Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valerie Eats Last

I write a fair amount about eating on this blog.  The truth is I like to eat (I have a whole label devoted to it), and previous to Edie being born, I liked to eat out.  Now I dread it, like Lance Armstrong dreads the US doping commission, but that's another story (two other stories, when you get down to it).  I've never been a picky eater, though I have always loved snacks, which can prove problematic.  Luckily, for most of my adult life, I've had a running habit that kind of balances it all out (erm, more or less).

When I was pregnant with Edie, at first, I didn't eat anything.  Like, at all.  Unless you count bagel chips and an entire bottle of sparkling apple cider, which, frankly, I do.  Then, as time went on, and winter broke a bit, I started eating what could be considered a massive amount of fruit.  It's all I wanted.  I stopped drinking coke (not for health, please.  I just didn't seem to want it), and just ate massive quantities of anything fresh.  I have a very distinct memory of walking around Trader Joe's in February, finding a baby watermelon and thinking, yes, this is what I want.  That summer I'd buy huge cases of strawberries and blueberries at costco, pineapples and whole watermelons.  James worked quite a lot, and didn't really eat at home, so this all went to me.  It's what I wanted, but I was also glad to give growing Edie such a large array of vitamins in the form of fresh fruit.  I even kept a list of fruits and vegetables I ate so I would be sure to introduce variety.

These days, though Edie exists outside my own belly, I still want to give her the best I can (I mean, I buy her organic milk, what?).  Which is good.  That's a good inclination.  The downside is that I sometimes get the shorter, less nutrition end of that stick.  Like, for example, say I have a small clamshell of blueberries.  Whereas before, I would eat what I wanted, now I sneak one or two, but prefer to save them for Edie (blueberries are a superfood, yo.  plus, Edie hearts them).  Or, if I'm eating an apple, and Edie reaches for it, I give it to her.  Which is stupid, because she has one tooth, she can't eat an apple.  I buy bananas, like I always have, but I rarely eat them, because Edie eats them.  But, part of my brain says, what about your potassium levels?  Don't you need a little energy boost in the form of a perfect fruit?

Of course I deserve a banana, but the larger question is, how do I do it?  How do I re-establish a balance where I am feeding both of us (well, all of us) good foods, without spending a small fortune on blueberries and bananas?

The subject of food always seems to be fraught, and right now, this is how it's fraught in my life.  I mean, I'm generating a massive amount of meals for my very small family.  It feels like I'm constantly working to come up with ideas that are nutrition packed, easy(ish), and don't cost a zillion dollars.  And one of the consequences of that effort seems to be that Edie gets the blueberries and I eat another handful of pita chips.

But, I'll tell you one thing: from now on, I'm holding on to my apple.

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