Did you have any odd food cravings while pregnant? Happily, mine aren’t that strange. I can’t seem to get enough of kettle corn, whole milk, Greek yogurt and cheese, things that were quite sparingly, if ever, in my diet (unless it came in a Ben & Jerry’s container) before I got pregnant. Thankfully, they are nutritious and my husband Greg has also been by my side, enjoying these indulgences. But these cravings have made me even more aware of pregnancy/food dynamics.    

I’m in the second trimester of my first pregnancy. I want to enjoy food but I’m trying to be careful. I just don’t want to overdo it and put weight on all over, as that adds stress to my body and the pregnancy. There’s a lot of diet advice coming at me, but I’ve decided to stick with, above all else, common sense and what I’ve learned about nutrition from my years as a professional athlete.

Here’s my approach on typical diet-related issues that come up in conversations. I’m interested in hearing how you handled these things.

  • Overeating. The pregnancy hormones, especially progesterone, make me want to eat all the time. If I wasn’t used to being disciplined about food before getting pregnant, I can easily imagine how difficult it would be to curb my desire to eat now. Pregnancy also makes me tired, which could lead to poor food decisions. I try to only eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m not. But I’m not getting fanatical about it.
  • Cravings. I didn’t have dairy in my diet for the last 10-12 years. When I was racing I stayed away from dairy. The level of inflammation in my body was so high and my digestion was so poor, that I really couldn’t tolerate it. It made me very congested. Now that I’m not racing, it’s much more tolerable, although I still have to take digestive enzymes. I’m eating whole milk, cheese and Greek yogurt. My body is drawing a lot of calcium for the baby, so I realize that I need to add calcium-rich foods.
  • Regularity. Another thing I’m trying to do is stay regular. As I mentioned I’m eating a lot of dairy, which can really back me up. I’m happy to have been asked to give my opinion of Regular Girl, a blend of probiotics and prebiotic fiber, which promotes regularity. It’s really working well for me. It helps with constipation and loose stool, so you can feel assured it will help keep you regular regardless of your situation. It also helps stabilize blood sugar, and curbs my appetite when I take it 15 to 20 minutes before a meal.
  • Narrow diets. I’ve heard that when pregnant women cut out wheat, dairy, peanuts or other foods, their children may be at higher risk of being allergic to these ingredients because they weren’t exposed to them in utero. In case that is true, I’m trying to eat a wide variety of foods in hopes of preventing food allergies in my child.

While my pregnancy food cravings aren’t that wild, I have friends who gobbled down nothing but watermelon or fast-food breakfast sandwiches while they were expecting. Moms, tell me about your crazy pregnancy cravings. I love hearing about them! Did you want sweet, savory or some odd combination of the two?