Happy Monday to you all! I hope your weekend was fanTASTIC! Our weekend went from amazing to AMAZING Saturday morning when we saw a little cross! That’s right! We’re expecting little #2 around April 28th, 2019 by my calculations (thanks to the app I use, Ovia Pregnancy).
I’ve taken three tests since Saturday, and they’ve all been faintly positive. My period was due Sunday, so I’m surprised we haven’t gotten a strong positive yet. My theory is that the lack of dairy in my diet hasn’t been messing with my hormone levels.
What a great birthday present for miss Kenna! She doesn’t really understand what’s going on, but she can look back on pictures and get excited, I suppose.
The biggest question I’ve already been asked is:
Will you stay “Vegan”?
First of all, I’m starting to feel more and more disconnected to the term Vegan. I think it raises too much suspicion and argument among friends and family. For some reason, people automatically assume you are left-leaning and environmentally conscious (how is that a bad thing?) when you toss out the word Vegan. For the sake of my sanity, I will refer to this life-style as whole-foods, plant-based nutrition (WFPB) instead.
The short answer is yes, you can have a vegan pregnancy. I actually did tons of research back when I was pregnant with Kenna and wanted to go WFPB for health and pregnancy benefits back then, but we just weren’t financially ready to make the change then. Jonathan is a moderately picky eater, and never has had the love affair with vegetables that I do. This means I have to cook two separate meals (with leftovers) so that everyone can be happy.
As far as pregnancy is concerned, most people immediately think: “how on earth will you get enough protein to fuel a healthy pregnancy without meat?” Here are some of the reasons I will be sticking with a WFPB “diet” through my pregnancy and beyond:
Plant protein is easier on your digestive system than animal protein.
- I’m sure we’re all aware how much pregnancy effects our digestion. It slows WAY DOWN. I mean slower than Christmas at New Year’s. Why? Because our bodies are trying to extract every last miligram of nutrition to fuel building a human being from scratch. Why not help it along with eating nutrient-dense foods like greens, legumes, and starches?
- Furthermore, animal protein causes vascular inflammation and is often in conjunction with unnecessary animal fats. These fats contribute to things like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. If you have time to watch this video, it’s well worth it and you will appreciate the time you spent. Maybe listen to it while on the way to work, or while walking your dog.
It’s so easy to eat too much protein on a meat diet.
- You can easily get the recommended daily intake of protein from plants. I’ve linked a quick article here that has some protein-rich, plant-friendly foods.
- A pregnant woman needs about 70g protein/day. I plan on using a protein shake to get a good 28.5% of my daily intake, only because I’m going to be pregnant with a toddler at the same time… Lord have mercy. If you’re interested, this is the one we use:
Another common “side effect” of pregnancy is constipation.
- Most Americans don’t meet the daily recommended amounts of fiber. This is known to help keep the bowels regular and stave off constipation. Guess what? Most, if not all, plants have massive amounts of fiber. Meat and dairy contains little to none.
- Also, hemorrhoids have been linked to constipation. Let me tell you… that is one of the most obnoxious things to have to deal with.
Dairy products were not meant to be consumed by anyone other than that animal’s young.
- If you aren’t a baby cow, you evolutionarily are not built to drink a lactating cow’s milk. It’s filled with NATURAL growth hormones that are designed to grow a baby calf into a fully-grown, sexually mature adult cow. Regardless of how “responsibly” the cows are fed with “no artificial growth hormones,” you’re still going to be getting the natural hormones that are present in any lactating mammal’s milk secretions.
- If that evidence isn’t compelling enough, consider the dairy industry’s means for getting the milk for you. Cow’s can’t lactate without:
- Getting and being pregnant.
- Giving birth.
- Calves are of little use to the dairy farmers. They are removed from the mother’s care within 72 hours of being born, and are usually sold as veal.
- Only one female calf is needed to replace the mother, who will generally only give a cost-effective amount of milk for four years. As a mother who nursed her daughter for almost 12 months, I can’t imagine the pain of being separated from your baby that early.
- Some people say “it’s just a cow,” but mother cows will verbally mourn their calves for up to two weeks.
This video made me realize the blindfold we live under as a society.
- We’re born into a culture that tells us it’s okay to torture and be cruel to certain animals for our nutritional “benefit.” In fact, recent nutritional research (that isn’t funded by the agricultural industry) says that this Standard Amercian Diet is what’s driving some of our leading causes of death (in medicine we call them “chronic diseases” or “diseases of civilization”). The video I linked in point 1 goes into a lot of detail about each of these diseases that can be halted or, in some cases, reversed by eating plant-based foods.
- Somehow, we believe that dogs, cats, and horses are sentient, intelligent creatures; but pigs, cows, sheep… etc. are nothing more than “farm animals?”
If you have the time to do your own research, please do! Formulate your own opinion. Look for peer-reviewed research that discounts what I’ve found. Who is listed in the sponsors? What were their findings? Share some stuff with me, I’d love to see anything and everything you discover.
Further recommended videos:
What the Health (a documentary on Netflix)
Cowspiracy (a documentary on Netflix)
This documentary on Youtube
Until next time,