pregnant vegitarian wants meat! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am about 23 weeks pregnant and still nursing my toddler. I am craving meat-chicken, bacon, turkey, seafood, etc. I've been a veggie (still eat eggs/dairy) for ten years now and this is only the second time since then that I've really wanted meat. The first, being the first few months after DD was born and that was definitely about me just not taking in enough calories while nursing a new babe. No meat cravings during last pregnancy. I'm totally ready to go order a big plate of chicken at a local restaurant. Any tips? Anyone else seriously think about adding meat back into their diet while pregnant? I don't think this is a calorie issue/protein issue. I'm gaining an appropriate amount of weight and I'm eating a well-balanced diet. Thanks!

Mama to DD1 2007, DS 2009, DD2 2012, What a Journey this parenting thing is...

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#2 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 02:30 PM
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I was vegan when I was first pregnant, but the meat cravings overcame my issues with meat. I gave in; my midwife was pleased.
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#3 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 02:52 PM
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I had eaten a vegetarian diet for over a decade when I became pregnant. About half-way through the pregnancy I had strong cravings for chicken including dreaming about it repeatedly. I finally decided to honor the messages from my body. When I took my first bite of chicken, there was no doubt that I was doing exactly what my body needed: I was litteraly vibrating as if I were a bell someone had rung. From my perspective, it wasn't simply about calories/protein, which I could have gotten in other foods. From the perspective of traditional chinese medicine, all foods (including animal products) impact the body in very specific ways. Chicken, for instance, is said to work as an energy tonic, aid lactation, improve the condition of the bone marrow, increases jing (a specific type of energy related to imunity) and the list goes on.

I've continued to eat some organic chicken and wild salmon on occasion since giving birth to my DS (maybe once or twice a month in small quantities), and feel good about my choices.
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#4 of 14 Old 06-03-2009, 03:44 PM
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As a pregnant almost-vegan, I craved tuna and honored my body by feeding it what it asked for. There are more nutrients in foods than just calories or protein. Our understanding of nutrition in still growing. Think of recent discussions about anti-oxidants, different kinds of fats (EPA, DHA, ALA...), phytonutrients, etc. Nutrition is a field where there is still much to learn. I agree with pp about energy and traditional Chinese medicine as well.
By the way, when my body craved a boston creme donut or biscuits from KFC, I chose not to honor it.
A caution: My husband gave me a BIG guilt trip about the tuna. Hopefully whoever is in your life will be supportive, whatever you decide.
I still live as an almost-vegan. I feel a pragmatic approach to the vegan lifestyle is the most beneficial for me. Good luck whatever you eat!

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#5 of 14 Old 01-05-2011, 02:35 PM
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I'm a recent veg (I still eat farm fresh/local eggs, but no fish etc.) and at my most recent Midwife appt there was a little protein in my urine.  She said that probably means that I need to eat more protein, especially since I recently decided to stop eating meat.  I thought I was doing pretty well by eating my egg in the morning, some peanut butter on my toast, and lots of beans but I guess this isn't enough? 


Any suggestions on how often I need to eat certain foods?  I've been eating a healthy serving of beans (a cup or so) a couple times per week, always with kale/collards and other fresh veggie's and wild rice.  Do I need to be eating quinoa and beans every night?  are there other high protein foods that I should be incorporating besides legumes, quinoa, and lentils?


Any help would be nice, because I would eat meat but I just don't like the way my body feels after I eat it - like I have a brick in my stomach!  I had some chicken the other night just to boost my protein and I woke up with stomach cramps... I'd rather not start eating meat again.

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#6 of 14 Old 01-08-2011, 06:08 PM
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My suggestion would be to ask your midwife for the number of grams of protein she thinks you need and then take a look at a chart with protein grams and figure out what you are going to eat. I was told around 70 grams and really to get that you have to work at it. More beans, more nuts, tofu if you are okay with soy. If you eat dairy up from one egg to two, eat yogurt, etc.

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#7 of 14 Old 01-08-2011, 07:02 PM
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I'm 8 weeks pg, and vegetarian for 12 years, and am also craving meat!  Ugh, it's so silly.  I know I don't want to eat it but it's hard.  I've even had DREAMS about eating fried chicken!!


For the first few weeks, I just made myself eat a ton of protein.  Beans straight from the can, seitan, seitan jerky.  Whatever I could get my hands on.  It really and truly helped.  The cravings are definitely starting to fade.  I'm craving non-vegan things but those are pretty easy to overcome.  I'm about to make some vegan cinnamon buns to help me out with the cinnabon craving I can't seem to kick.


But definitely talk it over with your mw and do some soul searching.  If you don't want to eat meat, you shouldn't feel like you have to.  It's not necessary for a healthy pregnancy.


Last time, I didn't crave meat at all, so this is totally new to me as well.  Scary, and new.  


We can do it!! 

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#8 of 14 Old 01-08-2011, 07:22 PM
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I agree with Baby Cakes, you don't have to give in.  I did give in - with my last pregnancy and haven't looked back since. I had been veg. for 11 years, but my body was ravenous for red meat.  It was more of a lifestyle change overall, though, as I was moving in a direction of eating more traditional and local foods.  If you aren't in a place where you are ready to change your lifestyle to include meat again, don't do it.  Just make sure you are getting enough protein and fat in your diet. 

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#9 of 14 Old 01-08-2011, 07:37 PM
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Eat it, mama. I am a firm believer that our bodies should be listened to.

Mama to a 3 year old awesome kid, Rowan (aka Mister Boopy) and TTC another at 43!

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#10 of 14 Old 01-08-2011, 09:49 PM
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If the craving is that strong and so frequent, I'd eat it. Listen to your body.  It knows what it needs.  I was veggie for 5 yrs before my first pregnancy, and although a few times I had meat cravings during it, none overwhelmed me.  I'd get one, and w/in a short time, it went away.  With my second pregnancy, I was 3-4 mths along and had an intense desire for chicken.  A specific chicken dish from a local restaurant that my dh often orders.  I could not get the need for it out of my mind, for hours, and my dh, kind soul, picked it up on his way home from work.  I devoured it and it was the best thing ever.  About 2 weeks later, same intense craving for it, had it, and felt wonderful.  I never had another craving for that dish, or any meat, again during my pregnancy.  

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#11 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 01:40 PM
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I am all about eating whatever I am craving while pregnant!  DH actually made me pancakes at 10:30 last night, bless his soul!

Before my last pregnancy, I had been vegetarian practically my whole life.  The first pregnancy craving I had was for Arby's roast beef sandwhiches!  I hated even the idea of eating meat and ignored the craving for as long as possible (which was easy since Arby's was an hour away).  When I finally caved in to the craving I really felt much better, not only physically, but mentally too since I was able to stop obsessing!  lol! :)  I went ahead and ate meat the rest of that pregnancy and into my postpartum period.  This pregnancy, meat is totally repulsive again.  I just don't fight it.  I listen to my body and eat what it wants (in small portions!)


You do what you think you need to do, especially while pregnant! (not because pregnant women need meat, but because being pregnant is tough enough without guilt trips!)

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#12 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 04:08 AM
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The things in meat that your body is craving can easily be found elsewhere. This coming from a mama who was vegan through conception, pregnancy and up to this day! Personally, it sounds like your body is craving iron. With your blood volume so high, your body likely recognizes that you need to add more iron since the levels will be "diluted" due to increased volume. Here is a great chart listing where you can find cruelty-free iron sources. If it's that high protein, texture and taste you are after, have you tried Gardein products?! They are amazing!! In Florida, we find them at Publix, our local co-op and Earth Fare. We cook their products and bring them to potlucks often and our omni friends are clueless!


Veg Family has been a great resource for us throughout our pregnancy and through parenthood. Here is a really great article about vitamins, nutrients and where to get them from cruelty-free alternatives. Here is another short reference guide to getting your needed nutrients.


If being vegetarian is a big part of your life and your identity, you might have some serious regrets if you so easily give in to measly food cravings. Seriously consider if being vegetarian is just the way you eat or if it's the way you live your life and positively impact the world. If it's the latter, then the question isn't "Should I or shouldn't I eat meat?!", rather "How important is eating a vegetarian diet to me?"

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#13 of 14 Old 01-13-2011, 04:30 PM
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The cravings can be so strange, I know. I am 11 weeks into #3. For the first two pregnancies, I was vegetarian, and sick, sick, sick. I was eating a lot of eggs and dairy because I wanted them so darn bad. Any time I tried to give in to a meat craving, I was sick again for hours.


This time around, I'm a vegan, and I'm not nearly as sick either (not necessarily related). Whenever I have a steak/fish/fried chicken/cheese impulse, I try to subtsitute. So far, so good! Things like avocados and tahini dressing have really helped.


That said, if the animal protein is the thing you absolutely must have, then so be it!

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#14 of 14 Old 02-10-2011, 03:27 PM
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I've been vegan for over 10 years and have had two completely successful vegan pregnancies.  I say "successful" in that I had ZERO cravings and I had perfectly healthy pregnancies. 

However, I'm on my third vegan pregnancy and I have had cravings so strong that I had to stop feeding the cats canned (meat) cat food--there was a very real possibility I would eat it!  I'm not kidding, it smelled and looked delicious and I would salivate every time I popped open a can...which was completely disturbing in every way.

Most difficult to reconcile is that I've never had non-vegan cravings, even when pg and breastfeeding a toddler at the same time, or when I first went veg, NEVER.  So why now?

The only way I can keep the cravings away is to eat a block of tofu pretty much every day.  I did this when pg with DD which is probably why I never had cravings.  However, I'm no longer comfortable with eating that much soy, and it's hard to feel like blocks of tofu are somehow better than eggs or raw goat milk from my neighbor's ethically raised and pampered animals. 

I just don't want to start a non-vegan chain reaction that ends with me eating what I REALLY want, which is fish.

So I have nothing helpful to say.  Just that I am in the same boat. :(

Shayla ~ Crunch-tastic UC mama of 3 nature kids and a moon baby

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