Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Pregnancy Eats and Supplements

Hi there!

Don't worry, there was just about nothing left in the container when Jax got it :)

I figured now that I'm over halfway through my pregnancy, it's a perfect time to talk about how I've been eating and using supplements during my journey. Please know this is just what has worked for me so far.  

That would be a vegan chocolate mint milkshake!

When I found out I was pregnant, I had already been eating a vegan diet (with macrobiotic influence) for a year.  I really had embraced a vegan diet back in the fall of 2009, but I hadn't been a strict vegan during  2011 and 2012.  However, 2013 was a fresh year and I completely stuck to a plant-based diet.  Therefore, when I found out I was pregnant at the very end of November 2013, I began my pregnancy journey with a strong vegan base.  And I really think that made a difference because a plant-based diet wasn't new to me.  

I was eating quite clean entering into my pregnancy, so not a lot has changed, but a little bit has.  I was initially very concerned how my doctor was going to react when I told her about my plant-based diet.  To my happy surprise, she was quite pleased.  Her number one concern was my getting enough protein.  This I expected as I've been posed with this concern numerous times (by non-vegans).

My goal was initially to get 60 grams of protein/day, but now I aim for 70 grams/day.  I had no idea how much protein I was taking in prior to getting pregnant.  I never tracked anything all throughout 2013, never counted calories, I just ate what I wanted and when I was hungry.  A vegan/macrobiotic diet truly gave me that beautiful freedom.  But I really wanted to make sure I was getting enough protein/calories now that I was pregnant.  So I downloaded the Lose It app on my phone because you can track your food on this.  I programmed it in that I wanted to maintain my weight and since then I've just been eating 300-700 calories above that maintenance caloric number.  

 Now I am not a big fan of tracking like this in general for myself because I think (for me) it can lead to some obsession with what I'm eating.  I've made big strides in the last 5 years with my body and just wanting to be healthy (rather than skinny), so I truly started tracking just to be sure I was getting enough calories and protein for myself and the baby.

What did I find out?  For one, getting enough protein was easy!  There truly was maybe a handful of days where I had to eat a little something extra to get in a tiny bit more protein.  Otherwise, I just naturally meet my needs on a daily basis.  And getting enough calories, that is certainly not an issue.  I tracked my protein daily for the first 4 months, but I saw that I was meeting my needs each day so lately I haven't been as diligent about tracking.  I eat whole foods - whole grains, nuts, fruits, veggies, beans, tofu, etc. - and I take supplements.

The supplements I take are a Vegan Prenatal, Vegan Omega-3 DHA-EPA, and Folic Acid.  I showed my doctor my prenatal at my first appointment and she recommended I add some additional Folic Acid, so I did.  I also read this book, the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, which was written by a vegan blogger that I highly admire and trust.  That being said, these supplements are my choice.  I'm not here not tell anyone else what to do.  Just simply sharing my thoughts.  This is after all a brand new journey for me as well!

I also want to mention that I have not eaten a perfect vegan diet.  I never plan to incorporate meat in my diet again, so I have not eaten any meat; however, dairy has slipped in at times.  I probably eat organic eggs once or twice a month.  They have to really sound and look good for me to eat them.  Also, there has been some dairy in meals I've had.  I don't prepare anything with dairy at home, but if we are out and dairy happens to slip in at a restaurant, I don't sweat it.  But meat is an entirely different ball game for me and not something I'm OK with eating.

Update 7/24/14 - I started taking an iron supplement in May.  Around 20 weeks my doctors told me that my iron levels had dropped.  I immediately started taking a supplement and by July they said my levels looked great.  That made me really happy!

So there you have it.  My diet so far throughout my pregnancy.  Let me know if you have any questions that I didn't answer!

And have a great weekend!  It's suppose to get up to 70 on Sunday.  I am so excited.


  1. I just stumbled across your blog. Congratulations on baby! It's interesting to me to see what other mamas-to-be are eating on the regular. I'm just midway through my first pregnancy. When is your baby due?

    1. Hello and thanks for stopping by! I'm due August 12th! I hope your pregnancy is going great!