Imagine a pregnant woman, with her ethereal glow and shiny hair, as she wakes up each morning cradling her swollen belly. She embraces this once in a lifetime opportunity to nourish her unborn babe with a wide variety of vitamin rich and cell stimulating fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and protein.
Now imagine the exact opposite, and that was me during each of my three, miserably eternal pregnancies. I was a pregnant mama who was chronically nauseated, dehydrated, sporting cracked, bleeding lips, and crispy, brittle hair. My breakfasts usually consisted of Kool-Aid, Tums, Zofran, and a gummy vitamin. I wasn’t thinking about which nutritious foods I should feed my growing fetus. I wasn’t pondering leafy greens or which color of bell pepper contained the most brain promoting vitamins. No! Most mornings I was simply trying to find the internal fortitude to peel my face from my sweat and tear drenched pillow. Why is it that most pregnancy books seem to perpetuate this unrealistic ideal of what a pregnancy should look like, or more importantly, feel like. That’s not very nice. Or maybe these authors and contributing doctors are just aiming to prepare us hormonal ladies for the inevitable inconsistencies of motherhood. When it comes to being a mom, the line between what should be and what actually is has been blurred by well-meaning parenting magazines, social media, pinterest, and other nosy moms.
I think each pregnancy book should start with this sentence, “For the first few months (or eight or nine months) go ahead and eat whatever you can get down your gullet. If it looks and smells appetizing, eat it!” (As long as it’s actual food. I had a really hard time keeping myself away from the Pine Sol. True story.) Any pregnant woman who is green around the gills is only making one consideration when choosing what to eat. Will this make me puke?
Amidst the bouts of nausea, I did enjoy some cravings. Olives, beets, pickles, BLT’s slathered in mayo, blue PowerAde slushes from Sonic, roasted butternut squash soup, warmed croissants, Chipotle rice with guacamole. Mmmm…guacamole. Where was I?
When I think back to the one food I never had trouble with- that golden treat which always sounded appetizing and faithfully warmed my womb like a sun-drenched August day, it was MUFFINS. Any sweetbread, actually. Any flavor combo and size. I can confidently say that about 60% of my babies’ bodies are composed of flour, sugar, eggs, berries, and every other heavenly ingredient that constitutes a muffin.
You can imagine my relief then, that each baby came out round, happy, and smart. (Despite my 9 month deficit of kale and brilliant orange bell peppers.)
I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise, but nearly since their births, my little people have been enjoying muffins. Obviously, now that nausea is out of the equation and muffins are no longer a life-sustaining necessity, we enjoy them more as a treat. A welcome pause from eggs and cold cereal and oatmeal. I think when we’re all older, this will prove to be one of our happiest memories. Making muffins. I will never forget their giddy smiles as they see me pull out the pink, heart-shaped mixing bowl and muffin tins, or the grating sound of the chairs sliding across the kitchen floor to be pushed up against the counter.
I hope that no matter how old my children are, or however far they wander from home, that they can still find me in their own kitchens when they bake these muffins.
Skinny Banana Apple White and Milk Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 box of white cake mix
2 ripe bananas
4 egg whites
1/3 cup applesauce
White and milk chocolate chips.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 muffins.
Combine the cake mix, diced apples, mashed bananas, applesauce, and egg whites in a bowl. Mix with a spoon. Avoid using an electric mixer because it will make the muffins dry and crumbly.
I always sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of each muffin before baking instead of mixing them in the batter. This prevents the chips from sinking to the bottom.
You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using a store bought gluten-free cake mix.
By Janet Schlosser @ forgetthefinishline.blogspot.com