When it comes to my monthly periods I got dealt a pretty great card. I don’t have a particularly heavy flow, I never get cramps, no mood swings, no hormonal breakouts. I pretty much just bleed for 4-5 days and call it a week.
When I turned about 18, my monthly periods took a weird turn. I started getting pregnancy-like food cravings. For a couple of days before the period came, and the 4 to 5 days of the period itself, I’d crave food I hadn’t eaten in months and eat like a whale. It took me a year or two after this turn, to connect the cravings to my monthly period. It didn’t help that I already consume a whole ass lot of food on a regular day. But my periods were different. Subconsciously, I’d prepare for it like a person about to go in a bunker to survive an apocalypse.
I had to make sure I had emergency chocolate bars on hand for when I woke up at 2 am craving them, if not I’d wake up the next morning ready to rack with the first person I set my eyes on.
In recent years, I’ve been paying a whole lot more attention to my body as a whole. In that spirit, I decided to document just how much food I consume during my period.
3:30 a.m. – Period starts unexpectedly after being two weeks late because it has absolutely no regard for me as a human being. In retrospect, should have seen it coming after eating a whole box of pizza the night before. Luckily I get up in time to prevent my sheets from getting stained. I clean up, put a pad on and a ratty pair of boxers whose origins are unknown, as an extra layer of protection. The first day’s flow is usually very heavy. I suddenly feel incredibly thirsty and chug down most of a 1.5-litre bottle of water.
8:30 a.m. – On my way to work, I stop at a bakery to buy snacks for breakfast like I do every morning. I usually get a single meat pie that I’d eat with a cup of tea, with way more milk than my lactose intolerant ass should be consuming. But they are office supplies and I can’t help but take advantage.
At the bakery this morning though, they have these sandwiches I love and they hardly ever stock up on them so I just have to buy them. I buy two because eating one half of a sandwich feels very unnatural to me. I also buy my usual meat pie, because, force of habit. I tell myself I’d eat it as a midday snack or even after work. I also buy a scotch egg for my friend Boyin, because I know she likes them.
10:00 a.m. – Settled at work with my cup of tea and I dive into my loot devouring the sandwiches first. I’m done with the sandwiches but I still have quite a bit of tea left and I’d hate to waste it. Boyin isn’t in yet so I eat her scotch egg, I’ll get her one tomorrow instead. I drink two bottles of water instead of my usual one after breakfast. For some reason, I also get incredibly thirsty on my period.
12:30 p.m. – I go to SPAR to grab lunch with Boyin and Tope. I’m trying to eat more healthily so I grab a pack of diced pineapples. Since I had a bigger-than-usual breakfast and pick up some fruit, I decide to get a small pack of spaghetti. I also buy a couple of scones and a pack of yoghurt cups to serve as breakfast for the rest of the week. I had done the math and it was cheaper than stopping at the bakery every morning.
1:00 p.m. – Back in the office. I have my pineapples at my desk and another bottle of water.
2:00 p.m. – Boyin is about to head to the kitchen for lunch and asks if I’m coming. I tell her I’m good–I just had some fruit.
2:30 p.m. – I start to feel a little peckish so I eat my meat pie. I don’t expect to eat anything else till dinner. I drink my fourth bottle of water, that’s probably how many times I’ve been to the bathroom to pee and change too.
6:30 p.m. – Back home. I decide to eat the pack of spaghetti as an early dinner. I read somewhere you shouldn’t eat anything past 7 so I guess I’m being healthy.
10:30 p.m. – Up catching up on some work and starving. So I grab a scone and yoghurt cup.
8:30 a.m. – Pack a scone and yoghurt cup for breakfast. I completely forget I have it packed until I’m literally in front of the bakery I usually stop at. I might as well go in and buy lunch (pack of spaghetti) and my meat pie because it always comes in handy.
10:15 a.m. – I eat my scone and yoghurt cup. The scone is smaller than it usually is, I make a mental note to complain the next time I’m at SPAR.
11:00 a.m. – Sudeen shows up with restocked office food supplies, part of which is a pack of crackers. I have more than I can count. Couldn’t have been that many, but the pack is empty in an hour somehow. I think Boyin and Ayoola had some.
1:10 p.m. – Lunchtime. Fu’ad says he’s going to Iya Suleiman and they have pretty great Amala. I suddenly really want Amala. Like an “I might not be able to get through the day” kind of want. Don’t think I’ve even had Amala since the first VRSUS story. I ask him to buy me some. I pop my lunch in the fridge, I’ll have it as dinner.
3:30 p.m. – Eating lunch later than usual because I had a meeting. I’m double eyed starving. The 300 Amala doesn’t make a dent in my stomach. Meat pie comes to my rescue as usual.
5:30 p.m. – I see a pack of grapes while sitting in traffic and buy it. I haven’t had them in a while plus I haven’t had fruits today, I finish the grapes before I get home.
9:20 p.m. – I heat up my spaghetti for dinner.
1:00 a.m. – I wake up to drink water. I try to go back to bed but hunger pangs won’t let me be great. I heat up a couple of slices of leftover pizza from my freezer. There’s always leftover pizza in my freezer don’t ask me why.
8:45 a.m. – I pack my scone and yoghurt and remember not to stop at my bakery. I’m running late for work anyway.
10:35 a.m. – I eat my scones and yoghurt.
11:00 a.m. – I hear Biodun talking about ordering food from Chicken Republic. I ask him to throw in a Chick Wizz for me. I’ll have it for dinner.
12:15 p.m. – The Chicken Republic finally comes. I remember I like Chick Wizz best when it’s still fresh so I eat half and keep the other half in the fridge.
1:30 p.m. – I go for lunch and buy beans and plantain. I don’t even like beans but there was something about the way it looked today.
3:00 p.m. – I have lunch and feel a little bloated. I might have overdone it when I was ordering the beans, it just looked so good.
7:00 p.m. – Another early dinner for me I eat my Chick Wizz with Fanta I nicked from the office fridge.
2:15 a.m. – I don’t know why I’m awake or why I always find myself awake at hours where my body feels the need to eat unreasonably. I find a pack of rice in my freezer that I don’t remember buying so it must be some weeks old. I heat it up and eat, ignoring the stale smell.
9:30 a.m. – I still have one scone and two yoghurt cups. I eat both yoghurt cups because there’s no scone left for the extra yoghurt cup. And yes that makes logical sense to me.
10:45 a.m. – Fu’ad says he has Jollof rice from this place he has been raving about so I follow him to the kitchen with a spoon just to ‘taste’. Five spoons in and I decide it’s not as bomb as my Jollof plug. I have a couple more just to be sure.
12:00 p.m. – I go to get lunch. I have beans and plantain again for reasons I can’t comprehend. They finally have avocadoes at SPAR so I buy one.
1:00 p.m. – I have my avocado.
2:30 p.m. – I have my beans and plantain.
4:00 p.m. – I get an email from Domino’s, there’s a buy one get one free promo going on and I like awoof just as much as I like to have pizza in my freezer. So I order two boxes of the only Domino’s flavour I can stomach – Extravaganza.
5:30 p.m. – My pizza comes just as I’m leaving work. It’s piping hot, so I can’t resist having one slice. One slice turns into three.
7:00 p.m. – I have the rest of the box of pizza I had already opened for dinner.
11:30 p.m. – I dive into the second box of pizza because why not. I have half of it. I wear just a panty liner to go to bed, my period is just about done.
I’m curious to see what next month will bring on.
Meanwhile, am I the only one who gets period food cravings?