(Closed) Vegetarian Moms

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m not a vegetarian normally, but I have big meat aversions during pregnancy, so I usually don’t eat meat during pregnancy.  The most important thing when removing meat from your diet while pregnant is to make sure you’re getting enough protein.  For me, this means upping my dairy intake and choosing to add healthy fats (like oils, avocados, etc…) and other protein-rich foods (like beans, soy, etc…) to my usual dishes.  Almost anything that you make with meat, you can substitute beans, tofu, cheese, or eggs, instead.  Here’s some of my favorite veggie recipes (all of these recipes also make great freezer meals!):

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-bean-taco-filling/detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/meatiest-vegetarian-chili-from-your-slow-cooker/detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/addictive-sweet-potato-burritos/detail.aspx

Post # 5
Member
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@June232012 – Just curious, what are your reasons for wanting to go vegetarian? Ethics? Health?

 

Be careful with soy. Soy is actually something I *avoid*. It has estrogen-like properties to it (which is why it’s often recommended for menopausal women), and it acts as an anti-nutrient, among other things.

Post # 6
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@June232012:  You might also look into other protein-rich forms of milk, if you’re concerned about too much soy in your diet.  I’ve heard great things about hemp milk, although I’ve never tried it myself!

Post # 9
Member
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@abbyful:  I was just going to say this. Almond milk is a better substitute for cow’s milk. 

Eat lots of fruits and veggies (especially dark leafy ones!) and try to avoid swapping out meat for carbs. I have a tendency to do that when I eat meatless. Beans are an awesome source of protein for vegetarians and vegans and can be pretty versatile.

ETA: I just saw that you said you didn’t like almond milk. Don’t drink it at all, then? I use cow’s milk when I cook and with my cereal and nothing else. 

Also, take PETA information with a really big grain of salt.

Post # 10
Member
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As long as you are eating enough veggies/whole grains/starches, you’re going to get enough protein.  If you were feeling lightheaded, etc from your previous time without meat, you likely weren’t eating enough (quantity or calorie-wise).  Check out http://www.happyherbivore.com for some awesome recipes/ideas, and enjoy.  I second removing dairy; I drink flax seed milk primarily and then sometimes have soy milk or almond milk.

Post # 12
Member
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@June232012:  Yep; my 3 yr old son has been on a primarily vegetarian diet since he was old enough to eat solids, but it’s been mosly his choice.  He never liked meat much, and he is lactose intolerant (less severe now).  He has meat at most 2 times per week, and when he does it’s lean white meat only.  The school lunches are full of deli meats, ground beef, chicken nuggets, etc, and so we’ve had him on a vegetarian diet at school since he started to avoid all of that.  He’s always loved vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.  He’s very physically active, super strong, and smart to boot, so I can only say good things about the diet.  

I have only been strictly vegetarian (vegan) for a little over a month, although I didn’t eat much meat before.  The elimination of the dairy has been a huge change for the better though.  

Post # 14
Member
5107 posts
Bee Keeper

@June232012:  One of the doctors I work with is vegetarian and her kids are too, and they were sick all the time…haha, had a ton of ear infections. It’s totally your choice, just be sure they get a lot of protein! =)

Post # 15
Member
1855 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@June232012:  Hard to speak to that since we went through a lot of colds when he started day care.  But, I will say that they are usually short lived and once we got his seasonal allergies sorted out, it’s been much smoother sailing!  I follow the Engine 2 “diet”, and they have info about eating plant-strong while pregnant and for children, as well as info on getting protein/nutrients. 

http://engine2diet.com/about_e2/FAQ

http://www.pcrm.org/search/?cid=262 – article on vegetarian dietary requirements during pregnancy

http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2011nl/jan/pregnancy.pdf – another article about pregnancy and veggie diet

Also, here’s some more links about vegetarian kids:

http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/plant-strong-kids/ – blog post about introducing kids to veggie lifestyle

http://www.pcrm.org/search/?cid=263 – Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Post # 16
Member
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@June232012 – Have you tried coconut milk? I’ve never tried it for drinking (I don’t like to drink any type of straight milk) but I use it a lot in cooking.

I agree with vorpalette, don’t put much stock into information from PETA. PETA is a HORRIBLE organization. They put up a nice facade, but when you really get into their beliefs, they are nut-jobs and their goal is extention of domestic animal (no livestock, no pets, etc.). At one point, I was looking through PETA’s website, and I couldn’t beleive the amount of misinformation (either twisted/partial information, or downright lies). I posted a topic on PETA a while back: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/peta

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I don’t have a lot of information on vegetarianism, I eat paleo/primal.

I would say that, in my opinion, you should still try to get plenty of foods like eggs if you are cutting out meat; they will keep you sustained and sated, you won’t be tired in a few hours. Focus on eating the most nutritious foods; like you mentioned, stay away from processed stuff like faux-meat burgers, they are usually full of crap.

“Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A Price DDS is a great book, he explored many different traditional cultures (some whose diet was already primarily some, some whose diet was vegetarian) and looked at their health compared to the health of people eating a Westernized diet. The Westernized diet consistantly “lost”, and diets consisting of traditional food came out on top every time, regardless if they were heavy or light/absent on meat. It’s a great inspiration for a healthly real-food diet for every eating philosophy!

(On a side note: I would attribute the appearance of vegetarian children being “healthier” to the fact they probably eat less junk, not necessarily the absence of meat. Meat can be healthy or bad depending on the source. Hot dogs = bad, McDonalds hamburgers = bad, grass-fed pastured beef = good. Most studies lump all meat together, which is very inaccurate. It’s like lumping Gushers and Fruit Roll-ups together with apples and blackberries.)

Also, don’t get down on yourself if your body isn’t cut out to be vegetarian. It works great for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. In the end, you need to decide what works best for both you as an individual.

http://crunchychewymama.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-im-not-vegetarian-anymore.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20110330172725/http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a-vegan-no-more/

(Not sharing these to try to scare you, I’m sharing because I know a couple people who have tried to be vegetarian that have had trouble with it and feel like they personally “failed” that it didn’t work for them. They shouldn’t have felt pressure like that over something they can’t control!)

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You may want to consider the pros and cons of starting this diet while TTC/pregnant, and think about possible tweaks or exceptions you’d make. Remember, the best diet is a diet that works for YOU, not a diet that you only strive to fit into a cookie-cutter model of. (I know plenty of paleo/primal people that eat foods like quinoa, even though it is technically “outside the diet”, because it works for their individual body and health goals. Remember: YOU > cookie-cutter diet.)

Full-fat dairy and fertility – http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/is-milk-affecting-your-fertility/

Don’t use flax. A lot of people, espeically vegetarians/vegans, use it for Omega-3. It actually isn’t Omega-3, it’s ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), a precursor to Omega-3 which isn’t as efficiently used by the human body (it’s great for feeding to chickens to increase the Omega-3 in eggs). I know some dog breeders who had trouble wtih breedings being successful when their dogs were on food or supplements with flax, when the flax was removed, breeding success rates went back to normal. March of Dimes recommends against flax: “You may have heard that flaxseed and flaxseed oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies on animals have shown that flaxseed can be harmful during pregnancy. We don’t know enough about the effects of flaxseed on human pregnancy. So it’s best not to use flaxseed or flaxseed oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.”

The top 3 things my OB told me when I asked about TTC:

  1. Prenatal vitamins
  2. Fish oil
  3. Eat plenty of meat and/or alternative proteins

 

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