Pregnancy can be confusing as books on the market compete with each other for information and doctors will instruct each one of us differently. It’s hard to tell what one should or should do, let alone what we should be eating daily. I read this book that stated, vegans can not get pregnant, I was shocked to find out this information as I was already pregnant with twins. Additionally, I once read pregnant mommas should be eating all the time, more than 3x the amount as normal, around 2200 calories at least per day. The information did not take into consideration the expectant mothers’ body structure, not just pre-pregnancy weight. If I were to eat 2200 calories a day, I would be so sick I wouldn’t be able to keep everything down. It’s always best to remember books and doctors do not know your body as much as you do, so take care of yourself as much as possible and listen to your instincts. Personally, I am 4′ 11″ and a small frame, so that means I am well under the “gov’t average” of 5′ 2″. So medical and book advice is always helpful to some extent but remember the suggestions are for an average sized person, which I am not sure about you but I am not sure how many people fit the “average” size.
Hence, I am not afraid to share what I eat on a daily basis. I am not shy of what I am eating, I am not dieting nor am I am I trying to keep to a low weight while pregnant. The health of my two babies are my main goal, that is what keeps me eating more and more each day. But, I have a rule that I have to eat at least 3 good quality meals a day and if I want something sweet I have it. So, in honor of not dieting while pregnant, here is part 2 of what I ate during my 1st Trimester of pregnancy with our vegan twins.
Every morning I love to start off with a bowl of freshly cut fruit and a glass of unsweetened almond milk. This starts my day off on a great note, increasing my vitamin C in my body and giving me a little energy to make my second breakfast of the day. Being pregnant with twins does mean one has to eat a great deal more than just a singleton pregnancy, the two are not created equal. This bowl of fruit is papaya, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, and blueberries. The fruit selection depends on what we find in the stores, sometimes I have a few bananas instead or pineapple. Remember: fruit is great for pregnancy! Vitamin C is not going to hurt your baby but make your body and your unborn babies body healthier and stronger. Plus, it helps your body take in iron which is essential. Note: Vitamin C is water-soluble, so that means what your body does not use it flushes away, literally.
This is another easy breakfast recipe, it just takes a little bit of time to toss together. The first layer is hash browns (I buy mine from Trader Joe’s since the ingredients list contains only potatoes), tofu scramble, and then a ton of leafy greens. I sauté mine in an iron skillet (yep, even more iron to the food) and eat hot with some Ezekiel Toast.
Vegan breakfast on the go for busy people. Although I do work from my home office, there are times I have to go to appointments (an hour away) and/or go to a meeting. If I am short on time, I make a simple smoothie such as this 32oz one. This is a ton of spinach, a few bananas, natural no sugar added peanut butter, unsweetened soy milk, oats, and an orange. If I know I will not have the change to have enough protein for lunch, I will add organic, non-soy protein powder. My OB/GYN said protein powder is a good alternative as long as one is not depending on it for more than two servings a day. Normally when I have a smoothie, I will also take along homemade protein balls, dates filled with natural no sugar added peanut butter, and/or protein bars. It all depends on my mood.
For lunch, I rarely make something for myself. We normally have a ton of leftovers around the house or I have pre-made some staples to have sitting ready to eat in the fridge. This can be done too if you work, just toss your ingredients together in a bowl and it’s an easy lunch. This is leftover vegan taco “meat” over a ton of fresh spinach and rice warmed up. Then I added vitamin C enriched bell peppers (to absorb the spinach iron) and a cup of Rooibos Tea (which I end up not drinking usually).
Remember yesterday I mentioned I always have a ton of greens prepped to add to just about every meal of the day? Well, this is a great example of how I add more leafy greens to my diet. Eating while pregnant is not the same as eating for just yourself, you must evaluate what you are putting into your mouth each and every meal/snack. This is 15 Bean Soup (made with vegan broth) that can be purchased in a bag in the dried bean section of the grocery store. It’s readily available in most stores I believe around the nation. I’m not sure of other countries but it is so simple just to toss together a ton of different beans with some low-sodium vegetable broth and make a great soup. I took the soup and added a ton os greens and a great deal of rice to make a full meal. Sometimes I even ate a few bowls of this. (Did I mention I did not gain any weight during my first trimester? Unborn babies may be small but it takes a lot to grow them in your stomach.)
Spiced Lentil Soup is always nice to have around the house. I make a large batch of any lentil soup and stock the fridge and freezer with it for later in the upcoming weeks. Note: I used green lentils instead of red, just what I had in the house. To make a complete meal, I add a ton of leafy greens and rice to my bowl. Again, when you are eating healthy foods, you can have as many bowls as your stomach will handle.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with lentils is something I almost made once a week while in my first trimester. Near the end I have to admit I got tired of it and had to stop making it because I ate it so much. The final result does look a bit different than the original simply because I make mine on the stovetop instead of in an instant pot. It works out great and since it is not as thick as the original, I could add a lot of leafy greens to wilt them. On the bottom of this bowl, there is a lot of rice unseen. I would eat at least one and sometimes two bowls of this soup for a meal. If you want, you can even add some quinoa/brown rice pasta to it and for an even heartier meal.
Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup with Brown Rice and Lentils was another lentil soup recipe we tried. This one was a bit more oily and not as flavor filled. But I figured I would put it up just in case anyone else wanted to test it out, I’m sure it would be tasty to someone else, everyone has different preferences. Note: I added extra leafy greens to the bottom of the entire bowl of soup.
Harvest Stew with Vegan Sausage for a cold winter night. This was not a vegan recipe but it’s easy to switch the ingredients to make it so. This was very hearty and if you like vegan sausage (I don’t but Genki Husband does), it is a great option for you to have on a cold night. Note: Vegan sausage tends to have a lot of fat, comparable to animal meat sausage, so be careful on how often you consume it. I tend to not eat it at all,to tell the truth, I added lentils and picked out the sausage.
African Peanut Soup for another cold night, it tends to be warm in the daytime and freezing at night in the desert. Something we are not used to having any time of the year being raised in Michigan. But this was a great option for something a bit different than lentil soup. I then added some chickpeas to the mixture for added protein but left alone I believe this has around 15g of protein per serving.
Finally, a recipe that shares I am only human and sometimes I get very tired and make something a bit more instant. This is homemade Japanese rice on 1/2 and the other is Trader Joe’s Curry Sauce (comes in a jar) and Trader Joe’s Vegan Mock Chick’n. Both are higher in sodium but low in fat. I would not suggest this all the time but when you are tired and can’t think of anything else, it is a great alternative. We keep both of these ingredients in the house and then toss it together instead of going out for dinner. I add a lot of steamed broccoli for nutrition but that doesn’t have to be added.
These are just a few things I ate while pregnant, most of the time it was lentils/greens/quinoa and rice. Simple and easy is just easier and helps assure you are getting all your nutrients without adding too much sodium and/or fat to your plate. What was your favorite recipe to make while in your first trimester? I would love to know!