Let's count out anything diabetes related first and take a look only at the four pregnancy related food restrictions that bug the hell out of me:
- No deli meat. At least, not unless you heat it up to the point of "steaming" first. It's more likely to have listeria, a bacteria (that causes food poisoning) that's pretty deadly to an unborn baby. (From what I've read, the chances of it happening are incredibly low, but the consequences are so dire that the risk isn't recommended). By extension, cold meats that you wouldn't think of as "deli meat" are similarly restricted. No more turkey pepperonis as my mindless, carb-free snack on the couch. I tried microwaving them first, as I have tried with cold cuts for sandwiches, but the texture becomes way gross.
- Big or predatory fish, including tuna, is to be avoided or limited due to higher levels of mercury (recommendations from different sources vary, but one serving a month seems common).
- Anything with raw eggs, including Caesar salad (traditionally, the dressing will have raw egg). The chances of salmonella is the problem here. I still eat Caesar salad on occasion though, because I love it so very much, because I think salmonella is a crap shoot (I've heard about more outbreaks from vegetables, like spinach, than from pre-made products like dressing!), and because raw egg is in more foods than you're likely to expect. Ever had a really high-end frosted cake, like at weddings? You may have eaten raw egg in the frosting. Good mayo or aioli? Raw egg. Eggnog? Raw! Eggs Benedict? Raw egg in the Hollandaise sauce. I won't even go into the many desserts. Unless you're allergic to egg (or are a vegan), you probably have no clue how to completely avoid raw egg. In the grand scheme of things, I doubt a Caesar salad with properly handled dressing is more dangerous than simply not being vegan.
- Soda. I'll also include caffeine in general here, but aspartame (ick!) in diet soda is also a general concern for women who didn't avoid it before pregnancy. These are not on the universal "don't" list, and my own OB says that having one or two a day is fine (though some OBs recommend against it entirely, and any visibly pregnant woman drinking soda or coffee is probably going to get some uninvited advice!). My biggest issue with this one is iced tea... I love the stuff! It's my drink of choice when dining out, and I've started carrying Splenda in my pocket since not all places offer it (neither the pink or blue packets are recommended during pregnancy). But since I start my day with a cup of tea or coffee, no refills for me. (On the soda front, Diet Rite is a sanity saver. It has neither aspartame or caffeine. I keep some in the house at all times, if I can.)
Those don't sound so terrible, right? I didn't think so either... until I realized it counted out most of my convenient lunch options. No deli meat sandwiches has been the biggest issue, for my lunches. Also, the little pre-made salads you can buy in stores usually have deli meat in them. We don't have a break room here at work, and I probably wouldn't stay if we did (psychologically, I just need to get away from work for an hour), so this leaves very few no-cooking options for me. Combine this with the fact that I've had like, zero energy or motivation (due both to typical pregnancy fatigue and to some depression), and that results in lots of fast food lunches. Not nutritious, but at least it means getting out for a little while, almost no effort, and not consuming something on the kill-your-baby list.
Diabetes? It's not easy to live with, but it's not so bad on the diet front. It didn't eliminate my convenience foods at all. Convenience foods come packaged with a nutrition label, and I just opted for the versions that helped avoid blood sugar spikes (like whole grain Lean Pockets instead of the non-whole grain ones). But pregnancy? It's thrown a major wrench in my lunchtime convenience. I have to figure out a super-low-effort solution. Maybe zap a Lean Pocket before I leave for lunch? Use bagged salad and veggies on Sunday to make a week's worth of little salads to eat along with my lunches? Keep chicken salad around for sandwiches? I have to figure it out, because I do think fast food makes me feel more like crap.
It's just awful timing. Depression has been a major issue for me lately, and this makes me lethargic and supremely unmotivated. I need a new game plan until I'm able to pull myself out of this emotional mess.