idol season 11 | week 5 | 800 words
My enemies are all too familiar. They're the ones who used to call me friend.
Everyone jokes about women having food cravings when they're pregnant, but you rarely hear anyone talk about food aversions.
The issue with strong smells definitely comes up. But I'm talking way beyond the horror of a co-worker microwaving crab near your desk, where you start wondering if you could actually die from the stench, and would that be better than possibly having to barf into your wastebasket?
No, this is when food you love suddenly goes over to the Dark Side. After decades of well-established enjoyment, this old favorite becomes absolutely inedible.
This is about what you might call anti-cravings.
I can already hear you saying, "But my food has never betrayed me like that. We have a good relationship!"
And what relationship would that be? The eater and the… eaten?
For all you know, your food is plotting against you right now.
Now, neither of my pregnancies started off with food aversions. The first trimester actually made me hungry instead of nauseated, because that's how low blood sugar and I roll. \o?
Those first trimesters, I craved salty things. That might have been because those early hormones act like a diuretic, so you spend your time running to the bathroom and then replenishing lost fluids, and that flushes a lot of salt out of your system. My ObGyn recommended resisting those salt cravings, so with Baby #1, I spent the first trimester battling low blood pressure along with low blood sugar. Unless I was walking or exercising, I couldn't stand up for more than five minutes. I finished every shower from the floor of the shower stall, and I couldn't even manage to blow-dry my hair.
With the second pregnancy? I ate the freaking salt. What a relief.
The hunger and the salt cravings always died down after the first trimester, but aversions moved in to fill the gaps.
I had issues with chocolate both times, though not by itself. With Baby #1, it was the combination of chocolate with peanuts or peanut butter. This is still utterly mystifying to me. I know that it happened, but it makes no sense. Chocolate and peanut butter are a perfect pairing! How could they ever become evil? And yet, they did.
The second time, it was chocolate and caramel. Milky Way bars, Rolos, and the little chocolate-caramel bombs in Brach's Bridge Mix were just blehhh. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday, because even though the repulsion is gone, it still seems like it could come back at any time. Our second child is twenty now, so probably not? But you never know.
Chinese food was the other major problem. Just thinking about the smell of it was sickening, which was really sad. My husband loves Chinese food, and it was on the no-fly list for months. For awhile, I was afraid I might never like it again. That happened to someone I knew, whose fourth pregnancy ruined chocolate for her forever.
Part of me actually envies that woman. My life would be so much easier if chocolate didn't have such an ungodly hold on me…
While I was busy hating Chinese food, I developed a horrendous obsession with Tex-Mex cuisine. I craved nachos 24/7, and became a slave to the power of suggestion. I fought it—and grew mad skillz at quickly changing the TV channel or turning down the volume on the radio whenever a commercial for Mexican food came on. It was the era of Yo quiero Taco Bell, and that cute little chihuahua was my enemy.
Because I did quiero. All day, every day, like some kind of crazy person.
I was so glad when all of that was finally over, and my appetite was less volatile again. I was even gladder that I didn't go through a repeat performance of it with pregnancy #2.
Instead, that second pregnancy left me with a gift—and I don't mean the baby we brought home, who is now a fine, strapping young man.
For all of the ins and outs of food foes and favorites, the one thing I didn't expect was to start liking something I had despised for decades. No one ever said that could happen!
But somehow, it did.
This wasn't any kind of special or fancy food, or something I obsessively craved. But I could eat it again, and enjoy it. It had stopped being the foul monstrosity I'd avoided ever since I was ten.
I've even been known to add it to the grocery list these days, though I usually only do that when the kids are around, because my husband still hates it.
Watermelon. Who knew it could be so divisive?
Cucumbers are still the same mutant Devil-spawn they've always been, though.
And that will never change.
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