A couple of my readers suggested I write a post on vegetarianism and pregnancy and how I'm staying healthy throughout so here it is! I wrote a post back in 2013 detailing my health journey and why I eat a mostly vegan and gluten-free diet so I'm not going to get into that now (too long of a story) but please read that post if you are curious as to why I do what I do ; )
Food: Since becoming pregnant I have relaxed my diet a little bit. I don't eat meat, fish or dairy (well not really, more on that later!) but I am eating eggs for the quality protein for me and the baby. I've also been eating quite a few veggie burgers and adding veggie ground ground to dishes like spaghetti and chilli - although these are not gluten-free, they also have a lot of protein in them and they don't seem to hurt my stomach. I try to eat a lot of quinoa, rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, salads and a ton of fruits and vegetables of course. For a healthy snack I will have something like an apple with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 2 slices of gluten-free toast topped with vegan margarine, avocado, tomato and salt and pepper or a handful of almonds mixed with raisins. In the mornings I always start my day off with a less complicated version of this protein smoothie. To make sure I'm getting enough iron I take this supplement (which is easy on the tummy) and since I can't swallow pills (so annoying) I take this liquid pre-natal vitamin which I get at a local health food store. I will sometimes take a chewable calcium vitamin as well. And for those of you wondering, my doctor makes sure I'm not anemic with regular blood tests ; ). I know this all seems like a lot of work and yes, sometimes it's difficult to eat well but I try my best, especially now since I'm not just feeding myself, but my baby, too : ). These past couple of weeks, I have been eating way more than I did the first trimester, I guess it's because baby is growing more rapidly now and needs more food?? I honestly find myself hungry ALL THE TIME lately! I have to eat multiple times a day.
I'm not always super-healthy though - sometimes I get cravings for Dairy Queen or McDonald's ice cream (the ice milk kind), sometimes these desserts will bother my stomach, sometimes they won't but the craving is so strong that I deal with the pain ; ) I also love the Tofu Pad Thai from Syphay here in Edmonton. I order it at least once a week, it's sooooo good! My favorite treat : ). In my first trimester I was so sick that nothing really appealed to me except salty foods like french fries and Lay's potato chips (I know, SO bad!) so I would listen to my body and eat those but also try and get the proper nutrients inside of me and hoped they would stay down. Towards the end of my first trimester and the beginning of my second trimester all I craved were pickles (the stereo-type is true!) and eggs. Now in my second trimester, for an evening snack I crave popcorn with lots of vegan margarine and salt lol. I have completely cut out diet pop, which was very hard for me but I did it and my guts thank me, but sometimes I will have a Coke as a treat. That's all I drink for caffeine. But I mostly drink water with lemon.
Exercise: Although I've taken a break from teaching barre 3 times a week due to nausea, etc. (I miss it soooo much!), I still try to exercise twice a week, whether it's going for a walk or doing a pre-natal video on Youtube (there are so many to choose from!). To be honest with you, since becoming pregnant, I never feel like exercising, it's so weird because I've been active all my life but I force myself to and I always feel better afterwards. I'm hoping to get back to the studio within the next couple of weeks to see if I have the energy and stamina for a barre class ; ).
Sleep: I am trying to get as much rest as possible. My (boring) evening routine goes like this: Bath around 8 or 8:30 p.m. where I read my book ( I know - it' s so early, my husband calls me a Grandma), wash my face, etc., then I'm in bed by 9 and (hopefully) asleep by 9:30 because I get up at 6:15 a.m. during the week. I am also having naps when I feel like it, when I can of course. I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible because when the baby comes, oh dear, I will no longer know the definition of sleep!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Or maybe it was really boring for you but either way, if you're a Vegetarian and are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, etc., don't worry - you can still not eat meat, get all the nutrients and vitamins needed and be healthy for you and your baby! And you don't have to deprive yourself either! There are a ton of flavorful dishes you can make, and if you don't have a copy of the Oh She Glows Cookbook, you need to get it! I use it all the time, and now the pages have started falling out ; ).
I can't sign off before thanking all of you for your congratulatory tweets, messages and comments on Faceook, Instagram and this blog regarding my pregnancy announcement - you are all so sweet and I appreciated each and every one! THANK YOU! xoxo