- Women's Health»
My Vegetarian Pregnancy
I Get My Protein From Being Awesome
Before becoming pregnant, every carnivore would smugly say "well, when you get pregnant, you're going to have to eat meat for protein." I would politely shake my head and say "no," but they would give me that "I've had a baby and you haven't look" and they were right. I had no basis on which to make a counter-arguement. While my baby still has cooking left to do, I am proud to report that I have not touched meat my entire pregnancy. My blood work has been impeccable, my weight gain on target, 0 problems with blood sugar, despite my large belly, I have no stretch marks, and I have not swollen...I'm over 8 months and still have all rings on, my face is not puffy, and I haven't needed larger shoes :)
I can't help but compare my experience to my non-veggie friends and wonder if my diet and lifestyle isn't the game changer here. Not that my pregnancy didn't have its difficulties (that will be explained in another post called "Surprise! Your pregnant and so not prepared for this *&$#"), but overall, it has been easy on my body.
Becoming pregnant did make me more aware of my eating habits, and I was a little scared that my vegetarian habits would have to change for the health of the baby. I can't believe I actually thought that now!
For the entire 1st trimester, I would not eat anything that was an empty calorie. This wasn't because I was depriving myself, I just didn't want them and didn't see the point of filling up on waste. I ate a lot of raw fruit and veggies. My favorites during this time were carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green apples. I did up my protein intake with peanut butter, and tofu. I also got over my caffeine addiction by sipping caffeine-free hot teas. I like them without sugar, so it is a great way to also drink more water.
During 2nd trimester I went crazy for citrus! I ate tons of oranges, clementines and grapefruit! Yummy! I did develop a slight sweet tooth during this trimester, but it was during the holiday season. I am shocked I didn't gain more weight with all the christmas tree brownies I ate (I know Little Debbie is the epitome of empty calories, but I love those things!)
When 3rd trimester hit, my tastes changed again. All I have been wanting are broccoli and celery! Yum! I have also been drinking some yummy raspberry tea because my birth teacher said it was good for the ole' uterus.
In between my fruit/ veggie of the moment, I basically eat what I want. I have been a vegetarian long enough to want only healthy food. I eat lots of salad and mushrooms. I love a good veggie sub, and anything from a Thai restaurant. Zucchini is always top of my list, and I juice everything (well, not zucchini). I will be honest, when I first became a vegetarian I gained weight because I didn't know how to eat. I basically ate grilled cheese for like 2 months. Over time, I figured it our and my actual tastes changed. The smell of fast food makes me wretch, and I can't tolerate lots of sugar or fried food.
I love being a vegetarian, but I am a self-conscious one. I never want to be the person who is like "I can't eat there...Oh make special arrangements for me, blah, blah." But this pregnancy has really strengthened my love of being a vegetarian. Because I don't get sick often (especially since becoming a vegetarian), and therefore do not visit the doctor often, until pregnancy, I never had concrete medical proof that being a vegetarian was a healthier choice. I had some antcedotal evidence, like that my allergies and need for Flonose disappeared when I cut meat, and that I never feel sick or over-full after eating as I used to, but no factual proof. Being pregnant, I have been poked and prodded and tested and monitored. I get feedback on my health on a regular basis, and that feedback has been great. Now when someone tells me I need protein, I look at their (sorry to stereotype) chubby face and smugly say "Actually my protein levels are perfect and my doctor described my bloodwork as 'exceedingly healthy'." I enjoy being the smug one now...and yes, I am perfectly OK with being on their level ;)
Keeping is Stretchy
I used to be a devote yogi, but career-changing to become teacher equaled a major pay cut, so I stopped going to classes a few years ago. I practiced at home and I thought that was good enough. About 6 months before I conceived, I took up running. I really enjoyed running, but my doctor wanted me to stop. He was afraid of injury since I was still new to the sport. I felt like crap first trimester, so I didn't argue with him. My hubby was not having me sit on my booty being inactive (he read a lot about healthy pregnancy). So we compromised by signing me up for yoga class.
I am never going to not be in a class again! I thought I was awesome at yoga, turns out I have been doing so many poses wrong. Having an instructor to watch your alignment is worth it! Anyway, yoga has made feel great the entire pregnancy. I can sit on the floor and get up by myself...this excites me as I am fiercely independent! I can also tie my shoes...another bonus.
Prenatal pregnancy is a must! I have learned great poses that will help with labor, and several ways to breath. Baby likes yoga too. Little baby always gets excited when I practice and we can't wait to do mama/baby yoga!
Other Tips and Tricks
Bio-Oil: I may have to attribute no stretch marks to genetics, but I have been using Bio-Oil...so there you go.
DoTerra On Guard: This essential oil not only helped me get over 2 colds, but it helped clear up some of those nasty pimples the hormones bring out.
Hypnosis: So cheesy, but the "Positive Pregnancy" app available on I-tunes works. I started using it about 1 month ago. I totally sleep through the night and have been more calm overall. I wish I would have had it the entire pregnancy.
Dr Teal's Epsom Salts: I soak in these a few times a week. This probably helps with not swelling, but they are also very relaxing and they smell great.
Toms: The official shoe of pregnancy :)