Pregnancy can be challenging when taking into consideration nutrients for not only the mothers’ body but also the infants. In my case, I was to eat double the amount and near the third trimester I was instructed to go ahead and eat for three. My weight gain was very steady, none in the first trimester and a pound a week throughout my second trimester. All gained was the baby and fluid weight, I left the hospital weighing 1 pound less than I had started in the pregnancy. Both twins came out of the hospital with a perfect health report. As I kept vegan my entire pregnancy, I am always asked what I ate and how I kept so healthy so I would like to share it with all of you today.
Something to keep in mind while looking through this blog, I am 4′ 11″ so the portions I eat will vary for your personal body type and size. If you want to follow along with any of the ideas, please adjust the size portions to your specific needs.
Salads were always a large feature on our table, or sofa near the end of the pregnancy. Just vegetables are not enough over lettuce to have while pregnant though so I always made sure to toss on a ton of vegan protein. This contained homemade TVP pepperoni and quinoa. I topped it with mixed vegetables and some tomatoes. When eating greens, please make sure to have vitamin C so the iron can be absorbed into your system (otherwise you are wasting your time). I would eat this entire plate and then some fruit on the side just to make sure I had enough vitamin c.
Not one for spaghetti normally, I made this special recipe by Ellen Fisher. I did not use brown rice pasta as the recipe called however used brown rice/quinoa pasta as it packed in more protein. I used only organic products during my pregnancy so I went to Aldi’s for their amazingly reasonable prices on organic produce.
Lunch filled with leftovers tossed into a bowl. My personal tvp pepperoni mexican stir fry with Daiya Vegan Cheddar Shreds. On the side is a green juice of cucumber, kale, spinach, ginger and celery.
Breakfast: usually rather boring but nutritious. A few slices of Ezekiel Sprouted bread, tons of steamed spinach, sodium-free & oil-free seasoned tofu and PB2. This would be my “second” breakfast as I ate a bowl of fresh fruit an hour or two before this plate. It’s important to eat smaller meals but more frequently to escape heartburn, something I never had my entire pregnancy!
Dessert: Genki Husband and I would make this just about every evening. 2-4 frozen bananas blended with calcium enriched unsweetened almond milk. Topped with oil-free granola, unsweetened coconut shreds and coconut sugar. Every time I ate banana cream (even without toppings) the twins would jump around and have a party in my stomach. Sometimes they were so active I would have to leave half for Genki Husband since it would get so painful I couldn’t breath, they are definitely going to love bananas when old enough.
Breakfast: Ezekiel Bread topped with un-photographed PB2 (I couldn’t handle fat) along with a tofu scramble (almost 1/2 a bag of spinach, cabbage, bell peppers for vitamin C to absorb iron and tofu. Or anything that was in our fridge.) Again, this would be a second breakfast as I ate fresh fruit in the morning before this meal.
Vegan homemade burgers made into a scramble. I would make black bean burgers (oil-free) and then break them up the next day and mix with a ton of veggies. Then I would take this mixture and place into a sprouted grain tortilla. Sprouted because it digests better and doesn’t cause heartburn, plus it is healthier as there is no processing and harmful chemicals.
Pasta for dinner and leftovers for lunch: This is vegan chili mac that I would top with vegan Daiya Chez for extra calories. I would have a few bowls of this per meal, a few hours apart to digest fully. The pasta I use is from Aldi’s and is an organic quinoa/brown rice mixture, no flour or semolina. The beans I use area always cooked from dried beans, never the high-sodium, dangerous metal lined canned type. If you do not have time to cook your own, try an organic variety.
Salad from leftover vegan black bean burgers. There is a lot one can do with a large batch of vegan burgers, oil-free and sodium-free. Again, oil free since it can upset your stomach and is unnecessary to the diet. Sodium-free since high blood pressure is an issue with not only singleton pregnancies but chances are doubled with multiple pregnancies. I would line a plate with a ton of fresh organic greens, topped with a few vegan burgers crumbled and topped with a ton of fresh veggies. I would either use hot sauce and/or salad dressing for more flavor if needed. Yes, I ate hot sauce the entire pregnancy, I found a sodium-free kind at Trader Joe’s but unfortunately the last month of my pregnancy they stopped selling it. Tabasco sauce has only 35mg per serving, the smallest amount I have seen so far…
Lentil protein mixture for meals. Lentils are one of the best protein sources for a multiple pregnancy. I would take lentils, onions, garlic and sodium-free seasoning and sauce it all together. Then I would use this in burritos, on top of rice or on a bed of organic lettuce. I would always cook mine with nutritional yeast as it is a great source of protein and essential Vitamin B12.
Lemon Almond Bread: I never ate any outside sweets, especially not bakery goods as the sodium, sugar and oil content was too high. Again, I took my pregnancy very seriously and was very careful to feed the twins very high quality items. Every once and a while I would have something baked and sweet, since it curbed my sweet tooth and also would increase my calories for the day. This was a great recipe, please check it out.
Burger salad: Another quinoa & black bean burger turned into a hamburger salad. I did not want processed breads and was not allowed to stand up for long periods of time making homemade bread. So this meant I would have salad hamburgers, basically a burger with all the topping just on a bed of lettuce. Later in my pregnancy Genki Husband would make homemade burger buns, again to increase my calories and weight gain. On the side, I would have a little sauerkraut during my 2nd trimester, this had to be removed during my third to reduce sodium content and make sure I was not getting any processed ingredients. (My choice- I never had issues with pre-eclampsia.)
Snack: As I wanted to make sure I always had healthy options, I would make this snack and have it ready at all times. I would take a few of these (I already ate some out of it so a bit small in photo) along for car rides to the doctor or just as a snack in-between my multiple meals. Everything was always fresh and organic.
Vegan quinoa chili make into a bowl… I would use Hannah’s recipe but then I would add double the beans and quinoa to make sure I was getting tons of protein. I would also add homemade corn chips (no oil) and avocado (healthy fat).
Twins are waking up so I will post more ideas later for all of you. Please let me know if you have any question about a vegan twin pregnancy.