Well it has probably been the second most commonly asked question about my pregnancy!
The other was "Do you know what you are having?" lol.... and after 3 beautiful girls we were expecting another girl, but hey surprise - it's a little man joining us soon.
So can your body survive and nourish a growing human on a plant based diet?
I have been vegan for quite a while now and on a high fruit lifestyle for the last couple of years. It has probably been the best I have ever felt and this most definitely suits my body.
So it shouldn't come to you as a surprise that that way of eating has not really changed much at all. In fact I think it is what got me through the struggles of all day nausea up to 14 weeks. Fruit is easy and quickly digested so it doesn't lurk around in your stomach for ages. It's satisfying and provides that quick burst of energy needed by your body.
Whilst I did turn to the vegemite toast just to stop my stomach from churning in the early days, that was phased out as soon as the morning, afternoon and evening sickness disappeared. And only made up a small part of my food intake so I was ok with that.
The thing I craved most was Honeydew though - I mean of all things! I like it, but I have never gone out of my way to make honeydew a regular part of my meals. BUT OH MY GOSH this was the best thing ever in the first trimester!
I have always been one to listen to what my body is asking for so I just went with. Honeydew is an excellent source of nutrients particularly for bone health, blood pressure, blood sugar control, skin, immune system and digestion. I would say it is a pretty good all rounder!
As my pregnancy has progressed I have maintained my high fruit intake, namely berries, dragonfruit, papaya, bananas, apple, kiwi fruit, mangoes, and whatever has been seasonal at the time.
Fruit really is a gift from nature that provides you with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support optimum health and wellbeing. It is quite frustrating when I hear people being told to cut back their fruit intake or that too much fruit is bad for you. It's kind of backwards that we can be made scared of eating more than 2 serves of fruit but additives, colours, artificial flavours, and processed foods are all deemed ok!
Fruit is ok people! If you have issues with fruit, you need to look at the underlying causes of that.
At the start of the third trimester I noticed the extra demand my body felt for more protein and carbohydrates such as rice, oats and crunchy granola lol. Whilst I have never counted calories, nor do I intend on starting, it is normal to up your calorie intake of about 200-400 calories per day in the third trimester.
My top list of foods I have loved:
fruit, fruit and more fruit!
my pickled beetroot
A typical day for me throughout my pregnancy has been:
fruit with yoghurt
fruit with granola and homemade almond milk
fruit, yoghurt and granola
baked beans on toast
a lot of salads
a lot of potatoes
anything with chilli
high veggie meals
protein such as tofu, quinoa or veggie patties
peanut butter on rice cakes
a lot of water
smoothies (although my stomach struggled on these first thing in the morning)
frozen fruit slushies
Interestingly the two vegetables I normally love, I really struggled to eat in the first months... broccoli and sweet potato... that is one thing I did not fully understand! I don't know what it was, maybe the texture or maybe I ate them both one day feeling nauseous and it put me off. But now happy to say they returned to the weekly meals after a little break from them.
Whilst it has been a very healthy pregnancy I still have enjoyed lunches out where I have had a burger or a burrito but I still found that my cravings were towards the healthiest options. And whilst the above daily list is not a run down of every single thing I have eaten, it is what made up a normal day.
I believe eating this way for quite some time now has played a big part in not experiencing unhealthy cravings in this pregnancy. So if you are aiming for a super healthy pregnancy I highly recommend working out what suits your body before conceiving and having a solid foundation to build on.
Whatever you decide to nourish your body with whilst growing a human is ultimately your choice. However, I hope to have offered some inspiration that a plant based 'diet' is most definitely possible to continue through pregnancy.