It's that time of the year again when you hear about friends who have just tied the knot or expecting soon and you'll see your newsfeed been bombarded with tons of pregnancy and baby related questions. Makes me reminisce about my time as a bloated pregnant lady who basically enjoyed eating whatever she wanted and shutting down every single annoying traditional "do's & don'ts"comment.
I'm the type of person who respect tradition to a certain extend but won't be dumb enough to follow every single thing these old folks say UNLESS there is a proven medical research behind each claim because you can't compare your current modern situation to decades old sayings. Just doesn't add up really but if you want to follow it out of respect to your mothers, grandmothers and in-laws then by all means please do, just quit complaining about how much you are deprived about your favourite foods and drinks like sashimi, sushi, eggs, assam, coffee, coconut water, red meat, etc (long list, but you get my drift) for the next 2 years if you are planning to breastfeed as well.
Remember, you willingly chose to follow those traditional strict diet rules so there's nothing to whine about anymore because no humans are forced against their own will to eat something they don't want to regardless family member or not. You have a brain and the rights to refuse, if needed go to consult obgyn and make sure your caretaker, partner is there with you as well.
To me i am luckily in that sense because i controlled my own diet from the beginning to the end because there was no one taking care of me nor i could be bothered to make myself even more miserable than i already was at that time; except during confinement la as my meals were cooked by the confinement home so no complaints there (super grateful actually). Ate practically almost every single thing including fresh raw salmon (not those low-cost chain Japanese restaurant quality pls) and had my daily dose of jambu and sour pineapples with tons of assam until the fruit store aunty near my office was nagging me about it not good for pregnant women but did anything happen?
Some pregnant mothers are as fragile as a spider web, with the slightest gust of wind the web is destroyed. That came out rather wrong, not saying that you ladies are like Arachnids (lol) just couldn't find a more pleasent term to describe it right now but what i am trying to say that is your body is weak or you have high blood pressure, low lying placenta, all those problems that can cause miscarriage or preterm labor. So you guys technically need to take more precautions on your activities and diet but if you are healthy, go enjoy this period as much as you can (eat, sleep, go out, travel) because once the baby is out your life is gonna revolve around the kid and there's hardly time for yourself anymore for the next 18 years or so.
I do get alot of questions on what was my pregnancy diet and cravings was like and how did i managed to still look normal sized aside from the obvious round belly towards the end of my 3rd trimester. Just a disclaimer that what i've practiced may not work for everyone and i also consulted my obgyn first, so i would advise you to do the same before simply following everything you read online as this is health related and you'll need a certified person to give you the green light before proceeding.
During the first trimester i lost about 2-3kg from the morning sickness which i assumed was severe gastric case since the stick test and scan couldn't detect anything unusual so the doctor i went to told me to go to a specialist as it could be gastric from the way i am having constant refluxes.
It was really bad, i could barely walk outside without wanting to throw up at the scent of every single food and even soups i gotta take them in really slowly or else it will just come up again and was taking some gastric medication prescribed by the specialist to keep it under control. Till one fine night i had a severe cramp at my lower abdominal that require me to be rushed to the emergency section and none of the doctors could figure out what was the cause even after a few rounds of medical history questions and X-RAY. Then they ask me to test on the stick again, that's when they found out i was expecting and was in my 2nd trimester already.
But things got better during my 2nd trimester and my appetite starting increasing steadily along with the fatigue and other pregnancy body pains. Think throughout this period i felt seriously like a garbage truck eating almost anything available even hawker chap fun (economy rice but i skipped the rice) which isn't usually the best food choice as they are super oily but everything was a give and take process as i needed FOOD. If anyone was to deprive me of food, i would go full mood berserk and kill the person next to me (in my head la).
Here are a list of foods that i crave so much during each trimester that it drives me insane when i couldn't get my hands on them.
Nearly named Mariko "Momo" from the amount of peaches i was consuming lol and no, not because of "Momotaro (桃太郎)"
Till today i still love oden, fell in love with this during my first visit to Japan and can never seem to find a similar tasting one in Malaysia unless i homecooked it myself which i'm too tired and lazy to so the next closest decent tasting oden i could find was the Gyuniku no Oden nabe in Rakuzen. Yes, another expensive craving *sobs*
I have it once a week, every Sunday without fail during my 33-39 weeks duration after my long evening walks at desa park city and because of that the people working there recognize me already lol. Without having to ask they know what i was going to order already, also i keep coming back because the people there are really nice and service is good.
Who doesn't like Mochi/ daifuku man..but i am really particular about this one. It has to be of a certain standard of chewiness in order for me to give it as "pass", my favourite was the taro flavored one with cream in the middle. Usually can be found during ISETAN, KLCC Japan prefectural food fairs but it's also another seasonal one :(
When these comes to Malaysia they usually costs minimal RM7.90- RM12.90 each, super expensive but i swear i can live just eating them everyday. Though they are not as good as the freshly made ones i had in Tsukiji market
I have them mostly grilled or baked because that's the parts i can get from the supermarket easily without having to worry about parasites (the fish, not the baby) once it's fully cooked.
But once in awhile i'll feel like having nice juicy, raw fatty sashimi so i'll go to a reputable Japanese restaurant that imports in fresh ingredients from Japan on a weekly basis, that's one of the reasons why they are expensive due to their exceptional quality control.
In case you guys didn't know, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in Japan still do eat raw fishes but they are advised to stay away from those high in mercury like Tuna. You can read about their seafood consumption precaution here (sorry, it's only in Japanese). But if it still bothers you, then please avoid it by all means since raw food doesn't really agree with everyone anyway.
Not you average jelly with artificial peach taste, as it has REAL thick peach slices in it and it's one of the best i've found in the market.
Meiji Mochi Ice cream
These are simple pleasures i do love having as a dessert after each meal, vanilla ice cream encased in smooth and soft mochi skin.
Bakephoria's Dark Symphony (rich dark chocolate cranberry yogurt cake)
One of the best homemade dark chocolate cakes in the market and i am seriously not kidding! I'm super fussy about cakes because most of them found at coffee shops or bakery are either just too dry or super duper oily (dripping oil can be seen and they call that "moist") and what makes it harder is a health freak like me wouldn't eat any cake with MARGARINE in it. One of the reasons i keep ordering it from her is because first of all it's made in a hygienic home kitchen setting not a factory or roadside and the baker is very strict about the ingredients quality used in all her cakes, last but not least it's made fresh so you gotta book in advance in you want to have a taste of it.
Comes in 2 different sizes, petite and standard large, you can order them here 💕
Of all things, Japanese curry rice and not our local curry though i've tried both it seems that the local ones boh ngam* for my spicy cravings. Because of this i finally learn how to cook my own Japanese curry which is rather easy (cheat one) and have to say i make some kickass curry with carrots, potatoes & tons of chili flakes :P
Not sure of all things why young coconut water, probably my body was feeling rather heaty so the best way to cool it down is to drink cold coconut water, probably had this more frequently than i should but all's cool (no pun intended). At least i got my sugar fix from a natural source rather than drinking one of those bottled fruit juices or diet cola.
Foods I USED to love and can't stand the taste of it now, and still actually feel nauseous from it which made me rather sad because i thought things would go back to normal after giving birth but guess it's one of those things that has been permanently altered.
- Tamagoyaki- No kidding, my love for eggs and having to let go of them really breaks my heart. This sweet and fluffy textured omelette is now my worst enemy, my palate doesn't agree with sweet tasting eggs right now.
- Chinese Herbal Tea Egg- Ate so much of these like almost everyday for lunch when i was working in malls till the point it was rather worrying but i'm happy with simple & cheap food, as long it fills my stomach. Now smelling it from the other end of the mall is enough to make me gag.
- Calpis (Japan one, not Malaysian Calpis) - my short live love for this drink was rather tragic, it wasn't love at first drink as it took awhile for me to get accustomed to the taste of this drink and when i finally did (rather refreshing), it was cut short by morning sickness *sigh*
- Kanro Puré Gummy - used to eat so much of this because i love sour sweets
For herbal eggs, i am trying to train myself to accept the taste again but so far the most i can stand are 2 eggs before my stomach starts churning up a hurricane in there.
In conclusion i had serious case of Japanese food cravings, not complaining but i am glad it wasn't fast food like burgers, fried chicken or junk food like chips.
Because of this i think that's one of the main reasons why i didn't gain so much unnecessary fats because the food i ate overall and craved for was mostly proper food and a handful of processed ones. Also i work out at least 2-3 times a week in the gym with weights, walked at least 2km daily which is good as it helps to strengthen your muscles to push the baby out and during recovery your body still remembers those muscles so it's easy to get them back again (memory muscle).
Gotta thank my pregnancy for making me a less fussy eater and now it's been 5 months postpartum i am still eating the way i was during my pregnancy (with controlled carbs) except i do monitor my calorie intake, workout abit more to tone back my loose flabs and help boost my metabolism.
From a person who had a history of bulimia and anorexia nervosa, i'm thankful to be able to take this chance to start a new and be more careful this time rather than letting my addiction to bones get the best of me.
No shortcuts, just pure hard work and what's important is a healthy mom both mentally & physically.
Just sharing my usual ramblings, not sure if any of you found it helpful but take it more as a post to read just to kill time while waiting at the obgyn for your turn :)