning to think so.

You might as well know then, that my best beloved is currently in possession of a small concealed human. Yes, we’re very excited and all that, but those damn-it-to-Hamilton dietary restrictions are turning our lives upside down. Turning my life upside down anyway. She’s just happy if she can eat without sequels.

No, no I can’t possibly understand the perils of pregnancy for a woman. Quite right, so I won’t dwell on it any further. What I do understand is that most of my favourite foods are now off the menu. Now don’t think of me as totally self centred and unfeeling. I’m a very modern man. I voluntarily gave up alcohol from day one. It’s only fair really and judging by how quickly we got used to the absence of a glass or 3 from our evening routine, I don’t think alcoholism is going to be problem any time soon. Phew. In fact I’ve been getting an almost masochistic kick out of the whole self-denial thing.

However, the jarring withdrawal of Thai curries, rich pasta sauces, nasi goreng, pizza, Asian salads and other strident flavours has not been such a walk in the park. I’m really suffering here.

Apparently pregnant women very often crave ‘white foods’, and she of the bouncing foetus (literally- you should see the scan footage: I fear hyperactivity)  is certainly performing to type with this one- salivating over the mere thought of white bread, steamed chicken, plain rice, porridge etc. But where’s the excitement? Where’s the colour? Where’s the soul? White food!

You see, while I have no trouble throwing together all the components of a Northern Italian long lunch, coming up with an intentionally innocuous menu has me largely stumped. It’s a bit like asking someone to picture nothingness. My brain starts to creak ominously and I end up harrumphing over yet another pot of boiled potatoes.

So I’d like to appeal to those of you who have been through this  culinary celibacy carry-on  and survived with your appetite and taste intact. 

What does one feed a knockedup loved one with a fragile constitution, while not giving in to 9 months of beige?

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14 thoughts on “A Pregnant Pause…

  1. Congratulations!

    I found the first three months of pregnancy that I did enjoy very plain foods such as Roast chicken and Mashed potatoes, toast etc but my love of more flavoursome foods returned, although not so much for very hot dishes, or particularly rich dishes. Indian curries or heavy creamy dishes were not appealing to me during this time but I could eat them.

    How about tasty stirfries with lots of vege, honey, soy sauce, noodles etc? I enjoyed a chicken braise with red peppers and olives, or pan fried fish with a fruity salsa on the side?

  2. Thank you!
    That’s exactly right. Creamy, spicy stuff is right off the menu. She is nodding enthusiastically at your suggestions too. We had a whole steamed snapper last week which went down and stayed there, which is kind of the minimum requirement these days.

  3. Lovely news, best wishes to you all. Perhaps she will go from bland to bizarre and that might be even more difficult for you. Nutella and anchovy sandwiches anyone?

  4. Congratulations!
    I had 3 pregnancies confined to non-acidic foods as had reflux throughout.
    Vegetable soup, icecreama and thick creamy yoghurt with maple syrup were my favourite things.
    Hopefully she will get less flavour sensitive as the pregnancy progresses.

    • Shelby Sheffer – I was wondering what kind of camera you use and lighting? please let me know cuz im majoring in photo and this guy im working with is telling me i have to use strobes but i don’t like them at all

  5. I’m very worried about the nutella and anchovies. She likes both of those things. Separately so far, but now- who knows?
    At the moment her gag reflex is over active. Even tooth-brushing is touch and go.
    Thanks all!

  6. Congratulations to you both! Now the fun begins :)

    I was fortunate to retain my apetite and stomach contents throughout all three pregnancies, so I ate normally apart from the no-nos (unpasteurised cheese, cold meats, soft-boiled eggs, etc). I have heard that ginger is good for morning sickness, and ginger nuts are reassuringly un-beige.

    Once the baby is here, you will probably be put off pumpkin soup for a few years… I’ll let you discover why.

    Good luck with the non-alcoholism – my husband gave up drinking also, but after three months I told him to start again because he was getting too grumpy.

    Really looking forward to reading about your adventures as parents-to-be and then parents. You know where to come for lunchbox ideas in a few years :)

  7. Congratulations :) I can say from personal experience that the “white” phase doesn’t diminish but as the pregnancy progresses she may feel more like other things. I couldn’t eat Thai/Indian in the first trimester because of nausea but despite some yucky heartburn as a result I was tucking into it later on. But I have to say that doughnuts and hot chips were consistent friends throughout.

    And then there are bizarre cravings… for me lemon pepper lamb chops, coke jelly lollies.

    How about risotto? Comfort food that isn’t too rich. Polenta stuff? Moroccan food is spicy in a warm comforting way.

  8. Oops, being unaware of these culinary restrictions when I was pregnant (3 times) I continued to eat curries, coffee, and anything else I felt like. Didn’t seem to do any harm.

    The kids all love curries!

    Congratulations, and best of luck with the beige themed meals!

    Now, back to my cherry clafoutis dessert.

  9. You poor thing! What about homemade sushi made with freshly poached salmon and cucumber? That surely fits into the ‘beige’ category whilst being healthy and nutritious for both of you? Mind you, I felt the need for starches in my diet whilst trying to fend off 9 months of nausea! I even resorted to eating a whole packet of gingernuts on a flight from Tauranga to Christchurch…needless to say wont touch them now, then, shock horror, drove myself 50 minutes to the closest golden arches to buy a filet of fish burger and consumed that in Hagley Park before driving my still nauseated self 50 mins home again.It was that ‘beige’ thing happening to me too! (and I’m NOT a Mcds person!!!) Tastes do come back, couldn’t wait to consume a crayfish when baby arrived and even went as far as cooking salami while I was pregnant because I craved it so much. Couldn’t look at venison and ate a lot of cornflakes for tea! Apples were a craving, had to be grannies though. Dont worry, its all hormones, just become a closet gourmet like my husband did cos he could’t go without some of the good food in life! Just don’t tell your best beloved that the smoked salmon you had at lunch was sooo divine….or that the camembert was the best you have tasted… all the best with baby

  10. As a midwife I can appreciate your agony! What about polenta (can stir interesting flavors like Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, basil into yours),pasta (ditto) porridge with almonds, stewed Otago apricots and maple syrup (oats are also good for indigestion)Bircher Muesli (apples, yogurt, oats for her, whatever takes your fancy for you) What about also playing the ‘but it would be reallllly good for your’ (iron levels, the baby, iodine, the baby’s brain, labour, your energy levels,constipation, heartburn – take your pick!) – like cooked mussels, salmon, home-made sushi (be careful with raw fish and cooled rice), rice pudding with yummy additives,interesting coleslaw, white fish with salsa verde, steak…..

  11. Congratulations to you both. Your best beloved will be wanting real food in about 3 months, just not chilli spicy. Gingernuts worked best for the quesey feeling, and milo is nice. I still don’t drink coffee or tea, went off it in one of my pregnancies.
    Plenty of colourful vegies. Enjoy your food Virgil, you are allowed to eat what you want too, just for lunch when she is not around! Just joking, good on you for supporting your best beloved in your food and drink choices.
    Have fun.

  12. After 4 pregnancies, all my memories seem to meld into one! But I do remember with one of them, not being able to open the fridge without dire consequences…it was like all the food smells were conspiring as one , wafting toward me..most unpleasent. I can sympathise. Take heart though, not all pregnancies are the same….the next one may have her eating totally different stuff to this one.
    During my 4th pregnancy I craved celery…..I had to have two in the house at all times….. not sure if it was the crunch factor I longed for, or the water content…………. and does the little blighter like celery…..NO!!!! I also would stop at every building site where there was gravel being shunted about……..I’d linger, longingly wanting to saviour the smells …..funny, now I think about it, the little blighter does love diggers and construction sites….go figure!
    Good on you Virgil, am most impressed at your dedication. Make sure you pack all the goodies and take them into the delivery suite. She’ll be starving post birth and you will be quite the man when you produce smoked salmon, brie and champagne!!!!! Good luck.

  13. I’m not sure how far gone you both are at this stage (or overdue)but I found it wasn’t what I ate but how often that was important. As long as I ate at least once every 3 hours (max) I had no unhappy stomach – go over that time limit and I was as quesy as my first offshore boat trip in a 3 metre swell. I did give in to my craving for Thai Green Curry and although I loved it, my son due the next month immediately got hiccups and when born had gastric reflux which continued for 9 months – poor little man. I blame the curry… Good luck and all the best.