It’s Cheese O’Clock!Monica Bielanko
It starts with a quesadilla in the morning. Just to keep the dry heaving at bay. I hopped aboard the cereal train for a brief two week period when I was about ten weeks along but at twenty weeks the cereal doesn’t appeal to me.
Burritos appeal to me. Tacos whisper my name in the wee hours of the morning. And cheese. Lots of cheese in any form. I suppose I could say that they’re a pregnancy craving but I pretty much long for both all the time, pregnant or not. Luckily the two compliment each other beautifully.
I can’t really say I’ve had many cravings this time around. With the exception of beer. Taco night chez Bielanko just ain’t the same without an ice, cold Corona and its little buddy, the lime. But no, not really any pickle cravings although I did go through a mint chocolate chip ice cream phase and I generally don’t buy ice cream when I’m not creating life and such. I also bought an entire cheesecake at the grocery store. I never ate it though. It isn’t the sugary sweets I long for it’s the salty, greasy snacks. Pregnancy hasn’t changed that. I’d knock your granny down if she was standing between me and a plate of nachos. I mean, your granny’s probably a sweet old gal but, you know, nachos!
My mom craved cement and dirt when she was pregnant. She always tells me how she’d sit on the couch and look out the window at the sidewalk and had to physically restrain herself from running out there to lick the cement. Especially when it rained.
Lick away, I say. What’s the harm? I’d rather lick cement than eat some of the concoctions I’ve witnessed pregnant women stuff into gaping maws. I know a girl that snacked on dog biscuits. Loved ’em. Made me promise not to tell her husband. I shrugged and noted that the biscuits professed to help clean plaque off teeth so maybe she was doing herself some good.
But back to my dietary habits, eating that would put a 19-year-old frat boy to shame. It’s just that, well, the only thing that sits well in my stomach is cheese. Doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty hard to screw up cheese. Melt it on a tortilla, some chips, or a sandwich (or all three at the same time!) and you’re golden. Or you can do like my husband and just hack off giant chunks of sharp cheddar and gulp them standing in front of the fridge. “It’s because I’m French”, he tells me. “Your dad is French, you grew up in Philadelphia”, I tell him. Still, he insists a healthy love of cheese is part of his French DNA. Doesn’t explain why he eats it like the Cookie Monster hitting a bag of chocolate chip cookies.
This is all a really roundabout way of telling you that cheese is generally the first layer of food. It provides a good, solid coating that usually keeps me from puking. A little cheese melted on tortilla with a dash of Tapatio (nectar of the gods) and I’m good to go. For about two hours. And then I must feed the beast again. Vegetables are a ridiculous notion. Seriously. They are never very filling (unless you melt cheese on top or pack them into tacos) and they end up making me feel queasy. That could be because my body is rejecting the presence of vitamins but vegetables just don’t seem appealing and like they’d do a very good job keeping the puke at bay.
Also, as a pregnant woman constantly waging war with morning sickness you have to carefully consider what the food you’re eating will be like coming out. Take it from me, vegetables are not pleasant on the way back out. Potatoes in particular, unless they’re mashed. Apples aren’t much better. Which is why I stick to stuff like melted cheese and shakes. A shake tastes as good coming out as it did going in. That right there is some pregnancy gospel for you.
Lunch means it’s also time for another form of cheese but don’t you worry, I’m watching my calories, so Lean Cuisine pizza it is! No matter that I’ve had as many as three in one sitting. But hey! Who’re you to judge? Unless you’re pregnant and then you know that letting yourself get hungry is a fatal mistake. That’s why perfecting your food layering is critical. I learned the hard way when I was hungry on the go and opted for a Slurpee that ended up sprayed across the dashboard in a veritable Jackson Pollock of electric blue carbonated beverage.
At work my desk is stocked with boxes of granola bars and Cup O Noodles should I have an emergency of the hungry kind while on the job. I advise pregnant women everywhere to stuff their desks, cars, pillows, and cleavage with granola bar type snacks lest The Hungry sneaks up on you at an inopportune moment. If it does, get a layer in your gullet quick!
In closing, just as it’s advised to wear layers of clothing in the fall in case it heats up, take heed and don’t leave without a couple solid layers of food either or, much like me last week, you may find yourself heaving into one of the poop bags you keep in the car for your dogs.