A couple little problems solved

Pregnancy has been full of surprises and miraculous things.  It's also brought with it a few annoyances.  Most notable and worth complaining about:  the lack of soft cheeses and leg cramps.

Although the rest of the world may not know (or for that matter, think it's a good idea), pregnant women in the U.S. are advised to avoid unpasturized cheeses and most soft cheeses -- manchego, feta, brie, tallegio, blue, chevre, camembert . . .  and the list goes on.

Well, because I'm a bit of a rule follower, I've been abstaining from this entire wonderful food group.  What makes it worse is that now it's fall, which as we all know, is cheese platter season. This means I pretty much just get to eat cheddar and apples.  Not bad, I know.  But still.  When what you really want is a slab of good bread topped with some soft creamy cheese and fig compote or peach chutney, cheddar doesn't really do it for you.

Behold, my latest find!

Turns out, cream cheese is on the approved list for us pregnant folk.  And a couple weeks ago, when chef Tamara Murphy cooked at our house, she alerted me to this combination -- Organic Farmhouse Original Cream Cheese made by Sierra Nevada Cheese Company spread generously on a good baguette with Boat Street Pickled Raisins on top.  It's heavenly.

This cream cheese is not like any other you've had -- it's not gelatinous and flavorless, instead it has real cheese flavor, is slightly yellow in color (probably from the fresh milk used in making it) and almost has a chevre-like quality, despite being made with cow's milk.  (In the Seattle area, I found the cheese at Ken's Market on Phinney ridge.)  The pickles are a sweet/savory compliment to the creamy cheese.  It totally satisfies my desire for soft, creamy cheese. . . and I promise you, even the non pregnant will clamor for more.

In other news, I have also solved the problem of being suddenly awakened at 5 a.m. by searing cramps in my calf muscles.  I rarely experienced "charlie horses" before being pregnant so I had no idea how painful they could be, or how to reliably prevent them. Now that they are a more regular occurrence, I've become motivated to find a fix.  Hydration helps, but the key, I have recently learned, is plenty of electrolytes.

I'm not a big fan of Gatorade or Vitamin Water, which are good sources, so I've been looking for an alternative.  Last week, my massage therapist, Olivier, put me on to "U" -- a effervescent tablet that provides vitamins and electrolytes when dissolved in regular water.  Plus, it tastes good and isn't very sweet (and has only 27 calories).  It's sweetened with stevia, which is reportedly safe for pregnant women.  The tablets come in tubes of 16 and in a variety of flavors.  I found mine at PCC.
I am pleased to report that I've had no leg cramps since beginning my new electrolyte regimen.  Scientific proof, I tell you.


Becky said…
looks delicious!
jill pratt said…
couldn't you have posted pictures of you eating the cheese in front of the bookcases? then we get to see the cheese, the baby bump and the bookcases all at once!
Amy said…
You ask a lot of my self portrait skills! No idea where the tripod is, either. See you tonight.

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