Tuesday, March 29

Go-To Foods for Pregnancy with Food Allergies

I had a wonderful few weeks toward the end of my first trimester where my food allergies nearly disappeared. No hives, coughing, itching, swollen extremeties, anxiety or brain fog. Wonderful! The hiatus allowed me to eat regular crackers when feeling sick, and a cheeseburger when I needed a protein boost. I even indulged in a donut one morning - it was amazing! But it proved to be a temporary thing. Almost to the day of the start of my second trimester, the allergies returned, and I was back wondering what in the world to eat with no energy to cook, nausea at frequent intervals, and almost no appetite for regular meals. I have not mastered this challenge at all, but I do have some go-to snacks and easy to prepare items that make things easier. So I decided to put together a little post to share.

I have a small list of favorite snacks, all free of at least wheat and dairy of course, that you can put in your purse on the go and pop in your mouth when nausea hits:

Stretch Island Fruit Leathers! Delicious, no added sugar, and you get 1/2 a serving of fruit in each one. You can buy them in a big variety box at Costco which will last a month or more.

Nature's Path EnviroKidz Lemur Bars. These were a staple for me in my first three months; I kept at least three in my purse at all times. They are like a granola bar made with rice cereal, nuts, and a drizzle of chocolate. They come in a little mini size, perfect for traveling with. I found them at Grocery Outlet of all places, $2.99 for a bag that lasted me three weeks or more.

Sensible Portions Veggie Crisps. These are also found in a large bag at Costco, and last over a month once opened, without getting stale! They are flavored with potato, spinach, and carrot, and really very good. A light crispy snack when you need something in your tummy but not too much. (They are smooth chips in a green bag at Costco, but this was the only photo I could find. You get the idea.)

As far as some easy, quick meals go:

I have Honeysuckle White Turkey Breakfast Sausage links quite a bit. Great source of protein and completely GF. Found at Winco Foods for under $3 a package. Buy two, freeze one and make the other last all week.

Mom's Best Better Oats instant oatmeal does not have junk ingredients in it, and comes in a cute little box of five for around $1! I like the Maple & Brown Sugar and the Apples & Cinnamon best. But it must be noted, if I weren't allergic to dairy I'd be eating Strawberries & Cream, nonstop.

For an easy dinner, grab a jar of healthy spaghetti sauce (make sure it has no HFCS, MSG, or other ickies), and try one of these GF pastas. Yummy, fast and simple:

It can be difficult to enjoy pasta whle on a GF diet if you haven't found anything but plain old, sticky rice pasta. Check out Mrs. Leeper's Corn Pasta - you won't be sorry! The Spaghetti cooks up a beautiful golden color, not sticky at all, and tastes great. My favorite part is it's not starchy like rice, so the pot doesn't overflow if you neglect it or forget to stir it while cooking. It's made in Italy - you just can't go wrong with that. And if you like a chilled pasta salad, get Mrs. Leeper's Vegetable Radiatore and go for it. You can't even tell it's not "regular" pasta. I will post my family recipe for pasta salad some day, it is delicious. *This is a pricier pasta, though really it's worth it for an occasional dinner.

For a more affordable but still delicious GF pasta (NOT made of rice), check out Heartland's GF Spaghetti, Fusill, and Penne, found at Walmart. I know, not a favorite store for most people. Their selection and service always leave something to be desired. But this pasta is delicious and only about $2 per package, so bite the bullet, maybe find a Walmart with a self-check out lane, and stock up! Also made in Italy (and you can tell), it's a corn/potato flour combination. REALLY, really good. My husband always says he can't tell the difference between this and "regular" pasta.

Add in fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, bananas and green grapes; canned green beans; Udi's GFCFSF breads when we have splurge money... and you've got my diet in a nutshell. Oh yes, and must have sparkling water and 100% cranberry grape juice on hand for when nothing but some carbonation will help. Not very varied or as healthy as I normally eat, but I'm avoiding allergens, staving off nausea, and not starving. This is as "winning" as I can get right now! :)