Friday, February 15, 2013

Protein for Pregnant Veggie Wife

As you may, or may not, have heard, I am a vegetarian. I am a vegetarian who went vegan for awhile but that lasted about two weeks because having no cheese just wasn't cutting it for me. I also have been mostly-gluten-free since 2011 because I found I was gluten sensitive. I still would eat a bit of gluten but usually I was able to stay away from it.

Now that I am pregnant though, some of that has changed (besides my growing self).

For those who needed to see the 19 week belly bump. Can't you tell, I really dressed up for this pic.
First off, gluten. Gluten doesn't seem to bother me as I am pregnant. I have eaten entire meals of spaghetti, I eat toast regularly, and I definitely ate cupcakes on my 30th birthday. It just doesn't upset my stomach anymore. I still try to not eat it for every meal because generally, eating all that gluten really isn't all that great but when I want a bagel with cream cheese, I can now eat it. Thankgod!

Secondly, protein. During my 3 month midwife appointment, we were talking about protein and how it is important for baby. I hadn't really told them I was a vegetarian or anything because I didn't think it would matter but in the back of my mind, I knew I probably wasn't getting enough protein. Tofu wasn't in my diet much, because what pregnant lady craves tofu?! I hadn't really been eating my cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, and so and and so forth either. And, I really hadn't even been eating cheese. Plus, I still wasn't eating eggs because that shit is gross.

So, the day after my appointment, I wrote down everything I ate and the protein content. Pregnant women should be getting about 60 grams of protein a day. I was at 30. Whoopsie daisy. It was time for a trip to the store where I bought yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, nuts, beans, and tofu. I now eat these regularly throughout my day.

The one thing though that has been difficult for me is the egg thing. I mean, before they started grossing me out, I LOVED eggs. I loved the over-easy egg on a piece of toast! Now, that would make me vom. But, because they do pack a punch of protein, I decided to give it a go again with local, grass-fed eggs. I still can't do the whole egg with the yolk, so instead, I fry up my egg white almost every morning with some seasonings and enjoy it with a little toast, spinach, and cheese. That is about 7 or so grams of protein.

What I am trying to say though is that being a vegetarian while pregnant is semi-difficult. While I don't crave a steak, I don't crave most other protein sources either. French fries really don't have much protein, unfortunately. I definitely have to consciously eat my protein throughout the day and occasionally force yogurt down my throat even though I don't really want it. (It's not that I don't like it, I just have never really been a big yogurt eater, but it does have 14 grams of protein!)

But, today I AM going to make hummus. I plan on eating that all in one sitting this afternoon! Too much protein? Methinksnot!


Cherl said...

Check out these listings of preggo vegan blog posts, especially the smoothies, which are a really easy way to eat a buncha kale and hemp protein, but having a tasty snack/meal.

congrats on the gluten tolerance! oh, and the baby. : )

Farmer's Veggie Wife said...

Not to be a crabby pregnant lady but green smoothies make me want to vomit, like literally, I can't drink one because they make me gag. :) It was from the cleansing days.

I'll definitely check out the other recipes though! Thanks

Melody said...

You should read what it says, I think in Nourishing Traditions about eating eggs - it sounds like even though most of the protein is in the white - you can only absorb it when you eat both parts of the egg. They also bring up some concerns about tofu. Just saying this because I care. I would try a cold glass of raw milk. If you can't do that, some sort of smoothie.

Farmer's Veggie Wife said...

Yea Mel, thanks for the advice! A couple things: 1) our midwives suggested strongly that I not drink raw milk because of the bacteria risks (and even raw milk cheeses). Even a small amount of bad bacteria, that only gives me diarrhea (awesome, I know), could do serious damage to the baby. Plus, T already got some food poisoning once from drinking our raw milk awhile ago (and the place had to be shut down for a week). :)
2) About eggs, I looked online and I couldn't really find research supporting that I won't adsorb the protein. While the yolks do have many more health benefits and minerals, I just can't do it. Damn, I know.

I do like the smoothies and once we get into berry season I plan on eating a crap ton! (I do have some frozen ones though I should use now!) I should make some with some sort of protein sub!

You come home soon! YAY!

Melody said...

That is too bad about the raw milk. Yeah not sure where I read the egg thing - can't remember...but yes keep continuing to work on your protein consumption.

I am really excited to home though. My sister's baby is due about a week after I come home!! After that I will have to do a visit to B'ham.