I'm still here (...and pregnant), so I thought I would talk about my pregnancy as a vegan, as it's something I haven't really talked about.
I had only been vegan for about 3 months before getting pregnant, but for me, it was enough time to have done my research and have figured out my new lifestyle. So here are some of the things that worked for me and what I did!
BUY SOME READING MATERIAL
The first thing I did do when I found out I was pregnant, was buy Your Vegetarian Pregnancy and The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book. They were both great resources, which I'm glad I got (ie: a lot about food choices, information on important vitamins and minerals, as well as, really good recipes).
Yes, I supplemented. As many may know, if you plan on getting pregnant, you should be supplementing with a prenatal vitamin anyways (sometimes up to a year before even getting pregnant). My vitamin list generally consisted of the following throughout the nine months:
- good quality prenatal vitamin
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
- vegan omega-3*
- B vitamin complex*
* = vitamins that I used, but not regularly like the other ones. For example, I would use iron or calcium if I felt I wasn't eating enough iron or calcium rich foods, or the B complex if I felt my energy was low and needed a boost, and the vegan omega-3 I only got in my last trimester when I discovered it.
EAT A VARIED DIET
I ate a varied diet! I know some women suffer from nausea very severely, but I was one of the lucky one's who didn't that much. What I want to do is simply walk you through some of the cravings/changes/aversions/differences that did happen in each trimester though.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER
- could eat cooked veggies, but cutting and prepping them was hard (something averted me from eating raw vegetables for some reason)
- strong craving for cream cheese and sour cream, which was quenched with tofutti cream cheese and coconut meat-based sour cream (for baked potatoes)
- preferred some things more bland, like gnocchi with just butter (ie: earth balance) and no pasta sauce
- no increase in hunger and no side effects if I wasn't eat consistently
THE SECOND TRIMESTER
- resumed eating like before pregnant
- small increase in appetite, but could have also been related to the amount of running I did during this trimester
- no problem with fresh or cooked vegetables
THE THIRD TRIMESTER
- definite increase in appetite (had a few occasions where I got up in the middle of the night to have a bowl of cereal)
- no real known aversions, so eating patterns stayed consistent with pre-pregnancy patterns
- would experience some nausea if I had gone too long without eating; made me start snacking more
- increase in calorie consumption (which is consistent with the third trimester)
And finally, I wanted to walk you through what a typical day of what eating did and still does look like for me while pregnant.
A TYPICAL FOOD DAY
2 pieces of sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and jam
oatmeal with ground flax, spelt germ, frozen blueberries, organic brown sugar and almond milk
cereal (usually by Nature's Path) with a banana cut up (sometimes 2 bowls)
1 spouted grain bagel with earth balance or tofutti cream cheese
unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon
carrots and hummus
a bar (larabar, Enjoy Life, etc)
cut up apple slices (sometimes with PB)
smoothie (mixed fruit, flax oil, almond milk, greens, Sunwarrior)
soup and 2 pieces of sprouted grain toast with earth balance
a veggie wrap (sometimes with tofu)
leftovers (like quinoa and veggies, lentils, etc)
grilled 'cheese' (Daiya) with carrot sticks
consistent with ones listed above
(maybe throw in some popcorn or chips the odd time)
stuffed squash with quinoa and roasted veggies
Thai veggie green curry
more soup with sides (ie: toast and other fillers)
stir-fries with rice
lentil pilaf with steamed veggies
And there you have it! It honestly wasn't hard to be vegan and pregnant, and I actually think it's the reason I have had such a stellar pregnancy. Although I don't recommend taking up a new diet like this if you just found out you're pregnant (as the body is already going through so many new changes with the baby), but making some adaptions would work.
I hope you found this helpful and informative, and I always welcome questions!!
What was one of the biggest things that changed for you during pregnancy??