04 Nov Pregnancy Cravings
Let’s talk pregnancy cravings – something I get asked about quite frequently. What’s the real deal? My opinion? Pregnancy “cravings” can be the biggest excuse to let go of all self-control and nutritional awareness in many cases.
There is quite honestly nothing that annoys me more than watching women post a decadently unhealthy meal like a burger, chips & choc milkshake to wash it down, with the caption “ the baby wanted it!”
Your unborn child does NOT have a direct telephone line to your ear to demand take out! What the tiny human developing inside you needs to grow and flourish is a balanced diet from YOU, whereby you are nourished enough to pass on the correct nutrition to facilitate development. If you are not gaining enough nutrients, how can you be expecting to be passing them onto your baby?
Don’t get me wrong, yes there are some women who have arbitrary cravings, generally as a sign that the body is lacking something – for instance I spoke to a mom friend recently, who said all she wanted were orange fruits and veggies when she was pregnant – a possible sign that her body was looking for extra beta carotene.
So, am I saying that pregnancy cravings are not real? No. All I am saying is to be mindful of blaming bad eating choices on pregnancy – those are not “cravings.” Your body and baby do not crave empty calories. In your mind it may feel like a craving when it’s simply a chemical response from your brain to the taste or way you feel for a short moment while eating addictive junk food. It is important to be able to differentiate from what YOU are feeling like eating and what you know you need – feeling like eating something is totally different from needing to eat it.
There is NO more important time in a woman’s life than when pregnant to be completely aware of your nutritional choices you make, as you are already creating your baby’s nutritional foundation as he or she develops in the womb.
Here is one of my favourite recipes that I satisfy a sweet tooth with from time to time. The best part is that it can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months! It’s not about not allowing yourself to have something you feel like (not need – FEEL like.) It’s simply about making the effort to find a healthier way to satiate that feeling.
HEALTHY ROCKY ROAD CHOCOLATE BARK
SERVING SIZE : 2 CHUNKS = 1 SERVING
1 cup organic cacao butter
1 cup organic cacao powder
1/4 cup pure organic maple syrup
Pinch of Celtic sea salt (you can add this into the melted mixture or sprinkle on top at the end)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup roasted pistachios
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup macadamias
1/4 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced, dried apricots
Line an 8 x 8 inch dish with baking or wax paper.
Place the cacao butter into a double boiler or alternatively into a ceramic or glass bowl, placed on top of a pot of boiling water on the stove. Mix all your nuts and dried fruits together in a medium sized bowl and divide the mix into two portions. Keep one portion aside and place the other portion in the bottom of your dish, evenly spread out.
Once the cacao butter has completely melted, add in the cacao powder and mix in with a whisk gently before adding in the maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Quickly pour the chocolate mixture evenly (while still runny) over the nuts and dried fruits in the dish.
Top evenly with the remaining mixture and place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the dish carefully with the paper and cut into rough thumb-sized chunks.
Giorgina is half Italian, half South African and a happily married mom of two, a little girl, Jordan and her son, Kai. She is a qualified Clinical Nutritionist, Pregnancy / Postpartum Exercise Specialist & Personal Trainer. She believes in investing in a lifestyle that holds consistency to the highest value and does not believe in deprivation of any kind. Read More