Being Whole Food Vegan while pregnant or Breastfeeding is in my personal view the best thing ever. I know of a lot of women who reverse from a vegan diet to a vegetarian one as soon as they get pregnant. The reason for this is the many myths surrounding veganism and pregnancy.
In reality you can meet all your nutritional requirements on a vegan diet. In addition you can prevent a lot of the common pregnancy conditions by eating a wholesome vegan or plant based diet.
I personally had a few people tell me that I shouldn’t be 100% vegan because I got pregnant.
Anyways. If you decide to stay vegan while pregnant there a few things to pay attention to.
Your iron, zinc, calcium and B12 intake. Vitamin D if you live in a cold climate.
Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies every day and some seeds, nuts, nutritional yeast, pulses and maybe grains. Rotate a variety of veggies on a weekly and monthly basis and that should cover most if not all of your needs.
I personally have a low protein intake. Low according to modern recommendations of 80 plus grams a day. Mine was and is more in the 40s and 50s most days. However plant protein has a great amino acid profile which is also very well assimilated into the body. So even if you eat 300 grams of protein a day you could be still absorbing far less than a plant eater. In addition protein is one of the harmful substances when consumed in excess. Pregnant women need to be careful about their protein and fat intake if in excess so that they can prevent high blood pressure, high blood sugar and a few other common pregnancy conditions.
Onto MY DAY OF EATING:
I eat 2 meals a day.
I do intermittent fasting during my mornings. I have hot cocoa in the fasting portion of the day. Cocoa is high in magnesium and zinc.
At around 3-4 pm I have my first meal of fruit. Yesterday I had a lot of Watermelon. 3/4 of a smallish medium sized water melon. Breastfeeding has made me melon and watermelon crazy. I cannot run out of melons or I feel unsatisfied on any other fruit. Weird? I think so 🙂
Then as I was getting ready for a walk I had a few squares of chocolate and a few pieces of Panda Liquorice.
After my walk I had my dinner.
Raw Cabbage, Lettuce, Orange Bell peppers with this CREAMY VEGANISTA DIP and black low sodium olives and with hot sauce.
As an example of variety the night before I had an amazing Veggie Lentil Shepherd’s Pie.
I had a massive bowl of massaged lettuce and cabbage with the Veganista DIP/Dressing.
The lettuce provides so many nutrients that a pregnant woman needs. It is high in calcium, magnesium, iron and folate. It has a good amino acid (protein) profile and it supplies us with some zinc.
You do have to learn to eat a big serving of it. The cabbage can be cooked down if you prefer that.
Olives I find great for getting plenty of iron in my diet. So after I checked my cronometer stats I noticed that I got 25 mg of Iron which is about 280% of my breastfeeding requirements. I also had 2040 mcg of Folate which is a whooping 400% +of my requirements. 50 grams of protein. I covered 180% of my magnesium needs, all my B vitamin requirements were met as well. 120% of my Omega 3s – WHOOP! You get the picture. My Fats intake was at around 20% of my caloric intake. Carbs at 71%.
2 liters of water in the morning and afternoon.
Be confident and eat them in abundance.
Use cronometer every so often in order to track your nutritional intake. If you are not sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements I find that cronometer is the best tool in helping you create a perfect meal planner for any stage and need in life.