I have a confession to make.
My real food ideals have gone down the drain the past couple of months. My pantry and freezer full of preserved garden goods have sat untouched. My pressure canned soups lay waiting for me to glance at them again.
The first trimester of pregnancy got the best of me. I felt much sicker this time than with my first two (or at least it seemed that way), and almost nothing seemed tolerable to my nauseous self. Particularly not something I had touched once already.
I think this is largely a modern, industrialized nation problem. What if I was a frontierswoman? I would have sucked it up and eaten whatever was in the garden or what my husband brought home from hunting. What if I lived in total poverty? I would have no choice- I would eat what was in front of me.
So I think in some ways I’m just moping and complaining when I say that my pregnancy made it hard for me to eat well.
Yes, I was sick. But was I really forced into buying cheeseburgers and Chinese and sugary cereals?
Well… I guess no one was twisting my arm.
Regardless, here I am at the beginning of my second trimester (14 weeks), finally not sick most of the time (hallelujah!). I’m thinking about how I can get back on track to eating well again.
My main goals are to:
- Start cooking each meal again
- Shop my freezer and pantry
- Stop buying junk (If I don’t have it in the house, I won’t eat it!)
- Plan my meals ahead
- Make a list before going to the grocery store and stick to it
- Learn not to let my cravings have complete control over me
There are many seasons in life for all of us, pregnant or not, that we throw eating well out the window and just do what it takes to get by. Maybe a family member is hospitalized (as my father-in-law just was) and you’re driving back and forth to visit them. Maybe you’ve got kids in separate daycare and school, and by the time you get home you don’t have time for making dinner and still playing with them. Maybe you work nights and regular, healthy meals are just difficult to plan and arrange.
Whatever your season or reason, first off- give yourself a little grace. Sometimes it’s just plain hard to work yourself up to do what it takes to eat healthy (yet affordable) choices.
Next- look for ways that you can still feasibly make good choices whenever you can. Every time you can say yes to the crock-pot and no to fast food, do so. Every time you can stomach the idea of opening ANOTHER can of green beans over ordering pizza, pep talk yourself into opening that can. When you need to eat out, think of ways you can make better choices than your conventional fast food.
And whatever you do, don’t panic. Seasons are seasons- and they will change. One day things will settle down and it will be easier to get back to the routine of eating nutritious food. Be ready to recognize when that time comes, and get back in the game.
My good friend Rachel often quotes Elizabeth George (a popular Christian author), who says frequently, “Something is better than nothing.” The point is that even if you’re not living up to your ideals, making effort to move in the right direction is the thing that counts. And when you fail, pick right back up where you left off.
So, today, I am not going to bemoan the poor choices that were scattered throughout the early weeks of my pregnancy. Instead, I am going to make better, more nourishing food choices right now. Anyone care to join me?