It turns out that the combo of being pregnant/having gallbladder sludge/being on this crazy diet lends itself to a lot of lessons in physiology…and patience. Just a few of the things I’ve learned in the last couple of weeks:
- You will have to go grocery shopping all.the.time. One grocery store will not be enough to get everything you need. Inevitably you will need to go to Trader Joe’s at its most crowded, and to Giant when they’re out of self-checkout guns. Lesson learned: eat before you go, or you’ll be starving and tempted to break into a box of dry, pump-up-the-protein pasta before you get out of the parking lot.
- Sometimes you just NEED a diet coke. Caffeine-full, caffeine-free, doesn’t matter. But be ready for what comes after, because diet coke is carbonated. Which means it has bubbles. That take up precious real estate in your stomach, which is getting more squashed by the day. Lesson learned, sadly: Bloated stomach feels just like gallbladder pain. I’ve had my last diet coke until September. Boooooo. (The alternative: Arnold Palmers. Which are no John Dalys, but they’ll do.)
- When in one of those many grocery stores (namely the one with all the “good food” that also robs you of your entire paycheck), don’t be fooled by the “frozen dessert” that calls out to you with the promise of “150 calories in the whole pint!” It’s non-dairy, non-fat, non-FOOD. A chocolate frozen dessert shouldn’t taste like Jello. Lesson learned: chocolate sorbet is better than nothing – and far better than Arctic Zero.
- Sushi restaurants are your friend! Veggie rolls, edamame, shrimp sumai dumplings…yum. Lesson learned: Go. Just go.
- Bread expands in your stomach when you eat it. Lesson learned: Duh. See bloated stomach, above.
- Gnocchi are made of potatoes. White potatoes. Which apparently also expand. Lesson learned: Stick with regular pasta when attempting to eat out like a normal person. Corollary: Be the annoying restaurant diner who asks a million questions about the menu, lest you order roasted veggies and then determine that they must have been roasted in a cup of oil.
- You can’t have the M&Ms in the office vending machine, but you can walk up the street to Starbucks for an iced soy mocha in the afternoon. Lesson learned: that might be even better than M&Ms because you can justify the snack as “getting protein” and the walk as “getting exercise.”
- Girl scouts may sell the best cookies ever that people with gallbladder sludge can’t eat (Thin Mints) but their mothers could use lessons in politeness. Lesson learned: Seriously, people, offer the pregnant lady a seat on the Metro.