Once I went Paleo I never looked back. Well, maybe I peeked, but it was just a quickl look and I never really meant it. I've talked before about how magnesium supplements cured my cravings for chocolate and how I'm so gluten and rice intolerant I don't even want to cheat...
...so when junk food cravings hit me with a brick now that I'm pregnant I was floored.
They started off as a sinister whisper in the back of my mind that I swatted away but the cravings became horrifyingly real the day I drove by Noah's Bagels. I actually whimpered out loud.
"What's wrong, Mama?" asked my 9 year old.
"I want... I want a bagel. Not just a bagel, I want an onion bagel smothered in butter and ham and melted cheese!"
"No, Mama, no!!"
Of course we drove by the temptation and did not stop, but a few days later the cravings hit again. I saw someone with a pizza and my knees quivered. The blood must have drained from my face, or else I was drooling on myself, because my daughter looked up at me and froze at what she saw.
"What is it, Mama?"
When her eyes followed mine to the pizza she wailed, "Don't look! Close your eyes!" but it was too late. I wanted to eat pizza. And not just one slice, I wanted an entire pizza to myself, with extra cheese and pepperoni and an ice-cold Diet Coke to wash it down. Followed by a donut, maybe. Or a dozen. Sigh.
Later that week in Whole Foods my 9 year old had the death grip on my upper arm, her little fingers carving divits into me as she steered me clear of the danger aisles.
"But I want a white potato smothered in butter and melted cheese!" I wailed pitifully.
"Stay strong, Mom. You can do it."
What the heck was going on?
I know these cravings aren't my body telling me to eat what's good for me. I've learned that the body craves what it's addicted to, and what hurts it. I've figured out that racket. I've also figured out that a craving is not the same thing as a nudge or an intuitive desire. "I feel like broccoli tonight" is perhaps the body asking for something. "I must stop at Wendy's and have their french fries on the way home!" is not in the same league. I mean, really.
And while I was in no real danger of eating a pizza (the pain, the pain!) the cravings sucked, and they made me cry sometimes, and I wanted them to stop.
So what was the bleep was causing them?
Was this emotional memory? I already wrote about how fat I got with my other pregnancies because I couldn't (or wouldn't) stop eating junk food (link coming soon). Was this me trying to sabotage myself? Was this me just trying to find some relief from the low-grade, constant nausea and extreme exhaustion I had been feeling for weeks? I know that eating a donut provides some relief from your life. The grains and sugar give you this doped up, numb, happy feeling for some moments before you crash and crave pasta for dinner. Erg.
Other pregnant mothers confirmed the same thing. They said their cravings for carbs were so intense that, gluten-intolerant or not, they gave in.
That's when it hit. me. "Carbs," I thought. "Riiiight."
Well, if it's carbs my body wants (or carbs my emotional memory craves) what are the Paleo sources for it? Come to find out there are lots. Different fruits and vegetables have carbs, but on my short list of grab-and-go carbs were dates, bananas, and apples. And baby carrots.
So last night I was lying in bed trying to figure out how to make a Paleo version of a ham and cheese melt (wondering where I would put the toaster oven I would buy to make it). This morning I woke up and had two bananas smothered in coconut milk and cinnamon (carbs and good fat) and my desire for a bagel totally and completely disappeared.
And thus, my struggle has now ended.
Take that, cravings. In your Paleo face.
I like the easy Paleo stuff.