Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Vegetarianism and Pregnancy February 16, 2012

Filed under: reflections — R. H. Ward @ 1:38 pm

I haven’t done a vegetarian update in a while, and some of you may be wondering how I’m doing with being vegetarian (or pescatarian, more accurately) while I’m pregnant. The quick answer is, so far so good – my midwifes (midwives?) have all been supportive, my appetite is good and overall I feel good.

The biggest issue has been making sure I get enough of certain nutrients. I need lots of protein, so I’ve been eating a hard-boiled egg with lunch every day. I was worried about iron being a problem, even before my pregnancy, so for a while I was taking extra iron supplements in addition to my prenatal vitamins. My iron levels were great, but it resulted in clogging up my system pretty badly, so I had to stop the extra supplements. Now I’m just making sure to eat plenty of leafy greens to keep my iron up – the iron from greens seems easier to digest. We put spinach in just about everything, and Trader Joe’s has a southern greens blend that I love sauteed up with onions. We also eat salads once or twice a week, and we’ll often top a salad with a vegetarian chick’n patty or burger, which helps with the protein count too.

One of my new favorites is almond butter. Trader Joe’s has one that includes omega 3’s and flax seed oil, and while it has a little less protein than peanut butter, it also has less fat and sodium and more of pretty much everything else. And I think it tastes better than peanut butter too. We whipped through our first jar of almond butter in less than five days.

At this point in my pregnancy, the baby needs a lot of omega 3’s and calcium, so I picked up some extra supplements of those. The Viactiv-style chocolate calcium chews are tasty and easy to eat during the day. For omega 3, we got a bottle of kids’ gummy vitamins – they were cheaper than the grownup version and included more grams of omega 3’s, and they taste like candy. On our vacation last week we also ate tons of fish, with almost every meal, so hopefully baby is getting plenty of material to work with.

I have been having some trouble with beans. My system seems more prone to digestive issues now that there’s less room in there for digesting, and I was getting gas so bad that my belly would be visibly larger a full day post-beans. One of my pregnant friends suggested the obvious – and Beano seems to be helping. Sometimes I’m amazed at my ability to have a problem’s solution in my house, stored right in the dining room even, and not think of it.

No crazy cravings yet. My thought on cravings is this: if I am desperate for a hot dog (or some meat loaf, or whatever) and can’t stop thinking about it such that it’s obviously a hormonal thing, I’m not going to deprive myself of that thing. I don’t plan to start eating meat again, but I’m willing to be flexible depending on what my body wants, and that includes onion-flavored jello or whatever. Honestly, I think onion jello would be less gross to me than meat at this point, but if my body’s craving it and it’s generally accepted to be food, I’ll eat it. Overall, though, I’ve been really happy with my decision to continue not eating meat and keep up healthy eating habits even while my body has extra nutrition needs.


5 Responses to “Vegetarianism and Pregnancy”

  1. Katie Says:

    Glad you’re doing so well with this! You’ve definitely made me want to try almond butter, which I always bypass at TJ’s. I’ve had lots of diet troubles this time, and finally it’s sorted out, but it involves eating more meat and dairy again (and sardines, which I don’t really like but are so good for me). Oh, well! Regularly scheduled diet to resume after June, I guess.

    • R. H. Ward Says:

      Sardines? Lord. I know broccoli is good for me but that’s where I put my foot down; I’ll try almost anything else. The almond butter is awesome, seriously, I know it’s a little pricey but give it a whirl.

  2. Emily Says:

    Okay, I am not pregnant, but I’ve started buying MaraNatha almond butter from Costco. I’m not sure how large the jar is, but I can stretch it out to last a month, mainly because we only go to Costco once a month. Last time I bought two jars, but I’m still trying not to rush through it. I like it a lot more than peanut butter, which I’ve stopped eating completely. Are you taking any vitamins that are specifically prenatal/pregnancy?

    • R. H. Ward Says:

      Our jar is I think 16 oz, same as a normal-size jar of peanut butter. It costs $4.99 at TJ’s, which is a little high but it’s really tasty. We’ve been blowing through it so quickly because F and I were both having AB & J sandwiches for lunch all last week. (This week: mashed potatoes, oddly, but they’re tasty.) I wonder if Costco is selling you the economy size jars? They sell economy size everything else. This may be one more reason for F and I to look into a Costco membership. I’m guessing the savings in diapers alone will pay for the yearly membership fee.

      Yes, definitely taking prenatal vitamins–I don’t even think to mention that because I just do it and have been since we started trying. The prenatals have a lot of good stuff in them, but with being vegetarian I just get nervous that I’m getting all the nutrients I need. Also, the prenatals I bought most recently don’t have Omega 3s.

  3. […] already been eating one hard-boiled egg with lunch every day. The nutritional guidelines they gave us in class suggest that pregnant women should have two eggs […]

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