I have been getting my energy back. Slowly, but surely. These last two weeks have been a roller coaster- scary possibilities, tests, then good news, scary possibilities, tests, then more good news. Between these hospital visits and work, I did not have the energy (or the mental capacity) for much else. I have been reading a lot, though. And today I will briefly talk about two books which will help you if you have digestion problems, want clearer skin, and are pregnant and want to prepare yourself for the baby. Well, as much as you can! As a bonus, I will share a mock cocktail recipe for all my fellow pregnant ladies out there who, like me, have been craving some margarita!
The complete book of Food combining, by Kathryn Marsden
I knew a little about food combining. I had never tried it because I never had any problem with digestion, food sensitivities, skin condition and so on. Let me put it this way: I feel extremely fortunate to get pregnant without having to track, see expert after expert, doctor after doctor; without having to wait nervously, having to go through what so many of my friends, colleagues, acquaintances have gone through (most times with good results, thank goodness!). BUT with pregnancy, and right away, I started to have problems with acne, digestion, bloatedness (constant, constant bloat!) and, maybe not a morning sickness, but a persistent uneasiness in my tummy.
Then I got better. The most important reason why I have my clear skin back (SO happy!), why I am much less bloated and not miserable every day is this: The first trimester is over! We’re in our 15 weeks now, and I am feeling the difference already. That said, I do know that food combination has helped. I know this because, after having been following food combining for weeks and getting great results, I fell off the food combining wagon. Just the other night, after having a bowl of corn crisps, I also had a big bowl of delicious and cold watermelon. (I know this combination doesn’t make sense, but most of my cravings do not make sense these days). Oh my God, I could not sleep all night. There was nausea, cramping, pain, indigestion. And all this continued the following day.
I had done two things that are not tummy-friendly: Eating (or drinking) really cold things, and eating fruit on a full stomach.
The only two rules you need to follow
Kathryn Marsden’s book on food combining is elaborate and gives broad information, tips, clues, suggestions, on a variety of issues related to digestion. However, she makes our life easier by listing “the only two rules you need to follow”at the very beginning of her book:
- The first rule
Eat fruit on an empty stomach
- The second rule
Don’t combine concentrated proteins with concentrated starches at the same meal.
The second rule is harder for me – I love my vegan tuna sandwich!! I am working on that one, though with pregnancy cravings, I am lenient. The second rule, however, is more important to me, especially after my recent watermelon experience. I am determined not to break that rule from now on!
Marsden says that it’s fine to eat fruit or drink juices first thing in the morning, between meals (a couple of hours before or after the meal), as a starter or aperatif (if you have to. I understand that she prefers to eat fruit just by itself). BUT don’t eat fruit or drink juices with other food, in the middle of a meal, as a dessert.
This is a big book. She is not an extremist, and has a clear explanation behind her suggestion, is aware of the complexity of the digestion process, and acknowledges that every body is different, so her book is flexible enough to make accommodations. There are chapters on why proteins don’t g well with starches, on food combining and fluid retention, allergies, digestion, eating disorders, blood glucose, and even stress. There are tons of food combination-friendly recipes, some are plant-based, and some are not (but most of these can easily be ‘veganized’). I highly recommend this book. I mean, if you have any of these problems, just try it out. What is there to lose?
50 things to do before you deliver, by Jill Krause
Another book I have read during the last weeks of the first trimester is this little gem by Jill Krause.
This book is a great help, especially to us, first-time mums. Krause has suggestions from how to pick a pediatrician to what to include in a baby registry; from tips to maintain romance while pregnant to prepping and storing freezer meals, close to the actual day of labour. I have learned and underlined so much- and she gives all this info in a non-overwhelming, and certainly a non-patronizing way. I wish I could share all the info here, but I will share a tasty recipe from the book. Ah, the beloved margarita!
My version of Jill Krause’s “Beer Belly Rita”
I rarely drink alcohol. Even then, it’s a couple of glasses at most. But for these last few weeks, I have been craving two things: Margaritas, and potatoes. The latter is easy, and nutritious. The former is not. So I was looking for a non-alcoholic margarita to kind of satisfy that urge. Jill Krause’s version includes a non-alcoholic beer (hence the name Beer Belly Rita). I am not a beer person, so I used ginger beer instead. I figured, since ginger was so helpful to get rid of nausea, ginger beer may be a healthier alternative?! Plus, I do like the taste. Except for the ginger beer sub, and the note on sparkling water, I am directly quoting Krause.
1 wedge lime, plus 1/2 lime
Kosher salt, for the glass
6 ounces of ginger beer
6 ounces of limeade (I use sparkling water, instead of regular water. Personal taste!)
- Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a glass.
- Pour kosher salt on a plate in a thin layer. Flip the glass over and press the rim into the layer of salt.
- Fill the glass halfway with ice. Pour in the ginger beer (or non-alcoholic beer), followed by the limeade.
- Squeeze the 1/2 lime on top, and gently stir.
I don’t know about you, but I am enjoying the second trimester so far. I keep reminding myself that as long as I do the right thing, the just thing, and be compassionate towards myself and everyone else, I can trust the process. Because when we are in peace with ourselves, and with the world, things always end up better than we worry that they would. I thought the first trimester would be my end – but here I am, typing these while enjoying a summer wind, along with a preggo-friendly margarita!