Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Vegan Pregnancy Diet

Well greenies, the pregnancy talk continues and this time I'm sharing about my vegan pregnancy. To me it seems like no big deal since I was vegan for Avery's pregnancy two years ago, and still am this time for Baby Mila. But to someone that's not vegan or for first time pregnant vegan mamas, the road to a vegan pregnancy seems unsafe, unhealthy, and full of "rabbit food" as most people like to call it. I beg to differ though. 


Four years ago, I went vegan for three reasons:

  1. For my health (decreases my fat intake and replaces it with fiber...click here to see how I believe it helped me lose the "baby weight" from Avery's pregnancy)
  2. For ethical reasons (I don't believe it's right that an animal has to die just for me to eat)
  3. For the environment (cutting out meat and dairy decreases my carbon footprint among other things)
Now that's all fine and nice, but when you look at a vegan diet compared to a traditional diet most people see gaps, such as: "Without milk where do you get your calcium? Without meat where do you get your protein? And how in the world to do you ever feel full?" I can understand your concern, but with the right food choices and a good supplement routine (stay tuned for my next post about my Vegan Prenatal Vitamins & Supplements), I feel it's completely possible that you can have a healthy and enjoyable vegan pregnancy. 

Now I could bore you with the data and numbers as to how you'll want to make sure and get enough grams of this nutrient and enough of that one, but for me, I let my body lead the way. I follow my cravings and try to find a balance between cooked and raw food, protein and carbs, and fruits and veggies. One way I can explain this best is just to show you what I eat on a given day instead of just talking about it, so let's get going...

Disclaimer:

  1. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so be sure to check with your OB or midwife to see if a vegan pregnancy is right for you.
  2. I eat a lot of food throughout the day, as you'll soon see. This is what works for my metabolism, both during pregnancy, and even when I'm not pregnant. Adjust your diet to your hunger level and eat accordingly.
  3. I do not think I am the mecca of health! I try my best to eat as clean and green as I can, but I'm not perfect. You may see my diet and think, "Oh she's not getting enough of this..." or "She's getting way too much of that..." But to me, this is the diet that works at this point in my life and that helps me feel healthy and full of energy, so I'm sticking with it for the time being. 

So here's a video where I share all the food I eat in a given day in this vegan pregnancy of mine...




No time for the video, here's a visual walk through of the food I eat in a day as well as some of my other favorite recipes...

5:00 AM  Just woke up snack: glass of
warm water with the juice of half a lemon.
Click here to learn why!

5:20 AM Pre-workout snack: "Sausage McMuffin"
(aka Food for Life Gluten-Free English Muffin
with a Sol Veggie Breakfast Patty and some maple syrup) 

I am so glad to have found these SOL Cuisine products, they
are great for gluten-free, vegans. Each patty has 7g of protein.

Then I'm off to workout! Click here to learn more about my prenatal workout routine...



7:45 AM Breakfast: "Chocolate Ice Cream Smoothie" 
with raw cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, spinach, 
rice milk, frozen strawberries, and frozen bananas.
Now let's check out the "rock stars" of this smoothie...

Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder gives
this smoothie: 3g of protein, 4g of fiber
as well as iron and magnesium. 

Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseeds give this smoothie:
10g of protein, Omega 6 and Omega 3s, as well as phosphorus,
magnesium, and zinc.

Chia seeds give this smoothie: 3g of protein and 5g of fiber
in just one tablespoon!

9:15 AM Snack #1: Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

10:30 AM Snack #2: Gluten-free, vegan pancakes
(based on this recipe, just no spinach this time around)
with organic maple syrup
Another common morning snack I like are bagels...

Udi's Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bagel with organic
strawberry jelly

12:15 Lunch: "Lentil and Vegetable Stoup" made in the
pressure cooker from the blog: A Healthy Slice of Life.
Other favorite veggie-filled dishes we like to have for lunch or leftovers are:

"Rainbow Veggie Stir-Fry" with broccoli, rice, carrots,
red peppers, and tomatoes.

"Cheesy Casserole" with tofu, rice, carrots, broccoli and
a vegan cheese sauce.

"Cheesy Mushroom Broccoli Skillet"with
brown rice, mushrooms, broccoli, and a homemade vegan
cheese.

"Veggie Sizzle Burritos" with mushrooms, zucchini,
and onions on a corn tortilla with guacamole.

"Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew" . I love
the flavors in this! Cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric...who
knew they could taste so good together?

"Sweet Potato Burritos" with guacamole on corn tortillas.

2:00 Daily green juice: with kale, apples, celery, ginger
lemon, and pineapple. Click here to find out why
I drink it!

2:30 PM 1st Afternoon snack: 1 organic orange or
other type of fruit.
Now that I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, it's important for me to keep up my protein and healthy fats to help Baby Mila to continue to gain weight and support her brain development as well. So here are a few of the "protein-rich snacks" I typically have at this time of the day...

3:15 PM 2nd Afternoon snack: "Veggie Nuggets" (as we call
them) dipped in BBQ sauce. Basically the first and best
"chicken" alternative I've found that's gluten-free and vegan.
Had to do a double-take on the package to make sure I
wasn't eating real chicken!

The brand is called Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
shown above. Just six strips contain 20g of protein!
I love that these are gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.

Another option I have for this afternoon snack is a bowl of
Gratify Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists and 
 
Earth Balance Creamy Peanut Butter,

5:00 PM  Just got home snack:
"Chocolate Vanilla Smoothie": 1/2 cup vanilla
coconut milk, Chocolate Sun Warrior Rice Protein Powder,
1cup of spinach, 1 1/2 frozen bananas, 3 frozen strawberries


One scoop of this protein powder gives this
smoothie 17g of protein.
7:00 PM Dinner: "Homemade Mongolian BBQ" with gluten-free
rice noodles, tofu, broccoli, carrots, corn, onions, mushrooms
Bragg's Liquid Aminos and chipotle powder.
Other favorite pasta + protein dishes we love are:

"Tofu Mushroom Stroganoff" with tofu, mushrooms, and
penne rice noodles.

"Cincinnati Chili" with pinto beans, tempeh (instead of TVP)
and onions on brown rice spaghetti.

"Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Pasta" from Oh She Glows
with a variety of peppers, black beans, homemade enchilada
sauce, and crunched up corn chips.

"Oven Roasted Veggies & Penne Pasta" from
the blog The Way...with mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini,
green peppers, and chickpeas all mixed up with a marinara sauce
and gluten-free noodles.
Then it's time for something sweet! I try to always make these from home so I can control the ingredients, and make healthier and "sneaky" substitutions! Here's a few of our favorites...

Dessert: "Genuis Chocolate Chip Blondies"
from Chocolate-Covered Katie. We call these "Cookie Bars"
and they are made from chickpeas! To frost the bars, I use
this recipe and sometimes add dye-free food coloring.

Another favorite sneaky dessert we love are
"Homemade Rolo Knockoffs" from
Oh She Glows with dates, peanut butter, chocolate chips
and chia seeds. 
So that's my vegan food for the day.  As you can see, my diet is a far stretch from "rabbit food" and I feel it is a decent balance of protein, carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and filling fiber-full plant-based meals. It keeps me going during the day in my job as a teacher, then when I get home I have the energy to chase my busy toddler...oh, and it's helped me grow a healthy baby in the past 9 months!

Have you ever had a vegan pregnancy before? Share your thoughts, tips, or favorite recipes below! Or do you have any questions for me about my vegan pregnancy diet? Post those below as well and I'd be happy to try and help answer them.

Until then...long live the veggies!

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2 comments:

  1. Hi Ashley! Great video. I'm 22 weeks pregnant with my first, vegan & gluten free as well. I'm worried that I'm not eating enough protein so I found your site through a Google search. Very helpful & inspiring as my baby grows and I'm getting much more hungry now.

    Those Udi's bagels are not vegan though as they contain egg. I've decided not to eat them for this reason and it makes it a lot harder to find snacks that are both vegan & gf. Just wanted to make sure you know about the egg. Not the vegan police because when I've had a craving for pizza, I've gotten one from our local place (we're in Long Island, NY) and I'm pretty certain it contains some egg. I get this desperate maybe once or twice a year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so great that you wake up at 5am! Is it difficult for you? When do you usually go sleeping?

    ReplyDelete

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