The pregnancy (not really) diet

There’s a crap ton of advice out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat while you’re pregnant. Watch out for that fish. Don’t eat that cheese. Eat more of this vegetable. NO SUSHI.


Because of our diet back in 2012, I try to be pretty vigilant about what I eat. I try to have pork, chicken and fish in equal portions throughout the week. I try to have vegetables and fruits regularly. I have milk almost every day, and do my best to avoid soda and junk food. I drink, but not a lot. Oh, and coffee daily, sometimes twice a day!

Then I got pregnant!

Fortunately, those habits stuck. My OB didn’t really give me a lot of diet restrictions. She said I could have one cup of coffee each day. She said if I had eaten sushi in a particular restaurant before, and it was okay, then I could have it. Of course, no alcohol, and no street food. It probably helped that she’s been our friend for quite a few years, so she knew all about the diet we went through!

It was actually Oneal who was strict about what I ate. “No cold cuts” and “no soft cheeses.” He knew I had cold cuts and cheeses at breakfast buffets whenever I traveled, so while I was in India, he was Googling every little thing I told him I had eaten. Every time I longed for isaw (grilled chicken intestines), he said sternly, “Bawal!” (That’s not allowed!). Each time our friends had drinks, I looked wistfully at each glass and bottle that passed me by, and Oneal said, “In two years!”

Despite all my whining, I didn’t actually feel too deprived. I was lucky, because I didn’t have morning sickness, and I didn’t have weird cravings for hard-to-find food. I also didn’t feel repulsed by flavors and smells–except for once.

We were at Mark and MR’s wedding reception, and the waiter put some spareribs in front of me. I’d never been a picky eater, but the moment I smelled the meat, I wrinkled my nose in disgust! “Maybe it’s just the smell,” I thought. I took a bite–and put the rest of it on Oneal’s plate. Then there were some baked scallops. I’d always loved seafood, so I eagerly put one on my plate. And the same thing happened: I took a bite–and put the rest of it on Oneal’s plate. We were both surprised!

Aside from that, I haven’t had any problems with food–cravings or otherwise. Any cravings I’ve had have been pretty minor. I think it was in my second trimester when I started looking for chocolate: cake, cookies, milk. I’ve always preferred salt to sugar, so this was a surprise. My cravings for potato chips went down significantly!

Sugar tends to be a problem for pregnant women, since there’s the threat of gestational diabetes. Women are warned that they’ll gain a lot of weight, or their babies will gain a lot. There’s greater risk, I guess, if diabetes runs in your family, as it does in mine.

My pregnant friends were all ordered to have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) for this. They all warned me about the test: the horribly sweet orange drink you had to take, the fasting, the waiting. Some of them threw up, others got dizzy. It was kind of scary!

My OB ordered my OGTT in my second trimester. Oneal took the day off so he could go with me. We went to a clinic near the house, very early in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have to suffer too long. He also knew I didn’t do too well with hunger and nausea.

Fortunately, I was fine! Perhaps it was because I had psyched myself, and I brought plenty of distractions. It helped too that Oneal was with me, and he kept me distracted. And the best thing: liempo at the nearby Baliwag restaurant for brunch!

If there was anything else I was craving, it was meat. Liempo, steak, porkchops, hotdogs–basically, Oneal’s favorite foods! Every time I craved meat, I glared at Oneal and said, “Anak mo!” (Your child!)

Now, in my third trimester, I wake up on weekends with pretty specific cravings for breakfast–or breakfast food. A few weeks ago, I wanted breakfast cereal in the middle of the night. Then one Sunday, I woke up craving dilis for breakfast. The following week, I wanted French toast!

And then sometimes my problem is the complete opposite. There’s nothing I want to eat, and nothing I see compels me to eat, so I go hungry because I have no appetite. That’s not good! So I have to eat tiny meals throughout the day, and frankly, that’s tiring!

What are your pregnancy diet stories?

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