Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vegan pregnancy and the protein thing

Anyone who's vegetarian or vegan is familiar with the annoyance of being constantly questioned about their protein intake. I mean, it's not like we go around asking non-vegetarians if they're sure they're not eating too much protein, even though a lot of them are.

Most of the pregnancy books I mentioned in my last post recommend 60-70g of protein a day for pregnant women. That's more than I'm accustomed to eating, so I've been paying more attention to it than I did before getting pregnant. Then a good friend of mine gave me a book about The Bradley Method for natural childbirth, which she took classes in with her husband and found very helpful. Well, the Bradley dude recommends a whopping 80-100g of protein a day! My friend suggested I keep a log of my protein intake to see how much I was getting. On the first day I logged, I did manage to get around 80g, but that was with a LOT of effort.

I also noticed I was eating a ton of soy products to get my protein intake up. Soy milk, soy yogurt, vegan hot dogs, etc. Because I'm anxiety prone, obsessed with health, and enjoy torturing myself, I then had to Google "soy and pregnancy" to see if there were any issues there. Hmm. There might be. Or maybe not. Regardless, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to try to diversify and not rely so heavily on soy for protein.

So, off to the grocery store I went, where I bought a plethora of dried beans, almond milk, a colossal jar of peanut butter, and some Vega powder (which contains a blend of plant proteins, not including soy) for breakfast smoothies.

I'm not sure if I'll stick to the 80-100g Bradley recommendation. It just seems like an awful lot to me. The volume of food I have to eat to hit that goal is often more than I feel like eating. Also, I can't seem to find any studies or anything to back that recommendation up, just lots of Bradley advocates repeating it. If anyone has further info on this, I'm all ears! I'm a nutrition nerd.

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