by guestblogger Elise
[This is week 11, of our 12 week series. If you joined the challenge, remember to update us!]
We’ve been doing some travelling, as I mentioned last week. And it can be difficult to live vegan in someone else’s house. But we’re home now, and I get to cook again. And this week I made this.
I also have to mention that I have really appreciated Janae’s tips over the last couple of weeks.
I want to talk a little bit about why I haven’t been mentioning results lately. A few weeks into this challenge, I discovered that I am expecting! I am now 15 weeks along. Janae and I had some very helpful conversations about weight loss and pregnancy. She has been vastly helpful. I was hoping that I could lose body fat in the early stages of pregnancy, but she informed me that during pregnancy, our bodies resist the loss of fat.
I should say that I credit a plant-based diet for the vomit-free pregnancy I have had so far. I have been sick with other things, but I did not experience the morning sickness that I have in previous pregnancies (I did feel occasionally nauseated early on, but never actually became sick).
I should say that pregnancy cravings have made me less disciplined than I hope I would be in other circumstances. I have a great deal of admiration for Janae who began this way of life during her second pregnancy!
I look forward to my last week of the challenge!
A note by Janae:
First of all, congrats to Elise! Pregnancy is a WONDERFUL time of life, one to be cherished. This is coming from a woman who experienced three, yes three, pregnancies in three years. And each got progressively more enjoyable. My pregnancies can be categorized as follows:
1. My job required me to sit and stare at a computer all day=sedentary
2. Ate a TON of fast food (it was the only thing that tasted good? man, my taste buds were ALL out of whack!)=lots of processed SAD food
3. I was so sick for the first 5 months. I threw up nearly every day. Couldn’t be near my husband (I slept on the couch, he slept on the floor next to me; I couldn’t even sleep in our bed it made me sick!)–in fact the first time I threw up was right after he came home and gave me a welcome home kiss. To make matters worse, we were still newly weds!
So it can pretty much be summed up like this:
Sedentary (to my credit I did exercise for most of the pregnancy, loved water aerobics) + SAD food=sick, sick, sick=crazy high blood pressure/toxemia at the end of my pregnancy which caused me to be induced (but I did do it sans the pain meds/epidural)
Introduction to a plant based diet at about 1 month pregnant. Decided to move towards veganism. Became fully vegan 2 weeks before I gave birth (I still remember my last piece of bacon, not out of fondness either…) and haven’t looked back since!
My yoga pregnancy. Did (I actually taught the class) yoga 4 times a week, and my body and baby LOVED it! Helped my pregnancy and birth tremendously. Although I’m not able to do yoga as often now, I’m definitely going to do yoga on a regular basis next time I’m with child. Vegan pregnancy, ALMOST all the way. I have to admit there was a time when I just had to have a SNICKERS bar, and a BUTTERFINGER bar. And some Cheetos. Only time I’ve eaten non-vegan foods since making the switch. But overall, great pregnancy, easy-peasy birth (one push and she was out!) and perfect, very easy going baby (seriously, I know you all think I’m lying when I say this, but she has not given us one moment of trouble at all. and aside from a few runny noses, never been sick. could be her personality, but I KNOW being a breast fed, whole foods vegan from conception has definitely been in her favor).
A few words on pregnancy. This is entirely based on my experience and research I’ve done. If you’re currently pregnant and wanting to eat more healthfully, be easy on yourself. Take one day at a time, and focus on eating whole plant foods at every meal/snack, rather than giving yourself some sort of ultimatum, like: “I’m never going to eat an ounce of sugar this pregnancy. Or I’m going completely vegan and won’t eat _____.” This sort of mentality doesn’t work for 99.9% of the population. Especially when you are a hormonal, very sensitive, pregnant woman. Again, speaking from experience, I know with my second pregnancy when I was transitioning to a vegan diet, it took 6 months! I would go for long stretches, eating very well, then I’d just have a craving for such and such, eat it, then feel mostly awful (physically and emotionally–I’d feel guilty). Looking back, and having changed my taste buds over the years, I’ve realized that it takes TIME to change ingrained habits. So enough of the guilt. Just focus on the positive foods and positive choices you’re making for you and your baby, and if you eat a donut or some ice cream (there are various delicious vegan ice creams, btw), at least enjoy it for Pete’s sake, and move forward, continuing to make whole plant foods the staple of your diet.
And consider that when you are pregnant, you are a different person. You’re making a baby! You’re going to need more rest, be more emotional, and basically be more susceptible to making choices on a whim. Maybe this was just me, I don’t know. I guess my main point is, be kind and gentle on yourself and focus on making positive dietary and lifestyle choices rather than setting rigid, unattainable/unrealistic goals for yourself.
About weight loss during pregnancy. Not the time. Your body will do everything it in it’s power to hold onto extra weight. It’s possible to prevent unnecessary weight gain, but to actually lose weight, is nearly impossible (unless you have severe and chronic morning sickness which causes you to literally vomit everything you eat, which is NOT an ideal situation). Also, the whole “eating for two” mentality is, as you know, a little warped. You need, on average 250-300 extra calories in the last two trimesters. That equates to a sandwich or a few extra pieces of fruit a day. Not double or triple servings. But I’m hear to tell you, I know, I know. It’s like as soon as your pregnant, watch out. It’s like someone has switched the appetite gauge to full blast, which means for me, I want to eat ALL the time!
So, if you are pregnant, vegan or not, be kind to yourself. Focus on positive food choices, rather than the one or two things you wish you wouldn’t have done or eaten or “can’t”/”shouldn’t” eat.