This phrase is by far the most common question posed to vegans, and one we have plenty of practice answering. Hint: It’s easy.
I didn’t think it could get much worse, until I got pregnant. Now when I tell someone I’m vegan, “Where do you get your protein?” is usually followed by a host of questions about everyday nutrients like calcium, iron, or magnesium. Men, women, those who have had kids and those who haven’t - everyone seems to have an opinion about the foods you should eat, the activities you shouldn’t be doing. Even Google will give you mixed messages, depending on the keywords used.
So how hard is it really to be vegan and pregnant? Spoiler - it’s pretty darn easy (and surprisingly healthy). And with the help of my friends at Nourish, my life has gotten much easier. So, what are the benefits?
"Many of the traditional 'do not eat foods' your average doctor will tell you not to eat contain animal products."
Benefit #1: You don’t have to start avoiding certain foods. Many of the traditional “do not eat foods” your average doctor will tell you not to eat contain animal products. Deli meat, sushi, raw or under-cooked meat, unpasteurized dairy, etc. are all on the government’s food safety website under “avoid if pregnant.” Since I was vegan before becoming pregnant, this was easy. I already didn’t eat those foods, so I knew which substitutes existed and how to cook them. The biggest hurdles for me were the normal vices like coffee and alcohol. Cutting these out seemed like it would be hard. But, when you’re abstaining from alcohol or coffee (or cutting back) for your child, it becomes a lot easier than you’d think.
Benefit #2: Low blood pressure.One of the most common risks associated with pregnancy is, you guessed it, high blood pressure. This is not something that I’ve ever been concerned with. Because I already eat a whole foods, plant-based diet my blood pressure sits in the mid to low range. It has been great to receive feedback from my midwives about my health. My good health, I contribute largely to my vegan diet.
"When you focus on whole foods and plant-based eating, you won’t find yourself having to make tough decisions about cutting out your favorite junk-foods, because you won’t crave them. "
Benefit #3: I can eat whatever I want! To be clear, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it is automatically passes a bill of health. Oreos and Coke products are vegan, but I wouldn’t recommend making them a regular part of your diet. However, when you focus on whole foods and plant-based eating, you won’t find yourself having to make tough decisions about cutting out your favorite junk-foods, because you won’t crave them. Because you’re getting a wider range of nutrients, you’ll be more satisfied. Within the parameters of my whole foods, plant-based diet, I can eat just about whatever I want and remain thin and healthy. And trust me, you can still delight in some decadent fare - just see Nourish’s menu for proof! Cinnamon baked oats anyone? This is a win for me, and for my baby.
Benefit #4: Save animals and save the planet. The biggest reason I originally chose to eat plant based was because it meant less suffering for innocent animals and less strain on the environment. The health benefits were an added bonus. Now that I am bringing a new life into this world, it makes me feel good to know that my food choices can lead to a better world for my little baby. I am glad that companies like Nourish exist to help me enjoy amazing plant based food that is healthy for me, my baby, animals, and the planet. Eating mouth-watering food and feeling great, all while supporting your values - What more can you ask for?
Like so many other moms-to-be, I'm busy balancing my career, my relationships, and trying to prepare myself to be the best parent I can be. Having plant-based food delivered to me saves me time and stress, and I trust Nourish to bring me the best foods for me and my baby. So, being vegan and pregnant? For me, it's a perfect fit.