Emily Deschanel Is STILL Eating Vegan During Pregnancy

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emily deschanelWhile many women look at pregnancy as a time to let their regular dietary habits go, many vegan women still stick to the healthy plans they followed pre-pregnancy, food cravings be damned! While I'm opposed to women counting calories when they've got a growing life inside of them, I have serious respect for those who can maintain a meat-free, dairy-free lifestyle -- it seems crazy hard to me.

For these healthy mamas-to-be though, it's really just about being more conscientious, to ensure that they're still getting the nutrients their bodies and babies need. Recently, vegan actress Emily Deschanel, who is pregnant with her first child, said ...

Saying no to meat makes me feel stronger inside; I feel aligned with my morals and ethics. As a pregnant woman especially, people will say to me, "You must eat meat and dairy." You really have to tap into your self-esteem whenever people try to convince you you're making the wrong choice.

Now, I'm admittedly a full-fledged carnivore, with serious pregnancy hankerings for red, juicy cheeseburgers. Still though, I was curious about how those with dietary restrictions are able to swing it. So, I did some reading, and even checked out Alicia Silverstone's vegan-friendly blog The Kind Life. As it turns out, your baby will ultimately take what it needs from you, but you still need to be fairly vigilant about getting enough protein, iron, and calcium. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women consume about 71 grams of protein, 27 mg of iron, and 1000 mg of calcium daily.

A lot of your essential vitamins are already going to be in your prenatal vitamin, but you'll still want to make sure you're getting all those goodies from food sources as well. A vegan woman will often be deficient in Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, iodine and zinc though, so when pregnant, she'll either want to add a supplement or look for these nutrients in fortified foods.

I was actually surprised to learn that protein is pretty much in everything that we eat, including some vegetables! So if you're upping your calorie intake during pregnancy, you're inevitably getting more protein as well. Regardless though, foods like beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and, of course, soy products, are packed with protein. Still, the IOM recommends varying the non-animal proteins in your diet to ensure you're getting all the right amino acids. When it comes to iron, again those whole grains and beans are loaded with it, as well as dried fruit and beets. You'll also want to eat plenty of leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli, which are great sources of both iron and calcium

So, all-in-all, it seems absolutely possible -- and not that complicated -- to keep up a vegan diet during pregnancy, and nourish your baby without having to consume a single animal product. In fact, there was even a study that suggested that a vegan woman's pregnancy tends to be healthier. I mean, personally, I'd rather eat a steak quesadilla than a seitan burrito, but for those women who are able to maintain such a clean, hearty, healthy diet, I say, "More power to you!"

Have you been following a vegan diet while pregnant?


Image via Genevieve719/Flickr

pregnancy health, eating for two

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nonmember avatar dani

I need to say that now I heart Emily even more (: And yes, I'm planning to do the same when I get pregnant.

nonmember avatar sarah

Thank you for taking the time to do some research and write something after you did. So many people just reblogged a paragraph or even one sentence, adding their own ideas without checking anything, which led to a lot of nonsense. So thank you again.
Emily has been a vegan for 18 years so she knows about it, but she consulted with a professionnal to ensure a balanced diet during her pregnancy.
As for eating vegan, well, even in France where vegan food is not as frequent as in the US, I eat many more varied food than a lot of people in my surrounding who are meat eaters and never really have a look at what exists apart from what they've been eating their whole life (and that's not being negative towards them, just something I noticed).

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It's really not rocket science. A vegan diet is no different from an omni diet or a vegetarian one in that you need to eat a variety of stuff to get everything you need. It is easier to avoid the things that you don't need too. cookies and other goodies that are labelled vegan for examples are usually free of stuff like trans fats and corn syrup. You don't need to worry about all the fun hormones and drugs that find their way in to a huge number of dairy products and products made with dairy. You're already eating lots of produce and whole grains as a matter of course unless you're actually a junkatarian and they never last long because oddly enough eating nothing but fries and Oreos will make you feel awful.



I was vegan all through my pregnancy, adding a couple of donuts here and there which I eat anyway. I'm not a strict vegan; we eat entirely vegan at home but if we go out I don't worry about whether the bread maybe contains milk or honey and so on. I did get a craving for cheese right around four months that drove me crazy for a few weeks till I said "Right Fred (all fetuses are called Fred, family tradition), you can get something cheesy.". I waited for a second and suddenly all I wanted was black bean soup from Panera with some multigrain baguette. So weird but it hit the spot and I craved that soup for the rest of my pregnancy.

SicTr... SicTransitGlori

Good for her! I fully believe that a vegan diet is healthier than my current diet, but I lack the willpower to do it. I love dairy way too much.

Melis... Melissa042807

I think what she's doing is great. She's clearly well-informed and not just jumping on a crazy bandwagon.

Jim Norton

being vegan is not crazy hard. the only 2 things you need to know is vegan restaurants ( happycow.net ) and vegan cookbooks (at your local library, bookstores, or amazon.com )

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I tried going vegan years ago to cure my acne, but all it did was make me miserable and hungry. That's not t say a vegan diet is bad, it's just not the diet for me. :P I like my meat and dairy, thank you very much. But even though I'm not a vegan or vegetarian of any kind, I applaud Emily for upholding her morals and ethics, while also making sure that her diet was what was best for her and her baby at this time by consulting a physician. :)

nonmember avatar Sam

Good on her.

I'm not Vegan but I'm veggie. I eat dairy & eggs, not because I think I need them (I don't), but because I am used to having cows' milk in my cup of tea, and pizza with cheese on etc. And many quorn products are made using egg. I dont have them often, but of course when I do I am consuming them indirectly.

I try to limit my egg & dairy intake, I eat mostly veggies (plus carbs, wholegrains, rice, bread, pasta etc), and actually, I think I have a far healthier and more varied diet than most meat-eaters I know. Meat for an omnivore tends to make up the majority of their meal, every meal; it is the main focus. The potatoes and veg (for instance) being a small accompaniment taking up half or less than half of the plate. Where-as my whole meal is mostly veg, and usually as much as 6 or 7 different veg in one meal, as opposed to just one or two for most meals that include meat.

It's nice to see a positive article on veganism for a change.

Oh, and thanks for the reminder about beets!

benic... benicetoothers

I'm veggie, not vegan, but I generally receive all of my daily allowances.  I say "generally" because even us meat-freers don't eat veggies only (I can eat fries and just about any dessert of there).  It's all about variety and, while pregnant, diligently seeking what you need to stay balanced. 

Amanda Congdon

Great discussion! I would add that even fruit has protein and with so many vitamins and phytonutrients it is crucial moms (and everyone really) eat enough fruit. You just can't get the same thing from a supplement. I think most people (vegans and vegetarians included) underestimate the value of whole foods. I use an online tool called cronometer to track my calories and vitamin/mineral intake and I always meet (and very often exceed) my daily requirements. My diet is composed of 100% whole foods. I get approximately 2500 cals a day. 80% cals from fruit, the rest from veggies, nuts, seeds and occasionally some quinoa. Thanks for the great post. I like the tenor of this website and think I'll come back when I'm a mom someday (newlywed)! :)

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