My Vegan Pregnancy Diet

Yes, I'm 9 months pregnant and haven't consumed any animal products. My baby is dancing around in my belly, happily growing on a 100% plant-based diet.

The first thing my midwives (and the Internet) stressed to me was that I need to focus on getting adequate protein and iron. So here's what I did.

Protein & Iron Sources During Pregnancy

  • Hemp seeds-- in and on everything. Soups, smoothies, beans, rice, salads. 3 TBS has 10g protein and 20% of the RDA for iron.
  • I added plant-based protein powder to my morning smoothie. My favorite is Vega Protein Smoothie in Choc-o-Lot15g protein, 20% iron.
  • Granola, when I'm craving something sweet. Preferably with a healthier sugar alternative, like maple syrup.
  • Almonds! I like to bring these with me when I'm out and about, in case I get hungry. 1/2 cup has 15g protein and 15% iron.
  • Beans. 1 cup cooked black beans has 15g protein and 20% iron.
  • Dark leafy greens in my morning smoothie. I've been doing this for years, so I just had to be sure to keep it up during my pregnancy. Greens have a surprisingly large amount of protein and iron, as well as other vitamins and minerals. The most important part of any diet, in my opinion.

Favorite Meals

This has changed throughout the last 9 months, but some of my favorites have included:

  • Lentil Vegetable Soup. If you're feeling lazy and want a quick, healthy meal, I highly recommend Amy's soups. The nutrition label is pretty impressive, and the cans are BPA-free!
  • Gluten-free spaghetti with organic sugar-free marinara sauce. I try to avoid corn-based pastas, and instead prefer rice and quinoa. After searching far and wide, I've settled on Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Spaghetti. It's affordable and it tastes good. *Confession: I've eaten this every day this week.
  • Rice and beans with homemade sauerkraut. Simple and affordable. Not to mention, sauerkraut is amazing and fermentation is fun.

  • Lemon roasted vegetables. My 2015 favorite: Brussels Sprouts. (Lemon makes everything taste better. It really does.)
  • Gluten-free banana nut pancakes. A protein-packed variation of this recipe.
  • Avocado wraps, with veggies, sprouts and more sauerkraut. In a gluten-free brown rice tortilla. This one is my favorite and you can find it at Whole Foods.

With this diet (plus the occasional pizza and fries--whoops), I've gained a healthy 25 pounds and can honestly say that this pregnancy has been a breeze.*

 

*knock on wood, I still have a few weeks left.