Sometimes it’s hard to snack well

Not a typical statement (or opinion).  For me at least.

But I’m being honest here.

Between the hours of noon and 5 pm, I graze.  Meals have no room here anymore.  And I’m not super proud of what has been going in my mouth this last week.  It’s not terrible stuff.  But it still leaves me feeling blah.  I can do better.

I miss well balanced full meals.  They’re easier to build – with all the macronutrients represented.  And they leave me sated for hours (until my next full meal).  Grazing is confusing.  I’m not really full (which is the idea, because it’s so uncomfortable to be full these days), but I’m also not really satisfied.  So my appetite is still left wanting.  Lose lose.

I might be being hard on myself.  <– Um, yeah, more on that later.*

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Not all the sweet stuff I choose is bad.  This bowl of Love Grown apple walnut delight granola with (extra) walnuts & bananas on vanilla greek yogurt was perfection.

I even had specific nutrient goals in mind as I put it together!  I made a point to bulk up the omega 3 fatty acids and potassium in this meal.  Baby needs as much omegas as possible in these last few weeks of brain development (and walnuts are a great source of ALA).  The potassium was for the leg cramping (although there are certainly better sources of potassium than bananas – ie potatoes, leafy greens, beans, dates, squash, avocados…).

But there are plenty of sweet snacks that are undocumented, where I go to town on the Costco trail mix.  It’s so good, but ugh, it makes me feel like poop.

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And almond milk ice cream!  Oh my cookies ‘n cream.  Pregnancy needs to end.

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On the left is a peanut butter/coconut oil combo melted over a frozen banana (makes a shell around it – so so good).  And on the right is a simple PB&J tortilla.  Not terrible, but not balanced.

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I took down this whole bag in 3 days.  Mostly plain, straight from the bag, handful by handful.  It’s really dang addictive.  And the big clusters make it too easy to grab from the bag.

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But I used it as an oatmeal topping too.  And as if chocolate granola wasn’t decadent enough, imagine how awesome it tasted on top of peanut butter oats.  I added a very generous spoonful of peanut butter to that batch (I’d say the ratio of PB:oats was 2:1 and I’m being serious)!  It was so good that I had the exact same thing for back to back snacks.  Ummm, can we get some diversity up in here??

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And since I’m off stevia during pregnancy, my hot chocolate is definitely sugar packed.  In case you couldn’t tell from the line up, there’s cocoa powder, ricemellow creme, maple syrup & almond milk in that lovely mug.

So yeah.  Chocolate, peanut butter, chocolate & nut trail mix, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter & jelly, hot cocoa…are you catching onto the theme…

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But let’s not forget about the savory.  Salt is almost as addictive as sugar.  And this bag of 365 chips was abnormally salty.  Even Kyle commented on it.  We buy this kind all the time and whine about how there’s not enough salt on it.  Ha!  Well, apparently others have complained too – and they did something about it!

Chips & salsa, chips & guacamole, pita chips, pita chips, pita chips, popcorn, popcorn, popcorn, roasted nuts…

You get the idea right?

So I’m trying be better about replacing the pantry snack scene with fresher fare.  Otherwise this pregnancy is going to go to hell in a hand basket.

*In the few days since I wrote this post, I realized I was definitely being too hard on myself.  I should know better.  I should know that my body goes through these ups and downs, pregnant or not.  Remember back when I was a salad fiend?  That was a beautiful phase – I’m sure it will be back soon enough.  Plus, it’s not like I’m eating crap.  Even my snacky selections are still whole foods based.  I just had to vent a bit and get it out.  So now I can move on.

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27 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s hard to snack well

  1. Nikki

    1) That almond-milk Cookies and Cream ice cream is soooo good.
    2) I want those PB oats.
    3) You should definitely give yourself a break. Your regular diet–and your knowledge of macronutrients and such–is phenomenal, so you have room for a few spurts of less-than-perfect eating! Plus, who cares about anything else besides the fact that you’ll have your little baby with you soon!
    4) I may have baby fever:-)

  2. Abby

    You know you’re fine and this too shall pass. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that many of the foods we consider “junk foods,” so to speak, are actually things many “normal” people would consider healthy snacks. You do what you need to do now. The end is near, my friend!

  3. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries

    I’m glad you were able to realize you were being too hard on myself. I appreciate that because I can be WAY too hard on myself too. You’re right, your snacks are far from bad by any means. I’ve been craving carbs and fats a lot more the last few weeks, and I truly do believe it’s because my body needs the energy from them to continue to grow a healthy baby. I’ve realized that I just need to listen to my body because it’s pretty darn smart!

  4. Alice

    I used to read your blog all the time along with a few other healthy-living blogs and actually just came back to reading after having no time for a few months to follow bloggers I used to read sometimes daily. I was always impressed by your whole-foods-based, well-balanced meals and how you would plan and pack them daily amidst your crazy schedule. I have to say I was also impressed by how your blog was unique to many others in that you seemed (to an outsider at least) to be fueling your body in a very holistic, intuitive, and natural way without being too calculating or afraid of “losing control.” Your most recent post resonates so much with me because when life/work/whatever gets in the way of your daily routine with food or exercise, sometimes you lose sight of what feels normal or natural to you and start to get confused by your new habits or new variations to your familiar routine. I totally agree that Grazing is CONFUSING! Some people are perpetual grazers, but if you’re used to full meals with smaller snacks in between or more frequent, portioned meals throughout the day, grazing can throw you for a big loop!
    I can only imagine what pregnancy does to confuse not only your physical signals, but also your mental ones surrounding feeling full and needing/wanting more of certain foods. I’m just writing to give you *props* for your OVERALL approach to food, and for recognizing that you were perhaps letting your deviation from your routine define your “un-balanced” grazing habits as unhealthy or less healthy than what you’re used to. Acknowledging that our eating/exercising/working/relaxing habits will constantly be in flux is so important, but more so is our ability to Accept it and appreciate what we can and can’t control. Be Healthy HOLISTICALLY!! And Best of luck with everything!

  5. Lori

    Yes you are being too hard on Elise – she is about to become a Mum (Mom) !! Be kind to her please. And dang if that food doesn’t make me want to jump into a bowl of cereal right NOW!

  6. Courtney

    Added *extra* walnuts?! Who are you and what did you do with Elise?!? :-) Glad you are able to eat the nuts and get the omega’s you and the baby need! Even if you have morphed into a nut loving freak :-)

    Courtney

  7. Elise Post author

    im going to be honest here, it wasnt my favorite thing to do. walnuts are the hardest for me to embrace. and raw! blech. but i really want to have a healthy boy, so i guess this is just another way im sacrificing for my little one :) ill have to remember this to pour on the guilt when hes a teenager… ha!

  8. Elise Post author

    alice – thank you so so much for this wonderfully kind comment.
    i hope everything in your life is settled now (blog reading is definitely the first thing to go when my life gets crazy).
    youre dead on about the mental confusion that can accompany changes in life. overanalyzing things is exhausting! its so much easier to take a step back and consider all that is going on, and just let your body sort itself out – the whole “intuitive eating” thing. i mean, sure there are exceptions. everything in moderation does have its limits.
    anyway. your comment is wonderful. reinforces the importance of rolling with the times of flux that are inevitable in life. :)

  9. Courtney

    Awww…lucky little guy doesn’t know how good he has it with a mama like you to take care of him. And then hold it over him when he is older ;-)

  10. Becky (have turtle will travel)

    3 thoughts:

    1. Cut yourself some slack on the food habits. You’re are still planning super healthy foods with baby in mind.
    2. Coconut oil + pb = magic shell? Brilliant! I am so trying that!
    3. Love Grown makes coco oats? I’m going to be so mad if my WF carries these and I’ve never seen them. I fell in love with Eat Think Smile Cinnamon Almond clusters which were dusted with coco, and then the company went out of business.

  11. Lindsey

    I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and do the SAME thing to myself. Eating a real meal quickly makes it feel like my stomach might explode, yet I have to make a conscious effort to eat less sugar even if it is whole foods based too! It’s much more difficult to construct well planned snacks as opposed to meals. Hang in there, the end is nigh! :)

  12. Elise Post author

    1. truth
    2. yes, its crazy awesome. i should have written down the exact ratio i used, but i doubt theres a wrong way. once it chills over the frozen banana – bam! im thinking ill have to add cocoa or some kind of chocolate to the next one because then itll be like those chocolate covered bananas at theme parks.
    3. cocoa goodness: http://lovegrownfoods.com/products

  13. Lee

    Your snacks might not be the utmost healthiest thing ever, but they are still pretty healthy! I’m sure that your hormones are playing a part too, and your eating habits will go back to normal after you have the baby.

    I need to keep my eyes peeled for that almond milk ice cream. I’ve seen (and eaten plenty of times) the coconut milk one before, but not the almond milk.

  14. Lou

    Vent away my lovely – your emotions will be going a little haywire at the moment to say the least!

    I remember going on a burgers & chips bender a few days before giving birth (YUM!)

  15. Sarah

    Oh, I’m so there with you on this one. I want my body and my stomach back! I’m tired of feeling full yet hungry. I end up snacking all day and my snacks inevitably end up looking very similar to yours; although sometimes mine are much less healthy. I wish I had a salad phase. Vegetables are one of my weird aversions. I feel like I’m preparing food for a child as I have to try to sneak in the veg these days. Thank goodness there’s not long to go. These babies better not be overdue!

    PS Update coming soon :)

  16. Ali

    I can totally relate- I’m 17 weeks pregnant, and a vegetarian. I have been eating mostly whole, healthy foods, but anytime I allow myself a treat (I had the most amazing donut last weekend) I feel so guilty! I always thought pregnant women could eat whatever they want because it doesn’t matter if they gain weight, but I’ve been more hard on myself to eat well now than ever before! Mama guilt starts early, huh?

  17. Elise Post author

    that was one of the most surprising things about being pregnant to me too!! i thought its LOVE LVOE LOVE eating everything in sight. turns out my standards for quality food went even higher and i became even more conscious of everything i put in my mouth. mom guilt indeed!

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  19. lisa skovran

    You are so creative! Your blog has saved me in my road to vegetarianism. Thank you for posting easy, inexpensive recipes! I’ve been a vegetarian a full month. I feel full, satisfied and experience no digestive upset!

  20. Emma Milligen

    Oh, how I love this post. So so so much. You sound just like me! (Except I don’t have the excuse of being preggers!) . I am all for experimenting with snacky foods, and am definitely a chocolate, peanut butter and banana-holic. Perhaps one day I’ll organize all my photos (and thoughts) and actually start posting on that blog I’ve been meaning to finish! Just thought I’d stop by say you made me smile :)

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