Throughout this pregnancy, a lot of people have had the same concern and question: Do you eat meat or dairy now? The short answer is “nope!”
To elaborate a bit… I know that there are a lot of scary/weird articles out there that make a plant-based diet seem inadequate in the nutrients department. And of course, growing a healthy baby really comes down to getting all the proper nutrition into your diet – from protein to folate and beyond. The thing is… there are a ton of vegan options for every nutrient category and if you are a balanced and mindful eater, there really isn’t an issue. A healthy and whole vegan diet paired with a prenatal vitamin or two is enough.
The funniest thing to me is the fact that doctors actually have to warn you about animal-based products. I remember during my first prenatal visit at 8 weeks, the medical assistant was reviewing a ton of information with me, from tests to diet. She warned me against eating too much red/undercooked meat, seafood/sushi, soft cheese, deli meat, raw eggs, etc. I quickly let her know that it really wouldn’t be an issue since I eat a plant-based diet and she exclaimed “ME TOO!” and gushed about her own plant-based pregnancy experience. The only warnings I received about plant-based foods were mostly: no raw sprouts or anything that could have bacteria, be careful with hummus and unpasteurized products, no licorice root. (There may be more, but this is the advice I received.)
So, no, I haven’t strayed from my usual diet. This is my lifestyle now and it is what I feel most comfortable putting into my body. Today I wanted to share a quick guide on vegan foods that will help you meet pregnancy nutrient requirements. Yes, protein is doable. Yes, calcium is doable. Yes, it is all doable. Take a look at each header and see just how many options you have available to you. There are even a few recipes, too.
Hi friends! I hope you all had a beautiful Father’s Day. :)
About a month or so ago I shared one of my favorite calcium-packed pregnancy smoothies. I discussed how I am not always great about tracking calcium, but it is obviously a really important piece of the puzzle when it comes to growing a strong and healthy babe. Hey, it’s important no matter what, right?
I’ve been playing around with combinations for these types of smoothies and really wanted to share this one in particular because it is super decadent and flavorful. AND and it has even more calcium than the last, coming in at a whopping 745mg (72% of your daily calcium requirement during pregnancy).
I make so many smoothies all the times and often wonder if I should even share because they are so easy, but when I post photos on my Instagram, a lot of people seem interested in knowing exactly what it is. So if you are a smoothie person like me and often wonder what I am sipping on… it’s probably this as of lately!
The second trimester update! Not going to lie – this was a glorious time to be pregnant. Aside from the minor aches and pains that come along with it, I had my appetite back in full force and all the energy in the world. We got so much done! I’ll recap the weeks below and basically just gush each week about how amazing her kicks are. It’s indescribable.
Guest post: Emma Kelley
Maintaining a nutrient intake during pregnancy is critical for the health of both mothers and babies. But what plant-based foods for pregnant women should be eaten to get an abundance of nutrients? Here are the top seven…
I’ll be honest – sort of ashamed to say I have never really monitored my calcium intake that well. I just sort of forget about it and hope for the best. While I used to take a multi and calcium supplement every once in a while, I put those aside for my prenatals for the time being. I take this vegan prenatal vitamin, which only has 120mg (or 12% if the daily value recommended). Eesh. Not that great, right?
It’s recommended that pregnant mamas are at least getting 1000mg (and after that, 1200-1400mg if you are breastfeeding). Needless to say, I have been trying to be much more mindful.
With all the beans, almonds, and veggies in my diet, I feel pretty good that I am obviously getting calcium, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a boost. Baby girl is taking all that she needs to grow her own strong bones, which means she takes whatever the hell she can from me. I need to stay strong, too.
I’ve found this calcium-packed and vegan smoothie to be my #1 go-to for a HUGE chunk out of my intake. It has 701mg (or 70%) calcium. 70%! That, plus 12% from the prenatal and my normal eating habits throughout the day… I definitely feel some peace of mind after having this smoothie.
When you’re pregnant, you hear an awful lot about your iron intake. Iron iron iron. Truth be told… in my first trimester, I began to crave meat – for the first time in over 3 years. Talk about terrifying. I was like oh great, why. Whyyyy is this happening. I honestly can’t even begin to explain half the shit that goes through your head when you are making a human, but… this was one of my many thoughts and cravings. I knew that I didn’t really want meat. My body clearly needed something else – and a lot of people told me it was probably craving iron.
You can never have too many superfoods on your menu. This is a label given to foods and ingredients that are particularly healthy in one way or another. For those living a vegan lifestyle they’re wonderful options to have, and it’s always fun to learn a new one. That said, they can be a little tough to keep track of, or at least easy to forget.
Here are five tasty and versatile superfoods to keep on your radar.
The biggie when you are (and aren’t) pregnant – protein! A lot of people tend to ask me how I am doing without eating meat during pregnancy, and I always have the same answer… I mean, fine! I did have some cravings in the beginning of my pregnancy but nothing that a substitute mock meat product couldn’t fix. To be quite honest, when I went to my first doctor’s appointment and we discussed my diet, she was really pleased. She ran through her checklist and warned me to be careful eating too much red meat and fish, and then quickly corrected herself to say – oh, never mind! Really – the doctor actually tells you to avoid most meats. She told me to load up on whole grains, veggies, and protein – and yes, beans and lentils and couscous all count for protein!
I am not a doctor and do not claim to know what is best for you (or anyone!) but I know that I feel safe and comfortable with my own plant-based diet during pregnancy. I am getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that I need (alongside a standard prenatal routine) and yes, that includes protein!
So today, I wanted to share some of my go-to plant-based protein sources throughout this pregnancy, as well as some recipes that can help you reach your goals. I aim for 70 grams of protein per day. I may not always hit it perfectly, but I do the very best I can.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how deep my love runs for coconut oil. I’ve discussed it here before, and I stand by every word. So naturally, I turned to coconut oil during my pregnancy and researched ways that it could benefit me.
I know my body, and I know that I am prone to stretch marks. Honestly, I sprouted very quickly as a child (I was the tallest in my class in 3rd grade) and I have my fair share of (thankfully faded) stretch marks from sudden growth spurts/weight loss/gain/etc. So I really wanted to do my best to avoid them this pregnancy – as best as I could! I realize that stretch marks are inevitable for some people, but if there is anything I could do to minimize the risk, I’m game. Almost every woman I spoke to about their experience gave me the same answer: coconut oil.
Since it’s recommended that pregnant women get about 60-70 grams of protein a day, I’ve been doing my best to monitor my intake. It’s not hard to hit that goal, but it definitely takes some planning when you are busy running around, working, having food aversions, etc.
One way to make sure I get started on the right foot has been making protein-packed smoothies for breakfast. Not only are they filling, but I load ’em up with some of my favorite plant protein sources (soy milk, chia, peanut butter, etc.) This has been one of my favorite recipes so far, so I thought I’d share! It’s a simple recipe, but we all love simple – especially when the majority of my energy is going to this baby making thing, you know?
With almost 30 grams of protein, I proudly present…