I had always held the rather cavalier belief that eating right when expecting would come instinctively. I'm a nutritionist, after all. I've had numerous pregnant clients over the years, and I've talked them through their various complaints: they crave sugar and salt, they're exhausted, healthy foods hold no appeal. And, of course, it's easier to rip open a bag of chips than whip up a batch of steamed veggies.
Yet I just assumed that when I became pregnant, none of these issues would apply to me. I was in for a rude awakening. In those first few months, my baby was no bigger than a blueberry, but she'd already taken charge of my taste buds and willpower. The mere sight of a vegetable made me nauseous. Protein mainstays such as salmon and egg whites couldn't have been less appealing. Whole-grain anything seemed revolting. Yet food was always on my mind -- specifically the starchy sugary kind that I'd told my clients to avoid. I craved gnocchi and cheese, challah bread, fried dough. (Do you see a trend?) Saltines dipped in mayonnaise grew to be one of my favorite snacks. I fantasized about McDonald's fish sandwiches. After hitting a new nutritional low by inhaling a pint of ice cream before breakfast, I knew it was time for me to eat my words. Gradually, I started replacing the junk with healthy foods I did enjoy, such as nuts, low-fat yogurt, and oatmeal. The following four challenges were difficult to overcome, but I worked hard and did the best I could. In sharing them I hope to help you avoid the same pitfalls.