The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two)

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two): Skinny bitch Bun in the Oven
The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book Two):
Skinny bitch Bun in the Oven

Hello my fellow vegan-parents-to-be, here is my second reading recommendation. I found this book while wasting time on Pintrest one lazy afternoon. The name of the book is Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. You are probably somewhat familiar with the their very popular first book Skinny Bitch. But! please do not be fooled by the provocative title. They make it very clear in the book that this book, unlike Skinny Bitch, has nothing to do with loosing weight and everything to do with having healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. This book is definitely written for women who are not yet vegan but are interested in becoming vegan during their pregnancy. However, even long time vegans will learn a lot from reading it. The two authors are really good about making this book a fun and easy read. Even in the chapters that have a drier subject matter, you will find yourself laughing out loud. They cover a range of topics including healthy eating, skin care, breast feeding, and much more. The only warning I have is ignore the online reviews. There are a lot of people out there that seem to be put off by this book and it’s vegan message. We know that veganism gets strong reactions out of people and vegan pregnancy can get even more. That being said, I found this book to be helpful, funny, and inspirational.

Where do you get your probiotics?

Probiotics are micro-organisms, found in many fermented foods, that are similar to the micro-organisms that are found in the human gut. Also known as the friendly bacteria, probiotics have been reported to help with many digestive issues in pregnant women. Eating probiotic foods (foods that contain live friendly bacteria) have been known to help with heartburn, cramping, diarrhea, and many other digestive problems. This is because when this bacteria is introduced into the human gut it helps to break down what we eat and fuel the cells that line our intestines.

Usually when people think about probiotic foods they think of dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. But! there is a wonderful range of probiotic vegan foods. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Dairy Free Yogurt: There are many types of dairy free yogurts. Most notably of course being soy and coconut. My favorite is So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk. I buy the plain unsweetened (no need for extra sugar) and add it to my smoothies every morning. Or you can just  grab a  bowl full and top with nuts and agave nectar for an afternoon snack.

• Sauerkraut: Usually found atop ballpark hotdogs, sauerkraut is a vitamin rich food made from fermented cabbage. In addition to eating it on soy dogs, it is also a great add on to any sandwich or even by its self as a quick snack. Just be sure what you are buying says “LIVE” on the package. There are many cheap sauerkrauts, usually the stuff in cans, that do not contain any live bacteria. You should have no problem finding the good stuff at your local health food store.

Probiotic Food: Kimchi
Probiotic Food: Kimchi
• Kimchi: This one may not be for the faint of heart. Kimchi is maybe one of the best things you can eat. This spicy and extremely pungent fermented cabbage product is the national dish of Korea. In addition to being probiotic, kimchi contains calcium, iron and vitamin C. But, be for warned that you may not want to consume this dish in close quarters. The  scent may illicit strong reactions from friends and co-workers. I love kimchi but I do tend to enjoy it in the comfort of my own home. You can eat it plain, over rice or mixed into salads. Just make sure to read the ingredients. While a good percentage of kimchi is vegan, there are a few products out there that contain fish.

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One)

The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One): Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide
The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One): Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide

I am really big on doing my research. So needless to say, I have been doing a lot of reading in the past 17 weeks that I have been pregnant. One of the first books that I picked up on amazon is still my favorite by far. So it seem appropriate to also make it the first book I am recommending for expecting vegan parents. The book is called Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal and it is a wonderful straight to the point little guide book. The book covers everything you want to know about nutrition, supplements, morning sickness, aches and pains, and awkward social situations that may come up as a result of being a pregnant vegan. A lot of the book is in short paragraphs and list, which I really appreciate because it is easy to refer back to parts you want to reread. This book will save you hours of googling. I will be buying a copy for all of my girlfriends that decide to get pregnant.

Vegan Mango Lassi Smoothie

As I have written about before, I love smoothies. I have one everyday for breakfast. This morning my wonderful boyfriend surprised me with a vegan mango lassi smoothie.
Vegan mango lassi smoothie
               Vegan mango lassi smoothie

Here is the recipe that he created:

• 2 cups frozen mango
• 1/2 cup vegan yogurt (soy or coconut)
• 4 mint leafs
• 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
• A bit of lemon zest
• Enough water to cover the mixture

Note: If you are just drinking this is a fun treat you can leave it here. I add hemp protein powder and flax oil to all of my smoothies. You can also add spinach (which will not change the flavor but will change the color) to add some extra iron. 

Recipe by: Jesse Injustice,

Where do you get your iron?

As vegans we are used to people always asking us, “where do you get your protein?”. When you get pregnant you get a fun new question to answer which is, “where do you get your iron?”. There is a myth that most vegans
are iron deficient (at least that is what my doctor told me). This puzzles me because most of the vegans I hang with eat tons of leafy greens and legumes, which are both great sources of iron. The fact of the matter is however, once you become pregnant your iron needs do go way up. You have twice as much blood in your body so you need extra iron to make more hemoglobin. Iron is also extremely important in growing your baby and placenta. Pregnant women usually need 27 milligrams of iron per day.
Fresh spinach for morning smoothies
Fresh spinach for morning smoothies

Here is a list of vegan items and their iron content*:

  • 1 cup iron-fortified ready-to-eat cereal: 24 mg
  • 1 cup fortified instant oatmeal: 10 mg
  • 1 cup edamame (boiled soybeans): 8.8 mg
  • 1 cup cooked lentils: 6.6 mg
  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans: 5.2 mg
  • 1 cup chickpeas: 4.8 mg
  • 1 cup lima beans: 4.5 mg
  • 1 ounce roasted pumpkin seeds: 4.2 mg
  • 1 cup cooked black or pinto beans: 3.6 mg
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses: 3.5 mg
  • 1/2 cup raw firm tofu: 3.4 mg
  • 1/2 cup boiled spinach: 3.2 mg
  • 1 cup prune juice: 3.0 mg
  • 1 slice whole wheat or enriched white bread: 0.9 mg
  • 1/4 cup raisins: 0.75 mg

As you can see from the chart there are lots of great plant based ways to get your iron. One great idea that a friend shared with me this weekend was adding a hand full of spinach to your smoothies in the morning. It may turn your smoothies green (which I find fun) but you can’t even taste it. I also keep hummus on hand at all times for snacks. Plus! who doesn’t love rice and beans for dinner. These are just a few things I do but make sure to talk to your doctor about what is right for you. They might recommend a supplement just to be sure you are hitting that 27 milligrams mark.

*Chart found on