Mean Girl to the Rescue!

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Unburn my heart, say tomatoes love me again

This past week marked the beginning of my trials with heartburn. This is an ailment I've had only a few times before, for short periods of time, so having it all day, every day was a nasty wake-up call for me to change my eating habits.

Sadly, it appears that most everything I like to eat causes heartburn. EVEN THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

Food Group Foods To Avoid
Fruit• Orange juice
• Lemon
• Lemonade
• Grapefruit juice
• Cranberry juice
• Tomato
Vegetables • Mashed potatoes
• French fries
• Onion, raw
Meat • Ground beef, chuck
• Marbled sirloin
• Chicken nuggets
• Buffalo wings
Dairy • Sour cream
• Milk shake
• Ice cream
• Cottage cheese, regular
Grains • Macaroni and cheese
• Spaghetti with sauce
Beverages • Liquor
• Wine
• Coffee, decaffeinated or regular
• Tea, decaffeinated or regular
Fats / Oils • Salad dressing, creamy
• Salad dressing, oil & vinegar
Sweets / Desserts • Butter cookie, high-fat
• Brownie
• Chocolate
• Doughnut
• Corn chips
• Potato chips, regular

Now, we've already ascertained that I am not following the What to Expect diet of tears and suffering (I met with a doula this weekend who told me to throw that book away, and I felt vindicated). But I am trying to stick to a basic regimen of a certain number of daily servings of calcium-rich food, fruits/veggies, whole grains, etc.

I ask you, how am I supposed to enjoy a salad without dressing?
And if I choose lowfat dressing, then how am I going to get some good fats into my system from the olive or canola oil?
And how am I going to break my dependence on tomatoes in their many forms?
I honestly don't know. All I know is, TUMS don't work, which must be why they're the recommended antacid for pregnant women. The other "remedy" is to sleep with a wedge under one's head (or under the bed itself) to keep stomach acid from bubbling up past the esophagus too easily. Unfortunately, this latter remedy also creates a situation in which I find it impossible to sleep alongside my husband.

Annoyingly, the list of foods that have little potential to cause heartburn includes goat or feta cheese, which pregnant women are not supposed to have due to the risk of listeria. Hot dogs may be consumed "with discretion," but they're a bad idea because of the nitrates they contain (as are sausages and bacon, which I can't seem to wean myself off of).

With that, I'm off to enjoy a slice of dry whole wheat toast with a scrambled egg white and a side of mineral water while sitting propped up by a study pillow. Please, try not to be too jealous.


At 3:41 PM, Blogger Mignon said...

Okay, how many times do I have to say that What to Expect is SHIT. SHIT I TELL YOU.

Anyway, your diet and self-imposed restrictions sound harder than the tripe they guilt you into in that book. So you can't do Maalox? That was the only thing that helped when I was pregs. Ice cream and milkshakes were the worst. Oatmeal and brown sugar went down just fine, though. Not much of a dinner, I guess.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger meno said...

After reading the list of foods to avoid i wondered what was left. Have some tofu dear. Yum.

What to Expect was THE book when i was pregnant. Glad it's heading off to the trash heap like it deserves.

At 2:53 AM, Blogger The Big Pugawug said...

Dump that Effing book. Everyone from my OB to yoga teachers to midwife to doula agreed on that one. The Best Odds Diet is total shite.

Have you tried papaya tablets? They worked at times when Tums didn't. I hate papaya, but they taste nothing like papaya -- mine were peppermint-flavored. I got them at either Whole Foods or the local co-op, can't remember which.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Arabella said...

I hear you! I've been craving citrus, and have been eating it with abandon, since I've been so happy that I've been craving something healthy, and my acupuncturist thinks that my over-full-to-the-point-that-I-have-a-hard-time-breathing-after-eating feeling may be from all the acid. She told me to drink peppermint and chamomile tea. I'll let you know if there's any improvement.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Stacey said...

OK, good news. You actually can eat goat and feta cheeses as long as they're pasteurized ... no imported soft cheeses for you, missy. That's something the books don't tell you, but when I pressed the point with my doctor she clarified it.

Also, Mylanta works a hell of a lot better than TUMS. You can't take it 2,000 times a day like I used to take TUMS, but at bedtime when the heartburn is really bed it coats and soothes better than TUMS.

Drinking a lot of water helps (a little).

Welcome to three months of sleeping sitting up. If it's any consolation at all, I haven't had heartburn one time since giving birth. It magically disappears as soon as the baby is out.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

Ack, that sucks big time! What about a turkey hot dog or kosher hot dogs - maybe they don't have nitrates...tofu dog?!!

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Melissa said...

Here's a little info for what it's worth. My mom has had serious problems with GERD and a hiatal hernia for years and that's about how long she's been sleeping with a wedge. Here's how she has it set up. Put the wedge under the mattress on your side of the bed. If it's not too thick, it shouldn't present any major problems when sharing a bed.(I think mom's wedge is about 4 inches at the highest point) Since her blindness hit, I've been sharing her bed on occasional weekends and it hasn't been bad at all. Good Luck

At 7:45 AM, Blogger V said...

Hey! I must've lost the bookmark to your blog, because I haven't been by in a while. But then I saw that TB mentioned you were prego and I just wanted to say congratulations!

On the of my pre-natal vitamins gave me the worst heartburn ever (and I had never had heartburn issues before). I told the midwife and switched brands and all was well. Do you think it could be?

At 7:51 AM, Blogger head of the table said...

Salad suggestion here - If I don't have vinegar on hand I just crush up a bit of dried herbs into some oil and shake for a few seconds. Then I drizzle it on and pretend it's dressing. Good Luck!

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous TB said...

Shit. I've been waiting for this next affliction and so far I've avoided it. I've never, that's right NEVER had heartburn in my life and I don't want to start now. Especially since TUMS and every other thing they allow pregnant women to take don't work worth a damn. What about the ginger drops or ginger tea. Would that help?

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Tits McGee said...

Okay, the heartburn? Sucks. Nothing really worked for me, so I just ate whatever the hell I wanted to and just suffered.

Our local Trader Joe's carried nitrite-free hot dogs and pasturized Saint Andre cheese, which I ate with abandon throughout my pregnancy. Salad dressing? Try plain yogurt with some fresh herbs, salt, and a drizzle of vinegar. I ate yogurt like a fiend during my pregnancy. Hooray for calcium!

Oh, and fuck "What to Expect." That book should be burned.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Blondie said...

Both times my boss was pregnant, she carried around a huge Ziploc bag full of Tums. She had horrible heartburn. I have a little problem with that means I'll have a huge problem with it if/when I'm ever preggers. Hope you feel better!!

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Erin MacPherson said...

If it's OK with you, I'm going to quote this blog entry on Parents Connect, a parenting website.

Erin MacPherson


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