8/15/10

Vegetarian pregnancy

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100 mile ride (5:24) was accomplished last Sun and 21 mile run (2:54) was accomplished yesterday. Today I rode 77 miles with Karel and it was windy and tough. Riding with Karel is not easy but it beats a 6 hr ride alone at my own pace. I ran 4 miles off the bike and felt great (33 min).
I am really happy to be 4-weeks away from IMWI. I GLADLY welcome recovery week but I am not going to take this recovery to the extreme over the next 7 days. My focus will be on keeping my body flexible and relaxed and rebuilding damaged tissues to encourage more strength gains. This last week was my 3rd week of build and the progression has been enjoyable and well-received...all thanks to my wonderful husband/coach. After this week I will have 1 week of build which will be race-specific and then I will be entering week 1 of taper. I can't believe it but in 3 weeks I will be finished with my community rotation (1 of 3 rotations) for my internship and I will be a few days away from participating in my 4th Ironman. WOW.

My recovery this weekend went really well and after getting some school work finished (and taking a quiz on sat after my long run) and eating wonderful recovery meals and snacks (thanks Laura for inviting us over for the cook-out last night!!! YUMMO!!) I went through my stack of magazines which are piling up in my place.

Vegetarian Nutrition Update is a practice group of the American Dietetic Association. Every time I receive the newsletter in the mail I feel so proud to be a vegetarian.
My latest issue (Volume XIX, Number 1, 2010) had a pull-out guide to Vegetarian Diets in Pregnancy. Now I realize that many people reading my blog may not be pregnant or planning a pregnancy but perhaps we all know someone who may be approaching the world of parenting. The pull-out guide on Vegetarian Diets in Pregnancy is perfect for all of us, regardless if you are a male or female. I find the information useful for any person seeking a more healthy and balanced lifestyle because the guide shows the importance of nutrients in the creation of a new life. Although I am an advocate of plant-based eating, it is an individual decision to be a vegetarian or eat semi-vegetarian or eat full vegan.

Here are the important nutrients needed during pregnancy...
(the guide was written by Christine Creighton, MS, RD)

Protein (71grams)
Builds new tissue and repairs cells
-Dried beans
-Soy products
-Lentils
-Nuts and nut butters
-Eggs (my tip: There is a TON of research out on the benefits of choline in the diet, which can be found in high quantity in egg yokes. As far as the current research goes, eggs, alone, are not the culprit to high cholesterol)
-Soymilk
-Whole-grains
-Dairy products

Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA
Develops nerve and visual function
-Eggs from chickens fed a DHA rich diet
-Foods fortified with microalgae-derived DHA
(on pg. 13 of my newsletter there is a short article on a vegetarian omega-3 supplement which provides 600mg of EPA from yeast. You can find it on NewHarvest.com and search Vegetarian EPA)

Iron (48.6 mg)
Promotes tissue growth and increases blood supply
-Fortified cereals and breads: whole-grains
-Dark leafy greens
-Dried fruit
-Prunes and prune juice
-Tofu
*Include a source of vitamin C (ex. bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits) with meals to increase iron absorption. Avoid milk, tea and coffee with iron-rich foods, which may decrease absorption.

Folate (600 mcg)
Produce and maintain new cells, reduce the risk of neural tube defects
-Dark green leafy veggies
-Orange juice
-Wheat germ
-Enriched or whole-grain breads
-Enriched cereals
-Dried beans
-Supplements or fortified foods
*A daily intake of folate rich foods should be combined with 400µg of folic acid from supplements or fortified foods.

Zinc (11mg)
Tissue growth and function
-Beans
-Nuts
-Seeds
-Fortified cereals
-Wheat germ
-Milk
-Hard cheeses (ex. parmesan, asiago)

Iodine (220 mcg)
Hormone production
-Iodized salt

Calcium (1000 mg)
Build strong bones and teeth, help muscle and nerve function
-Fortified soymilk or rice milk
-Dairy products
-Some dark green leafy veggies (ex. broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy)
-Calcium-set tofu
-Soybeans
-Almonds
-Figs
-Fortified orange juice

Vitamin B12 (2.6 mcg)
Helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells
-Fortified cereals
-Fortified soymillk
-Vitamin B12-fortified nutritional yeast
-Milk and yogurt
-Eggs

Vitamin D (200 IU)
Help body use calcium to form fetal bones
-Cow's milk
-Fortified cereals
-Eggs
-Vitamin D-fortified soymilk
-Skin exposure to sunlight

As you can see, it doesn't take a lot of effort to nourish a vegetarian pregnancy. Meat-eater or not, it is important to prioritize a plant-based diet in order to provide the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals to encourage longevity, immune system support and energy.

If you are interested in raising vegetarian or vegan children, check out http://www.bostonveg.org/vegan_kids.html