Below is a sneak peak of my intro from my new book, Mamma Mocktails.
You can buy the Mamma Mocktails book by directly downloading it onto your computer, phone, or tablet right here ($8.99). A softcover edition will be available very soon on Amazon (I’ve been having issues with their tech team – I’m working on it!!!!)
The first feeling that rushed through my body and mind when I saw my pregnancy test turn positive was a feeling of profound groundedness and calmness. A very wise, very kind, but also very firm voice came into my head and gently commanded, “Now, Elettra, we need to rest.” I have always been someone who loves to go-go-GO! I love to explore, I love to work, I love sports, I love DOING THINGS. Some people (like my boyfriend) might say I don’t know how to chill…and he might be right. But the message I received from my body when I saw my pregnancy test was, “let’s protect ourselves, let’s take care, let’s stop pushing.” What struck me at the time was that it wasn’t even my voice—it came from deep down inside, and I knew that I had to heed and respect it.
But, for the first several weeks of my pregnancy, that was really hard to do. I don’t know if it was hormones, or sheer joy, or excitement, or what, but I was SUPER AMPED ALL THE TIME. I felt fantastic, I had a tremendous amount of energy, was always in a great mood, and all I wanted to do was to be out in the world, being active. But eventually that feeling wore off and was replaced by more typical symptoms of the first trimester: nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and exhaustion. It was an especially hard day when I discovered that nausea and dizziness are actually two different feelings that can occur separately, or at the same time. It was also incredibly humbling to experience a kind of fatigue that could not be surmounted, avoided, or fought off. All the things that someone can turn to when they’re not pregnant (caffeine, aspirin) are off limits when you are. I had to fully surrender to what I was experiencing and just be as quiet and still as possible, whenever possible.
When it came to food and drink, I couldn’t eat it (or even be around it) if it wasn’t an incredibly bland carb (pasta and butter, for example), or ice cold water, or almost-freezing seltzer with a tiny spritz of fresh lemon juice. Eventually, I got on the ginger ale train and that helped, but the first trimester symptoms were always hovering over me. I also felt I had to try and limit my ginger ale intake because I worried I was basically drinking a bunch of sugar, and I was already getting enough of that (in the form of simple carbs and glucose) from my pasta intake.
One night, around my 3rd month, while I was visiting my father in Seattle, we went out to a great little Italian place in his ‘hood and sat at the bar. I ordered my typically bland meal (cacio e pepe) and was going to order an ice water when the bartender caught my eye. He was making some kind of cocktail with a dark fruit syrup and lime; it looked delicious, refreshing, and tart. I asked him to make a “mommy mocktail” version for me, and within a few seconds I was chugging down an ice cold blueberry-sage-lime concoction that hit all the right spots. It was such a relief to experience flavors other than plain water, seltzer, or ginger ale, and still drink something that helped me feel better and was good for my growing baby. As I polished off my second glass, I thought to myself, “I wish I could drink drinks like this all the time.” And that’s when the idea for Mommy Mocktails was born.
I knew I wanted to create mocktails that had real nutritional value for mamma and baby alike, so I contacted Willow Jarosh and Stephanie Clarke from C&J Nutrition. To my delight and surprise, they were also both pregnant (Willow and I are about 2 weeks apart), and excited to come on board to help create a book we all desperately needed.
Our aim for this book is simple: to provide easy and delicious mocktail recipes to help you get through the harder symptoms of pregnancy, that also provide nourishing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for both mother and child. Making mocktails (and cocktails) always seems to require a certain amount of tedium: finding special ingredients, making special syrups, etc. Our mocktails require none of that. We stuck to the first principle of Impatient Foodie, “Make it snappy.” Our ingredients are easy to find, recipes are short and fast, and techniques do not require a lot of gadgetry or sophistication. In other words, you can make an ice cold mocktail in minutes and then get back to your bed or couch to sip it or press it against your head. We hope you enjoy the book and recipes herein.