Better-Than-Takeout Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing | #vegan #thai #noodles #salad #recipe #lunch #dinner

My Second Trimester: What I Ate (and random cravings)

Better-Than-Takeout Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing | #vegan #thai #noodles #salad #recipe #lunch #dinner

Quick disclaimer: if you’re not interested in pregnancy stuff, not to worry! I plan to keep to my regular recipe posting schedule, with a baby-related post sprinkled in here and there (like once a month, max). Feel free to come back next week for some awesome plant-based food. 🙂

I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this, but somehow I’m 28 weeks pregnant, which means I’m officially in my 3rd trimester! (OMG. Cue the panic, overwhelm, and excitement!) About a month ago I shared all about my rough 1st trimester, including my symptoms and supplements. And basically since announcing my pregnancy, I’ve received tons of questions about what I’ve been eating, whether I’ve been craving meat, staying plant-based, etc.

From weeks 6-12, I’ll be totally honest: meals were 90% bagels, saltines, and citrus due to all day nausea and intense food aversions to literally every food I enjoyed pre-pregnancy. Then, as soon as my 2nd trimester began, food started to taste not just better, but really, really awesome. My appetite kicked into high gear and even simple things like a banana with peanut butter tasted amazing! I can’t even tell you the happiness I felt being able to eat my normal “Amanda foods” like avocado, broccoli, and sauerkraut.

Cravings-wise, mine have been pretty tame (knock on wood!). I went through a phase during weeks 9-12 where I could not stop thinking about red meat, specifically burgers. It wasn’t like with ice cream, for example, where I might think, “Oh, mint chip sounds good right now!” and I could make myself some banana n’ice cream and have the feeling pass. It was relentless and felt like it was nutritionally-derived, as in I needed more iron because my prenatal and plant-based diet wasn’t cutting it. I’m not usually one for fake meat, but I ended up eating Beyond Meat burgers for several days in a row (they’re loaded with protein and iron), started taking an additional iron supplement, and confirmed via blood work and my doctor that my iron was indeed low (fun fact: you have 50% more blood when you’re pregnant, aka you need considerably more iron). Since then, the red meat cravings have tapered off, although I’d be lying if I said—at least in theory—that red meat doesn’t sound good sometimes.* (see note at end of post)

Quinoa Taco Salad with Garlicky Cashew Cream Dressing | #vegan #quinoa #taco #salad #lunch #dinner

There is one combination, though, that I haven’t been able to get enough of: lime, cilantro, and jalepeño on everything! It doesn’t mesh well with my constant heartburn, but it’s so good I eat it anyway! (And it’s even better when it involves noodles or tortilla chips for dipping.) I thought for sure I’d be craving desserts while pregnant, but it seems my sweet tooth has mostly been replaced with some combination of salty Thai and Mexican food leanings. The only exception to this would be brownies, sparked by seeing a receipt in Aaron’s wallet for a halva brownie! (which he said was just “okay” lol)

If you’re on the same flavor wave-length as me right now (aka all about lime, cilantro, and jalepeño!), here are a handful of recipes I’ve been especially obsessed with these last few months…

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Tofu Banh Mi Bowls with Quick Pickles | #vegan #banhmi #recipe

* It’s been at least a decade since I’ve eaten red meat. I stopped after learning about how farm animals are treated (yes, even “humane,” small-scale, grass-fed, family-owned, [insert marketing words] animals). I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong nutrition-wise with eating meat (every body is different, after all), but I do believe there’s a negative environmental impact, and most important to me—a massive disconnect with treating dogs and cats as family, and cows, pigs, and chickens as commodities. So yes, even though I’ve wanted to eat meat at times, I would have to be in a dire situation to actually act on that because to put it in really stark terms, for me, eating a cow is no different from eating my dog. That all said, not everyone has the option to make this choice, whether due to circumstances or health reasons. Part of having compassion for animals is also having compassion for people, so no judgement from me if how you eat is different from how I eat. We’re all just trying to do our best. xo