Last week on our blog we talked with Master of Public Health Student and health advocate Amina Burell. We read about how her diet as a vegan (no meat and no dairy) changed her eating habits and the ways she got her vitamins. Today we continue her story and read about how important her diet choices became when she was pregnant with her baby girl…
Now that you are pregnant how has your diet been different?
It has been very different. I have had to really make accommodations for myself in order to consume the proper amount of protein. Pregnant women who are vegans need 85 to 100 grams of protein everyday. This has been very difficult to achieve as it requires me to eat a lot of food. Being human, I have on occasion eaten fish and eggs making sure of course that they’re organic farm raised fish and cage free eggs.
What would you say the difference is from a woman who is pregnant and normally eats everything compare with your diet?
BIG difference, women who normally eat everything really have only to worry about staying away from foods high in fat and sugar, and they have to make sure they’re not overeating. As a vegan I have to make sure every bite counts, I cannot waste calories on something silly like tortilla chips.
Do you take supplements? What’s in it?
Yes I take a prenatal vitamin and it has many different vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B12, iron, zinc, and calcium. I also take a calcium supplement.
When did you start to take vitamins?
When I got pregnant I started taking them religiously; before I became pregnant would take a daily vitamin every few days or so.
Do you do anything special to remember to take your vitamins?
No, they’re right by the fridge so when I’m making breakfast I just grab them out of the cabinet.
What is one thing you would like to tell other women about vitamins?
Take a lot of calcium and make sure you’re getting folic acid in your diet every day.