Tag Archives: raising vegan kids

Guest Blogger: The Sweet Life – Pregnant and Vegan

25 May

This is a first for VBU! a blog post about being a vegan mother. Please welcome Sarah, author of the blog The Sweet Life. Here she is in her own words, “Hi, my name is Sarah. I am a classically trained pastry chef who has been a vegan for almost 6 years. I aim to show even the most skeptical people how truly delicious vegan food tastes. Coming up with the perfect pastry cream or chocolate mousse is what I’m all about…well partially what I’m all about. I am also a new mom to a strong, healthy, vegan baby girl and every day she remind me why I choose compassion for the animals, for the earth, and for our community. My blog is an eclectic vegan resource for newbies and veterans alike.” Visit The Sweet Life Facebook page. Please welcome Sarah!

my extremely healthy, usually happy baby
By the time I got pregnant I had been a vegan for five years. Everyone knew me as vegan and the questions of “why” and “what do you eat” had long since past. So when I got pregnant a year ago I was surprised at the constant question, “Are you going to have a vegan pregnancy?” The question startled me every time because I hadn’t thought about it any other way. In fact I believed (and still do) that the vegan diet was the healthier choice for my fetus. Most questions were just curious, some cautious, but a few down right caustic.


“Do you know what you’re doing to your unborn child?” Their eyes would say. “How can you be so selfish?” And, “what kind of mother are you going to be?”


Was I being selfish? Or perhaps just naive and clueless? I spent a lot of early prenatal appointments talking to my doctor about this, making sure I hadn’t just been reading one-sided literature that would severely harm my child.


My wonderfully open-minded doctor helped me regain my confidence and with a little extra attention on my diet I birthed an extremely healthy, usually happy baby.


This is what I did: 

Raspberry Vanilla Protein Shake
1. Protein: A pregnant woman needs 75 grams of protein a day! That is a lot. In order to start off right I made sure to eat at least 30 grams for my morning meal. I did this through soy protein shakes I would make in bulk for the entire week, protein bars (I fell in love with Larabars  and started making my own version), and lots and lots of tofu and beans.

2. Calcium: I made sure to buy calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice, ate calcium  chews (until I got so sick of them I had to hide the bag), and ate a lot of dark leafy greens. Did you know 3/4 cup collard greens as more calcium than 1 cup cows milk?

3. Supplements: Taking supplements was a new practice, but a very important one. I took (and still take for breast feeding) Rainbow Light Prenatal One, a fantastic vegetarian prenatal that only needs to be taken once a day, B12 (very important pregnant moms!), and Iron. I can proudly say my iron levels stayed great throughout my whole pregnancy).

4. Read. I spent a lot of time on websites and in the backs of cookbooks determining my nutritional needs and planning out how to fulfill them.There are many great resources for vegans during pregnancy. The Vegan Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal, one of the first books dedicated solely for pregnant vegans, is a great resource I came across after giving birth. I found it important to stay well informed both for myself and my concerned friends and family.

5. Support. I was very fortunate to have a doctor who supported my veganism but I have heard stories of people defending their decision to their health care providers and not receiving their support. It is so important to find a nurse, midwife, or doctor who will work with your lifestyle choices and believe in the inherent health of a vegan diet.

6. Cravings. When the cravings came, I quickly found foods that would satisfy. The grocery store two blocks away carried vegan scones and I spent a lot of my days off stocking up. At home when I craved something sweet and chocolatey I had fast go-to recipes like my no-bake cookies. There was also a time I ate a lot of processed fake meat. Aware of all the foods available to me and with reliable, fast recipes there was never a time I was unable to satisfy a craving.

And in the end…

I had a great, though not without struggles, birth and a beautiful baby girl…wanna take another look?

As my journey continues I learn how to have a vegan baby who will grow into a vegan toddler. I’m sure there will be lots to share. And maybe next time I’ll tell you what I did with my placenta. 🙂

Do you have any vegan pregnancy thoughts or stories?

Guest Blogger: Love, Fruits and Veggies

13 Mar

Please welcome Lisa, writer of “Love, Fruits and Veggies” Lisa is new to blogging, but has a long history of veganism. She has also raised her children vegan from birth, for the past 11+ years and has plenty of enthusiasm, openness and ideas to share. Please welcome Lisa!

vegan

This peanut butter smoothie is to live for, I promise. Eleven years ago, while pregnant with my first son, (who I swore was a daughter at the time) my husband ran an organic juice/smoothie shop so he got really good at making healthy drinks. Now I’ll admit that this particular smoothie is not the best choice to have everyday but ohmygoodness is it the perfect dessert when you are looking for a treat. So when I was first pregnant I got spoiled with juices and raw foods and smoothies constantly but my favorite was the “peanut butter punch”….with it’s pow of peanut flavor and the thick richness the oats bring to it, it hits the spot each and every time.

To make one serving:
1 cup dairy free milk (my fav is almond breeze)
1 1/2 frozen bananas
large spoonful of peanut butter
tablespoon of raw sugar or agave
1/4 cup uncooked oats
add ice if you like it thicker
We use a Vitamix blender which is a high powered blender and gets the ingredients nice and smooth. A great blender is truly a kitchen necessity if you are a smoothie junkie like myself.
Here are a few pics from the day today~
Safety first! Baby T loves to ride on his “bike” as he calls this but we have a very steep hill for a driveway and mama is on the Safety Team 😉 After we pick up “the brothers” from school we’ve been spending lots of time outdoors together lately because the weather has decided to change to Spring in February~
One of the many benefits to having children play outdoors is added laundry and dirty toes..I wouldn’t change it for anything~
Baby T doing his daily workout on the backyard bridge~
Our house is a modest three bedroom ranch but we bought it because of the park like setting in the back yard. It is a dream come true for three growing boys who love to explore. We have the woods behind us with over an acre of playspace and a creek that runs right through the middle of it all. This is just one tender moment in time.
Throwing rocks in the creek~
Finding tons of fossils~
“Enjoy this time while they are young” is the best advice I’ve ever gotten 🙂