What Pregnant Vegetarians Eat

I love food. And with the exception of when I’m nervous, stressed out, over-tired or sick, I can hold my own at the buffet table. Don’t let my slight frame fool you: Mama love to eat. So when you add in some crazy hormones, pregnancy and one ravenous baby, you can only image the damage I could do if unleashed.

This pregnancy, as with my last one (not so much my first…that was kind of a “let me hair down” kind of pregnancy. Yikes), I’m trying to watch what I eat and stick to foods that will provide me and baby some benefit and keep the empty calories to a minimum. This pregnancy is my first as a vegetarian and I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to my diet for the most part and have felt good doing it. I allow myself treats. I am only human after all and I don’t believe in restrictive eating (and even if I did…I’d be a miserable failure at it) so an indulgence here and there is really no big deal for me. Food is our friend after all.

I get a lot of questions about what I eat, how much, how often and what changes I’ve had to make to accommodate baby and knowing that some of the things I normally like aren’t recommended in pregnancy (or there is too much conflicting information that avoidance is just easier for me, rather than worrying about it all the time).

My day tragically typically starts around 6:00-6:30 most days. I wake up and in between trying to get my kids ready for daycare and myself for work, I tend to grab an easy breakfast of toast with almond butter. Depending on the bread I go with (my favorite is Silver Hills because it’s Vegan and jammed packed full of goodness), two pieces of toast with almond butter can pack about 15g of protein so it’s a great option to kick start my day. I’ll usually also have a glass or two of water and take my prenatal vitamin as well (I’m using the Swiss brand as it’s good and doesn’t upset my stomach at all).

Grotesque amounts of cream cheese on a bagel have been replaced with this on a daily basis. Thank goodness!!!!
Grotesque amounts of cream cheese on a bagel have been replaced with this on a daily basis. Thank goodness!!!!

Once I get the kids dropped off at daycare and myself into the office, I’ll grab a cup of coffee (I know, I know…not the best but I’ve cut back and birth enormous babies so low birth weight is clearly not a side effect of my habit), fill my water bottle and get to work. I go to the gym early in my work day so I’ll usually eat breakfast number two, a Silver Hills bagel, before I head down. Yes, that’s a lot of bread but in my defense, I need the fuel to get me through a workout and back up to my desk without feeling sick. On non-gym days, I forgo the bagel.

Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!

After the gym, I have either a bowl of steel cut oats that I re-heat, with almond milk, pumpkin seeds, hemp oil and whatever else I think to throw in there or I’ll have a bowl of cranberry almond muesli with almond milk (from the Thrive Energy cookbook). Many people are gearing up for lunch right about now but I’m still thinking breakfast/mid-morning snack. My internal clock is a bit messed up. Sometimes, I’ll have a protein smoothie instead of oats or muesli but that’s totally dependent on if I have time in the morning to make it. Those are usually fairly simple and consist of a scoop of Vega One protein powder (either French vanilla or chocolate), almond milk, banana and sometimes a tbsp of nut butter. I used to always have a Vega smoothie after the gym with the Sport powder (amazing stuff BTW) but it’s not for us preggo’s, hence the variety of alternatives.

Mmmmmmmmm
Mmmmmmmmm

Lunch is never the same thing and will usually consist of leftovers from dinner, or a grilled Portobello salad or something like that. I typically eat my lunch around 1 or 2pm. Afternoon snack is an apple or banana, or both if I’m starving and when I leave work around 3:30-4:00, I grab whatever’s left in my lunch bag. I also have a spare Vega One bar as my just in case and I will tend to get a soup from the cafeteria if it looks good. Baby adores soup for some reason.

Yep...6lbs of lunch bag. Don't ever accuse me of not eating.
Yep…6lbs of lunch bag. Don’t ever accuse me of not eating.
What vegetarians eat. Big arse lunches!
What vegetarians eat. Big arse lunches!

After work, it’s into rush hour to pick up the boys and head home where hubby is usually just getting in himself. We all have a homemade granola bar (globars from the Oh She Glows cookbook are a family favorite) and await dinner.

Globars ready to be devoured!
Globars ready to be devoured!

Dinner is varied depending on what I’ve made in advance on the weekend or what we have on hand if I’m less prepared. I’ll have one more snack before bed and I’m usually comatose around 9:30-10pm.

broccoli and quinoa with cashew cheeze sauce from Oh She Glows
broccoli and quinoa with cashew cheeze sauce from Oh She Glows
Homemade mango ice cream. Divine!
Homemade mango ice cream. Divine!

Throughout the day, I try to drink a good amount of water. I found this really helped with the nausea in the early weeks as well. I actually crave ice water a lot. I did with my second pregnancy too. There’s just something super refreshing about it. Who knew that could be a craving?!

So there you have it. A small glimpse into a vegetarian diet that even a pregnant lady can sustain.

What did you eat when you were pregnant? Did you stick to a certain diet plan? Let your hair down and enjoy whatever your heart desired?

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Stephanie

Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

9 Responses to What Pregnant Vegetarians Eat

  1. LOL at ‘birth enormous babies’
    How long ago did you become a vegetarian? Do you ever get random insane pregnancy cravings for like steak or something? <- Such a random question haha
    Kudos to you for sticking to your meal plan btw I can't even manage it without the pregnancy hormones lol

    • I’ve been vegetarian for about 2 years. I’m actually about 90% plant-based but completely (I love ice cream and cheese!) I was really craving rotisserie chicken and hot dogs early on. I gave in to both during the kids birthday week and ended up getting pretty sick from it. Since then, been pretty good. I was never a huge meat eater so the transition was actually pretty easy. The harder part was making sure I was making food that the rest of my family would eat and enjoy (I’m the only veggie in the entire family).

    • It’s so strange what these little ones do to us!! Who would ever think that ice cold water would suddenly be a luxury! At least it’s cheap 😉

  2. The broccoli quinoa dish and the mango ice cream look delicious! I’ve made homemade banana ice cream before and it definitely hits the spot when you get that late night sweet tooth craving 😉

    I also pack my lunch bag before work and it probably weighs that much! I like packing everything and extra snacks since you never know when you may be stuck at work or in traffic and will get hungry!

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