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.
You don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to eat more plants. No matter what your diet is, incorporating more leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables in your diet is going to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to function healthily and properly. I mean, it doesn’t take a scientist to know that you put into your body will not only affect what is happening inside, but on the outside as well. Your skin, mood, and aura will be brighter – I found this out quickly after I transitioned into a plant-based diet.
Since then, I’ve cut out processed foods (except for the occasional treat), white sugar, and even have gone oil-free for a bit. I can assure you – I feel best when I eat a plate full of prepared vegetables. So today, I am sharing a few reasons why you should be eating more plants.
Good morning, friends! I’ve been obsessed with this lunch plate pictured above – not only because it takes no time to assemble, but it’s also full of all the good stuff my body + this baby is craving. I am so happy to have my normal appetite back. There are a few exceptions – still not into thai food (bummer) – but I have been going to town on fruits, veggies, and legumes. This is the stuff I live on – and the ingredients that I thrive on. It’s a simple lunch plate, but I wanted to share for inspiration and also thought I’d dissect it by some of the all-star ingredients. Each have a role on this plate, and that’s something that I always keep in mind when putting this kind of meal together.
As I start to write this, I have to laugh because no one knows (aside from immediate family) that I am pregnant. By the time I wrap this up and do post it, you’ll all be in the know. It feels like it is so far away (8 more weeks!) but I have a feeling that it is going to fly by. I absolutely cannot wait.
I wanted to give updates week-by-week for anyone who is interested in this sort of this. My blog will not be a pregnancy blog by any means, but still – a lifestyle blog that will capture what is happening in my world at the moment. Pregnancy will take up a portion of that, and eventually raising a vegetarian/plant-based baby. I can see this blog evolving as my own life continues to, and I think that is beautiful. I hope you guys stick around to evolve with me, too.
So, in an effort to capture the little details of my pregnancy journey, I’ll try to jot down key points here. I’ll try my best to do this for each trimester. Okay, here we go!
NOTE: This pic was taken during week 8 – I promise you’ll see some bump pics next time. I need to get better at recording them!
For the most part, I have been blessed with great skin. I get the occasional break-out (and it sucks) but I’ve never had a true acne problem. I give major props first and foremost to my Mom, for teaching me to wash my face every morning and NEVER EVER forgetting to take my make-up off and wash the grime away every night. No matter HOW TIRED I am, I never sleep in make-up. The couple times in my life that I did forget to take my make-up off – OOF!! So much grime. It was the worst feeling. I’m telling you – fresh face before bed is everything.
Even now, my mom will still give me tips on make-up removing and face cleansing. Still!!
“Use a face cloth.”
“Try this brand.”
“Use make-up remover.”
Just a few of her gems – love ya, Mom ;)
So – after giving her 85% of the credit, the rest goes to the awesome products I’ve grown to love. I’m always trying new products and trying to find what’s best for my skin. I tend to switch it up a lot, too – you know, to avoid getting “immune” to a formula. Since I tend to get a lot of questions about my skin care routine, I wanted to list out some of the products I am currently using. I’m really happy with all of them, and hope this post will open your eyes to something new. Of course – the very best part is that all these are kind and cruelty-free. No animal testing whatsoever!
So, I am the person who asks, “have you been taking your elderberry?!” during the winter months. I got this habit from my mom, and now I’m a believer. If you’re thinking… what the hell is that? That’s totally fine – I’m here to give you the 411. If you’re an avid Walking Dead fan like me, it may ring a bell. Remember when Hershel (bless his heart) used elderberry tea to save lives during the swine flu breakout at the prison? YUP. And you bet your ass, I was SO EXCITED WHEN HE SAID IT!! I turned to Joe immediately – DID YOU HEAR HIM? ELDERBERRY!!
If you still have no clue what I am talking about, it’s okay – I’m ready to explain.
Smoothies are my favorite way to pack in all the nutrients I can. Mainly, my go-to is chocolate peanut butter + banana, but I will usually try to sneak in something better than just that… whether a tbs of chia seeds or some flaxseed oil – and sometimes, spinach! I thought I’d share six of my favorite smoothie superfood add-ins with the health benefits that stick out to me. There’s plenty more, too. Research research research!
I’ve shared maca benefits and smoothie recipes on the blog in the past, but always expressed a love/hate relationship with it. But, more recently I have been craving the nutty flavor. It is definitely unique, and at first it kinda made me gag, then it was tolerable, and now I am at peace with it. Strange how your taste buds work, right? But honestly, I am glad I am coming around because I really always wanted to love this stuff.
I’m actually trying to include a teaspoon of maca into my smoothie every day for the next month or so to see if I notice any difference in how I feel. Mainly, to help balance hormones, promote fertility, and boost energy.