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pregnant and craving ramen noodles - what do I need instead?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this fits better here or in Health and Healing, so mods, please move it/let me know if this is the wrong place.

I generally focus pretty hard on eating healthfully. I avoid processed foods, make a lot of my own stuff, and so on. I do have junk food once in a while, i.e. usually once a week or less. I aim for moderation and don't always succeed, but usually do pretty well.

I generally trust my body to tell me what I need, e.g. if I'm craving red grapefruit, I eat red grapefruit, figuring I probably need some Vit C, or lycopene, etc.

However, I am pg and am craving ramen noodle soup, and I can't figure out how to handle it. I do find the soup very tasty : but I usually only indulge a few times a year because it's empty of nutrition. Now I'm wanting it four times a week!

So what do I probably need? Ramen soup has nothing but calories, fat and salt and I know I'm getting enough of all three of those, so I'm stumped. :

I do have kind of an odd dynamic in terms of wanting foods, because I have been type 1 diabetic for 23 years, so grew up in the era of very restrictive regimens. (I.e. You must eat exactly this amount of food at exactly this time of day every day, etc.) It kind of warped my ability to recognise hunger.

Any insight/ideas?
post #2 of 18
I would say minerals. I would suggest getting a good colloidal mineral supplement. I buy mine at

Also, you could try going to the bulk bins at Whole Foods and getting the broth. I use it and it is yummy You could boil some water, add some, and a few veggies and have a tasty snack that wasn't full of iodized salt. I personally only use sea salt, and reacted pretty bad to iodized salt during my pregnancies. I swelled horribly if I had anything like peanuts, nuts, trail mix with iodized salts. They create mineral imbalances in your body in large amounts.

Also, I lovved drinking Alacer Emergen-C packets when I was pregnant! In my third trimester my body really craved minerals and I had to eat lots of veggies, drink minerals, alacer packets, etc. I also craved salt. Alacer packets helped. You can find them at trader joes and Whole Foods in a big box.They have differnt flavors but I prefer the cranberry as it helps with reaccuring UTI's
post #3 of 18
I see how it could be that you need something like minerals, as leilalu suggested. Another thought that came to mind was that it might be more of an emotional craving for 'comfort food', since preg. is such a time of emotions. Not sure if you have any un/conscious ties to ramen noodles...for me, they kinda make me think of my childhood. just a thought.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the suggestions!

I will look into minerals and getting the broth. Unfortunately I don't have access to either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (I am in Canada) but I will check at Bulk Barn and health food stores.

veggiekicks, that's a good thought. I had ramen for the first time as an adult when I moved to Bolivia, which was a really emotional and meaningful time for me. Pregnancy also seems to be emotional and meaningful (where is the "obvious" smilie? ) so maybe that's where this is coming from.
post #5 of 18
I agree..sounds like a call for minerals. Be sure to drink plently of water with your Ramen...it'S pretty salty. Also...if you want to go out for a meal you could have Vietnamese food...order the vermicelli bowl!
post #6 of 18
Are you talking about like Top Ramen or something? If you really want japanese noodles, why not have something like udon or buckwheat soba noodles. you can make a nice broth with miso and add some fish,egg, bok choy or other veggies along with shoyu or tamari instead of salt.

I'm not sure what you mean by ramen? I'm guessing that you are talking about cup of noodles or something, because you can actually make quite a healthy and delicious bowl of ramen soup Here is a good blog of ramen recipes http://mattfischer.com/ramen/
post #7 of 18
Perhaps you are craving the salt. If so it might be a sign you need more water. You need lots of extra water when preggo so this could be your body crying out for it.

good luck.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the additional suggestions!

Annie, this is the precise stuff I am craving. As you can see, it contains almost everything that I want to avoid as a health-conscious person. :

So I've been managing to hold off for the most part by just not buying it, but I am annoyed at the cravings and am trying to figure out how to make them stop! Thanks for the link. Maybe I'll try a homemade option and see if that does it.

Originally Posted by g&a
Perhaps you are craving the salt. If so it might be a sign you need more water. You need lots of extra water when preggo so this could be your body crying out for it.
Potentially stupid question: why would my body crave salt when I need more water?
post #9 of 18
My vote: Salt!
post #10 of 18
maybe you could make it and not use that whole pack of seasoning in it? not to eat everyday, but just to get the craving out of your system.
post #11 of 18
Simplified answer -- salt makes your body retain water. Try a homemade version and see if that helps. Or if you can get to a japanese restaraunt and have a nice bowl of udon that would be good to.

Those noodle packets have a lot of msg in them...when I was pregnant and craving really junky msg foods (think cheetos) I was lacking in minerals. Try boosting your water intake and getting a good chelated mineral supplement. Especially one containg cal/mag.
post #12 of 18
I think you are craving broth. Could you make some homemade broth?

Use an acid in your broth to leach out the calcium from the bones.

Salt according to Brewer is something not to scimp on while preggo.
post #13 of 18
OMG when I was preggo with ds I craved Top Ramen. Had 2 or 3 packs and have not had it since. A true craving it was about all I ate for a day or two. And it was every bit as good as I imagined it LOL.
post #14 of 18
I also wanted to add that there are many times where you crave one thing but need another. Ever crave sugar and eat protien instead?? Your body says "i need energy" and the easiest way to get that is sugar but if you eat protien you get a more ballanced blood-sugar.
My naturopath gave me a list once.
Chocolate was one - you need minerals (zinc I think) or protein. I can't remember any more.

post #15 of 18
I also craved ramen while pregnant. I resisted until my doctor told me that increased salt intake would help my dizzyingly LOW blood pressure. It did! In particular, if I was feeling dizzy/tired and craving ramen at the same time, that was exactly the right thing to eat! It's not all bad...it has some protein and iron in it, and magnesium which may be what you're craving.

Make it more nutritious by breaking an egg into the pot as soon as you get the noodles softened up; break the yolk and stir it around to make thin plumes of egg amid the noodles.

You've gotten a lot of good suggestions for cooking up healthier noodles, but for quick-cooking pre-packaged ease similar to ramen, I suggest Thai Kitchen instant rice noodles. Very yummy, but much less salty and no MSG!
post #16 of 18
Well, I'm pregnant and I do eat ramen occassionally! I make a somewhat healthier version though:

1) I get the low-fat, baked, MSG-free kind from the HFS
2) I only use the flavoring packet
3) I drizzle a beaten egg sloooooowly into the pot as the noodles are cooking--it creates an egg-drop soup kind of effect
4) When the noodles/egg are cooked, I throw in a handful or two of steamed veggies--I like broccoli, carrots and mushrooms best in this, but pretty much anything is good

I get the ramen fix, but also get some extra protein and veggies, cut down the salt a bit, and avoid the MSG and much of the fat altogether.
post #17 of 18
With my second pregnancy I wanted them all the time. I added frozen spinach or frozen greens beans to add some nutrition, but I always threw away the seasoning packet, rinsed the noodles a bit after cooking, and added a little bit of soy sauce instead. I definitely think I craved the salt!!

- Krista
post #18 of 18
I too craved Ramen while I was pregnant! Sadly is gave me the most wicked heartburn and I couldn't eat it. We lived in Hawaii at the time and Ramen/Saimin is a regular part of the diet there.

A few suggestions to make Ramen healthier/tastier:
1. A PP suggested buy a non-fried or fat-free ramen. Wu-Mu brand from Sing-Lin Foods and Sapporo Miso Ramen also from Sing-Lin are two types that are baked rather than fried. We used to buy them in Hawaii and still stock up there with several cases when we make it to the islands. An Asian grovery store in your area may carry them, or something similar.
If not them maybe the internet.

2. Cooking:
- Finley chop and onion and add it to a pot with oil. Fry on high/med. high for a few minutes and add grated carrots, sliced mushrooms, boy-choy, zuchinni, or any other veg that you desire. Stir-fry until mostly cooked.
- Add enough water to cover + a bit more and bring to a boil. Toss in the noodles for 3 minutes or so.
- Add a no-salt bullion cube, miso, or the flavor packet if you desire.
- Add pressed tofu if you'd like
- Lastly stir in a well-beaten egg.

YUMMMMMM! We call this "SUPER RAMEN" around here and eat in on a regular basis. Making this with two cakes of noodles is a ton of food for 2 people + one toddler.

Here is a photo of the Sapporo brand:

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