Are Food Cravings Always Specific?

I’m currently pregnant. If you didn’t know that, you do now.

As such, I’ve gotten a lot of well-meaning questions like, “Have you had any funny cravings?” and, “D’ya know what you’re having?” These are often accompanied by a figurative elbow nudge and *wink-wink.*

The answer to both is, “NO!” -definitely so to the first, because I get very very very very very very very very very very (etc.) sick whilst pregnant. I haven’t had to get a feeding tube and I have amazing resistance to losing my lunch, but -Ugh.

When I do crave food, it’s more of an intense, five-minute demand for one very specific taste. Say… nachos from the Maverik gas station. Or, a croissant sandwich from the local deli. Or, pickle ice cream.

K, not really on the ice cream.

But all that is on par with when I am not pregnant -except for the being sick part. When I am hungry for dinner during normal times, I imagine the taste of something I had before. I want it precisely like that, down to the last rosemary leaf.

Which led me to wonder: does everyone crave food that way? When you want chocolate, is it a certain brand or flavor? Is it just chocolate? Does your taco have to be the one from that over-smiley dude on 5th? Can it be Taco Bell, instead?

Do tell. And, do share some of your favorites.



Grab some chips and check out what went down this past week:
Wednesday, June 12: Announced Baby #5 in “Really Big News of a Non-Writing Kind.”

Thursday, June 13: Tanka Tuesday. On a Thursday.

Friday, June 14: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb Whittam!

Saturday, June 15: Announced the 30th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is to pick a number and repeat it ad nauseam. PLEASE ENTER!

Also shared that I won second place in the Annual Bloggers Bash writing competition.

Sunday, June 16: “Many Hands Make Enlightened Work,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, June 17: An inspirational quote by Denzel Washington.

Tuesday, June 18: Nothing!

Wednesday, June 19: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Rainy Days and Mondays Don’t Have to Get you Down” and “A Pregnancy Poem.”

Photo Credit:
Jason Leung

45 thoughts on “Are Food Cravings Always Specific?

  1. S. Chersis June 19, 2019 / 6:48 pm

    Not pregnant (and never have been), but I have gotten food cravings. … And book cravings.

    The food cravings tend to be more of a desired flavor; salty food, greasy food, etc. Rarely do I get food-food cravings. Although when I do, they’re pretty intense and can last for days until I get that specific item. The book cravings are just “I need to read [book] right now and I won’t read anything else!”

    I do hope the feeling sick passes or ends up just not being as intense this round 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 6:54 pm

      Ooh, interesting.

      I hadn’t thought of book cravings. Now that you mention it, I’ve had that. I’ve had that with movies and music, too.

      Thanks for the well-wishes on the pregnancy. 🙂 Supposedly I’m drawing closer to better times…


  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake June 19, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    I’ve never been pregnant but often enjoy eating for two. Though it be a surprise and all, congratulations. Stay healthy, if not hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Ha ha! I eat for two when not pregnant as well. My husband is a Lightweight who’s told me he gets full on soup. I just can’t relate to that.


  3. Megan June 19, 2019 / 6:52 pm

    Congrats on baby #5!!! I hope you have a smooth pregnancy!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. mymindlessdrivel June 19, 2019 / 6:57 pm

    I think cravings are often associated with memory, which is why they can seem so specific. Other times, as another person mentioned, they may be ‘salty’ or ‘sweet’ but not specific. Sometimes those relate to something your body needs. But sometimes I can’t see a rhyme or reason to what I want right this minute. And if it takes too long to get it, by the time I do I may no longer want it…

    I’m not sure this is a helpful answer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 7:06 pm

      Excellent points, Holmes. I’d forgotten that I have that same theory about cravings. In light of that, I usually listen unless they involve McDonald’s. If I crave McDonald’s that means it’s been too long since I ate. 😉


  5. LA June 19, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    When I was pregnant I craved cherries. Weird. I know. Now when I get a craving it’s very specific…..a certain chicken dish was a specific Chinese place, etc

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 9:27 pm

      Well, cherries are healthier than many cravings. 😀 I craved almost-rare steaks and glasses of milk at the end of my second pregnancy; which is odd because, usually, I didn’t like ‘undercooked’ steak and milk makes me gag.

      You have a lot of good restaurants to choose from around you so I’m sure the chicken you like is worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LA June 19, 2019 / 9:28 pm

        It’s really good!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. cricketmuse June 19, 2019 / 8:22 pm

    Food cravings-specific food cravings-ABSOLUTELY! Preggers or not. When you got have a specific something for that hunger itch it’s hard to accept substitutions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 9:27 pm

      Yay! I’m not alone in the world!

      What are some of your favorites?

      Liked by 1 person

      • cricketmuse June 19, 2019 / 10:21 pm

        Memorable pregs craving: a full Thanksgiving dinner (and when I finally did so my morning sickness which hit in the afternoon went away).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens June 19, 2019 / 10:58 pm

          Mine’s always worse as the day progresses. I keep thinking there’s got to be a food or meal that will finally satiate it! I’ll look into your idea. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • cricketmuse June 20, 2019 / 6:01 am

            Peppermint tea seemed to help. Even sucking on peppermint, like Altoids. Hope you find a help to get you through.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. robertawrites235681907 June 20, 2019 / 12:27 am

    Congratulations, Chelsea, very exciting news. I was sick for the first three months when I was pregnant with my older son but with Michael, I was sick all the time. I never actually vomited but I felt terrible all the time. I lived on bovril toast for 8 months.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 20, 2019 / 6:34 am

      Thanks, Robbie!

      My first pregnancy was like your second! I’m hoping this one isn’t!


  8. Bruce Goodman June 20, 2019 / 1:46 am

    Although I have never been pregnant (at least not recently and some might suggest its not for lack of trying) I constantly get out of my chair, go to the fridge, open the door and look. There’s never anything in there – nothing at least that I can pick up with my fingers and stuff into my mouth. I must do this five or six times a day. At least I’m getting exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. masercot June 20, 2019 / 6:11 am

    My ex craved filet mignon when pregnant with our first boy. For the second, it was carne adovado. Sometimes I think it was less a craving and more just using it as an excuse to get expensive food…

    I think, in her case, she was craving protein. My oldest turned vegetarian, I think because he’d had a lifetime supply of meat while in the womb…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 20, 2019 / 6:38 am

      😀 That may be!!

      I craved steak with my second, but my sister was waitressing a steak place at the time and could get us half off. That pregnancy, the baby came early, so I think he was trying to build up all the protein he could!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. H.R.R. Gorman June 20, 2019 / 6:29 am

    I do this shen I crave candy. I want a specific brand, and I want it from a specific gas station (which shouldn’t matter, but oh well).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. trentpmcd June 20, 2019 / 6:55 am

    Congratulations! I recently read an article about cravings. I don’t remember it well enough to summarize, but I guess there is new research showing they are completely different than what folk wisdom says they are.

    Liked by 1 person

      • trentpmcd June 20, 2019 / 10:07 am

        I Googled it and can’t find the article 😦 Pretty much, we (those of us not pregnant 😉 ) do NOT crave foods because of some missing nutrient, we crave foods that we feel guilt over or think we should crave. Most of the time they are things we eat that we think we shouldn’t – it helps us justify it. The best way to stop cravings is to not eat that food and for the most part the cravings go away. Some are cultural, like the cliche that women crave chocolate at certain times of the month is only true in places where it is a cliche, and not true other places, even if the people eat a lot of chocolate.

        I occasionally crave food, and, yes, it is usually “sin” food that I do occasionally (or often 😉 ) eat. Sometimes I’ll get “a taste for” something I haven’t had in a long time and need to have it, but that is much rarer.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens June 20, 2019 / 12:28 pm

          What an interesting idea and theory! I can see the logic behind it. The idea is certainly valid when I’ve waited too long to eat (non-pregnant) and notice I want cheap meals like a frozen individual pizza.

          At other times, however, I have had a mix of feeling deficient somehow and knowing what I should eat. THAT’S more of listening to my body than craving, though.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. joanne the geek June 20, 2019 / 7:19 am

    I’ve never been pregnant but I get food cravings and I sometimes wonder if it’s my body needing something in particular from it. Occasionally I crave things like pickled onions, or some Havarti or Gruyere cheese. And I always seem to crave salt and vinegar potato chips.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. gregoryjoel June 20, 2019 / 8:02 am

    I’m a “Freegan” – if it’s free I eat it. The best food there is, right? I don’t often have specific cravings. Like another commented, they’re mostly general cravings for something salty or sweet and so forth. My default is always Mexican food or Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. I’m pretty simple I guess. There are times however, when only one Mexican restaurant will do – Benito’s. When I was younger (and far more foolish) I would go there because they were open until 4AM on Friday and Saturday. Forty years later, there are times when only a plate of Benito’s enchiladas and tacos will suffice.

    Congratulations again on the forthcoming little one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 20, 2019 / 9:06 am

      Ooh! I may need to steal that term. 😀

      Admittedly, though, I’ve gotten pickier as I’ve gotten older. Part of that is my body not reacting well to, say, Benito’s at 4 a.m. 😀

      Thank you!


  14. lensdailydiary June 20, 2019 / 9:35 am

    Blueberry white chocolate scones in the Spring, chocolate mint ice cream in the Summer, apple pie in the Fall and banana chocolate muffins in the Winter

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lesleykluchin June 20, 2019 / 4:50 pm

    I’m obviously too old to get pregnant now, but I craved garlic crabs when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I know, crazy right? I was living close to water near the Delaware area and I wanted garlic crabs all the time. When we went to natural birth classes we’d go for crabs and walk into class reeking of garlic. Everyone begged me to stop with so much garlic but I had to have it. Ironically, my son was born late and weighed 9 pounds and was born under the sign of cancer the crab. Lol

    I was sick and nauseous early in that pregnancy, I’d be teaching, run out and vomit and then run back into class. Almost 16 years later I don’t recall craving anything in particular when I was pregnant with my younger son. I was sicker in that pregnancy and had to be on bed rest in the last trimester. That baby was born 5 weeks early and weighed 7 ad a half pounds.

    Now I crave sweets. After dinner I want something sweet. Anything sweet. I don’t keep junk food in the house, otherwise I’d be enormous because of my sweet tooth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 20, 2019 / 6:27 pm

      😀 Your poor classmates. I wonder why the garlic?

      I’ve really only had a distinct craving with my second son, and he was nearly 9 weeks early.

      I hear you on the sweets. Ironically, sweets are entirely unappealing this pregnancy. If I eat some, it has to be after I’ve filled up on regular food or I can’t even consider them. I guess dieters could use my current appetite, eh? 😉


  16. Lisa Bradshaw June 21, 2019 / 1:55 am

    Chocolate is just chocolate and all the time.. ;-).. Take Care of yourself.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 21, 2019 / 9:38 am

      🙂 Chocolate is a tasty thing. I’m so glad we have it.

      Thanks, Lisa.


  17. Jules June 21, 2019 / 10:10 am

    Best to you and all the family. Been down that road twice… now I’ve got grands!
    Enjoy all of your helping hands!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens June 21, 2019 / 12:36 pm

      Thanks, Jules! I’ve heard grandchildren are much better! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jules June 21, 2019 / 12:50 pm

        I was looking somewhere for a quote I can’t find but found this:
        “I have a sleeping disorder… it’s called children!”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens June 21, 2019 / 12:53 pm

          It’s true!! Reminds me of a comic I saw that was similar. I think it had an exhausted mom sitting on the table at a doctor’s office and the punchline was the same. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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