Beaches, BBQs and booze. That’s the typical agenda for celebrating our nation’s holiday over this long weekend. But in all the hype, we often overlook that – for various reasons – not everyone gets to down several hot dogs and bottles of beer.
This year my ability to eat and drink has been slightly curtailed. You guessed it- I’m having a little boy. I promised when I got engaged that this blog would not be focused on my wedding. And I stayed true to this (hence the reason for my less frequent posts over the last 3 months). Now that I’m newly married, it’s time to get back in action. (In case you were wondering, we decided to do a cocktail style reception. And yes the food was amazing, especially the raw bar, lamb chops, sausage, broccoli rabe & provolone bites, bacon wrapped scallops, lobster tacos, kobe beef sliders and our red velvet cannoli cake! When I eventually get my photos back, hopefully I’ll have a pic or two of the actual food – you know I told the photographer to make sure he captured it!)
But I’ve decided that the challenges of trying to maintain my healthy and somewhat indulgent style of dining and imbibing with a baby on the way warrants some discussion. So I’ll be including this in my posts for the foreseeable future. But don’t worry-I have (and will) not become one of those expectant moms who can’t talk about anything else so there will be plenty more of the EDA content you count on!
Since I didn’t know I was expecting for 9.5 weeks, I wasn’t exactly following the U.S. recommended guidelines. We had done our wedding tasting, complete with oysters, clams and tuna tartar. Raw milk was consumed to foster my daily cheese habit, plus prosciutto and salami to go with it. Bagels and lox were a weekend treat. And of course, I was having wine and cocktails as normal until I found out the happy news.
So I decided not to be a crazy person about the food restrictions, since I always ate healthy, was basically past the critical first trimester, hadn’t felt any twinge of sickness and (most importantly) everything was ok with our tests. I won’t advocate this approach because everyone responds uniquely and has access to different qualities of food. This is a personal decision that I’m sharing because too few people are honest about their eating habits, and there simply isn’t much of this type of information around the web.
But drinking is a different story. While most OBs will officially declare a policy of no alcohol, they’ll also say that a few sips isn’t going to hurt anyone. All the testing is based on alcoholics/extreme consumption throughout pregnancy. There are no controlled studies of light or moderate drinking. The best evidence is the children born from women who drank for the decades before it was a faux pas – our mothers and grandmothers. Obviously, I don’t want to have a child with fetal alcohol syndrome or other deficits, so the drinking has been virtually extinguished. But I still had a few sips of my signature cocktail (a “spritz” – Campari, prosecco & soda) at my wedding and a bit of champagne.
This was far less than I typically consumed before I knew I was pregnant. I’ll likely nurse a fruity beer with low alcohol content for about two hours over the weekend. The challenge for me is coming up with alcohol free and tasty drink options for the rest of the time!
I need something that goes well with smoked pork belly tacos and grilled stuffed jalapenos tonight.
And I plan on having some grilled lobster and clams over the weekend.
I’ve had a lot of cucumber water. I add a few dashes of homemade hot sauce for some added flavor. No soda or tons of sugary drinks for me, but plain water gets a little old, and the bubbles in seltzer can bother me. This already has gotten old.
Since it’s blueberry season in New Jersey, I’m making a mocktail with blueberries, grilled lemons and mint. Friends can add vodka or gin, and I won’t seem like a pariah.
When others are having glasses of wine, I’ll have some of the dealcoholized variety. So far I’ve tried two brands: FRE (by Sutter Home) and Ariel. The FRE chardonnay tastes slightly better than grape juice and has a twist top. Their red isn’t as good, but the Ariel Cabernet has a proper cork and almost smells like wine. I usually put some ice cubes in both, and it’s not so terrible when I want to have something other than water. I do miss enjoying the taste of wine, especially with cheese (now it’s pasteurized) and steak (still eating it med-rare). I’ve found that if I have any of the real thing, after about three sips, it’s so acidic I can’t tolerate it anyway. So I just listen to what my body says and go by that. BTW, there’s a huge market here if someone could come up with a great tasting wine with less than 4% alcohol that’s not full of sugar …..
As I’ve noticed with many who don’t drink, now the focus is on sweets. In a throwback to my childhood, I’ll have some of Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll – lemon and watermelon sherbert with chocolate chips! It makes you feel like a kid again and is perfect for hot days. Maybe I’ll make some cheesecake cupcakes, which always look festive when decorated with strawberries (or cherries) and blueberries.
I imagine when it’s cooler, I’ll be baking more-I can’t seem to get enough carbs! So that will likely be a change for this blog. But for now, I’m trying not to eat for two (you only need a couple hundred more calories) and continue to have plenty of vegetables and a little more red meat (need the iron). I keep up my daily walking of about 3-4 miles. And we’re still able to go to Africa for our honeymoon (no Zika!), so there will still be lots more adventures to write about- just no scuba diving for me.
Happy 4th to those of you in the US and a Happy Summer to all!