Oh mamma mia! I thought being pregnant was bad for food restrictions until I actually had the baby and realized that it was worse than when expecting (according to Italian rules). The most challenging part of the pregnant diet for Piemontese people is not being able to eat raw meat or salumi. Almost all my friends said their first wish after having a baby was a huge prosciutto or salami panino!


Instead, my in-laws and husband brought me fresh heirloom tomatoes from our overflowing vegetable garden and mozzarella di bufala and cut them all up for me to make a nice little caprese. You see, in Italy they are OBSESSED with getting something called Toxoplasmosis which means not eating raw vegetables while pregnant. This is unless you wash them over and over with a bleachy kind of solution called Amuchina. This was my hardest challenge especially because the taste of chemicals on my salad seemed worse than whatever disease I could possibly catch from the greens. Little by little I eased up by washing food with baking soda and then eventually nothing. My husband even had a little BB gun that he used to shoot the cat who wandered around down in the garden so they wouldn’t pee on the plants:)

Being a food snob even in the hospital!

Oh let’s not forget the forbidden unpasteurized cheeses. In a region where the best cheeses are from raw milk, this was a struggle. I remember when I dared to eat a bite of gorgonzola and Nico started kicking inside my belly. Surely he was just thanking me for some food with a bit of taste.

Then Nico was born and I thought I was home-free! But I was wrong. As soon as people knew I was breastfeeding (which everyone asks you, weirdly including old men and boys), they tell you what you can and can not eat. The list is even more restricted.


  • green leafy vegetables (cause colic)
  • cruciferous vegetables (cause colic)
  • no tomatoes (acidic)
  • dairy products (intolerance in babies)
  • garlic (changes the taste of your milk)
  • asparagus or artichokes (changes the taste of your milk…cattivo!)
  • peperoncini (too spicy)
  • coffee (too much caffeine … this is more my rule) Italians don’t say no to espresso no matter what!


  • fresh egg pasta at least 3 times a week (my mamma in law is pumping out those tagliatelle like a factory for me. If I don’t keep up with the pace, she gets upset and says you need to eat pasta because it makes milk…FA LATTE!)
  • eggs (hence the pasta has to be fresh) (FA LATTE)
  • fennel till it comes out your ears boobs! And don’t forget to drink fennel tea (FA LATTE)
  • potatoes and carrots (give you sweet milk and FA LATTE)
  • fette biscottati (little toasted bread for breakfast given to me by the bakery because it…FA LATTE)
  • desserts (makes your milk sweet and FA LATTE)
  • kiwis (helps if your baby is constipated and probably FA LATTE)



My god! Now no meat, no dairy, no vegetables and just pasta pasta pasta and some potatoes and whole load of fennel…this was worse than before. Good thing my father in law planted about 60 fennel bulbs in the garden rather than a measly 30. So I guess you know what I have been eating the last couple months. I will be the only person on the planet who gains more weight after giving birth than before. After finally having enough of all this nonsense and reading American websites it brought me back to reality. A varied diet full of vegetables is a good thing! We took that to an extreme and even gave Nico a taste of white truffle breast milk this week:)

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