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August 4, 2008

Due to my present condition — pregnancy — I’m not allowed to eat . . . ah, anything? Because there are two sweeping categories of food that are off limits, and it’s giving me an identity crisis!
Category 1. Things that are reputed to be dangerous to pregnant women for various reasons, &

Category 2. Things that no longer seem edible due to NVP. (NVP is a fancy acronym for Nauseau and Vomiting of pregnancy, which is morning sickness that is not limited to morning.)


When pregnant, to protect the impending baby, rules have been established about what you’re allowed and not allowed to eat. You’re not allowed to eat raw fish or drink booze or eat “soft cheese.” If you’re inclined, you can spend all day long debating online with people who know even less than you do about what exactly what “soft cheese” means. How soft is soft? No brie, feta, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella. No blue cheese. But what is the uniting characteristic of the cheeses you cannot eat? These things seem to have nothing in common, except possible non pasteurization, except we are in the US, where pretty much everything is pasteurized. Mold is apparently another concern.

You can’t have sandwich meat, because of a mysterious but bad disease which almost no one has ever gotten and fewer people are getting all the time, and then they do get it seems to be in Europe and from salad. However, it is reportedly so horrible (not just for the person carrinyg a baby — but for a baby) that one must still avoid it all all costs. Is called Listeriosis. Aside from eating sandwiches in general, it can keep you from eating italian sandwiches, even when you REALLY want them. And this disease is also a reason not to eat soft serve ice cream. Or Rotisserie chicken, or anything that was cooked before the moment you are planning to eat it. Attempting to follow these guidelines could start you sliding down the slippery slope to starvation.

Oh, and try no to eat mercury, which is a key ingredient in old thermometers and anything that comes out of the ocean in some quantity, but especially avoid tilefish, which you won’t have heard of until you are pregnant and someone tells you NOT TO EAT IT. Other large fish like tuna, or king mackerel are also on the bad list because of mercury.

Coffee is also off limits except in particular quantities but you might even want to avoid that during the first trimester, they unfortunately discovered right as we conceived, because of a higher than usual incidence of miscarriage. Goodbye, beloved coffee and the attendant pleasant addiction.

The category 1 list seems limiting but there are some things that don’t make the list; unfortunately, I am also limited by what I will immediately throw up. This list includes:

green vegetables
vegetables of other hues
anything after 9pm

My husband is suddenly thrust into the position of primary cook, and aside from me chasing him around with a box of salt and turning the burners and up and down to his extreme annoyance, he’s generally good at it. But I’m a whole new wife. Normally a maximalist with my food — stinky cheeses! new kinds of curry! everything on my pizza! — I’m picking little chunks of pepper out of marinara sauce. There’s really only so much cheese ravioli with barely any sauce on it that a girl can eat.

I vow that I will not only blog about being nauseous from now on. It’s just that — this condition is such a total departure and nausea conquers all other emotions.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2008 11:37 pm

    Honestly, if I could eat whatever the hell I wanted, and drink what ever the hell I wanted during pregnancy, I would get pregnant as much as possible. Um, no. Not really, but it would make it so much easier to be pregnant. Like, if you can’t eat a sandwich with deli meat, what the hell are you going to eat for lunch? I LOVE CHEESE and COULD NOT LIVE W/O IT and totally don’t understand the soft cheese thing since, like, 95 % of brie and feta and mozz here is pasteurized. I think the people who write about what pregger people can’t eat just read other people’s crap and recycle it, and so it ends up being the only information you can find out, and therefore becomes the norm. IT MAKES ME CRAZY. and HUNGRY. and In 7 weeks I’m going to eat the biggest, fattest turkey,proscutto and fresh mozzarella sandwich known to humankind.


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