Are there any other Vegan mommy's here? If there are I thought it might be fun to discuss our game plans, what we are eating, and any supplements we might be using during our pregnancies. This will be my 2nd Vegan pregnancy :)
Any other Vegan (or Vegetarian) Mamas?
Hi you two! I'm also a vegan, but I recently went gluten-free after an elimination diet revealed a severe gluten intolerance that caused a rash on my face. I was looking over the Brewer recommendations for vegans, which I had intended to follow this pregnancy, and felt a little nervous because I can't consume any wheat. I was thinking about adding in eggs and fish oil just for the pregnancy -- I have a great local source for the eggs that I do feel comfortable using, as DP and DD eat eggs occasionally (my family eats about 80% vegan, which I am happy with, and my DD gets most of her non-vegan food at her Waldorf school, like milk, eggs, and yogurt, all local/organic). But I'd love to be convinced otherwise. Honestly, the thought of eggs makes me feel wretched but I want to be careful, also, that I'm not being TOO restrictive, given that my lack of wheat is a documented intolerance versus my veganism, which is an ethical choice. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Yay I'm not the only one!
crunchyb - We eat very very little gluten. What makes you nervous about a gluten free pregnancy? Just the lack of food ideas? My Midwife and my DH tried to get me to eat eggs my last pregnancy. I think I got down maybe 5 total in the 10 months I was pregnant. I just couldn't do it. If you are considering fish oil because of DHA, you know you can just get it where the fish get it right? Blue algae. Deva makes a great blue algae vegan DHA supplement. Then you don't have to worry about the whole mercury/fish/quality of it thing either. DS is vegan, DH is 80% ish vegan.
I'm also not SUPER restrictive, but I know I won't be eating any meat (and I'm lactose intolerant, so I've been dairy free most of my life).
I look forward to sharing knowledge, ideas, and recipes!
Hi SilaM! No, I didn't know about the algae -- and I'm excited to hear that there's an alternative! I have only been strict vegan for a little while (about six months) after a few brief, failed attempts, so I'm slowly learning the ropes. I think my wonderful health food store definitely has the algae.
I was concerned about the wheat because I have been researching and following the Brewer guidelines for pregnancy and it seems like wheat and other off-limits whole-grains for me ([some] oats, barley, buckwheat) are required to combine with soy for optimal protein. I'm not too concerned about my protein intake at the moment, I think it's sufficient and healthy, but I also don't want to eat excessive amounts of soy and nuts, either, for allergy reasons, when I need to up it (since I bring a history of allergies to the table). I also don't eat any soy products (like veggie burgers, etc.) because most of them have gluten in them. My diet is 100% plant-based, minimally processed whole foods -- ideal for non-pregnant me, but I'm worried that it might be slightly protein-deficient (and perhaps calorie-deficient) for pregnant me. What are your thoughts?
I also second you on the meat. No matter what, I won't eat meat this pregnancy -- last pregnancy I caved to some pressure from my OB, family, and other pregnant friends, and ate meat (despite being primarily vegan at conception, vegetarian for six years prior) and it was a really bad idea. I gained a *ton* of weight, even though I ate "responsibly" -- what my DP now refers to as my "meat weight." I also hated every minute of it -- it was very, very difficult for me physically to eat and digest meat, and I can think of only a handful of dinners that I actually enjoyed during my pregnancy. I won't go through that again!
ETA: I just wanted to be clear that I don't think eating meat during pregnancy is a bad thing, in general. From my experience, my body did not respond well to introducing meat after several years of not consuming that food. I responded horribly to it, but that doesn't mean that I think others shouldn't eat meat. Personally, I don't think pregnancy is a good time to make any kind of radical dietary shift! Just FWIW.
Edited by crunchybroccoli - 9/19/12 at 10:58am