Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Vegetarian Pregnancy

One of the really crazy things that happened in my time away from the blog was that after 17.5 years of being a vegetarian, I tried (emphasis on the word tried) to start eating meat again. My decision to do so did not come easily. Although it was partially fueled by fear of the insane amount of protein you need each day when you're having twins (100g!!!) and also pressure from people who kept telling me I'd simply have to eat meat to have safe, healthy babies, I feel like I know enough about diet and nutrition that I really came to the conclusion on my own that it was the right thing to do. And what finally spurred me on was that my body reached this point where I was just so starving from being so sick that I felt like I needed something substantial to fill me up, and meat seemed like the best solution.

The first thing I ate was a meal my mom used to make me as a little girl when I was recovering from the stomach flu or some such ailment. It's a really simple dish of stewing beef (we used grass fed organic beef, of course!), egg noodles and beef broth. Taking the first bite was so gut-wrenching and scary! I mean, after such long time I had NO idea what real meat tasted like, what the texture would be, and morally it was just so, so hard. But frankly, the very worst part was that the beef actually tasted really, really good, and it did provide me some momentary relief from the nausea and the hunger.

But from there it was all downhill. I tried turkey bacon (threw it up), chicken cacciatore (ew--don't even get me started), my mom's ribs (delicious, but they still completely grossed me out), my bff's chicken salad (again, super delicious, but the chicken cacciatore had already done me in for being able to enjoy chicken), a slice of pizza topped with proscuitto (the one meat I always regretted not being able to try was disappointingly chewy, fatty, and tasteless). Trying to eat meat and think about eating meat became this vicious cycle that was making me even more sick. Every day I would think, "I should eat meat today!" I would try to force myself to find something that would sound good and then I wouldn't be able to eat anything, which only made me sicker.

So I gave up eating meat again--almost before I had really started. I decided that getting back to a place where I was eating something was way more important than eating meat and that ultimately I needed to stop listening to outside opinions and do what was right for me and my babies. I started doing research online about vegetarian pregnancies, bought the book Your Vegetarian Pregnancy, and met with a veggie friend who is a nutritionist who helped me put together a plan to reach 100g of protein per day without eating meat. So far, so good. Yesterday I topped out at around 90g of protein, and it was actually pretty easy!

Sorry this was such a long just feels like we have a lot to catch up on!


  1. It sounds like you are being really smart about this whole process. And I really believe that as long as you are careful to have a balanced diet, you don't need meat and neither do your beautiful babies. I just know you will do the right thing for you and them.

  2. I actually really, really want to go vegetarian. As a life long meat eater (and lover of eating meat!) It just feels like the right thing to do. I do at least try to make sure the meat I eat is from a good source.

    But I just really love meat. A friend recommended a film called Food Inc, saying it might encourage me. I should really check it out.

    Good luck on the protein munching!

  3. Oh lady, yikes! I've been veggie forever too, and have actually wondered about eating meat if I ever am pregnant.. would I crave it? Would I need it? No way to tell until it actually happens, but I'm SO proud of you for taking good care of yourself and listening to your own body. Can you stomach those Odwalla choc. protein drinks? I remember you posted about them previously and their delicious protein-y chocolate-y-ness. yum!

  4. Hi, I just stopped by for the first time after reading your comment on jenloveskev. I too am pregnant (14 weeks tomorrow) with my first baby. And I, too, and vegetarian and have been for 4 years or so. Right before I found out I was pregnant, I went to a vegan diet. And I have tried to keep it up (I talked to my doctor about it and got the ok). I have slipped up here and there (was craving cheese pizza one day and can't get a good soy one around here) and recently started eating eggs again (from Whole Foods or a local farm). I think it is great that you are doing what you know is best for you and the babies. I get nervous once in awhile since we have had it pushed on us for so long that we need meat and milk to be healthy. Good luck and I will be by again to follow you through this exciting time!


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