Monday, March 17, 2008

Listeria Hysteria

image: Sakurako Kitsa
During the Week When I Thought I Wasn't Pregnant But I Really Was (WWITIWPBIRW), I committed multiple no-no's:

I ate feta cheese and deli meats.
I drank Diet Coke.
I took hot baths (two!)
I drank booze (beer and wine, oh my!)
I lifted heavy things.
I petted neighborhood cats.

I was just an all around bad girl.

So, when I found out that I still was pregnant, some of my first thoughts ran to all of the no-no's that I had committed thinking I was in the clear. I even started listing them to Dr. Utuerus, who was still shaking his head at the screen, as I was still on the exam table. I quickly forgave myself since I legitimately thought that it was over. And oh, how I enjoyed that Diet Coke.

Now I have settled into the restriction routine again and have not had any problems or temptations. Of course, this also limits my lunching-out options. See, I work from home, so going out for lunch is my time to literally get away, otherwise I'm in the house all day. With the places I can go limited, I feel more isolated.

I'm normally a pretty frequent Subway go-er. I get my Weight Watchers special with lots of spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and onion and either turkey or roast beef on wheat with mustard. I sit and enjoy my lunch, unmolested and bothered, while reading. With deli meats securely off the table, though, my options for a healthy, nutritious yet inexpensive lunch out where I can sit and eat in peace are limited.

There are still a few places, though, including one that I went to today. It's an Italian buffet-style place with really, really good food. And they had the most delicious looking spinach salad with walnuts ... and feta. I knew I couldn't eat the feta, but surely, I could pick it out and eat the rest, right? What I didn't count on was when he added the dressing and my feta crumbles crumbled into specks. I had alraedy committed to the salad, so I accepted the plate and began to strategize how I was going to have my salad and eat it too. Quickly, I realized it was a losing battle. The crumbled feta turned into specks of feta that were everywhere and I kept having to remove feta from the spinach and my utensils.

In the end, I ate like five pieces of spinach and boxed up the rest of the salad for Sweetie. When I got home, I quickly googled everything I could about listeria. I've decided not to worry about the feta I may have ingested, just like I'm not worrying about everything else I did during WWITIWPBIRW.

Just to be sure, next time, I will get the non-feta salad.

8 comments:

kaaron said...

I am almost willing to bet that the feta was made with pasteurized cheese/milk. That is probably the case unless you were at some authentic Greek eatery. Most feta made in the states is pasteurized.

Does it help to think of the millions of women who didn't know they were pregnant for months that went on drinking binges and managed to have perfectly normal kids? No? OK, then. Me either.

Denise said...

I worry about the lunch thing all the time, even though I haven't had a need to yet. It is really hard when you're used to grabbing an easy, healthy sandwich or salad.

I'm sure you barely ingested any feta with that salad and you will be just fine.

FarmWife said...

My doctor reassured me that at the early a stage baby is more parasitical than anything. As long as you aren't living off deli meats, diet Coke, Peppermint Schnapps, and Sushi it should be OK.

My oldest boy should have been born clutchin a hot dog in one fist & an onion ring in the other. It's amazing what a pregnant woman can live on!

Mrs.X said...

Thank you all ladies! It's so hard not to get worried about little stuff like this - especially when you hear about those few pregnant women who do get listeria and miscarry. I just don't want to add to the possible complications considering that we are still on a tightrope.

shinejil said...

I agree with Kaaron: Finding unpasteurized feta, unless you're in Bulgaria or Greece, is hard. With EU and US rules, I don't think they can export non-pasteurized cheeses, anyway.

The only person I know who miscarried from listeria ate some totally hippified homemade farmyard raw milk cheese.

I understand the fear, though.

tobacco brunette said...

I did the same thing recently, while out to lunch with a woman who is seven months pregnant.

When I realized I couldn't get around the feta and started pouting because I was hungry, she looked at me like I was a naive little fool. According to her, it's virtually impossible to find unpasteurized cheese in the U.S. and her doc allows the consumption of soft cheeses.

I'm waiting until I see my O.B. to get her official rules, but I'm sure you're okay. As everyone else has pointed out here, already. So why I'm repeating this I don't know.

Good luck finding the right lunch spot!

The Dunn Family said...

I thought lunch was a royal pain the butt when I was pregnant. I'm very much a sandwich type of girl, and I missed my lunch meats every day!

But like Kaaron said, millions of woman do "no-nos" before they even know they are pregnant! You are fine!!

Ahuva Batya said...

Please don't beat yourself up or worry! This is a good chance to learn to love the all-veggie sandwich!