It’s a hard knocked-up life

Being an Ethicurean and eating for two is more challenging than I thought.

For those who didn't know, E. Ho and I are expecting. We're three months along, and this is the first week that I've been able to log into this site without wanting to hurl. Seriously, it's a landmine. Any mention of beef (grassfed or otherwise) rocks me with a wave of nausea. Brown sauces? Eww! Cauliflower?! Blechh!

Which makes this local eating business very difficult. In fact, I must admit that it has not been a big priority. Eating food that doesn't make me want to puke is my main priority. This has resulted in one wasted CSA box (yes, I'm cringing too); sudden departures from farmer's markets (I didn't know rotisserie chicken could smell that bad); and an increased consumption of processed food (crackers and cheese saved my life for two weeks).

The only consistently friendly food has been fruit. Pineapple, bananas, apples, oranges, kiwis. Safe and most certainly not local or even in season in most places. There is, however, one delicious fruit that is both local and in season here in Austin, Texas.

Grapefruit. Yummy, yummy grapefruit -- loaded with folate and juicy as can be. I've been having about two per day, and I've been so very happy. I buy them at the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market, where they are 2 for a buck. Whole Foods is also selling Texas Ruby Reds. They are so delicious, I buy a huge bag of them, which E. Ho won't allow me to carry. In fact, he won't let me carry anything. He never liked me to carry anything before (he is a Texan, you know), but now he is quite adamant about it. Which is fine with me, I don't particularly like carrying stuff anyway. Besides, he's kinda cute when he gets bossy like that.

My friend Jenn is a grapefruit junkie as well, so I brought some to her. I don't know about y'all, but I've always eaten my grapefruit this way: Slice it in half, then take a knife and cut the little wedges so that you can easily lift them out with a spoon. Then, after you're done scooping out the flesh, you squeeze the juice into your bowl and drink it. Jenn prefers to peel hers and then eat the little slices. When I proposed that the skin underneath the peel was too tough, she said she simply peels that off and eats the juicy part.

I don't know if there is some trick to that, but I tried it this morning and it was a freakin' mess. I couldn't for the life of me peel that damn skin off. I ended up kind of sucking the pulp out as much as I could, but it was extremely unsatisfying. First of all, I think I wasted a lot of fruit. Secondly, I had to do it over the sink, and there were a couple of dirty dishes in there and that grossed me out. Because I'm pregnant, and things like that are apparently disgusting right now. On the upside, I smell citrusy-fresh from my hands to my elbows.

So I think I'll stick to my tried and true technique of grapefruit by the half-slice. Unless I can get E. Ho to peel my grapefruit for me, but I think he might draw the line there.

10 Responsesto “It’s a hard knocked-up life”

  1. Natalie says:

    All the salad mixes are in at the market so that might be an option for you. I know that texture can play a big part in aversions so veggie smoothies with some ginger added might help (or might totally gross you out).
    With the coming of a child, this may be time to invest in a chest freezer. This way you can buy in season at the market and freeze for out-of-season use. We just had blueberry/banana milk for breakfast using blueberries that we bought fresh from Gundermans/the Millers last May. Unfortunately, due to the Houston flooding last spring, the blueberry harvest season was cut short and I don't think that I have enough to last until the new crop comes in (last year I did). Growing up we were a half/slice grapefruit family.

  2. Nicole says:

    There is an old wives' tale that fruit cravings indicate your baby will be a girl. In my sister-in-law's case, the same thing happened and she had a girl. Congratulations and good luck!

  3. Tammy says:

    Your way is the only way to eat grapefruit, as far as I'm concerned. Congrats on the little one.

  4. potato non grata says:

    I like to take a grapefruit. peel it. and slice it into random chunks to reveal the most surface area of unskinned meat. lay it in a single layer in a bowl and top it with sea salt. poke it with a fork.
    Anyone who eats it any other way is obviously...... normal.

  5. the Devourer says:

    I usually take the membranes off when I eat, which can be done without making a mess. Once you've segmented the grapefruit, take a sharp knife and put it between the membrane and the pulpy goodness. It's not connected too tightly, so it's easy to peel off.

    Yum!

  6. ali b. says:

    Yes, pregnancy-driven-need-for-Saltines is sadly just one of many ways that having kids steers you away from SOLE foods. I'll be curious to keep reading after the little one comes along...especially after the little one becomes an eater with his/her own opinions. Unfortunately, what I've found is that it's not as easy to shape a wee one's eating preferences as I once would have expected. Not to mention: SOLE foods require a whole lot more of two things that become much more scarce when kids come along: time and money. Something lots of my cyber-pals seem to have discovered, as well. It's doable (if you ignore things like grandparents' influence, birthday parties, valentine's candies, etc.) and important - but much, much harder. Congrats, though, and keep eating those grapefruit!

  7. I've never been pregnant and never want to be, but some of what you've said here hits home a little bit. It took me a while to figure it out in the context of clinical depression.

    Some weeks I come home from work and don't have the inclination to get up and cook dinner. I could have a fridge full of yummy fresh veggies taunting me, but no energy to do the work in preparing them. I could even deliberately refuse to buy convenience food, in hopes of forcing myself to get off my butt and make some real food, but that always just ends in my sitting on the couch all evening doing nothing, feeling lousier as time progresses because I'm not getting any food energy.

    I've come to the conclusion that sometimes getting any food at all into me is more important than being picky about what kind of food it is. The most complicated thing I can cook on a night like that might be a can of red curry soup mixed with a can of pineapple chunks, heated up and poured over rice or noodles. The least complicated are nuke-and-eat things like frozen pizza pockets or Chinese steam buns.

    By being at all conscious about the ethics of what you eat, you're already doing more than most people. Stick to your guns when you can, but when you can't, don't feel too guilty about letting yourself have what you need even if it comes from outside the CSA box.

  8. Omniwhore says:

    Natalie - Hello fellow Texan! Yes, I wish I had been more on the ball for storing seasonal food, especially blueberries! Unfortunately, I was a newb during harvest season. We have some salad greens in the crisper drawer, but they sadly don't appeal to me. I do like the broccoli and cukes, as well as the carrots, though.

    Nicole - Hmm...I am kind of thinking of it as though it's a girl...

    Ali B. -- Yes, I'm very interested in the experience of raising a li'l Ethicurean. I suspect I'll be one of those hardass foodie moms that inspires other moms to become defensive and gossip about my SOLE food ways. But hey, you can't please everybody. I'm already practicing this refrain for Junior: "I know you want that, but it's my job to make sure you eat food that's good for your body..." We'll see!

    Indefatigable -- Yes, it is definitely better to eat, period. Depression can make that very difficult. As one who has also had problems with depression in the past, I must say that cooking has been very therapeutic for me. For me it's a way to be in the moment, something that can be so difficult when you're filled with dread and feeling unmotivated. That being said, I see nothing wrong with eating pizza pockets or canned soup sometimes -- depressed or not!

    Thanks all, for the congrats, and for chiming in about the grapefruit. I've eaten two of them already today, using the half-slice technique. Yummy!

  9. Nosher of the North says:

    I use a grapefruit knife - it's curved at the end to let you easily slice out each grapefruit section. I like to section the whole grapefruit and the put the pieces into a bowl, and then I squeeze all the juice from both halves into the bowl. This way I have no trouble getting at the food and there is no mess, meaing no grapfruit juice spilling into my keyboard!
    My dad just got back from Florida and brought me a bag of grapefruit. Since he was flying anyways, I don't feel guilty about the jet fuel.

  10. Omniwhore says:

    Nosher -- Wow, I have this knife that's small and curved at the end and I was just telling E. Ho that it's perfect for cutting grapefruit. Now I know...it's because it's a grapefruit knife!