High Protein Without All the Dead Animals

I am a big fan of shooting for 100 grams of protein a day while pregnant.  There are a lot of reasons for this.  The first is that I can see what a huge difference it makes for me in the way I feel while I am pregnant when I follow the Brewer Diet.  It makes sense.  It makes for healthy moms and babies and it works!  A pregnant woman can and should look healthy and radiant.  Sadly, so many pregnant women are eating so badly and taking such horrible low grade prenatal vitamins that they look pale, they are constipated, they have no energy, and they are simply sick for what can be a wonderful time of life.

I have been there too because of lack of money or knowledge - but I know that you can feel great pregnant and it really just takes a healthy diet.

That being said I am not a big fan of meat nor do I handle dairy very well.  I have also had people mention to me that the high protein diet is just too much animal fat.  It does not have to be.  (Though I would point out that healthy fats from natural sources -nothing hydrogenated- are essential for you and your baby.)  Here are some tips and samples on how to eat well without tons of meat in your diet- and feel great.  Please note also that I am not discouraging the total Brewer diet- I think it works, but have had many people say that they want more raw stuff and less meat in their diet.  I think Dr Brewer was ahead of his time and probably saved countless lives with his diet.

(I am not a nutritionist or doctor- nor is this meant as medical advice- of course talk to your care provider and do your own research.)

Green smoothie- 3 kale leaves, 1 or 2 bananas, 2 tablespoons black strap molasses, a tablespoon of coconut oil, a few tablespoons of wheat germ, a handful of sesame seeds and 1 or 2 scoops protein (you can get raw rice protein if you prefer it over whey- though whey isolate will have about double the protein- I want to note that you should not be getting your protein just from a supplement like this, I just include this as an option because I am trying to show an example of a high protein without tons of meat.  The point is not just the protein but also all the other nutrients that go along with the protein in a healthy diet, ie. fats, amino acids, etc.  That being said there are some good even raw sources of rice protein out there available.  Just don't depend on them for all your protein needs. )  and ice and a liquid like water, juice or almond milk or regular milk if you like dairy. -
2 boiled eggs
(about 30 grams protein, green serving, fruit serving and the molasses has iron, vitamin A in your eggs)Your protein will be higher if you use milk or add yogurt or powdered dry milk to your smoothie. 

1 cheese stick
1 citrus fruit
(citrus, and 7 grams protein)

1 cup granola with almond milk, topped with 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds topped with berries or banana
(about 20 grams protein, you are also getting a fruit serving and whole grain servings)  Your protein will be higher if you use dairy in the form of milk or yogurt instead of the almond milk.

22 raw almonds, chopped celery with organic peanut putter -2 Tbs-
(14 grams of protein and a vegetable serving)

Black beans and brown rice in corn tortillas.  Top with tomatoes, greens, onions, and cheese and sour cream for some more protein and fat.
(about 20 grams protein in the rice and beans if you have 1 cup of each, more if you add cheese and sour cream, you are also getting some of your grains, vegetables, and greens)

After dinner snack:
Air popped organic popcorn topped with butter or olive oil, salt and Brewers Yeast- I like the Twin Lab Green Label Brewers Yeast- yummy on popcorn or you can stir it into orange juice in the morning.
(Grain serving, fat, and Brewers yeast which is full of amino acids and makes me feel wonderful!!)

This sample diet gives you over 90 grams of protein with lots of raw foods, lots of grains and vegetables and no meat.  If you add some meat to your beans and rice or one piece of chicken to your lunch you will get a lot more protein.

I want to point out that Ina May Gaskin (a vegetarian) also encourages a diet of at least 70 grams of protein a day and Birthing From Within encourages 100 grams of protein a day.  A healthy diet with about 100 grams of protein, green vegetables, other colored vegetables, fruit, citrus fruit, whole grains, salt to taste and water to thirst is essential to a great pregnancy.

As a side note- eggs are a wonderful, cheap and absorbable source of protein.  They can be easily added to almost anything baked and are great for snacking or boiled and put on top of a salad.  An egg has everything in it to grow a baby chicken and they are great for baby humans too.  If you can afford it free range organic eggs are the best!


kimrazzle said…
I believe that protein is great for the developing unborn child and I was able to get more than enough protein every day in my diet, while continuing to stay vegan. Of course, my midwife was very skeptical at first (she's been a nurse for 40 years and midwife for 20, so she was very stuck in her ways) and she thought I was going to be completely unhealthy. I understood her concern completely, but I knew that I ate healthier than any pregnant women I had ever met and that my health would be perfect throughout my entire pregnancy; and it was. I never had high blood pressure. My iron/hemoglobin levels were "higher than any patient I had ever seen" according to my midwife. This made me so happy to know that I didn't have to eat animal meat just to get the appropriate amounts of protein in my diet. I highly recommend that every pregnant women do a plant based diet. I felt great and had so much energy during my pregnancy, and I know that it would have not been this way if I was eating the way I did before I turned vegan.
Peace and Love
Kimra Diggs
Mama Birth said…
Thanks Kimra-
I would be interested to know what you diet was like specifically if you don't mind sharing!
kimrazzle said…
I ate TONS of variety of foods while I was pregnant. I think this is very important because if you are eating healthy, and you are only eating the same few things you will get bored of eating healthy and go back to "bad" habits. Anyway, for breakfast I always made sure I had fiber, which most good organic cereals have. I at cereal either with almond milk or soymilk, both of which are very high in protein and are iron fortified. I always made sure the cereal I ate was iron fortified as well. For snack I would eat popcorn, and I'd sprinkle some soy lechitin and/or some nutritional yeast flakes. The flakes gave the popcorn a cheesy flavor. For lunch I would eat lots of veggies. The more the merrier. I made sure I ate DARK green veggies as much a possible. I also drank Liquid Chlorophyll every day, mint flavored. I would mix it with hot water and it tasted like a mint tea, put some agave nectar in it and it became a real treat. Liquid Chlorophyll is basically the "blood of plants" and it helps you keep your iron levels very high during pregnancy. It helps with blood production (which we can make up to 50% more blood while we are pregnant) so we need anything that can help with the prodcution. Liquid Chlorophyll is full of tons of vitamins, but the primary and most important one is Vitamin K (which if you are getting enough vitamin K while you are pregnant you will not have to have your baby get the vitamin K shot at birth, it will also go through your breastmilk to the baby). For dinner I would eat pita chips with hummus (again high in protein) and I pita wrap with marinated tofu, with romaine lettuce, avocado and tons of other veggies and hummus. On other days I would eat lots of oatmeal for breakfast with almond milk, lunch would be vegan pesto pasta made with walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, fresh basil and garlic made in a food processor and put over any type of pasta. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Tofu was a big part of my diet on the days that I was in the mood for it. I would fry up some tofu on the stove and use some taco seasoning on it and eat it in a tortilla with avocado for a nice taco. I would also make the tofu like this and eat it with some vegetarian refried beans and eat it with some corn chips. Basically everything I ate had protein of some sort in it. Even pasta noodles have protein in them. Of course, I ate many more foods than this, but these were some of my favorite things I loved and craved while I was pregnant.
Peace and Love
Kimra Diggs
Mama Birth said…
Thanks Kimra- Would you want to do a guest post on eating well while vegan and pregnant? I would love it! You can e-mail it to me if you would like-
Momma Jorje said…
I'm having to eat every 2 hours (per midwife) since I am nursing through pregnancy. Turns out, I'm hungry that often!

I really, really wish I could handle boiled eggs, but I'm having such a hard time with bloating and gas it is just too much! Hopefully once I get into the second trimester these things will improve.

Thanks for the informative article! I don't like to eat a lot of meat, either.
Sara said…
Don't know how I missed this post when it was first written!

I've been studying diets of traditional people quite a lot, based on the research of Weston A. Price. I've adjusted my diet to one that includes raw milk, grass-fed and pastured meat, and free-range local eggs. I used to be vegetarian, thinking that it was healthier and better for the animals, but I now feel differently, and healthier, since I've changed my diet.

A healthy diet should include lots of probiotic (fermented) foods, something that is sadly lacking in most of our diets, and is Essential for the health of expecting mothers, as these foods feed the immune system. Also, animal fats are not the harbingers of death that the government would have you beleive, these fats have been consumed liberally by cultures all over the world without the rampant diabetes and heart disease that we see today. Cholesterol, in particular, is very important for the development of the baby's nervous system and brain, and yet women are told not to eat it!

Why are so many women in this country plagued by morning sickness, sometimes so debilitating that they are hospitalized? This is not the way that pregnancy is supposed to be, and I suspect that it has a lot to do with women in this country being nutritionally deprived and hyper sensitive to the hormones that are produced in pregnancy.

Soy, in it's unfermented form, is simply not a healthy food, and not a good source of protein. Add to that the fact that most of it in this country is GMO, and that makes it doubly important to avoid it.
The best sources of protein are grass-fed, well-raised animals, and properly prepared legumes. There is simply no substitute for the real, and original, thing. Sugar should always be avoided, and fructose in particular, since it feeds pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Dairy should ideally be raw or fermented.

I encourage anyone who is interested to read Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Really fascinating and eye-opening books.
Not a fan of Weston Price - it's just one opinion not fact.
Anyway, a great way to ensure veg protein is to stick to sprouted grains - you can order sprouted pasta, english muffins, bagels. bread, etc. 2 slices sprouted bread w/ 1 T Almond butter on each is 14g protein.
If you are lacto-ovo cottage cheese is 16g per half cup, Greek yogurt is 18g per 6oz!
Eggs get you heme iron and animal protein if you allow them.
Bean purees go easily into a lot of things, including smoothies.
Make sure every meal and snack contains a protein, apples and almond butter, cheese and crackers, salad with egg or beans, rice and bean burritos (whole grain or sprouted tortillas!), sprouted grain pasta w/ kidney bean or lentil "meat" sauce. Now I'm hungry.
slechr said…
What kind/brand of prenatals do you recommend? I have a feeling I fit into the category of people taking not high quality, and would love some advice.
Thank you!
Aerin-sol said…
@slechr - It's my understanding that, if you're going to take prenatal vitamins at all, you should stick to whole foods sourced vitamins. Any vitamin made in a lab is not a complete one and/or is created out of things like petrochemicals which are not good for our bodies. For example, did you know that what we call 'vitamin C' is actually a vitamin profile comprised of several different nutrients.

That being said - you CAN get all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy via the foods you eat IF you're eating a varied diet. Back to vitamin C - in its 'natural habitat' (from fresh foods) it's surrounded by 'cofactors' which help the body process the vitamin and reap the best from its potential benefits to us.