Common offender: Meat
Is meat’s texture turning you off? If so, varying the cooking method could help, says Angelone. You may do better with meat that’s grilled or baked, possibly even cooked until tender in a slow cooker.
If it’s the aroma that’s repulsive, try handing off the tongs to someone else and putting your feet up while any meat is being prepared. Incorporating meat into mixed dishes, such as potpies or stir-fries, can also help mask the flavor and texture, says Scritchfield, who recommends adding extra layers of flavor in the form of a ginger-soy or barbecue sauce.
Whether you’re cutting back or cutting it out entirely, nutrients you’ll want to find from other sources include protein, zinc, iron, B vitamins and magnesium. For protein, you have plenty of options. Ashvini Mashru, MA, RD, LDN, a certified personal trainer and wellness coach based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, recommends beans or soy products (especially tofu or edamame). Quinoa packs a hefty protein punch as well. Another option: Research a high-quality protein powder that can be added to smoothies, which your stomach will hardly notice.
For more fiber than meat as well as some protein, iron, zinc and magnesium, Scritchfield recommends making burgers from beans or lentils. A great veggie chili would also do your body (and likely your stomach) good.
Common offender: Eggs, milk, yogurt
The calcium, protein and riboflavin found in eggs, milk and yogurt are essential for baby’s development—but your body might be boycotting. Fortunately, these foods can be eaten in various forms, says Angelone. For example, eggs, which also contain invaluable choline, can be hard boiled or made into an egg salad and eaten cold. They can be scrambled or served up in a frittata. With a bit of trial and error, you can discover whether one form is more palatable than others.
For dairy, you may find that kefir, a fermented drink, gives you less trouble with your gag reflex. “Low-sugar yogurt varieties are often better tolerated because excess sweet can be a problem for some,” says Angelone.
To trick your body into laying down its defenses, try making a fruit-based smoothie with yogurt and milk. “Add seeds and greens for more calcium and choline,” suggests Scritchfield.
If milk is a continual issue, skip it entirely, advises Mashru—and depend on cheese and yogurt options instead. These are more innocuous for women with a milk aversion. If you end up going dairy-free, “substitute calcium-fortified juices, soy, sesame seeds, broccoli and cooked dried beans,” suggests Mashru, “to give you a healthy calcium bonus.”