Cravings (Second Time Around)

Charlotte O'Shea

They say every pregnancy is different, and it turns out “they” would be right. Compared to my first experience of growing a human which on reflection, was a walk in the park, the last 20 weeks of my life have not been anywhere near as enjoyable or as relatively straight forward as I thought they might be.

I promise to write more detail in future posts but today I thought we could focus on FOOD.

I swear that throughout my experience of carrying Mabel, apart from a weird and short-lived desire for sausage roll at about 18 weeks (and a daily requirement for Kelloggs Frosties) “cravings” simply were not part of my journey.

This time around? Different story entirely. For the first 13 weeks it was either feeling as though as I was going to throw up or a desperate hunger for All. The. Carbs.

I mean I don’t even really like bread that much (true story – but I more than make up for it with biscuits and sweets) and yet all I could think about was warm buttery toast with a side of fries. In fact, anything bakery or potato based in general. Especially when paired with cheese or cream – I could literally devour a bowl of gratin or dauphinoise in under a minute. And still be ready for a slice of Victoria sponge and a ham & cheddar toastie for afters.

Consuming such a vast amount of crap made me feel crap – on top of the fact I felt absolutely dreadful anyway.

It’s a vicious chip fuelled circle.

I certainly didn’t deny myself anything, but I was really bloody relived when I hit the 14 week mark and I felt like I had turned a corner. Or at least my body was literally crying out for some decent nutrition. Then it was all about raw carrots, peas, green beans, melon and apples. Regarding the latter, my favourite variety is a Jazz but I’m also fairly partial to a Pink lady or a Braeburn.

Yes, I’m writing about different types of apples. This is my life now.

I’m not trying to preach to the converted, we all know a ridiculous amount of sugar and fat isn’t going do our body any favours. Or our brains. Or our growing babies. I’m the first person to hold my hands up and admit that if you buy me a chocolate orange I will eat the entire chocolate orange. In one sitting. Absolutely no sharing or consideration for others.

Therefore I endeavour to stock up on healthy (ish) snacks and discover quick and easy recipes so I’m less inclined to reach for the box of fondant fancies.

I always keep lots of fruit in the fridge, aforementioned apples are good because they tend to keep for longer and they often have offers on as long as you are keen to try different types. I buy the bags of ready peeled carrot batons, super cheap and absolutely delicious dipped in hummus. I also love peanut butter (Pip & Nut is AMAZING)… on an oatcake or two. I buy ice lollies by the dozen, I try to buy the ones that are essentially frozen fruit juice, Waitrose Valencia Orange Lollies are immense.

I always always keep something something to munch on in my bag – I find that desperate hunger strikes at the most inconvenient times. I forgot once and turned up at my friend Kelly’s just about ready to pass out. She rescued me with one of her kid’s lunchbox intended Mcvitie’s mint club biscuits. Admittedly not the most nutritious of items but absolutely ace at the time. I tend to carry around small bags of almonds or those Eat Natural bars.

I’m finding Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredients recipe book really great for inspiration and ideas, so far we’ve made the easy rustic gnocchi and the pork and mash gratin. I’m also stocking up on fresh vegetable soups now it’s getting chilly.

What food cravings have you experienced? Do you have any quick win recommendations for healthier cupboard supplies or are you constantly reaching for the hobnobs?

Believe me I’m no saint, just this morning I had a packet of smarties and a danish for breakfast….

A little bit of what you fancy does you good and all that.

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Charlotte is still determined to wear her fancy cowboy boots, even if Mabel does plaster the tassels in jam.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea

35 Comments. Leave new

This just made me laugh! Love your attention to detail on the Apple front! I have had 3 pregnancies- a girl in the middle sandwiched by 2 boys- I didnt have specific food cravings as such, more types of food. With the boys I wanted healthy, crisp, fresh food but didn’t have much of an appetite so would make a meal and the find myself full 2 spoonfuls in. With Esme I just needed cake and crisps and chips and carbs!!! And there was no filling me either!! I have to say I found myself feeling quite liberated when it came to food while pregnant- I knew I needed to make some healthy choices for the baby but it felt like probably the first time in my grown up life where I had a licence to not worry about piling on the pounds!! Although this devil-may-care attitude may help to explain the stubborn few lbs remaining a year after my last one was born!!! Good luck with your pregnancy xxx

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 8:46 am

It’s so funny how they can be so different isn’t it Rachel?! And I have just got to the stage where I’m feeling really full for no apparent reason as well. I’m also drinking SO much water – it’s like I am never not thirsty. And a few extra lbs never hurt anyone 🙂 x

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Haha, this is my life right now. I’m 17 weeks today with number two and the early weeks were all about carbs. Chip sandwiches were a particular favourite. Luckily both of my pregnancies have come with an intense craving for oranges so I was at least getting some vitamins by eating five of them a day.. I had really bad food aversions in the beginning and would weep every time we tried to sit down to do meal planning because I didn’t want to eat anything. And hormones make me crazy..

Now I’m at this stage I am finally feeling a bit better on the food front so most days can get my five a day in if I really try.. smoothies and soups are on my list now and I am also partial to a NKD bar for a snack at work. I can’t seem to give up my new marmite on toast habit for breakfast yet.. also I still have days when I literally can’t stop eating. Like Tuesday this week when I spent an obscene amount of money in Pret on all the food. (Those hot meatball sandwiches are so good..)

Being pregnant this time round is utterly exhausting. I don’t know if it’s bevause I’m three years older or because I’ve got a ridiculous toddler but I’m never awake past 8:30!

So not many tips there but I’m interested in other people’s. Also, I hear you on the chocolate orange. They’re not for sharing! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 8:49 am

Jennifer I too am way more tired – and also 3 years older. I literally slept from 9pm until 7am on Tuesday. Also I hear you on Pret, I try not to go in as I stand there in front of the shelves and just end up buying one of everything, like I’m creating my own bloody expensive buffet. The banana cake though!!!!!! x

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It’s SO WEIRD isn’t it, the whole craving thing. With Fern I needed to eat ALL THE RHUBARB. I remember one online shop, I just typed ‘rhubarb’ into the Tesco search engine and bought every single thing, yoghurt, chutney, limited edition multi-surface cleaner…. Couldn’t get enough of the stuff. It must be so interesting so see how a subsequent pregnancy compares.

I’m currently overhauling my entire diet. I’ve cut out empty carbs and refined sugar and that’s not been as hard as I thought but I do crave a little sweetness after dinner. My saviour has been Nice Cream. Being the Instagram stalwart you are Charlotte I imagine this delicacy is already in your repertoire but for those who have yet to experience it, it’s just frozen banana blended with wholefood flavours (peanut butter/raw cacao/fruit/coconut etc) and it basically becomes nutrition-rich ice cream heaven. It’s AMAZING.

For anyone looking to rethink their nutrition in a sensible, realistic way, pregnant or not then I can’t recommend Dr Hazel Wallace’s website and book “The Food Medic” enough. She is inspiring and relatable and everything she says makes so much sense… massive girl crush…

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 8:52 am

Philippa the rhubarb made me laugh!!! also the instagram comment, I am officially naff at instagram, especially in recent months, I simply forget to even log into the app. Must try harder 🙂

So nope, never heard of “nice cream” but it sounds absolutely amazing!! and I’ll take a look at this book too, thanks for the recommendation x

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ALL THE CHOCOLATE. 18 weeks today with my second and I still want every piece of chocolate I can get my hands on. I’m a sugar fiend anyway, and it was bad in my first pregnancy but I tried really hard to cut down. This time my work is so crazy I am just eating the chocolate at the moment, but I know I need to swap it out for healthy alternatives. I often have a smoothie in the morning (we have a Crush near work and the Purify thingy is delicious, and part vegetable so I’m sure it must be doing me some good?!). Some days I have way over 5 portions of fruit and veg (I am trying!) and others I barely scrape 2 or 3. Pregnancy is tough with a toddler, particularly one that wants to be carried everywhere!! Will be reading for everyone’s healthy suggestions. Meanwhile I have a chocolate orange in the cupboard, thanks for the reminder 😆 (is definitely not for sharing!)

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 9:01 am

Ha ha ha I love how you started your comment! And actually, all of that fruit and veg sounds very saintly to me, even when combined with a bar of dairy milk (it’s all about balance right?) so don’t be too hard on yourself. And I have never heard of Crush but I want to go to one?!

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My number 2 is now 3 weeks old and the cravings were so different once the morning sickness had finally bugged off at 16 weeks. My little girl was all about fruit, particularly limes, which would have to be squeezed on everything I ate, har real adversions for meat, and chicken was the enemy!! Number 2, a boy, was all about beetroot, goats cheese, hot dogs and mangoes! And now he’s here, I’m afraid it’s all about the ‘c’ food diet for me- ie chocolate, cake and coffee!!

Good luck with your pregnancy, it’s so much harder being pregnant with a toddler in tow, but when they come, it’s magical seeing how much unconditional love 2 small people can have for each other.

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 9:06 am

Ah Danielle what a lovely sentiment. Mabel is very much looking forward to the arrival of her little sister, she is already picking out toys and clothes she can have apparently (!).

Gosh I miss coffee. And wine.

Lots of luck and love for this special time with your newborn x

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Very interestingly I literally could have written this. With Annie I sailed through pregnancy and barely had any sickness but with Penny i felt so sick! (Luckily only in the first trimester!) I also mainly craved potatoes and apples. I think I had a jacket potato every day. I also went off sweet things which frankly for me is a miracle as I have a very sweet tooth. Very bizarre!!

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 9:53 am

I literally used to dream about jacket potatoes with cheese and beans Rachie! I wish I would go off sweet things….no such luck there.

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I hear you on the carbs front! With my son I just had to eat all the beige. And dairy. And orange juice. If I didn’t have two breakfasts I felt horrendous! I remember one evening meal that consisted solely of four potato waffles… I’m interested to see what would happen with a second but I have no wish to find out soon – Leo is only 4 months old!

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And how could I forget – my daily babybel! 🙈

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 5:57 pm

Waffles!! Love a waffle (or 4) 🙂

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For me in the early days when I was feeling really, really poorly sometimes the only thing that would set me straight would be a good old Maccy D’s! I haven’t had cravings as such, but the relief I get when I have an ice cold orange juice is just heaven!

Understand you on the apple front Charlotte – very much enjoying tucking into a crisp jazz apple straight out of the fridge at the moment. This seems to be sticking with me right into the latter stages of my pregnancy.

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My husband caught me in the pantry cupboard at 4am scoffing McCoys Salt and Vinegar crisps when pregnant with Paddy…. and I was obsessed with buffalo mozzarella when pregnant with Silvia to the extent that I drank the water it comes in…. totally gross but that’s cheese dedication!

I quite like eating all the naughty things as afterwards when you have a post natal body pity party (just me?) you can be all like well I didn’t eat seven slices of lemon curd and butter on toast today so I am winning at healthy living now!

Glad it’s all going well- and you get to be pregnant at Christmas! Shall we all send chocolate to Rock My Towers??!

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 6:03 pm

Ha ha ha Lucy that would be excellent! And I won’t share it with the others.

🙂 x

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Laughing and nodding along at everyone’s comments as I type this eating a plain Ryvita crackerbread!! I am 11 weeks pregnant with my first baby and since 6 weeks I have had to eat something pretty much every hour or I feel horrific! Thankfully I have only actually been sick a few times – though once last night halfway through my chilli that I had requested for dinner!! My husband had gone to so much effort and it was delish – what a waste! I have a really sweet tooth normally but its all about the savoury for me at the moment. I have no idea how you cope feeling like this with a little one to look after too!! Hoping I feel better in a few weeks. X

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Another one that is …ALL ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE. Or perhaps just using pregnancy as an excuse?? I’m really trying to cut down as I know it’s not good and I do feel so guilty about it. but…I still want it. Oranges are big for me too – especially orange lollipops. The sight or smell of broccoli is enough to leave me physically gagging, which is so strange as it used to be my favourite veg. The other day I really fancied gherkins and I was SO happy sending my husband out to get some – I felt like a proper pregnant person!
The other thing I’m craving is…gin. I just sniff it. So if I can’t have gin, chocolate it is.
xx
P.S Charlotte, I’m just a week or so behind you so I think you must have just had / about to have your 20 week scan? Hope it all went /goes well! x

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Aaah, I had smarties this morning too, online shopping not arrived! I thought I’d reached a new low but don’t feel so bad now I know I’m not alone! X

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Never leaving the house without copious snacks, the carrot batons dipped in hummus and bags of nuts brought back memories of my own pregnancy. Someone at work said I was a squirrel because of my eating habits (this was before I could tell anyone I was pregnant)! I love all things sweet and actually made a real effort to eat my 5 a day when pregnant and have healthy snacks (was constantly hungry as well – was eating fo 3 😉 – and it kept the nausea at bay). I also ate dried raisins (you only need 40g to be one of five a day), Nairn’s cheese oatcakes (I think you’re supposed to put something on them but I just munch through them), laughing cow dunkers (not the healthiest but does fountain calcium?!), cereal bars and smoothies (I used to buy the kids innocent ones as easy to transport and much cheaper on offer!). Needless to say as soon as the twins were born I reverted back to my usual habits and mini eggs were my companion of choice! Might have to invest in the Jamie Oliver book you recommend. Hope the rest of the pregnancy is more enjoyable. X

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 6:00 pm

I am loving Laughing Cow dunkers Sophie! And so cheap! I always have them in the fridge for Mabel (but I end up eating most of them)

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I haven’t had any cravings really! I’m 27 weeks with bubs number 1 and suffered pretty badly with sickness from about 8-16 weeks so I ate quite a lot of plain or savoury food (think Ritz, rich tea, salted crisps). But that was more out of necessity of them being the only thing I could eat, and the thought of biscuits now turns my stomach!

I’ve absolutely loved orange juice first thing in the morning though, I’ve never bothered with it in the past but now can’t get going without a cold glass of OJ as soon as I get up!

I’m currently having a problem with chocolate munching though, and am currently obsessed with freezing chocolate buttons. The problem is so bad that on Monday night me and Al turned all the downstairs lights off and watched Stranger Things in bed whilst munching the trick or treaters’ choccie buttons! Needless to say we had no knocks on our door that evening…!

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I’m 26 weeks with number 2 and haven’t really had cravings with either, so disappointing, I was looking forward to some crazy combinations! 🙂 I’m also much more tired this time, and much bigger much faster so scared of how big I’ll be come Christmas at 34 weeks! Also missing wine and gin, but I did see a recommendation for alcohol free prosecco that you can get on Amazon that has great reviews so going to give that a shot. It’s Scavi & Ray if anyone’s interested. Lx

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Thanks Laura – will be investigating that! x

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Charlotte O'Shea
2nd November 2017 6:01 pm

Ooh yes thanks Laura, I will check this out too x

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Chocolate fingers, to the point where I cried the other day because there wasn’t any in the cupboard and I didn’t want to go to the shop in my pjs 😂

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I can’t wait to see what any cravings may be in subsequent pregnancies however with my son, now 15 months old, it was sponges. Yes, a sponge. I would sit and chew on them morning, noon and night. Often secretly sneaking off at work to sit and chew one in the toilet. I once took one out with me in my clutch bag for a meal out with friends. I look back now and think to myself I probably looked like I’d lost the plot – a complete lunatic! It can’t get much worse next time can it?!

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Olivia, my six month old goes CRAZY for sponges! I can’t wipe his face without him trying to eat the things x

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Charlotte, I now hold you in even higher esteem as you favour a Jazz apple and Pip & Nut peanut butter. All other nut butter brands simply pale in to insignificance.

My two pregnancies have been the same so far- carbs and cheese all day every day for the first three months, and then just cheese please… syncopated with something wet and fruity. Such as a jazz apple. Nom.

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Charlotte O'Shea
3rd November 2017 9:07 am

Nothing compares to Pip & Nut Sama – I shall never buy another brand of peanut butter for as long as I shall live. That’s commitment for you.

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I’m 23 weeks and craving… vinegar. It goes on every meal, even pasta. Sometimes I can stretch to balsamic if baby is feeling fancy – but I can’t pretend I haven’t a tea spoon of it neat. Somewhat concerned baby will come out pickled…. (or that I’ll lose the newborn baby smell to a whiff of a chip shop…)

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Charlotte O'Shea
3rd November 2017 9:03 am

Kat this made me laugh out loud!!!!!!!!!

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I am 13 weeks preggo with my first and all I could eat for the first 10 weeks was carbs, exactly the same. Before, I’d have three or four avocados a week. After choking down a half a few weeks ago I had to give in and admit I’m totally off my favourite fruit and veg! The worst cravings have been for roast chicken though – I’ve been veggie for years. Been scoffing my way through Quorn chicken strips but it’s not cutting the mustard. (Perhaps my little bean is telling me her name should be Phoebe!)

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