Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Failed Appetite

I think somewhere between the beginning and end of my first pregnancy I developed food issues.

I have always been a picky eater--avoiding fish, disliking pizza, running away from spaghetti.  Cooking, then, was an easy way for me to avoid eating foods I really didn't like.  I started trying new recipes while twiddling with the ingredients to make them just the way I liked and really enjoying the process.

After I married Ben and I conceived Emily, I stopped cooking.  And eating.  And desiring food.  It's hard to enjoy food when it smells disgusting and automatically comes back up once you swallow.  Those first few months I survived on fast food.  (Um, not really survived because I didn't keep that down either, but at least I didn't have to make it or smell it while it was being made. ) This constant sickness altered the way I viewed food.  It was no longer enjoyable and I became even pickier about what I ate.

Becoming pregnant with Andrew just 6 months after she was born did not help things.  I relied on IV's and instant mashed potatoes to pull me through.  Unfortunately, after he was born and especially after I had my miscarriage, I still had bouts of morning nausea.  Thinking about meals is nearly impossible in this state.  Over time, my list of banished foods has increased.  I no longer cook meat (although that's more because my lack of a dishwasher and my obsession with germs) and despise breakfast foods.

With Ben being absent, my desire to prepare meals has floundered.  Thank goodness my children are still little, but eventually they will want to eat more variety than what I currently offer them.  I'm crossing my fingers that my food issues will have disappeared by then.

Do share--do you have foods that you can't eat because of negative associations?  Do you consider yourself a picky eater? Want to come cook for me and my family?


  1. I am not a picky eater. I don't like olives. Or stuff too spicy. But that's about it. There have been things that I haven't been able to stomach during pregnancy, but after the fact, I can always eat them again. Like with my first, we were still in school and my husband waited tables at Los Hermanos. He came home smelling like burritos. And I would barf. Welcome home, honey! It took a while, but I can totally eat burritos now. Pretty much all food makes me happy. Which may or may not be worse than being picky.

  2. Hehe! Thinking about your "welcome home" barf for your husband really made me laugh. There were times when my husband couldn't even sit next to me. Yeah, hon, love you much but please sit way over there.

    As for your non-pickiness? I think that is awesome. I really envy you! I recognize my weird food stuff is different, but after my pregnancies food, for me, is associated with nausea and vomiting. Even thinking about it now makes me shudder.

  3. Since my first pregnancy, I haven't like ice cream. Doesn't sound good at all. And there are other foods I never eat that are gross to me... bananas, pineapple, steak.

    When I live down there, I'll bring dinner over all the time! You just gotta tell me what sounds good that day so I don't bring something that makes you sick after I leave. :)

  4. I can barely cook for ourselves! I swear, we out all the time!

  5. I have food issues, but for me it's gone from the picky/hardly eat end of the spectrum to the binge/eat too much end. Me and food, we are not friends.

    I need to find a way to be friends with my food without smothering it with my affections...

  6. Kim...LOL

    I eat anything, pretty much. But I am on a more restricted eating regimen of my own choosing. I think eating new foods and experimenting with recipes is truly one of the joys of life. Sorry it isn't true for you. :(

  7. I had such horrid morning sickness with my pregnancy.The only thing I craved was vegetarian sushi and I ate that constantly during my first trimester. But now I can't stomach the thought of having anything even resembling sushi. Even though I liked it during my pregnancy, I have developed a permanent aversion to it. Go figure!

    I would love to cook for you and your family. Any chance you like Indian food?

  8. Ugh! I was so sick with Miss D. that I survived on mashed potatoes and rice. And since she was conceived, I can no longer eat eggs or sushi of any kind--makes me gag.

  9. It's never happened to me the way it has for you as I never got nauseous when pregnant and had quite the opposite thing going on i.e. I could not stop eating :-) But I totally understand how you have come to dislike so many foods given all you have gone through. Just go with your gut, quite literally on this one and eat whatever if anything takes your fancy and don't push yourself to cook. On that subject, our daughter is now three and we still do not really cook for ourselves, at least not very often, as she still eats such a very few foods. I think this is very often the case too so don't worry, there will be plenty of time ahead to cook big family meals and all sit down together but for now I really don't think your little ones are missing out.

  10. I'm a picky eater but always have been, since I was little. I've always turned my nose up at spicy vegetables (peppers, onions, etc.) and still can't eat them. Pregnancy hasn't helped, although once the pregnancy is over, I can usually eat the foods I've always liked. Usually, though, if I don't like something, I won't ever like it, no matter how many times I try to gag it down.

  11. I've never been a picky eater and it pains me to have to endure my toddler's food idiosyncrasies. I'm hoping it's a phase but for now, it has turned me off laboring in the kitchen for hours when I know that she's more into simpler flavors, and honestly, it's hard to find time these days to do everything, so while I still cook a lot, it's mostly express meals.

    I'm sorry you are plagued by such powerful bouts of morning sickness. It's interesting how different women have such varied pregnancy symptoms.

  12. Oh, wow. It must be so difficult for you! When I was pregnant with my first, I was very nauseous and I could only eat take-out. Kind of like the feeling of a hangover, when only a good greasy burger and fries will make you feel better. Only I never felt better. Luckily I wasn't sick while pregnant with my daughter and I'm not a picky eater, either.
    Hmm, my son is an extremely picky eater and my daughter is a great eater... I wonder if what I ate while pregnant has anything to do with it?!

    Good luck with everything, Amber. I'm sorry you'll be going through such sickness and I pray it doesn't get too bad for you.

  13. I'm anti-fish. Beyond that, I'll make most things work. I never had serious morning sickness but when things got slightly rocky with #2, the only thing that leveled me out in the morning was a scrambled egg on wheat toast. I didn't like either, but it settled my stomach. Hope you find what works!

  14. I am the opposite, with every pregnancy I would crave something new and become less picky. Of course, given where I started, I am still extremely picky. And I can't stomach spaghetti-ohs at all.

    I do, however, have a weird appetite where the thought of eating doesn't interest me and I will forget to eat. Then I won't get hungry, I'll get a headache and that reminds me it is time to eat again.

    If I could go without eating again without hunger or, you know, death, I totally would. Except for chocolate. I wouldn't want to stop eating that.

  15. Me too. I've often told Ben that eating is such a nuisance. If it weren't completely necessary, I would avoid it all together. (That and bathroom breaks.)

  16. Well they go together. If you could stop one, you could stop the other. I say it is a good plan.

  17. I do think kids get their food cues and attitudes from their parents so I don't blame you for being concerned, Amber. My kids eat anything except what we don't eat for religious reasons (pork and shellfish). Anything mom's eating, as a matter of fact, is always what they want and since I have an interesting non-fattening diet they eat an incredible assortment of food.

    They have friends now, from age 11 to 15 who are adamantly stuck in the pizza/chicken nuggets/ice cream thing and it's the most annoying thing in the world. I think it starts limiting their choices in a lot of things - like we can't invite one friend over to play if we know we're going out to eat because she won't eat!

    Do what you have to do right now since you're pregnant, but afterwards, if you can, start rediscovering the world of food, non-processed, delicious food, and let your kids discover it with you!

  18. Instant mash potatoes are the world's best sick food. I am delighted to see we share the passion.

    I'm sorry about your food issues. After my mom had all 6 of her kids, she had a really hard time eating anything after she cooked it. She would make a meal that sounded good and by the time she'd smelled it long enough to make it, it was not appetizing anymore. She has worked hard to overcome it and is better at eating a variety of healthy foods now. but she shares your trial.

  19. This post makes me smile.

    Let me say - first of all - I've been trying to talk The Kitchen Witch into moving into my house. I've offered up the Latvian Suite, but so far, she hasn't taken me up on the idea. (Think her hubby and kids might miss her, just a little?)

    Other than that, let me say that for some strange reason with my first pregnancy, I craved Dannon strawberry yogurt. I like strawberry yogurt, but why I would crave it is anyone's guess.

    In my second pregnancy, I didn't specifically crave anything, but I was starving ALL the time. (Can you say 60 pound weight gain???)

    I'll add that it took years for me to eat a strawberry yogurt again. But I do, occasionally.

    As for picky eaters and cooking for kids - that's a whole other adventure. But if you're lucky, one of your kids may enjoy learning to cook. One of mind did. The repertoire may not be large, but it's tasty!


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