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Vegan Nutrition Program and 12 week pregnancy workout

As many of you know I design nutrition programs for people all over the country. I rarely get the privilege to design Vegan programs. My client Sandra, who lives in Wisconsin, is a dedicated vegan and very motivated to have a clean vegan program planned out for her. I did quite a bit of research and even had several vegan meals myself this week to see how it feels. I have to give people who are vegan tons of credit. It's hard enough to eat extremely healthy when you can eat animal products. But to take out eggs, chicken, fish, and dairy is much more of a challenge. Eggs, chicken and organic grass fed whey protein are huge staples of mine. But I will be thinking twice after testing the waters on the vegan side this week.

Unfortunately many vegan eaters live off of soy and wheat products such as processed fake meats made of tofu, soy, wheat, gluten, and lots of sodium. So to have a healthy program as a vegan you can be quite limited to your food choices.
My view of a healthy diet is Soy Free, Gluten Free, and very little dairy, since dairy is so processed and highly heated.

My Vegan Breakfast
1/3 cup of Quinoa Flakes made with water
Splash of Vanilla Almond Milk
Handful of ground Organic Walnuts (put in cereal)
1/2 Tbs of flaxseed oil in cereal

Max Stress B Vitamin in 1/4 cup water

(With the Quinoa and Walnuts combined you are getting a complete protein)

I had a great Vegan lunch today as well that was very satisfying and tasty, even for the pregnant woman who is having tons of cravings.
-Medium Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Organic Tomatoes, Handful of Walnuts, sliced cucumbers, topped with delicious Balsamic Vinegarette dressing
- 2 Veggie Home Made Tacos - Inside the Corn Tortilla was Black Beans, Mashed Avocado, Chopped tomatoes, Jalapenos, and a touch of hot sauce.
It was a complete meal with Protein, Fat, and Carbs.

I know being pregnant is not the best time to test out Veganism. But I really think I could give it a try for a bit. In order to survive and continue to stay lean it's almost required to drink Vegan Rice Protein Powders. I have researched that many vegans do not get enough fats, so it's important that they include lots of organic raw nuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and even Coconut Milk from time to time. I would love to do an experiment to see how my body responds on 2 months of being a gluten free, soy free, Vegan. But I will have to wait until after this baby and probably after breast feeding to give it a fair shot.

Here is my 12 week pregnancy workout I did today! There was 30 second rests in between and I repeated it 3 times.

Single Leg Deadlifts (trying to keep my butt from shrinking) so this does the trick 12kg's (60second per leg)
Overhead Swings 12 kg 30 seconds
Snatches 12kg 30 seconds per arm
Pull ups 2-3x
Clean and Squat 30 seconds per side
Push up to Double Suitcase Deadlifts 16kg's 30 seconds

Hopefully I will have a picture of my new belly tomorrow. I am already showing!! My belly did not look like this my last pregnancy until I was 18 weeks. It's amazing how your body just knows the second time around. I'm not thrilled about showing so soon but there is really nothing I can do about it. So it's time to start writing about embracing the changes that are happening to my body. You can actually see a video clip of me 3 months pregnant right here


Anonymous said…
Thanks for this post. I have been vegan for four years and just recently decided to reduce my soy and gluten intake.

Also, I've had a bag of quinoa flakes in my cupboard for over a month without the courage to try them. I will now!
Lauren Brooks said…
Hi Charlie,

I would love to hear how you feel in several weeks after reducing soy and gluten out of your diet. Some times it takes almost eliminating it to really feel the difference.

Quinoa flakes is one of my favorite hot cereals. It's so delicious and has a decent amount of protein which I love.
Anonymous said…
Hi,Lauren !

Thanks, realy great Post. My family and me are vegans since more or less 10 yrs. Lauren, you don´t need to be worried. Exactly 10 month ago my wife gave birth to our second child Gabriel and he´s a completely health baby. Realy strange is, that my wife lost all the weight that she gained during the pregnancy in a realy short period of time and she looks today leaner and stronger than before pregnancy. Well, very important during the pregnancy are good fat sources like coconot oil, palm oil, flax seed oil, nuts, seeds and good protein sources like nuts, beans, lentils, quinoa, etc. and of course fresh salads, fruits and vegetables. That´s it !

Lauren Brooks said…
Hi Rainer,

Thanks for sharing this with me. I think it would be perfectly safe for me to try being a Vegan right now while I'm pregnant. I just don't think I would be able to stick with it very well due to my hormones craving eggs and fish all the time. I think once everything settles down then I will be able to give it a fair try.

That's awesome to hear about your wife. I would love to see a typical day of food that you eat.

Take care,

Meghan said…
I'm glad you posted about clean vegan diets. I'm interested in it for health reasons but am worried I would turn to flab from the lack of protein. I'd rather eat real food than protein powder but I'd also like to have a firm body with nice muscle. I'd love to hear your opinion on how much pea or rice protein powder a person would need to take to keep and gain muscle on a vegan diet.

BTW, I love your workout DVD. It arrived very fast, right on time for my birthday, however I have only used it 2x so far due to a crazy vacation schedule. I love the workouts, they are fun and very challenging. I have trouble keeping up with the BodySculpt workout during the high intensity round but the 10 minute Fat Blast is more my pace at the moment and I am able to cycle through it 2x (with a 14 lb. KB at the moment). Once I am able to follow the workouts consistently I will report in on my results.
Lauren Brooks said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Brooks said…

I have never been a vegetarian or a vegan, but if you are interested in doing it, you would not have to worry too much about your muscle turning in to flab. There are some great examples of people on the vegan diet that are able to look very lean, develop massive amounts of strength, and keep dense muscle.

The protein powders would just be an extra supplement with the other proteins you would be ingesting such as beans, raw nuts, lentils, quinoa, and seeds. Depending on what you are currently eating would depend on how much protein powder you would add. With the right combination you wouldn't have to worry about that. A good example on someone who is vegan, super strong and lean is Mike Mahler. There is a link to his website on the side of the menu bar to check him out and the protein powders he recommends. Let me know if you have any questions.

Glad you love the DVD. It takes a bit of time to work your way up to feeling comfortable with high intensity kettlebell workouts. Just keep doing it as much as you can and you will see your strength increase and you body start to condition. 8-)
Alice said…
I know several women who have had succesful healthy pregnancies while being very commited vegans. It takes a lot of time, nutritional knowledge and planning, but it is perfectly doable. Thanks for this post Lauren.
Also, yeah... second time around, you show more and sooner, thrid time, I swear it's worse!

PS: I really like your DVD.
Lauren Brooks said…

Thanks for sharing this with me. Yes I agree with you completely that you can have a healthy pregnancy being vegan. But it does take lots of careful planning since you need 25-30% more protein when you are pregnant.

It's unbelievable how soon I started showing. 8-) I guess when you only have 14 or 15 months in between pregnancies that doesn't give lots of recovery time for the uterus to stay taught.

So glad you like the DVD! 8-)

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