Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pregnancy Snacks


I've been trying follow the specific nutritional guidelines put forth in the What to Expect When You're Expecting book:
  • 3 servings of protein (20-25 grams/serving)
  • 4 servings of calcium
  • 3 servings of Vitamin C
  • 3 servings of green leafy and yellow fruits and vegetables
  • 2 servings of other fruits and vegetables
  • 6 servings of whole grains and legumes

I track it on this form that I created (although I don't know how long I'll have the motivation to keep it up!). If I start to experience nausea, I know it will be harder and harder to eat healthy. I'd like to build up as many nutrients as possible while I can.

The thing I struggle with the most as a vegetarian is the protein piece. I don't mean to perpetuate the stereotype that vegetarians don't eat enough protein (because omnivores tend to eat way too much protein!), but I do have difficulty fulfilling my daily requirements.

For example, I eat whole wheat cereal + 1/2 banana + 1 cup of milk for breakfast which gives me the fiber I need to stay regular). That's only about 12 grams of protein. That means I have to try and incorporate protein into snacks, which isn't a piece of cake either. Last night before bed, I still had to take in one serving of calcium and protein. I decided to kill two birds with one stone (sorry for all the cliches!) by eating a cup of cottage cheese. That was enough to make me feel like I was suffering from morning sickness!

So today, I'm trying to eat smaller, protein-rich snacks throughout the day, like 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with blueberries and strawberries. The fruit makes the texture much more palatable to me. I actually like it!

Later today, I might make this dip for vegetables. It looks like another good way to beef up my protein intake.

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17 comments:

Heather said...

If you can deal with yogurt, greek yogurt has a lot of protein. I like the Oikos and Dannon varieties. The Dannon is thicker, but slightly more caloric. If I want to avoid their fruit flavors, I just eat plain yogurt with fruit added by me, since I find the plain "flavor" to be too sour.

Tracy said...

I agree about greek yogurt, mmmmm. I also like to snack on string cheese (low cal varieties).

Carrie said...

I saw these non-meat, non-soy "chicken" and "turkey" patties in the healthfood section of the grocery store last night that had 11 and 10 grams of protein, respectively. They'd be nice as a sandwich. I bought some for my son, as he needs protein, too, and the less healthy options (chicken nuggest, etc.) make his stomach upset.

Sarah said...

Quinoa has a ton of protein _and_ fiber!!

Rachel said...

"Beef" up your protein intake! Ha!

Sprinkle ground flaxseed to everything! It has protein (and fiber, and lots of nutritious awesomeness) and once you learn what you can and cannot add it to, you can make it blend right in to your foods. Just remember when you add it, for instance to a smoothie, you need to add more liquid!

E. said...

Agreed on Greek yogurt - the vanilla is great with berries. I like Chobani because I can get it at Costco. Other good, easy sources of protein I like are string cheese, mini-babybel cheeses (I eat the light ones), Cliff Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars (omg so good), and sometimes I resort to whey protein shakes.
We've started using the Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles as an addition to pasta and chili, and that helps too. Chili or curry are good because you can put beans and tofu in them for a super-high-protein meal, and you can toss in a ton of veggies.

BeeHive said...

Do you eat eggs? I can't remember if the chicks are producers or not. You can eat a whole lot of egg whites and get tons of protein without overloading on calories (so you can have that cake later on). I'm not a big meat eater so I eat egg whites like it's going out of style.

Kelsey said...

Sara, I highly recommend looking into some whey protein powder at your local health food store. That's one way we boost protein in our vegetarian house. We especially love this smoothie:

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 bananas
skim milk
peanut butter
ice

blend and enjoy!

My hubby is a prof in nutrition and it gets his stamp of approval! I can check what brand we use if you're thining of getting some.

Michele said...

I second (or is third, fourth or fifth) the suggestion of Greek Yogurt. I'm partial to the Fage brand, although Chobani is good too. Not a fan of Oikos at all.

However, I'm not sure how successful you're going to be at "building up nutrients," unless you're very, very deliberate about it. Only fat-soluble vitamins can be "banked" (and they MUST be eaten with at least a small amount of fat, otherwise your body can not metabolize them at all). These include Vitamins A, E, D and K. (Important to note here that the aforementioned facts play a very direct role in why you should NOT drink skim milk, and instead at least opt for 1/2% or 1%. Without a bit of fat to go along with the vitamin D, your body can't actually do anything with it).

Water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C and all B-Complex vitamins) can not be stored by your body and MUST be replenished daily. That said, "over-dosing" on them will do you no good, as your body can only metabolize a pre-defined amount, so all of those vitamins out there that offer you 500% of the recommended daily intake are literally being flushed down the toilet once your daily requirement has been met.

spanishteacher83 said...

I second the suggestions of eggs and quinoa. Also, don't forget the delicious combo of rice and beans!

julie said...

unless you're allergic, a handful of nuts is a great source of protein and snack!

Jessica said...

My midwife likes all of her clients to drink protein smoothies (shame on me, I hate smoothies so don't do it as often as I should). I just throw in a handful of chopped fruit, some kale or spinach (not a lot), a scoop of protein powder (I use soy, obviously the good kind you can get at a health food store), about 8 oz of soy milk and ice if you prefer. Blend and viola. Easy peasy protein snack first thing in the morning, helps keep morning sickness at bay. Also, taking a bit of B6 but ask your midwife how much she wants you to take, I forget the amounts.

Aamba said...

cottage cheese as a spread for toast. That's one of my favorite lunches.

Annie from Paris said...

Sometimes when I'm trying to force another serving of vegetables down my throat to balance my vitamin or mineral intake I remember my Mom's simple advice when we were sick: "listen to your body and eat whatever it needs". During my first trimester, fresh fruit and raw veggies made me nauseous. I could only swallow small amounts of carbs and some yogurt. Now (at 7 months) I'm craving anything green and a dish of pasta makes me squirm.

I've decided to be kind with my body now and try to pay less attention tu nutrition advice, as long as 1) my body weight and my baby is healthy and 2) I don't eat or drink anything processed (I try a maximum organic).

To support my choice I think of Inuit tribes living off whale blubber for 8 months a year or tribes in Mali living off a single cereal, millet, who birthe beautiful babies.

The human body is phenomenally resilient and for me, counting what I put into it just drives me insane (therefore unhealthy). As long as I don't intoxicate it with pesticides, chemicals and processed fats and sugars, this is what works for me!

Victoria S said...

Holy moley, simply must say I jealous. I am six weeks along and the morning sickness is awful, so just looking at that photo makes me ill. I wish I could eat something that healthy and not pay dearly for it.

C├ęcy said...

I don't have to deal with pregnancy, but I do always find it hard work to balance protein and protein sources. I mean obviously you don't want everything to come from soy (too much natural estrogens) and soy is what is used for most "veggie meats".
My husband and I try to balance things between wheat protein (seitan), soy, beans, grains and nuts. But I agree that it's not easy.
I try to make menus for the week so I can plan what to use and balance things.

Could you maybe make oven baked falafal to dip in tzaziki sauce?
Or a bit of almond butter with banana and a touch of honey (optional).
Good luck with it.

Michelle said...

Since a couple of people mentioned cottage cheese and you don't seem to be much of a fan, I thought I would suggest blending it into a smoothie. I haven't tried it myself, but an Aunt has and highly recommended it. She said you can't taste the cottage cheese, and blending helps with the texture. Just add fruit & other normal smoothie ingredients, blend, and enjoy!

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