Okay, so I got a little miffed this week. I mean, to be honest, I get miffed every week but usually it goes away after a couple hours. However, this week I heard a particular comment and it has haunted me. (Note, I am not mad at these particular people, just that society promotes a certain perception…) I heard this comment from across the room, while having a conversation with someone else, and immediately walked over to correct the speaker.
The comment went a little something like this…
“So-and-so said I will have difficulty getting pregnant if I’m a vegetation.”
As if meat is the end all be all. As if dead cows make you a fertility goddess. If being a vegetarian was good birth control, trust me, the diet would be a lot more popular. My blog would be filled with articles like…
SAVE MONEY ON CONDOMS WITH A SUSTAINABLE VEGETARIAN DIET
Give me a break. Plenty of people have vegetarian, or even VEGAN pregnancies that resulted in perfectly normal children. Take for example Carrie Underwood, Alec Baldwin’s wife, Natalie Portman, Emily Deschanel, and Alicia Silverstone.
Does this glowing vegetarian Carrie Underwood look malnourished to you? She certainly looks pregnant! Huh, I wonder how that happened with her being vegetarian since she was a teenager and all…
Are there things you need to worry about while you are pregnant and vegetarian? Yes. Every pregnant person needs to worry about protein, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, choline, omega threes, and fiber. But let’s look at good sources of these things…
Protein…. Legumes, nuts, seeds
Folic acid… legumes, leafy greens, asparagus, oranges
Vitamin D…. sunshine (Now that’s even vegan!)
Calcium… leafy greens, milk, yogurt
Iron… leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, legumes
Zinc… nuts, seeds, peas, legumes
Choline…. Egg yolks, soy, avocados
Omega threes with DHA….. algae, enriched eggs (pay attention to this one!)
Fiber…. Whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables
So, judging from this, every pregnant woman should consume staples of a healthy vegetarian diet: legumes, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. As a vegetarian, there are three vital nutrients that you should supplement daily, which are also important for pregnancy. Those are omega threes with DHA, vitamin B12, and Iron.
I wrote an article about my discovery with DHA’s a while back and I have really noticed a difference in my focus and how healthy I feel after starting a vegetarian DHA supplement. Vegetarian iron, while prevalent in leafy greens, is harder to digest and you need to eat a lot of them. Have I mentioned that I am on a budget? One head of kale is all I get a week, so an iron supplement is important for me. Lastly, there really are not any good vegetarian sources of vitamin B12. Will you survive? The internet says no, but tell to the tribes that live scattered in the Himalayas around Gilgit, Hunza, Kargil and Leh. These people have been living (and REPRODUCING!) for thousands of years while following a vegan diet. However, sometimes it is best to give modern science its due, and just make sure B12 is incorporated into your daily multivitamin.
In conclusion, YES you can conceive and have children even if you are vegetarian or vegan. Yes, you can survive and survive well while eating according to your values even if you are not currently pregnant (or you’re a dude!). Should you supplement? The answer to that question is also a yes. Every vegetarian should supplement omega threes with DHA, iron, and vitamin B12. Other than that? Go eat some beans, live long, prosper, and have those vegan and vegetarian babies! We are going to change the world.
This Week in Updates: Homemade Caramel. A delicious weapon.
So this week I was thrilled to watch sugar magically turn into caramel. I was not as thrilled with the resulting burn blisters I got while trying to keep stirring the caramel while dealing with some exploding garbanzo beans in the rice cooker. The garbanzo beans turned out fine though, thanks for asking, and the caramel went wonderfully onto my apple butter brownies! That’s another recipe for this week!
It was a strange week, not only was it disorienting hanging out without Jesse, but I had a VERY late night flight that resulted in me getting to bed when I normally wake up. Needless to say, I was not at my best for that flight. Last week I felt like I had contributed a decent amount to my station, but this week? It felt a little like a lot of running around without that much accomplished. We did have a kickball morale day, which was fun, and I was actually moderately good at. Also, my roommate is gone leaving a very quiet apartment. Who is going to taste all my cooking NOW?
The Recipe(s)! Rice and Beans with Kale and Peanut Sauce AND Caramel Apple Butter Brownies with Homemade Caramel
Rice and Beans with Kale and Peanut Sauce
This recipe is so easy and simple and delicious. It is actually my favorite way to eat rice and beans, hands down. The sauce recipe is not my own. Follow this recipe by Liv Wan, and it makes about enough for 1 cup uncooked brown rice and 1 cup uncooked black beans. Saute the kale, and combine all the ingredients when you are done cooking them.
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup uncooked black beans
Olive oil (for sauteing the kale)
5 tablespoons unsweetened natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons warm water
2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar (I use red wine vinegar and it is still good!)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
Caramel Apple Butter Brownies
Oh my word are these delicious! I usually make my brownies with pumpkin puree instead of butter, and since I have been on an apple butter making kick I thought I would try that too. And what goes great with apples and chocolate? Caramel! I just had to make some and try it out. These brownies are soft and gooey, and taste amazing refrigerated the next day. A great idea for Halloween.
1 cup apple butter (make your own here!)
1 box brownie mix
1 cup granulated sugar (can be natural sugar, that’s what I used)
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
For the caramel, follow these directions from Sally, she’s great! It’s like magic, and the resulting caramel is gooey enough to make a caramel latte, but solid enough at room temperature to roll into soft candies and just eat. For the brownies, made small adjustments based on your particular brownie mix. I would add the eggs first, then add the apple butter 1/4 of a cup at a time until you have a thick batter that sticks to the sides of the bowl. When you bake these, they bake faster than normal brownies so check after the first 15 minutes with a fork to see if they are done. Wait until they cool, then top with the caramel (heat up the caramel first so it is spreadable) and leave in the fridge overnight.