One thing that is probably most associated with pregnancy is... cravings! Those sneaky triggers that call to you until their needs are met. Seriously, it's pretty intense. Mine come and go but one that's been pretty consistent lately (until I'm pretty sure I burned myself out) has been these dreamy Pellegrino sodas. Even though they are "sparkling water," they have fruit juice from concentrate that has a ton of sugar in it. I really try and avoid things that have more than 10g of sugar and these bad boys have 32. Eek! Have no fear, if you are craving coke or some other soda, try switching to a refreshing LaCroix. Water is best, but if you need some bubbles, these drinks come in a variety of natural flavors and they have no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Win!

Pizza (photo from here) is a pretty common craving. Here's a hilarious pregnancy tale:
"When i was pregnant I ate for 5. I craved pizza non-stop (so much that when I said I wanted pizza for dinner one night, my pizza-loving husband said "can we please just have something else tonight?")."
There's nothing wrong with indulging in a little pizza from time to time, but if you find yourself constantly craving it, you may want a slightly healthier alternative. Instead of having the typical fare, mix things up with a sprouted grain muffin pizza that you can customize to your liking. The sprouted grains take longer to break down so you don't get an immediate insulin spike. Pizza usually puts me in an instant food coma.

Chocolate and women just go together. They are a little match made in heaven, unless the chocolate is full of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Stick to dark chocolate (full of antioxidants!) or make some of this divine raw fudge. For special occasions I love Pamela's brownies, which you can see in action here.

I'll be the first to admit that I've been falling prey to some serious ice cream action. Soft serve at DQ? Sure. A little Icedream at Chick-fil-a? Why not. Then I gained three pounds in a week and woke up from my fog of delicious, icy, cream. One of my favorite alternatives is Purely Decadent's Chocolate Peanut butter Swirl coconut ice cream. It's so good and much lower in sugar and bad fats. You also get the benefits of the coconut milk. Score!

Not gonna lie, just looking for these images made my mouth water. A lot of pregnant women crave red meat. The reason is most likely due to not having enough protein in your diet, so a good burger is usually the dinner of choice. Thick white buns and tons of bacon and cheese can definitely take their toll. Stick to healthy burgers like this jalapeno and garlic bison burger.

What your cravings could be telling you?

  • Soft drinks: Craving bubbles? It could mean you're just thirsty (so grab some water) or your body is craving calcium. The more carbonated drinks you consume, the more calcium can be stripped from your bones. (source)
  • Pizza, cereal, carbs, etc.: You could be craving carbs because you consumed a lot during the first trimester. Most nauseas women cling to bread, crackers, etc to make it through those first few months and the more you eat of that, the more you consume. (source)
  • Chocolate: Chocolate isn't all bad. Part of the reason we crave it, is that it releases serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Pregnancy is full of emotional ups and downs and sometimes nothing cures what ales you like chocolate. (source)
  • Ice cream, cheese, milk, etc: Your body needs a lot of energy to keep up with your growing baby, often high fat foods like these are craved due to your body wanting the extra calcium and they typically follow a drop in blood sugar. Eating small meals throughout the day can help. (source)
  • Red meat: Like I mentioned earlier, red meat is typically craved because your body needs protein. The salty goodness of the burger with the cheese is a hard combination to beat for those expecting a little one. You also need extra iron in your diet, make sure to take your prenatal vitamins to help with that. (source)

    Please share how you deal with your cravings. I think we could all use a little help in this department. I do also want to note that sometimes it's better to just give into them than to end up binging later on.


    1. Oh how I love a fizzy water! I read once that women should be careful about consuming too much carbonation because it can block calcium absorption. I found one of the things that helped me avoid my soda cravings was to freeze fruit (whole or chopped up and frozen in ice trays with a little water) and adding it to the fizzy water helped tremendously. It was just enough sweetness and you get some more fiber in your diet - and what pregnant lady doesn't appreciate that?!

      I was a red meat craver when I was pregnant but I tried to avoid a lot of ground meat because of the higher potential of bacteria ( and because I don't like a well done burger). I've been digging flat iron steaks this summer because you can grill them fast (just a few minutes on each side) and they're relatively inexpensive - even if you buy the organic option. Also dark green vegetables (collards, spinach, and the like) are full of iron and can help with those meat cravings!

    2. great post! I gained 54 lbs when pregnant because of my brownie batter ice cream craving... I bet i could have switched it out and done so much better having a lower fat version!

    3. Really love your sugar alternatives... Sugar has been my worst nightmare during my current pregnancy - even at 18 weeks, it still makes me sick. That said, I still want a little something sweet every once in a while, so, low sugar options are the way to go!

    4. Great ideas! Sometimes I have to give into cravings, especially if they persist. Other times, I can be satisfied with a healthier version.

      I wish I liked coconut ice cream but I just don't think it's anywhere near the same. And the texture is thin and weird. I haven't tried chocolate peanut butter though, which sounds pretty delish. Maybe I'll come around . . . eventually.

      I don't like sugary drinks, though. I actually drank one of those Pellegrinos once thinking it was sparkling water (like the orange flavored crystal geyser), and I was unpleasantly surprised to taste the sweetness. I definitely prefer the nonsugar kind. Can't say the same for my ice cream, though!

    5. We have a SodaStream, which we use to make carbonated water, and its the only way I enjoy having water anymore! Sometimes we flavor it with Torani syrup, but most of the time we just leave it plain. SO GOOD. It broke my soda addiction!!

    6. if you need some bubbles, these drinks come in a variety of natural flavors and they have no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Win!

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