My Favorite Vegan Foods for Pregnancy — A Case For Plant Based
Every pregnancy is different, and every woman is unique. These are the foods that have worked best for me so far throughout this pregnancy. So today I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite vegan foods and recipes to eat during pregnancy. And, because pregnancy is completely unpredictable, what I crave one day may turn into something that makes me sick the next day. Welcome to the world of a pregnant woman! 🤷♀️
For me, morning sickness plagued my entire first trimester. Now in my second trimester, it’s more of a daily queasiness, which is more manageable. Still unpleasant, but at least I can eat something healthy! It’s pregnancy: take the wins where you can get them!
I found some of the best meals to eat while nauseous were pureed soups. For the most part, they calmed my stomach and were a great way to pack some nutrients into my diet. And, because it was pureed, it was easier on my system to digest. Think baby food for adults!
Throw as many beans, grains, and vegetables into the soups as possible. I eat some of my healthiest and most well-rounded plant based meals when I make pureed soups.
Potatoes always helped settle my stomach as well. So, I would usually toss a few potatoes into the soup also. Plus, it makes the soup creamier and heartier.
Tofu is another saving grace when the nausea is on a rampage. Tofu is versatile and takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, so it’s a vegan pregnant woman’s dream. I eat a lot of tofu eggs, steaks, and tofu crumbled into soups or pureed in smoothies.
For my fellow pasta loving preggers, opt for protein-packed options. Chickpea, lentil, beans, and other whole grain pastas are best.
And for me, peanut butter was also very helpful during bouts of nausea. Try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, nut butter in a smoothie, or peanut butter on toast. Or hey, just eat it straight out of the jar. (I may have done this a few times). No one is here to judge you!
Recipes: Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Meal preparation when exhausted
Let’s face it, extreme fatigue and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. I was hoping that little gem would subside as time went on, but turns out I was wrong. I’m pretty sure it’s just preparing me to be exhausted for the next 18 years of my life.
Curry is another easy meal to prepare quickly. Add your frozen veg to a pot with curry paste (make sure it’s vegan!), coconut milk, and chickpeas, and let it simmer for at least 10 minutes. Easy, peasy. (However, as much as I love curry, it rarely sounds good during pregnancy. Seriously, the hits just keep on comin’!)
And, it doesn’t get much simpler than pasta. I usually love making homemade vegan pasta sauces, but now I have no shame in busting out all of my jarred organic sauces! Top with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast for some added vitamins and minerals, including B12.
When I don’t feel like cooking anything, Chipotle is a God-send! Not only do they have great vegan options, but it’s fast and healthy.
Vegan Foods when I’m actually feeling good!
The days when I feel great are glorious. You feel like the possibilities are endless and you could conquer the world! Granted, it doesn’t last long, but take those wins! And take advantage of the opportunity to stock your refrigerator and freezer with extra meals on those days when the energy is flowing.
Also, anything you crave can be veganized! Search Pinterest for your favorite recipes, and almost always, a vegan version exists of that dish.
Breakfast bagels, vegan eggs, waffles, oatmeal. You name it, I ate it. Again, take the opportunity to pack as many whole grains, fruits, nut butters, nuts, and seeds into these meals as possible.
Chili and Bean Soups
I ate tons of chili and soups, even during the scorching hot summer months. It tasted good, and it’s so simple to pack a ton of protein and vegetables into your diet. Use a wide variety of ingredients for a healthy and well-rounded plant based diet.
Again, I loved everything pureed. And, smoothies are a great way to consume tons of nutrients. Add frozen or fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and plant milk and blend. Walnuts and flax seeds are also great plant based sources of omega-3s.
Salads. Sandwiches. Wraps.
More ways to fill up on tons of vegetables and nutrients. Try a wide variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Opt for whole grain breads and wraps when possible. Or, use lettuce or greens as the wrap.
Before getting pregnant, I loved burrito bowls. In fact, we would usually eat them at least once per week. But now, the thought of them turns my stomach. I don’t know why. (I’ve stopped trying to make sense of so many things during pregnancy). However, give me all of the tostadas and I’m happy. Start with a delicious mushroom, walnut, and black bean vegan meat base. Top with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, purple cabbage, black olives and avocado. Finish with salsa, cashew cheese, or vegan sour cream.
I eat a ton of fresh cucumber salads, even in the winter months. Hey, if I can eat chili on a 90 degree day, I can eat summer salads on a 40 degree day. I also love corn on the cob on the grill. My favorite way to prepare is to remove husks, then boil the corn in water for a few minutes. Then, toss the ears of corn on the grill for a couple of minutes for some added flavor. 😋
Avocado Pineapple Cucumber Salad Lemonade
I can’t get enough lemonade. Plain lemonade, flavored lemonade, store bought, homemade: give it all to me! I try not to drink it very often because it is full of sugar, but sometimes you just need to treat yourself with what sounds good! However, when you make your own lemonade at home, you can control the sugar content-and add any flavor you want.
Plant Based Food for Pregnancy
Pack as many different beans and variety of vegetables into your diet as you can! But at the end of the day, eat what you can and don’t feel guilty. My entire plan for the healthiest vegan pregnancy went out the window almost immediately. Some days you are simply in survival mode, and that’s ok!
Give yourself grace: you’re growing a human, after all! ❤️
What are some of your favorite vegan foods to eat during pregnancy? Any weird cravings?
Also, be sure to follow along on A Case for Plant Based social media accounts as I walk you through my vegan pregnancy. (And then, raising a vegan baby). 👶🏻
Originally published at https://acaseforplantbased.com on October 29, 2021.