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  • Rowie Watkeys

Food, glorious food


When you can only eat beige carbs for six weeks you start to appreciate other food groups a bit more…

Homemade chicken and mushroom pie - the ultimate in beige carbs

The day after a milestone birthday, which just so happened to fall on Mother’s Day, is one I’ll never forget. Finding out I was pregnant a few months ago was the best start to my thirty-first year on earth that I could have hoped for. More and more friends were having babies and I, too, finally felt ready to take the plunge. But what I wasn’t so prepared for was the impending morning sickness that was about to cast a rather nauseous shadow over the next six weeks…

It hit me practically the day after reading a positive result on the pregnancy test, waking up with a deep pain in the pit of my stomach. Oh, it’ll just last the morning, I told myself. Any normal person would assume that, given it’s called morning sickness. However, I soon realised that rather than a simply passing feeling, the nausea was to be a constant partner in crime and stick around for entire days with no let-up.

So I decided to google morning sickness remedies. From fresh ginger tea to dry crackers, other sufferers had filled forums with foodstuffs that had eased their own symptoms. I proceeded to try as many as I could in an attempt to alleviate the aches and pains. Alas, the only thing that I found kept the nausea somewhat at bay was ensuring my stomach was never empty – meaning I was snacking on some kind of beige delight every hour or so. While doctors and midwives recommend a healthy diet to support the baby’s developmental growth, the only things I could keep down were salt-laden crisps and cardboard-textured toast.

Meals reverted back to student and even childhood days. Fishfingers and potato waffles. Chicken noodles from a packet. Pasta and cheese. My husband, an avid fan of all that is beige, thought Christmas had come early. Ideally I should have been filling my body with iron-rich spinach and omega-3 filled fish, but I just couldn’t face it. Eggs and seafood, which had been a major part of my diet a mere few weeks before, were completely out the window.

Luckily my nausea passed with the dawning of the second trimester back in late April. It was as if I could see in colour again; the surface of my plate changing from different shades of beige to green, red, orange and yellow almost overnight. I consider myself lucky not to have been afflicted by the dreaded hyperemesis gravidarum, an extremely severe form of morning sickness that lasts for the entire pregnancy. The short commute upstairs to my office has also never been more welcome. Most women experience the same kind of morning sickness as me, so I’m among many others suffering. I also know that without a shadow of a doubt, all this will be worth it in the end when that little bundle of joy arrives come November.

As a result, I’ve rediscovered my love for cooking and baking again. I’ve started hosting dinner parties just because. Life is a rainbow again and the colours are vivid.

Dinner party time

Reese's peanut butter cup cake for my friend's birthday


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