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Plant-based Pregnancy Meal Plan: What I Eat in a Day

I’m Kayli Anderson, dietitian and natural foods chef. PBM is your headquarters for empowering, woman-centered plant-based nutrition and lifestyle guidance. 

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Today I’m sharing what a day of plant-based eating looks like in my world during my second trimester of pregnancy. I share this sample plant-based pregnancy meal plan not as a recommendation for you to eat just like me, but instead as a loose example of what a balanced day can look like. You may need more, less, or a different configuration of meals to be happy and satisfied. 

Intuitive eating has become a way of life for me. I don’t weigh myself (I don’t even own a scale), I don’t count calories or macros, and I don’t have any off-limits foods. The knowledge of what nutritionally balanced looks like in meal form has become intuitive to me. That knowledge serves as my foundation each day, and beyond that I rely on a mix of what sounds good, what I know will make me feel good, and what’s convenient/available to make my food decisions. If you want to learn how to do this for yourself, take my free Intuitive Eating Training. Healthy eating during pregnancy is a mix of packing in nutrient-dense foods, proper supplementation, listening to your body, and including foods that you enjoy and look forward to. This sample plant-based pregnancy meal plan reflects all of those pieces.

Sample Plant-based Pregnancy Meal Plan

7 a.m. – Breakfast

  • Latte with 1 shot espresso, soy or cashew milk, maple syrup, cinnamon
  • Oatmeal with berries, walnuts, soy milk, cinnamon

Before pregnancy I was such a morning person (hello, 5am!), but sleep has been queen while growing this babe. I’m up by 7 a.m. and usually start my day with a homemade latte. I do just one shot of espresso which is about 64mg of caffeine. In case you’re wondering, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant people do not exceed 200mg per day which is about two 6-ounce cups of home-brewed coffee. Aside from the occasional dark chocolate, this is the only caffeine I consume in a day and it’s not an everyday occurrence. I pair my latte with a big bowl of oatmeal. Eating as soon as I wake up has been key for me to feel energized while pregnant. In the early days, eating first thing helped ease my morning sickness too. 

oatmeal with fruit, walnuts, and cinnamon

10 a.m. – Snack One

  • Big smoothie
  • Cup of Pregnancy Tea
Related:  How To Choose The Best Prenatal Vitamin: The Ultimate Guide

By 10 a.m., I’m hungry again! My morning snack looks different from day to day, depending on what’s in my kitchen. Sometimes it’s a Kite Hill yogurt with fruit, a muffin with peanut butter (I’ve been really in to muffins lately!), or a PRO Bar or Kind Bar if I’m squeezing in a snack during meetings. Today it was a smoothie with kale, spirulina, hemp seeds, flax, banana, frozen açaí, mango, peanut butter, and cashew milk. Smoothies are great way to boost calcium, protein, and iron intake during pregnancy.

At some point during the morning or afternoon, I have a cup of tea – hot or iced, depending on the weather. I’ve been making my own little pregnancy blend with nettle leaf, oat straw, rose hips, and peppermint. When I get closer to my third trimester, I’ll add red raspberry leaf to the mix. Red raspberry leaf is a wonderful uterine tonic, but it can be a uterine contractor, so it’s best to save it for the second half of pregnancy. 

12 p.m. – Lunch

  • Tofu Scramble with onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and salsa
  • Avocado toast
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Lunch lately has either been leftovers from dinner, an Amy’s Kitchen frozen meal, or something I can whip up quickly like this tofu scramble served with a few pieces of avocado toast on the side. Post-lunch is a sweet treat – Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or an Unreal Almond Butter Cup. Pre-pregnancy, my sweets cravings always hit after dinner. During pregnancy, I haven’t thought twice about sweets after dinner, but I love a treat after lunch.

tofu scramble with avocado and salsa

3 p.m. – Snack Two

  • Hummus with carrots and crackers
Related:  Plant-based Nutrition & Fertility: The Ultimate Guide

My afternoon snack is almost always something salty or savory. Today it’s hummus with carrots and crackers for dipping. I’m also a big fan of popcorn, edamame in the pods with a jig of soy sauce, or avocado toast in the afternoons. Lately I’ve been switching it up with a sliced apple and peanut butter too.

6 p.m. – Dinner

For dinners, we try to plan 2-3 recipes a week with plenty of leftovers. This means we’re only cooking 2-3 nights a week, but we’re eating in 4-6 nights a week. Tonight’s dinner is Chickpea Noodle Soup, with ample leftovers for tomorrow night too.

I try to take my prenatal after lunch or dinner – whenever I remember! I take a prenatal multivitamin, DHA, and choline. A few times a week I also take additional B12 and vitamin D. Get all my prenatal supplement details, including brands, here.

And that’s a wrap on my plant-based pregnancy sample meal plan! This was a pretty balanced day – typical for work days when maintaining my energy is key. On weekends, there are plenty of bagels, pizza, and buffalo cauliflower wings in the mix too! For all the details on planning a healthy plant-based pregnancy, read my Ultimate Guide To Plant-based Pregnancy.

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