And just like any marathon, football game, olympic activity, or just about any other major sporting event, we are at the final stretch. You know that spot in the game when you watch an athlete on TV? They're sweating buckets, moving much slower, with an acute pain in their face, as if they don't know if they can make it one minute longer.
Because pregnancy is HARD.
Like drawn-out, long-as-hell, challenges galore HARD.
Don't get me wrong - it's also rewarding, exhilarating, joy-inducing, monumental, awe-inspiring, miraculous, and gratifying beyond belief.
It has inspired me to greater heights than I have ever known.
It has replenished me and reminded me I am a part of something much bigger in this world.
It has been simply beautiful to experience.
But to pretend my pregnancy hasn't been the single hardest thing I've ever done in my life would be to just plain lie to you all.
This last month has been especially challenging.
Things that have made it a struggle include:
Exhaustion like I have never felt in my life.
Soreness in my hands and feet that make me feel arthritic.
Random bouts of intense emotion - tears, mostly - as my hormones dominate my daily mood.
A general feeling of helplessness and vulnerability as I find I can't do nearly as much as I could prior to pregnancy.
Feeling a tiny, but incredibly strong, human being move and push and kick and dance around inside of me.
And, for me personally, a pregnancy-related hernia that painfully stopped me in my tracks last week.
As I said, folks, this is the final stretch.
Out of everything, the EASIEST part of this entire pregnancy, without a doubt, has been...
Eating and living vegan.
I've been asked about cravings - "but don't you want comfort food?" - and about classic childhood faves - "what about mac and cheese?!?!" - and also the seeming challenge of a plant-based diet - "isn't it hard to stay vegan while pregnant?" - and then finally, constructive concern - "how do you keep eating vegan during your pregnancy?"
The list goes on and on.
And maybe it's because I happen to live in Los Angeles, California, a virtual mecca of new, delicious, innovative vegan food. But really, all you need is a high-speed blender, a health food store or Whole Foods within driving vicinity (even a Trader Joe's will do), dedication, and an imagination to enjoy eating and living vegan while pregnant.
It has been so easy for me.
Some of the reasons this aspect of the pregnancy has been particularly easy include:
Annie's Kitchen Vegan Mac and Cheese,
Gardein Turk'y cutlets,
Hearty soups - homemade & from the store,
Homemade dairy-free mashed potatoes with meat-free gravy,
Vegan coleslaw made with Vegenaise,
Homemade coconut whipped cream on berries,
|Vegan chocolate croissants from M Cafe in West Hollywood.|
Organic pasta and other noodles (sometimes brown rice-based, sometimes wheat-based),
Vegan reubens at local spots,
Kite Hill almond milk yogurt (I know, I'm a lucky gal for accessing this new product!),
Pan fried tofu with soy sauce & garlic,
Homemade lentils and garlicky brown rice,
Vegan indian food - whether homemade or from a place I love,
Vegan pizza - again, either completely homemade or from places I love,
Peanut butter straight out of the jar,
Big bowls of vegan-friendly cereals w/ sweetened almond milk,
One last reason.
A reason so powerful it has not only made eating and living vegan during pregnancy super EASY, but it has determined my choice to live vegan for the rest of my life.
No matter what.
Because every single creature alive deserves to know what it feels like to nurture their baby after they birth it.
It really and truly is that easy.