Cravings: Easy, Healthful Substitutions – The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Watch any movie or television show where a pregnant woman is involved, and I bet you a million dollars there will be a scene with said woman hunched over the kitchen table with a half gallon of ice cream and some dill pickles. Or nudging her ever obliging and caring husband awake at 2:30 am to make a run to the local 24-hour fast food joint (By the way, who is married to this man? Cause I’m certainly not.)

Pregnant or not, cravings are a part of life. While its perfectly fine to give into cravings once in a while, giving in everyday? Well. No. Not so good.

My first pregnancy, I didn’t have any specific cravings, per se, but just craved food, and lots of it, in general. This time around, I have been having very specific and urgent cravings. By urgent, I mean that I obsess over something until I can get my fix. Mostly, I’ve been craving meat and bread.

The trick, for me, is finding ways to quell my cravings that don’t include hitting the drive through or going face first into a pie (mmmm…pie).

And I’m not just writing for pregnant ladies here…healthy substitutions are for everyone.

So, here are a few of mine:

  • Craving: Highly processed peanut butter and jelly on white bread. Sub: Natural peanut butter on toasted Ezekiel 4.9 bread toast, with 1/2 a sliced banana on top. I eat this all the time – it’s super filling with lots of fiber.
  • Craving: Sausage McMuffin. Sub: Morningstar Farms Breakfast Patty and Laughing Cow Light Swiss on a Thomas Light English Muffin. You could add egg too, I’m just not an egg fan.  When I was pregnant with my first child, I ate Sausage McMuffins like they were going out of style. This substitution still allows for the sausage fix, but also provides good protein and fiber, with lots less fat.
  • Craving: Salt & Vinegar potato chips. Sub: Salt & Vinegar Popchips or Salt & Vinegar Pirates Booty. Both itch that sour/salty craving without all the fat.
  • Craving: Milkshake. Sub: Fruit & yogurt smoothie. My favorite right now is a handful of frozen blueberries, a handful of frozen mango, 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt and nonfat milk to blend. A smoothie is a fantastic way to get in extra fruit servings, especially when you’re feeling kind of queasy.
  • Craving: french fries. Sub: baked  sweet potato wedges. So delicious and full of vitamins A and C. Good for you and good for baby!
  • Craving: Fish sticks (yes, gross, I know). Fix: Salmon cakes. My dad is a fisherman, so I have a cupboard FULL of canned salmon. I mix a can of sockeye salmon, which is full of healthy fats, a cup of whole wheat panko bread crumbs, an egg, lemon pepper, chopped green onion and a little old bay seasoning. Form into four patties and pan fry with fat free cooking spray. Serve with a big green salad and you’ve got dinner for two!

In all honesty, that doesn’t even cover half of the cravings I’m having. But I’m trying my hardest to find healthier ways to indulge. Now I just need to find a healthy version of take out chinese food…

Even if you’re not pregnant, what do you crave? Have you found a healthy way to kick that craving to the curb? Tell all in the comments!

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