Monday, January 20, 2014

Farewell for Now, Tomatoes

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! If you had today off, I hope you enjoyed some extra rest, an extra workout, or some extra errands. All three happened around here!

Terry and I slept until a little after six and then hit the pavement for a two mile jog around the park near our house. It's a nice route because it allows Terry to move faster than I do (he just makes a slightly bigger loop) and then we meet back up to finish the jog together. Since I'm keeping my runs nice and slow, it's a good way for us to keep each other motivated but still meet our own fitness needs.

For breakfast I used some leftover peppers and onions (pre-chopped from last night's pizza dinner) to make a scramble. Delicious start to the day. I'm trying to add more vegetables and fruits to my meals, so starting with a few right away in the morning makes me feel accomplished.

Recycled photo--spinach was not included today.

Then we were off to our 20-week doctor appointment! Everything is looking good with me and the baby, and our doctor was excited to hear that we've finally felt a few kicks.

Terry headed off to work after our appointment, and I spent the day getting a few things done around the house. Dinner was bison burgers! We roasted up some sweet potato fries and steamed some asparagus, and for dipping we used some of our favorite hummus dips from our local farmer's market.

Perfect Monday night dinner.

Why I'm Avoiding Tomatoes
Lately I've been dealing with some major stomachaches related to nonulcer dyspepsia that are similar to but far more intense than my "stress stomachs" I have had off and on since college. Since I've really felt better for years and haven't had major issues in a long time, I assumed pregnancy was to blame for the four or five recent crippling incidents.

Essentially, pregnancy is the culprit: My doctor explained that since my uterus is growing, my stomach is a bit squished and under more pressure. So if I eat something that doesn't agree with me, I have a stronger likelihood of experiencing indigestion or discomfort. In my case, "discomfort" means a terrible stomachache (feels like a ball of pressure in my upper abdomen) and a very painful backache. Yesterday I ate a few bites of pineapple and ended up on the couch in pain for about four hours. (I will assume that in this case perhaps some of my pain may have been related to the heartbreaking loss the Niners experienced, but I can't blame that for everything.)

Needless to say, these stomachaches make me very nervous to eat. Even foods that have been no problem in the past can cause the pain, depending on my stress level that day. And much as I try, I can't necessarily gauge ahead of time how stressed I am and whether I should expect a day of not being able to move. And of course the anxiety over whether I'll get a stomachache most likely contributes to my overall stress, so it's an endless cycle over here.

Right now, I'm avoiding foods high in acid, such as raw tomatoes (cooked tomatoes seem okay so far), pineapple, and oranges. There are lists all over the Internet with suggestions for what to avoid if you have nonulcer dyspepsia, but it seems that you sort of have to figure out for yourself what's a problem and what isn't. Lots of people struggle with vegetables like broccoli, but I haven't had that problem.

Goodbye, Caprese. 

My doctor also encouraged me to eat slowly and aim for small meals throughout the day. Luckily my stomach seems to agree that small, frequent meals are the way to go.

And because I know that my stomachaches become more frequent with stress, I'm working hard to reduce my overall anxiety. The most effective stress reliever for me is exercise, followed by deep breathing, singing my favorite songs (poor Scout), cooking, watching silly sitcoms, and spending time with Terry. I assume that my stress level is naturally elevated due to pregnancy hormones as well as all the questions about our future, but I'm trying to maintain some perspective and stay calm about that.

Also, I'm laughing hysterically at this commercial every time I see it. "Aggressive relaxation" is my new favorite phrase.

P.S. Did anyone catch How I Met Your Mother tonight? Hilarious! So much better than last week's, right?


  1. It sounds like you suffer very very similar issues to me! Mine are as a result of undiagnosed coeliac disease and damage from gluten but I can't eat any tomatoes/citrus/chilli and a whole heap of other things (my allergy list is ridiculously large). Luckily my stomach has started to heal though so some of the foods I couldn't eat (like mangoes) I can now enjoy!

    1. Bummer! Yours sounds way worse, though. I hope the healing continues!

  2. Oh man! I love tomatoes and would be sad to see them go!! That cooked asparagus looks amazing! Hope you find some relief from the pain!

    Ive never heard of this although Im so so not not a tomato fan so that could be why as well.


  4. aw well hopefully your farewell to tomatoes is just short lived (throughout pregnancy) and you get some relief from avoiding them!

  5. Stress? I blame your Dad ... you too are sooo alike - its me Diane :)

  6. i have heard that tomatoes are high in acid! back when i was having some stomach problems, i tried to avoid them too. i hear mustard helps the stomach! That was music to my ears.

  7. On the bright side, tomatoes are pretty dreadful this time of year anyway. I broke my seasonal vegetable rule yesterday and bought some fresh tomatoes because they looked really good. They weren't. Don't feel bad, you're not missing anything.