breakfast · easy meals · Pregnancy · vegan

The First Trimester (Plus Banana-Nut Oatmeal Recipe)

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I am very grateful to be enjoying a fairly peaceful second trimester, after a pretty tough first one.  Right around the 6 week mark, I started to feel quite nauseous and had no interest in food.  It made the holidays tough, as I was too sick to really enjoy time with my family and friends.  Things got really bad the day after Christmas, when I could not even keep down water all day.  I went to the ER to get an IV because I was so worried about becoming dehydrated and what that might do to the baby.

Two days later, I started taking a prescription anti-nausea medication.  It helped, but didn’t work any miracles.  I continued to struggle to eat.  I felt nauseous all the time, and vomited often. I could not stand the smell of ANYTHING, and poor Dhiren spent weeks without having a meal in the house, because the smell of food sent me running to puke. For someone who loves cooking it was very demoralizing.  I was also filled with worry. Worry about the medication I was taking.  Worry because I was losing weight and barely eating anything. Worry over not being able to keep down my prenatal vitamins.  Worry that I would never feel better, and that I just wasn’t able to do this.  I felt trapped and afraid and very overwhelmed.  I was also pretty isolated, as being so sick put me in bed all day, every day, which was no fun.

Luckily, things slowly started turning around at about week 12.  I emphasize the slow part. I became well enough to start experimenting a little with my routine, with the foods I ate and their quantities. I was able to get out of the house a bit, which lifted my spirits. By week 13 I was able to replace one of my three daily, heavy-duty pills, with a milder drug. By  15 weeks I was down to just one heavy-duty pill a day.  I actually tied to go completely drug free a few days ago, but that didn’t go too well, so I will stick with one a day for now.

I’ve learned the value and importance of appreciating small victories, and of telling myself that the hard times will pass.  I tend to get discouraged at what I see as setbacks.  If I’ve felt good for a few days and suddenly get sick, I can easily become discouraged.  But I remind myself that progress is not a straight line (thanks Obama for that great quote!) and that all things, good and bad, are temporary.  It helps to keep me balanced and feeling positive.

One of the things I celebrate the most is my renewed interest in cooking! Any time I stand in front of some creation at the stove, I remind myself how impossible this would have been a few weeks ago, and how happy I am to have come this far! I have been really enjoying oatmeal these days, and have found a way to pack 15 grams of protein into one bowl, since protein is so important during pregnancy. I usually have to eat this in two sittings, and will store half in the fridge to reheat with a splash of milk in the microwave. That is partly because it is very filling, and partly just a weird pregnancy thing where I have learned I can’t eat as large portions any more.  I sure do eat more frequently though! So it all evens out at the end of the day.  You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe to feed more people, but I just provided you with my version for one serving to feed one hungry mama-to-be 🙂

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Heaping tbsp raisins

Add-Ins:

  • Heaping tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Maple Syrup

Directions

  1. Combine the oats, milk, salt, cinnamon, and raisins in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce to low and continue simmering 4-5 minutes until oats are tender.  Add more milk if needed to thin out the porridge.
  2. Meanwhile, chop your pecans and get out all your add-ins.  To make this bowl of oatmeal have 15 grams of protein, you will need to add all the toppings I listed.  Feel free to omit some or even all of the toppings if you prefer, the porridge is good all on it’s own. But it’s truly amazing with all the yummy additions 😛
  3. Turn off the heat and stir the almond butter into the oats.  Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the nuts, banana, hemp seeds and maple syrup. I go a little nuts with the syrup.  Enjoy!!!

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